Name: Anthony J. Piersanti, Jr.
Rank/Branch: O2/US Navy
Unit: Mobile Support Unit, Detachment B
Date of Birth: 26 May 1946
Home City of Record: Pennsauken NJ
Date of Loss: 15 December 1970
Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 172109N 1084429E (BK600200)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 5
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: C2A
Refno: 2007

Other Personnel in Incident: Meril O. McCoy Jr.; Clyde C. Owen; Carroll J.
Deuso (all 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: LT Meril O. McCoy, Jr. was the pilot of a C2A "Trader" cargo plane
launched from the USS RANGER about 90 miles north-northeast of Da Nang,
South Vietnam on December 15, 1970. He carried a total of six individuals
onboard, including himself, on the flight.

Approximately 10 seconds after takeoff, te aircraft apparently stalled and
crashed into the Gulf of Tonkin. An intensive search was conducted
immediately by the RANGER and accompanying ships and aircraft. As a result,
the remains of two of the personnel on board the aircraft were recovered.
Still missing were the pilot, LT Meril O. McCoy, Jr.; the co-pilot, LTJG
Anthony J. Piersanti Jr.; crewman Petty Officer Clyde C. Owen; and Master
Chief Petty Officer Carroll J. Deuso, a passenger. Deuso was a boiler
technician assigned to Mobile Support Unit Detachment, BRAVO. The units of
the missing crewmen are not known.

The C2, sometimes called "Greyhound" freqently carried passengers from
multiple units on their way to and from duty assignments. The aircraft and
crew were not necessarily assigned to any of the points of embarkment or
disembarkment. Thus, it cannot be said that this C2 had any relation to the
USS RANGER other than loading or unloading passengers onboard that carrier.

(NOTE: There is some confusion in the U.S. Navy version of this incident in
that it states that the aircraft carried "a crew of four" and that there
were "six passengers," leading one to guess that there were 10 souls on
board the aircraft. However, as only four Americans are missing on this
date, and the U.S. Navy states that two remains were recovered after the
crash, it can only be assumed that the Navy account was hastily written and
that there were a total of six personnel onboard the aircraft -- two who
were recovered, and four who were not.)

During the period of July-September 1973, an over water/at sea casualty
resolution operation was conducted to determine the feasibility of
performing recovery operations on such cases as the loss of the C2 on
December 15, 1970. Because this operation ended with no results whatsoever,
it was determined that the men lost at sea could not be recovered.

Deuso, Piersanti, McCoy and Owen were declared Deceased/Body Not Recovered.
The incident is listed as non-battle related.

The Vietnam War touched many lives. Tens of thousands of families lost loved
ones in battle deaths. Tens of thousands saw their sons and brothers come
home maimed physically and mentally from the wounds and torments of the
savagery of war. Some received telegrams that their loved ones drowned in
recreation; a few learned their sons died from drug overdose; and some
learned their sons, for unknown reasons chose to end their lives in Vietnam.
Still others were lost in tragic accidents at sea, never to be recovered.

As a society, we tend to bury the unpleasant aspects of war and concentrate
on the victory. In Vietnam, we have only a hollow "Peace with Honor" and
must instead, focus on the warriors - men who willingly served their country
when called. Men whose lives we used as the price for our freedom.

The most tragic of all the warriors are those who still wait, captive and
abandoned by their country in prisons and camps in Southeast Asia. In
abandoning them, we have made the deaths and suffering of thousands a
frivolous waste. We must never neglect the duty we have to the men who must
someday answer their country's call.





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On December 15, 1970, a C-2A Greyhound (bureau number 155120) carrying six crew and passengers launched from the aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CVA 61) in the South China Sea. About ten seconds after launch, the aircraft stalled and crashed into the sea. Search and rescue units responded immediately but there were no survivors. Searchers were able to retrieve the remains of two of the men aboard the aircraft, but the other four could not be recovered.

Lieutenant Junior Grade Anthony Julius Piersanti Jr., who entered the U.S. Navy from New Jersey, served with Fleet Tactical Support Squadron 50 and was the copilot on this Greyhound at the time of its loss. He was not recovered after the crash and remains unaccounted for. Today, Lieutenant Junior Grade Piersanti 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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