BRENNING, RICHARD DAVID
Name: Richard David Brenning
Rank/Branch: O3/US Navy Reserves
Unit: Attack Squadron 112, USS TICONDEROGA (CVA 14)
Date of Birth: 22 April 1944 (Billings MT)
Home City of Record: Lincoln NE
Date of Loss: 26 July 1969
Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 180600N 1072658E
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 30 April 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.
SYNOPSIS: When Douglas Aircraft created the A4 Skyhawk the intent was to
provide the Navy and Marine Corps with an inexpensive, lightweight attack
and ground support aircraft. The design emphasized low-speed control and
stability during take-off and landing as well as strength enough for
catapult launch and carrier landings. The plane was so compact that it did
not need folding wings for aboardship storage and handling. In spite of its
diminutive size, the A4 packed a devastating punch and performed well where
speed and maneuverability were essential.
Lt. Richard D. Brenning was an A4 pilot assigned to attack Squadron 112
onboard the USS TICONDEROGA. The TICONDEROGA had first been in Vietnam
waters in 1945 when fighter planes from the TICONDEROGA and the USS HANCOCK
flew strike missions against enemy vessels in Saigon Harbor. The TICONDEROGA
was on station during the very early years of the Vietnam war and remained
throughout most of the duration of the war.
On July 26, 1969, Lt. Brenning was killed in an airplane accident upon
commencement of a combat flight. His A4C aircraft impacted the water about
sixty miles offshore from Ha Tinh Province, North Vietnam in the Gulf of
Tonkin. Search efforts were negative.
Since the war ended in Vietnam, refugees have flooded the world, bringing
with them stories of American soldiers still held prisoner in their
homeland. Many authorities now believe that hundreds were left behind as
Lt. Richard Brenning did not survive the events of 26 July 1969. His family
has accepted that he is dead. They no longer expect him to come home
someday. But hundreds of families wait expectantly and in the special agony
only uncertainty can bring. Hundreds of men wait in caves, cages and
prisons. How much longer will we allow the abandonment of our best men? It's
time we brought them home.