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.


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

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.