HORCHAR, ANDREW ANTHONY JR.
Name: Andrew Anthony Horchar, Jr.
Rank/Branch: E3/US Navy
Unit: Carrier Early Warning Squadron 116, US CORAL SEA (CVA 43)
Date of Birth: 13 February 1947
Home City of Record: Indiana PA
Date of Loss: 09 April 1970
Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 174757N 1074659E (YE950700)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Other Personnel in Incident: Larry C. Knight; Brian L. Bushnell; Charles B.
Pfaffmann (all 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.
REMARKS: DWN AT SEA - NO SURV OBS - J
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
One of the aircraft that launched from the decks of the CORAL SEA was the
Grumman E2A Hawkeye was a strange-looking aircraft, with twin turboprop
engines, four vertical stabilizers (three of which were actually necessary
for controlled flight, the remaining surface being added for appearance's
sake), and a large, 24-foot diameter radome which rotated at six revolutions
per minute, on a pylon directly above the fuselage. The E2A mission was
airborne early warning, vectoring fighters and strike bombers to and from
targets on the ground, as well as airborne threats of MiG interceptors. The
Hawkeye was literally the aerial nerve center of the fleet, controlling
bomber strikes and MiG-killing missions with equal facility.
LTJG Charles B. Pfaffmann was an E2A pilot assigned to Carrier Early Warning
Squadron 116 onboard the USS CORAL SEA. On April 9, 1970, he and his
co-pilot LT Larry C. Knight and technicians Seamen Brian L. Bushnell and
Andrew A. Horchar Jr. were launched in their E2A Hawkeye on a routine
mission over Vietnam. Immediately after launch, the aircraft crew reported a
fire and their intention to return to the ship. LT Pfaffmann's aircraft
impacted the water about three miles ahead of the CORAL SEA. A rescue
helicopter and escort destroyer were on the scene within minutes. No
survivors were seen, and no remains were recovered.
The crew of the Hawkeye is listed among the missing because their remains
were never found to send home to the country they served. They died a
tragically ironic death in the midst of war. But, for their families, the
case seems clear that the men died on that day. The fact that they have no
bodies to bury with honor is not of great significance.
For other who are missing, however, the evidence leads not to death, but to
survival. Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports received relating to
Americans still held captive in Indochina have convinced experts that
hundreds of men are still alive, waiting for their country to rescue them.
The notion that Americans are dying without hope in the hands of a long-ago
enemy belies the idea that we left Vietnam with honor. It also signals that
tens of thousands of lost lives were a frivolous waste of our best men.
|Subject:||E-2A 151711, 09 Apr 1970|
|Date:||Thu, 24 Sep 2015 22:17:21 -0400|
Ref: http://www.pownetwork.org/bios/k/k381.htm et al
> LT Pfaffmann's aircraft impacted the water about three miles ahead of
> the CORAL SEA. A rescue helicopter and escort destroyer were on
> the scene within minutes. No survivors were seen, and no remains
> were recovered.
The above statement is incorrect.
The fifth crewman, AMEC Jack Lee WRIGHT, was recovered. He is buried in
Mount Olivet Cemetery, Forth Worth, Texas.
Sources are USS CORAL SEA deck log for 09 Apr 1970 (copy attached),
VAW-116 Aircraft Accident Report, and his gravemarker in Mount Olivet
Commander, US Navy (Ret)
Member, The Coffelt Group