WESTWOOD, NORMAN PHILIP JR. Name: Norman Philip Westwood Jr. Rank/Branch: O3/US Navy Reserves Unit: Fighter Squadron 161, USS CORAL SEA (CVA 43) Date of Birth: 08 August 1944 Home City of Record: West Hartford CT Date of Loss: 17 May 1970 Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water Loss Coordinates: 182758N 1073700E (YF763436) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 5 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F4B Refno: 1621 Other Personnel in Incident: (none 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. NETWORK 1998. REMARKS: 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 Pacific. One of the aircraft launched from the decks of the CORAL SEA was the F4 Phantom. The Phantom, used by Air Force, Marine and Navy air wings, served a multitude of functions including fighter-bomber and interceptor, photo and electronic surveillance. The two man aircraft was extremely fast (Mach 2), and had a long range (900 - 2300 miles, depending on stores and mission type). The F4 was also extremely maneuverable and handled well at low and high altitudes. The F4 was selected for a number of state-of-the-art electronics conversions, which improved radar intercept and computer bombing capabilities enormously. Most pilots considered it one of the "hottest" planes around. LT Norman P. Westwood Jr. was an F4B pilot assigned to Fighter Squadron 161 onboard the USS CORAL SEA. On May 17, 1970, LT Westwood and his Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) LT Kane were briefed for a night bombing mission. During their catapult launch sequence, their F4B developed a fire on the right side. The master ejection system was initiated. The aircraft was airborne only 4-6 seconds prior to water impact. Only one ejecton seat was observed leaving the aircraft, with LT Kane immediately rescued by the standby helicopter. An extensive search by the destroyer USS GEORGE K. MACKENZIE and other helicopters failed to locate LT Westwood. Westwood is listed among the Americans prisoner, missing and unaccounted for in Southeast Asia because his remains were never found. For Norman P. Westwood, Jr., death is a certainty. For hundreds of others, however, simple answers are not possible. Adding to the torment of nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia is the certain knowledge that some Americans who were known to be prisoners of war were not released at the end of the war. Others were suspected to be prisoners, and still others were in radio contact with would-be rescuers when last seen alive. Many were known to have survived their loss incidents, only to disappear without a trace. The problem of Americans still missing torments not only the families of those who are missing, but the men who fought by their sides, and those in the general public who realize the full implication of leaving men unaccounted for at the end of a war. Tragically, many authorities believe there are hundreds of Americans still alive in captivity in Southeast Asia today. What must they be thinking of us? What will our next generation say if called to fight if we are unable to bring these men home from Southeast Asia?