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: Walter Henry Kosky (body recovered.)  (THIS NOTE ADDED PER
Dick Pitman, on the USS Coral Sea in 1969 - after a long discussion in April 2019.  TWO MEN were in this incident.
Only one is noted in official records - one remains missing, one body was recovered and ID'd at the time.


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 2019.

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.
 

2019:

Official PMSEA notes:

LN FN MI STATUS REFNO RNK SVBR MOS DOB DOL COL CAT LAT LONG UNIT HCR HSR BORN BASE MEMO1 MEMO2
TROWBRIDGE DUSTIN COWLES KIA/BNR 1540-0-01 O2 USNR 1325 19440113 19691226 VS 5 082057N 1082242E VA 35 WAYNE IL ST CHARLES IL USS CORAL SEA USN SEZ BOTH CREW LOST, NO OTHER MIA THAT DAY; ALSO SEZ LOST GULF OF T; COORDS IN S CH SEA; RECD PROMO. TO O3.WHY?

 

 

https://aad.archives.gov/aad/fielded-search.jsp?dt=197&cat=WR28&tf=F&bc=,sl

Display Full Records

File Unit: Combat Area Casualties Current File, 6/8/1956 - 1/21/1998 
in the Series: Records on Military Personnel Who Died, Were Missing in Action or Prisoners of War as a Result of the Vietnam War, created 1/20/1967 - 12/1998,
documenting the period 6/8/1956 - 1/21/1998. - Record Group 330 (info)

Brief Scope: This series contains records of U.S. military officers and soldiers who died as a result of either a hostile or nonhostile occurrence or
who were missing in action or prisoners of war in the Southeast Asian combat area during the Vietnam War, including casualties that occurred in
Cambodia, China, Laos, North Vietnam, South Vietnam, and Thailand.

Display Full Records

File Unit: Combat Area Casualties Current File, 6/8/1956 - 1/21/1998 
in the Series: Records on Military Personnel Who Died, Were Missing in Action or Prisoners of War as a Result of the Vietnam War, created 1/20/1967 - 12/1998,
documenting the period 6/8/1956 - 1/21/1998. - Record Group 330 (info)

Brief Scope: This series contains records of U.S. military officers and soldiers who died as a result of either a hostile or nonhostile occurrence or
who were missing in action or prisoners of war in the Southeast Asian combat area during the Vietnam War, including casualties that occurred in
Cambodia, China, Laos, North Vietnam, South Vietnam, and Thailand.

 

SEALOSS database:
 

INCD_NBR SITE MSN_DATE SERVICE VEH_TYPE VEH_NBR MSN_CTRY SOURCE UTM
1540 0 69/12/26   A6A 162891 OW   49QBK113238

 

http://www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces/52640/DUSTIN-C-TROWBRIDGE?page=3#remembrances

 

http://www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces/28696/WALTER-H-KOSKY-JR

El Cajon Valley HS Salutes You

POSTED ON 7/4/12 - BY AVEEN SAIEH AND SADA YOUSIF DBOGART@GUHSD.NET
 

“Skip” Our thoughts and prayers to Walter Henry Kosky Jr and his beloved family bearing through his honorable death serving our country. He was a Lieutenant in the Navy piloting an A-6 Intruder jet from the aircraft carrier Coral Sea when his jet reached 45,000 ft. in altitude and lost communications which caused the plane to hit the water at a sharp angle. Due to low altitude Kosky and his radar intercept officer were forced to eject from their plane, but their parachutes did not open in time which caused his and his officer’s death on Dec. 26, 1969. Kosky will always be remembered as the father of Walter Henry Kosky III, a husband of Carol Zbyskowski and the brother of Bill Kosky. He attended Portsmouth HS in New Hampshire and loved to go scuba diving with Bill and some of his friends. Many of his beloved will miss his charming spirit. Our condolences from the ECV Braves go to the Kosky family and may he be in a better place.

 

http://www.virtualwall.org/dk/KoskyWH01a.htm
28 May 2007

I knew "Skip" Kosky and his family through his younger brother Bill, a 9th grade classmate of mine. He took us to the beach where he enjoyed SCUBA diving. I remember going over to Bill's at Christmas break to learn Skip's A-6 Intruder rolled inverted and went down during an aerial refueling maneuver. I never got the exact details. His Dad was a retired Navy Captain and aviator. I knew Skip's beautiful wife also. It was a difficult loss, as they all were. I became a Marine officer in 1973 and served during the evacuation phase of the war. Skip, you are missed, and remembered with fondness. I hope to see you one day on the "other side". Semper Fi.

Gary Woods,
Former Captain, USMC
glwoodssda@aol.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Two men were killed when their A-6A INTRUDER, BuNo 152891, crashed at sea. Since the wreckage could not be recovered the cause of the crash remains unknown. The two men were LTJG Walter H. Kosky, pilot, and LTJG Dustin C. Trowbridge, of Wayne, Illinois, bombardier-navigator.