CALLAHAN, DAVID FRANCIS JR. Name: David Francis Callahan, Jr. Rank/Branch: O4/US Navy Unit: Attack Squadron 106, USS INTREPID (CVS 11) Date of Birth: 10 November 1934 (Lynn MA) Home City of Record: Windsor VT Date of Loss: 23 September 1968 Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water Loss Coordinates: 181201N 1070858E (YF273135) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 5 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A4E Refno: 1286 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. NETWORK 1998. REMARKS: 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. LCDR David F. Callahan, Jr. was a pilot assigned to Attack Squadron 106 onboard the USS INTREPID. The INTREPID was a World War II-era Essex-class aircraft carrier which had been adapted for jet operations in the 1950s. Its early tours of Vietnam were spent on Dixie Station in South Vietnam in support of operations there. Later, the antisubmarine carrier traded its S2 Trackers, SH3 helicopters and E1 Tracers for Skyhawks and Skyraiders and joined her sister ships on Yankee Station to supply air power for strikes over North Vietnam. On September 23, 1968, LCDR Callahan launched in his A4E Skyhawk light attack aircraft on a routine mission. He radioed that his generator had failed and that he was returning to ship. He was routed for a straight-in approach. He flew the approach well, until in close to the carrier when the aircraft began a left bank, nose dropping, touching down just short of the landing deck and striking the Landing Signals Officer (LSO) platform. The aircraft continued a left roll impacting the water in an approximate 90 degree angle. There was no apparent ejection attempt. LCDR Callahan was listed Killed/Body Not Recovered. His loss is listed as non-combat related. Callahan is listed among the missing because his body was never recovered. He is among over 2300 Americans who remain prisoner, missing or otherwise unaccounted for in Southeast Asia. Others who are missing do not have such clear cut cases. Some were known captives; some were photographed as they were led by their guards. Some were in radio contact with search teams, while others simply disappeared. Since the war ended, over 250,000 interviews have been conducted with those who claim to know about Americans still alive in Southeast Asia, and several million documents have been studied. U.S. Government experts cannot seem to agree whether Americans are there alive or not. Distractors say it would be far too politically difficult to bring the men they believe to be alive home, and the U.S. is content to negotiate for remains. Over 1000 eye-witness reports of living American prisoners were received by 1989. Most of them are still classified. If, as the U.S. seems to believe, the men are all dead, why the secrecy after so many years? If the men are alive, why are they not home?