Name: Charles M. Earnest
Branch/Rank: United States Navy/O3
Unit: Attack Squadron 75
Date of Birth: 08 October 1934
Home City of Record: OPELIKA AL
Date of Loss: 28 November 1972
Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 172857 North  1074856 East
Status (in 1973): Killed In Action/Body Not Recovered
Category: 5
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A6A #155622
Other Personnel in Incident:
Refno: 2009

Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews and CACCF = Combined Action
Combat Casualty File.  2020



No further information available at this time.




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On November 28, 1972, an A-6A Intruder (bureau number 155622) with two crew members launched from the USS Saratoga (CV 60) to conduct operations near the coast of North Vietnam. Immediately after launch, the Intruder crashed into the Gulf of Tonkin, just off the North Vietnamese coast. The bombardier/navigator aboard the aircraft managed to eject from the plane before it went down, and was rescued. The pilot was still aboard when the Intruder hit the water, and search teams were unable to locate him in the wreckage.

Commander Charles M. Earnest, who joined the U.S. Navy from Alabama, was a member of Attack Squadron 75, embarked aboard the USS Saratoga. He was the pilot of this Intruder when it went down, and he remains unaccounted for following the incident. Today, Commander Earnest is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Non-recoverable.

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