Fred Horatio Gates

Lieutenant Commander
United States Navy
25 July 1932 - 19 August 1967
Centreville, Maryland
Panel 25E Line 022

USS CORAL SEA A-1 Skyraider VA-25
Naval Aviator

Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Fred H. Gates

The database page for Fred Horatio Gates

01 Jul 2004

Fred Horatio Gates II wandered Annapolis way from Wilmington, Delaware, via Severn Prep School. In the course of his wandering he developed a philosophy which he follows to the letter, "Take it easy, 'cause it's all relative." Nothing presented a problem to Pete. "If it can't be surmounted; then pass it by; it will always come out in the wash." Pete was on the Freedom crew, participated in company sports, and worked on the Trident staff. Busy with sandpaper or varnish, he was usually found on a spar of the Freedom where he considered how nice it would be if he could supervise instead of demonstrate. Though most of the lads didn't like those high places, Pete would always say, "What's a hundred feet."
  • FIELDBALL - 3, 2
  • SOCCER - 4
  • BOAT CLUB - 3, 2
  • SAILING - 3, 2

"The Lucky Bag, 1954" (USNA Yearbook)

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A Note from The Virtual Wall

USS CORAL SEA with Carrier Air Wing 15 embarked returned to Vietnam on 10 August 1967. On the 19th, while conducting training operations on Dixie Station off the South Vietnamese coast, an A-1H (BuNo 137575) went down with an engine failure. The pilot, LCDR Fred H. Gates II, did not survive the ditching attempt.

All available official records indicate that LCDR Gates's body was recovered, but his family advises that isn't so - he was lost at sea. The USS CORAL SEA tribute website contains the following:

Fred Horatio Gates II - 8/19/67
Commander Gates, 35, was operations officer of Attack Squadron 25, operating from the USS Coral Sea in the South China Sea en route to Vietnam.
He was killed after his propeller-driven airplane [A-1H] developed engine trouble during a landing approach. Commander Gates went down with the airplane after ditching it about a quarter mile astern of the aircraft carrier.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a classmate at the US Naval Academy,
J. Creighton Bricker
Col, USAF (Ret) (USNA '54)
2 Jul 2004

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/31/2005