Name: Richard Campbell Graves
Rank/Branch: O1/US Navy Reserves
Unit: Attack Squadron 215, USS BON HOMME RICHARD (CVA-31)
Date of Birth: 05 August 1944 (Richmond VA)
Home City of Record: Sunderland MA
Date of Loss: 25 May 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 185359N 1054200E
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 5
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A1H
Refno: 0709
Other Personnel In Incident: (None missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 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: Ensign Richard C. Graves was a pilot assigned to Attack Squadron
215 onboard the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31). On May 25,
1967, he launched in his A1H Skyraider on an armed coastal reconnaissance
mission over North Vietnam. Ensign Graves was the wingman for Lt. O'Rourke
on this mission. The flight was to seek out and destroy enemy water-borne
logistics traffic.

The lead aircraft started an attack run on a small cargo boat with Ensign
Graves immediately behind him. Graves fired rockets on and around the craft,
then pulled out of the run in a normal manner. As the aircraft approached a
wings level, climging position, the left wing started to drop and continued
to lose altitude until it made contact with the water. The aircraft exploded
on impact and burst into flames.

Under the circumstances, Ensign Graves was unable to exit the plane. An
immediate search and rescue effort was started with the assistance of other
A1 aircraft and a rescue helicopter in the area. During the search, they
were taken under fire from three anti-aircraft batteries located on the
coast about a mile from the crash scene. It is probable that Graves'
aircraft was hit by these batteries during the pull-out from his rocket

Ensign Richard Graves is listed with honor among the missing because no
remains were found. His case seems quite clear. For others who are listed
missing, resolution is not as simple. Many were known to have survived their
loss incident. Quite a few were in radio contact with search teams and
describing an advancing enemy. Some were photographed or recorded in
captivity. Others simply vanished without a trace.

Reports continue to mount that we abandoned hundreds of Americans to the
enemy when we left Southeast Asia. While Graves may not be among them, one
can imagine his proud willingness to fly one more mission to help bring them




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Ensign Richard Campbell Graves, who joined the U.S. Navy from Massachusetts, was a member of Attack Squadron 215, embarked aboard the USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31). On May 25, 1967, he piloted a single-seat A-1H Skyraider (bureau number 135366, call sign "Barn Owl 572") on an armed reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. While attacking enemy vessels, Graves?s aircraft came under fire and crashed into the ocean. A search following the crash failed to find any sign of him, and he remains unaccounted for. Today, Ensign Graves 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.

If you are a family member of this serviceman, DPAA can provide you with additional information and analysis of your case. Please contact your casualty office representative.

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