Thomas Joe Dawson, JrAviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class
VA-65, CVW-17, USS FORRESTAL
United States Navy
10 April 1947 - 29 July 1967
San Jose, California
Panel 24E Line 019
The database page for Thomas Joe Dawson, Jr
Four of my squadronmates died on 29 July 1967,
Petty Officer 2nd Class Thomas J Dawson
They are remembered.Mark Whitworth
Attack Squadron 65, 1966-70
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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.
A Note from The Virtual WallUSS 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
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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