TROWBRIDGE, DUSTIN COWLES Name: Dustin Cowles Trowbridge Rank/Branch: O2/US Navy Reserves Unit: Attack Squadron 35, USS CORAL SEA Date of Birth: 13 July 1944 (St. Charles IL) Home City of Record: Wayne IL Date of Loss: 26 December 1969 Country of Loss: South Vietnam/Over Water Loss Coordinates: 082057N 1082242E (BK113238) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 5 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A6A Refno: 1540 Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 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: The USS CORAL SEA participated in combat action against the Communists as early as August 1964. 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 Pacific. The Grumman A6 Intruder is one of the aircraft which launched from the decks of the CORAL SEA. This two-man plane could be adapted as aerial tanker or electronic warfare. LTJG Dustin C. Trowbridge was a bombardier/navigator assigned to Attack Squadron 35 onboard the CORAL SEA. On December 26, 1969, Trowbridge and his pilot launched on a tanker combat support mission in a KA6 tanker. While airborne, there was an undetermined accident which caused the loss of the aircraft. The accident was not combat related, and at the time of loss, the aircraft was about 110 miles offshore in the South China Sea. The aircraft and its crew were lost with no possibility of recovering their remains. [NOTE: Although U.S. Navy accounts of this loss incident describe the loss of two crewmen, there is no other U.S. military personnel missing on December 26, 1969. Also, coordinates place the loss in the South China Sea rather than the Gulf of Tonkin, where the U.S. Navy accounts place it. No reason for this discrepancy can be determined. Further, a most unusual promotion was given to Dustin Trowbridge to the rank of Lieutenant. This seems to indicate that he was in Missing in Action status for some period before he was declared dead. Additionally, all other government records ascribe the loss to an A6A Intruder attack aircraft version rather than the tanker version.] Because of the discrepancies in Dustin Trowbridge's loss incident, it is impossible to know what actually happened to him on December 26, 1969. His family has been told that he was killed, and that there is no possibility of recovering his remains. Sadly, many of the cases of the missing are complicated and incomplete. Many families have discovered that they have been given incomplete or inaccurate information. Others have found outright deception; still others have found that their loved one's cases will not be declassified until the next century. Many authorities, based on information received by the U.S. Government since the war ended, believe that there are hundreds of Americans still alive in captivity in Southeast Asia today. Unfortunately, inaccurate and classified information conceals the truth from those without an official "need to know." This often includes wives, parents and children of those who are still missing.