Harry Seeber Mossman

Lieutenant Commander
United States Navy
30 June 1943 - 21 February 1975
Manhasset, New York
Panel 01W Line 068


A-6 Intruder

Harry S Mossman

Naval Flight Officer

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Harry Seeber Mossman

23 Jan 2003

I met Harry in 1970 when as member of VA-35 we traveled to Whidbey Island to receive training on the A-6C. Harry was one of the instructors that conducted our training for the six weeks we were at Whidbey. Harry gave us great training and because of his help and instruction VA-35 had outstanding success with the A-6C in the Mediterranean. We became friends in that short time and I will never forget the service to his country and the sacrifice that he has made.

Mike "Big Julie" Munson

VA-52 aircrewmen, NAS Cubi Point, RP, 1972

In this photo, taken on 08 March 1972 by Greg Wood at NAS Cubi Point, VA-52 aircrew were preparing to depart Cubi Point to fly aboard USS Kitty Hawk at the beginning of her first line period. Harry Mossman is in the back row, third from the left; Roderick "Rog" Lester is sitting in the driver's seat.
13 Sep 2004

Eulogy given by Harry's Son, William Scott Mossman Moore 30 August, 2004


My dad was probably better known and remembered by many other people here than myself. I was only two years old when his plane went down. I never had the pleasure to truly know my Dad. Everyone that I have spoken to about my Dad has held him in high regards with what seems to me a tremendous amount of respect.


Most of the memories I have about my Dad are just things I know from family stories, home movies, and pictures.

Silly time after dinner is a fun thing to remember and watch on home movies. My Dad, my brother Tom, and I would wrestle around while Mom cleaned up and watched us. Lots of laughter and smiles. We were happy.

In the letter my Dad wrote to Tom and I he wrote, "Your mother once defined love as wanting to make someone else happy. I can think of no better definition." Dad wanted to make us happy all the time.

My Dad was an athlete, a thinker, and a writer. He was quite good at putting his thoughts onto paper. Whether it was poetry, stories, or words of wisdom, my Dad was an eloquent writer. A trait he passed to my brother Tom.

When writing about the golden mean, my dad wrote, "I err on the side of silence and gluttony." A trait he passed on to me. I know that my Aunt Nancy and Grandpa have always said I eat just like him.

There had always been a part of me that wondered, and maybe even hoped, what if they did get out of the plane. That little part of me is now being put to rest with my Dad's recovery.

Let our thoughts for the Lester family be heard and our prayers answered that they too will gain some bit of closure from knowing that they were in the plane when it went down.

My Dad has always been a big part of how I have conducted my own actions. Many times when I needed help, I would look toward the heavens and ask for guidance from my Dad. I have always known that he was watching over me.

My Dad wrote "...I have made government service in the Navy my career. I hope I can help the people who are this nation in some small way by trying to make the part of the armed forces in which I serve use its vast power as wisely as possible in the preservation of this nation."

Robert Owens, my dad's former CO, wrote, "I am sorry that I allowed him to go but, he wanted to answer the call and I had no reason to turn him down. Harry is a hero in my book. I am proud that I knew him."

Larry Yarham had told me that my dad had calculated how he could spend less time over there than anyone else on the ship. Dad did spend less time over there, but having their plane shot down was not part of his calculations. He just wanted to sleep five minutes more a day than everyone else.

I have always honored my father and have been very proud of the service that he provided to his country. Naming my son Harrison after him was the best way I could think of to carry on his honor.

My Dad was a true HERO and a great American!

Thank you to everyone involved in the recovery efforts, everyone here today, and to the Lord above for bringing him home.

4 Nov 2004

A tribute from Aunt Nancy, Harry's Sister in-law.
Presented to Harry's sons a few days before the Memorial Service.

Rocky and Harry met in college. When Rocky brought him home for the first time, our parents embraced him, and he them, to the point where Rocky made a comment, "You don't have to adopt him!" But adopt him we all did.

Our parents thought of Harry as their own son, and loved him dearly. It was easy to love Harry with his quiet nature, and his dry sense of humor. He loved Rocky, and appeared to be the happiest when he was with his little family.

He loved his sons - he taught them games, sports and ideas, which often appeared too challenging for their age. He placed a football in Tommy's crib at a very young age and was attempting to teach him chess. Harry was a strong individual, who wanted his sons to be strong also - even to retiring Tommy's bunny at a tender age.

The biggest tribute that can be paid to Harry has been on-going for these past 32 years - his sons.

The service is unique, in that we do know what Harry has missed. He left when Tommy was not yet four and Billy not even two. He missed watching those little boys grow into great kids, athletic teenagers, bright college students, and two of the finest men I have ever known.

