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Narrative:Hit by .30 calibre machine gun fire near a large island in the Mekong River, five miles northeast of Vinh Long.
North American Rockwell OV-10A Bronco
|Owner/operator:||VAL-4, US Navy|
|C/n / msn:|| 305-106|
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2|
|Airplane damage:|| Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||5 miles NE of Vinh Long -
|Departure airport:||Binh Thuy, South Vietnam|
Per opertational diary of US Navy Unit VAL-4: "Information concerning the loss of OV-10A BuNo 155495 was received from VAL-4 commanding officer at Binh Thuy. The Navy aircraft was shot down somewhere in the Mekong Delta on 7 June 1970, resulting in fatal injuries to LT James Barton. The second pilot, LTJG Hanks, survived with minor injuries.
The aircraft was attacking a target defended by .30 and .51 caliber machine guns when it was hit in the left wing/nacelle area. The pilot in the front cockpit was apparently struck by the ground fire and the aircraft was on fire. The pilot in the rear cockpit repeatedly urged the other pilot to initiate ejection but received only a few unrelated words over the ICS. As the rear seat pilot prepared to eject himself, both ejection seats were fired, evidently initiated by the wounded pilot in the front cockpit. The ejections occurred at about 400 feet MSL.
The two escape systems functioned normally with both parachutes fully inflated prior to ground contact. However the wounded pilot was apparently unconscious since he remained prone and made no effort to release his parachute after landing. It is understood that this pilot sustained further injuries during subsequent helo rescue operations that may have precluded any chance for survival."
As note above, Lt Cdr Jere Alan Barton, wounded, but command ejected both crew at low level. (he later died of injuries sustained). Lt Cdr James D Hanks ejected at low level and survived, and was later rescued by an Army helicopter.
The remains of Lt. Alan Barton are buried in Site 494-2 in Section 46 of Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C
||Dr. John Smith