Ernest Albert Stamm

United States Navy
18 July 1931 - 16 January 1969
Medford, Oregon
Panel 38W Line 062

POW Medal

Naval Aviator

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Ernest A. Stamm

The database page for Ernest Albert Stamm

01 Jul 2004

Ernie came from the scenic state of Oregon, making his home in Medford. As would be expected of a denizen of the rugged Northwest, his favorite pastimes include hunting, fishing, and skiing. Finding none of these occupations possible while at the Academy, he took up dinghy sailing. He had almost two years on the varsity dinghy sailing team, happily causing him to miss quite a few Parades. Prior to his entrance in the Academy, he spent a year at Oregon State College finding out what the lighter side of higher education was like. Ernie's choice of service is definitely the Navy and if possible Naval Aviation. Being a good westerner, he hopes to see a good deal of duty on the Pacific Coast.
  • SAILING - 3, 2, 1
  • BOWLING - 4
  • CROSS COUNTRY - 4, 3
  • BOAT CLUB - 3, 2, 1

"The Lucky Bag, 1954" (USNA Yearbook)

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On 25 Nov 1968 an RA-5C (BuNo 149293) of RVAH-5 embarked in USS CONSTELLATION was conducting a photo recon flight along the 19th parallel in North Vietnam. The aircraft was flying at about 5500 feet and 550 knots when it was targeted by an anti-aircraft artillery site located near Van Tap, some 20 miles northwest of Vinh. The pilot jinked his aircraft to break the gunners' aim, but his F-4 escorts watched helplessly as the Vigilante exploded in flight, breaking up into four major pieces. Although two parachutes were sighted, there was no contact with the crew.

The pilot, then-Commander Ernest A. Stamm, was captured and reported to have died on 16 Jan 1969 of injuries received during the shoot-down. His remains were repatriated on 13 March 1974 and positively identified on 17 April 1974.

The RAN, LTJG Richard C. Thum of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, apparently did not survive the incident. His remains were repatriated on 30 Sep 1977 and positively identified on 25 Oct 1977.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 08/10/2009