Thomas Joe Dawson, Jr

Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class
United States Navy
10 April 1947 - 29 July 1967
San Jose, California
Panel 24E Line 019


National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Thomas Joe Dawson, Jr

30 Sepember 2003

Four of my squadronmates died on 29 July 1967,
in the fire aboard USS FORRESTAL on Yankee Station:

Lieutenant Robert E Geller

Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas J Dawson

Petty Officer 2nd Class Joseph C Shartzer

Petty Officer 3nd Class Gerald A Wehde

They are remembered.

Mark Whitworth
Attack Squadron 65, 1966-70
E-Mail will be forwarded by the
18 Nov 2006

Todd, you were my best friend. Across nearly forty years not a day has gone by that I have not thought of you. We had so many good times in Virgina Beach and especially on those deployments to Yuma, Arizona and China Lake, California. You were the funniest guy I ever knew with such a bright future ahead of you, but of course all that changed on July 29, 1967. Please know that over all these years I have "included" you in my life. Even though you have been gone for such a long time, you have been very much with me in my heart and in my memory. Now that I have turned sixty and my time is just beyond the horizon, my sadness had turned to a kind of envy knowing that you have found that peace that I have yet to know. Sleep well, good friend, and know that soon we will be together again. I will love you always.

Gorman Frederickson
1924 40th, Peabody, Kansas 66866

A Note from The Virtual Wall

USS FORRESTAL arrived on Yankee Station in the Gulf of Tonkin on 25 July 1967 and immediately began combat operations. The first four days were routine; the fifth day, 29 July, was not.

At 10:52 AM a 5-inch Zuni rocket accidentally fired across the crowded flight deck, impacting an armed A-4 Skyhawk. The resulting explosions and fires raged for 13 hours and more, killing 135 crewmen with hundreds more injured.

More information and a list of the dead are on The Virtual Wall's

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a squadronmate,
Mark Whitworth
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 30 Sep 2003
Last updated 01/03/2007