WESTWOOD, NORMAN PHILIP JR.

Name: Norman Philip Westwood Jr.
Rank/Branch: O3/US Navy Reserves
Unit: Fighter Squadron 161, USS CORAL SEA (CVA 43)
Date of Birth: 08 August 1944
Home City of Record: West Hartford CT
Date of Loss: 17 May 1970
Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 182758N 1073700E (YF763436)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 5
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4B
Refno: 1621
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 May 1990 from one or more of
the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence
with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W.
NETWORK 1998.

REMARKS:

SYNOPSIS: The USS CORAL SEA participated in combat action against the
Communists as early as August 1964. Aircraft from her squadrons flew in the
first U.S. Navy strikes in the Rolling Thunder Program against targets in
North Vietnam in early 1965 and participated in Flaming Dart I strikes. The
next year, reconnaissance aircraft from her decks returned with the first
photography of Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) sites in North Vietnam. The A1
Skyraider fighter aircraft was retired from the USS CORAL SEA in 1968. The
CORAL SEA participated in Operation Eagle Pull in 1975, evacuating American
personnel from beleaguered Saigon, and remained on station to assist the
crew of the MAYAGUEZ, which was captured by Cambodian forces in 1975. The
attack carriers USS CORAL SEA, USS HANCOCK and USS RANGER formed Task Force
77, the carrier striking force of the U.S. Seventh Fleet in the Western
Pacific.

One of the aircraft launched from the decks of the CORAL SEA was the F4
Phantom. The Phantom, used by Air Force, Marine and Navy air wings, served a
multitude of functions including fighter-bomber and interceptor, photo and
electronic surveillance. The two man aircraft was extremely fast (Mach 2),
and had a long range (900 - 2300 miles, depending on stores and mission
type). The F4 was also extremely maneuverable and handled well at low and
high altitudes. The F4 was selected for a number of state-of-the-art
electronics conversions, which improved radar intercept and computer bombing
capabilities enormously. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest"
planes around.

LT Norman P. Westwood Jr. was an F4B pilot assigned to Fighter Squadron 161
onboard the USS CORAL SEA. On May 17, 1970, LT Westwood and his Radar
Intercept Officer (RIO) LT Kane were briefed for a night bombing mission.
During their catapult launch sequence, their F4B developed a fire on the
right side. The master ejection system was initiated. The aircraft was
airborne only 4-6 seconds prior to water impact. Only one ejecton seat was
observed leaving the aircraft, with LT Kane immediately rescued by the
standby helicopter.

An extensive search by the destroyer USS GEORGE K. MACKENZIE and other
helicopters failed to locate LT Westwood. Westwood is listed among the
Americans prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia because
his remains were never found.

For Norman P. Westwood, Jr., death is a certainty. For hundreds of others,
however, simple answers are not possible. Adding to the torment of nearly
10,000 reports relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia is the
certain knowledge that some Americans who were known to be prisoners of war
were not released at the end of the war. Others were suspected to be
prisoners, and still others were in radio contact with would-be rescuers
when last seen alive. Many were known to have survived their loss incidents,
only to disappear without a trace.

The problem of Americans still missing torments not only the families of
those who are missing, but the men who fought by their sides, and those in
the general public who realize the full implication of leaving men
unaccounted for at the end of a war.

Tragically, many authorities believe there are hundreds of Americans still
alive in captivity in Southeast Asia today.  What must they be thinking of
us? What will our next generation say if called to fight if we are unable to
bring these men home from Southeast Asia?