ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 148199
Last updated: 20 November 2019
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Date:27-AUG-1966
Time:day
Type:Silhouette image of generic A6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Grumman A-6A Intruder
Owner/operator:VA-65, US Navy
Registration: 151822
C/n / msn: I-125
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:15 miles NW of Vinh, Nghe An Province, North Vietnam. -   Vietnam
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:USS Constellation (CVA-64) off Vietnam coast
Destination airport:
Narrative:
A-6A Intruder BuNo 151822/'NL-402' of VA-65, US Navy. Lost August 27 1966 on a mission to bomb the Ngoc Son road-bridge. Aircraft received SAM hit in right wing about 15 miles northwest of Vinh, Nghe An Province, North Vietnam. Both crew - Lt Commander John Heaphy Fellowes and Lt (JG) George Thomas Coker - ejected and became PoWs. The mission was Fellowes 55th operational sortie and his 30th in an A-6A

Good ejection of both crewmen at about 2,000 feet and 18 miles inland observed. Beeper operated until Coker and Fellowes landed about one mile apart. Fellowes landed on a hillside and Coker in a large rice paddy in a well-populated area. Both were captured by armed villagers soon after landing.

At the time of his capture, Fellowes had a broken back. For three hours after they ejected, American aircraft made a thorough search, despite moderate to heavy flak, but were unable to spot the parachutes or get a signal from their emergency beepers. When he realized he was going to be captured, Fellowes sat down to light a cigar but his captor grabbed it out of his hand as he was about to light it. This convinced him the enemy was not amicable.

Fellowes verbally gave credit to fellow POWs for their "leadership qualities" and their devotion to survival; as well as the moral integrity his comrades displayed. Some of those which Fellowes spoke of were: James Stockdale, Jeremiah Denton, and Robinson Risner. In later years Fellowes not only spoke of the abysmal treatment of the POWs in regards to the lack of medical treatment and poor food supplies; but also extolled the virtues of survival training and moral virtues that the military training had provided.

Fellowes was held in five different camps while a POW including Cu Loc, Hoa Lo ("Hanoi Hilton"), and Alcatraz Grove, during which he was beaten, tortured, and starved. At one point he was tortured for 12 continuous hours, which resulted in permanent damage to both of his arms.

On March 4, 1973, both Coker and Fellowes were released as part of Operation Homecoming. Vietnam-era POWs were released in order of capture, and Fellowes and Coker were in the second large release group, about #123 and #124. Of their 2,382 days in captivity (6.5 years), 2.5 years were in solitary confinement and 2.5 years in the "Hanoi Hilton". They also spent time in several other POW camps around Hanoi. Fellowes was promoted to Commander while a POW.

Fellowes was awarded the Silver Star for his leadership and resistance while a POW. The citation reads in part:

"...For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while interned as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam on August 27, 1966. Commander Fellowes' captors, completely ignoring international agreements, subjected him to extreme mental and physical cruelties in an attempt to obtain military information and false confessions for propaganda purposes. Through his resistance to those brutalities, he contributed significantly toward the eventual abandonment of harsh treatment by the North Vietnamese, which was attracting international attention. By his determination, courage, resourcefulness, and devotion, Commander Fellowes reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces"

Sources:

1. A-6 Intruder Units of the Vietnam War By Rick Morgan, Jim Laurier
2. http://web.archive.org/web/20171103001143/http://www.ejection-history.org.uk:80/aircraft_by_type/a6_prowler.htm
3. http://www.joebaugher.com/navy_serials/thirdseries19.html
4. http://web.archive.org/web/20180422222159/http://www.millionmonkeytheater.com/A-6.html
5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Heaphy_Fellowes#Vietnam_tour_of_duty
6. http://www.pownetwork.org/bios/f/f043.htm
7. https://pilotonline.com/news/military/our-pows-locked-up-for-years-he-unlocked-a-spirit/article_a812005a-5111-59ee-96e6-d63072685f5e.html
8. http://web.archive.org/web/20081015110229/http://www.navy.mil/search/displaybbs.asp?bbs_id=800&cat=5


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
31-Aug-2012 06:42 Uli Elch Added
15-Mar-2016 19:34 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Departure airport, Source, Narrative]
15-Mar-2016 19:35 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
15-Mar-2016 19:36 Dr.John Smith Updated [Country]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description