Harry would easily identify with both of his sons. He would relate well to Tom, his first born, who shares his father's love of writing, sports and good literature. They certainly share the same dry wit. And the physical resemblance is obvious.

Harry would have gotten a kick out of Bill - his smile, his humor and his outgoing personality. But most of all Harry would identify with Bill's love and devotion to his wife and his two sons.

Obviously, it has been no accident that these men turned out as they did. It is through their mother's love, along with the love of so many friends and relations that saw them through many hard times. Harry's letter of fatherly advice played a significant role in the boys' lives as they grew into teenagers. I am certain it was part of the foundation for who they have become. This, along with Rocky's constant love and support molded these men. She is the strongest woman I know. And Harry would have expected nothing less of her!

Harry would have been so proud of his family!

From his son,
William Scott Mossman Moore

08 Jul 2006

I have had my bracelet in my jewelry box for years but never knew what had happened to LCDR Mossman. My husband was a Vietnam era vet, but was never sent there ... he ended up all over, but not there. I used to talk to the bracelet to let LCDR Mossman know I had not forgotten him... Silly, I guess. I used to let him know I was thinking of him and hoping he would come home soon. Well, now that I finally know there has been closure for his family I can place the bracelet away, it's over. May he rest in peace now, home in his own country. The most remarkable thing is he came home on my birthday. It makes me feel as if he had been listening all the time. God bless and keep him in His care.

Vivian Morgan

14 Jun 2007

I wore Lieutenant Commander Mossman's MIA braclet. I was always asking my parents to read any publications about the military men coming home. My own father was in the Navy. I have waited a long time. I always prayed for him and his family. I am proud that such brave men went to war to protect us and I will never forget. God Bless the Lieutenant Commander and his family.

Kelly Turner Lee

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On the night of 19/20 August 1972 Lieutenants Roderick B. Lester and Harry S. Mossman launched from USS Kitty Hawk in A-6A BuNo 157018, call sign VICEROY 502. They were assigned to a night single-aircraft, low-level strike on a transhipment point at Da Mon Toi, near Cam Pha. The weather was poor with a low ceiling and thunderstorms. They did not return.

When search and rescue efforts failed to locate either aircraft or crew, Lester and Mossman were classed as Missing in Action. They did not return with the POWs in early 1973, nor did any of the returnees have knowledge of them. The Secretary of the Navy eventually approved Presumptive Findings of Death for both men, Harry Mossman on 21 Feb 1975 and Roderick Lester on 02 Aug 1978.

Although the government has not announced the repatriatiation of their remains, there is a report dated 09 Feb 2001 on the Viceroy 502 website which indicates that the Joint Task Force - Full Accounting (JTF-FA) people have located and excavated the crash site, and that human remains were recovered and repatriated.


LCDR Harry Mossman's remains were repatriated on 15 Jan 2004, with positive identification announced on 04 May 2004. The following information has been received regarding burial plans:

Lieutenant Commander, U. S. Navy

A memorial service with military honors for Lieutenant Commander Harry Seeber Mossman will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, August 30 at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Washington.

Lt. Comdr. Mossman was a member of the VA-52 squadron from NAS Whidbey, Oak Harbor, Wash. His A-6 was lost in Vietnam, with pilot Roger Lester on August 20, 1972. Through the efforts of the Navy and many people in United States and Vietnam, remains were recovered in fall of 2003, and a positive identification was made through DNA testing in the spring of 2004.

Lt. Comdr. Mossman was born in Augusta, Maine to parents Eleanor Seeber Mossman and Julian Mossman. He was a standout student and athlete at Manhassett High School in New York, attended Bates College in Maine, where he met his wife, Rocky Karen Wild. He played football and ran track at Bates and was an English major, graduating in 1965.

His family includes widow Rocky Harvey, in Bellevue, Washington, and sons Tom Moore in Capitola, California, and Bill Moore, in Yakima, Washington, and grandsons Hunter and Harrision Moore in Yakima.

Lt. Comdr. Mossman enjoyed his family, sports, chess, reading and writing.

He left a letter to his children. In it, he tried to sum up the fatherly advice he wanted to give his sons when they grew older. He wrote about his beliefs and values, and emotions that are common to everyone, and he wrote that it was the best he could do at the moment.

"Many persons have learned things from the dead individual, whether by example of his deeds or the conscious attempts he made to teach his family and friends to accept life, or chance words that struck home. In some small way, living people share parts of his soul, conscious or otherwise."

Identification of LCDR Roderick B. Lester's remains has not been announced.

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index M
NY State Index . Panel 01W
VA-52 Index

Contact Us

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 23 Jan 2003
Last updated 08/10/2009