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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 57189
Last updated: 15 August 2019
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Type:Silhouette image of generic A6 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Grumman A-6E Intruder
Owner/operator:VA-155, US Navy
Registration: 152620
C/n / msn: I-168
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Columbia River, 12 miles SE of Wenatchee,Chelan County, Washington -   United States of America
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:NAS Whidbey Island, Washington (NUW/KNUW)
Destination airport:NAS Whidbey Island, Washington (NUW/KNUW)
A-6E Intruder BuNo. 152620/NE-507 of VA-155, US Navy, based at Whidbey Island NAS. Crashed October 10, 1991 into the Columbia River, 12 miles south east of Wenatchee, Chelan County, Washington. Both crew - Lt Commander Dan David "Dewey" DeWispelaere (pilot) and Lt (JG) Grady Hackwith (bombardier/navigastor) - were killed. According to the following contemporary report (from the Washington Post of October 20,1991):

"Lt. Cmdr. Dan David "Dewey" DeWispelaere, 32, a Navy pilot who flew more than 40 missions from the aircraft carrier Ranger in the Persian Gulf War, was killed Oct. 10 in the crash of his A-6E Intruder near Wenatchee, Wash.

His navigator-bombardier, Lt. (j.g.) Grady Hackwith, was reported missing. The plane was stationed at the Naval Air Station at Whidbey Island, Wash., and was on a low-level training flight when it crashed into a cliff and fell into the Columbia River about 12 miles southeast of Wenatchee. Navy officials said the cause of the crash was under investigation.

Cmdr. DeWispelaere, a resident of Oak Harbor, Wash., was born in the District of Columbia. He grew up in a Navy family at various naval stations in this country and in Norway. He graduated from Mount Vernon High School in Alexandria and then went to the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. He graduated in the class of 1981 and was designated a naval aviator in 1983.

He was stationed at Whidbey Island throughout his career as a pilot, but the squadrons in which he served were deployed twice on the aircraft carrier Constellation in the Pacific Fleet and once aboard the aircraft carrier Ranger for service in the Gulf war.

Cmdr. DeWispelaere's military decorations included the Distinguished Flying Cross with combat V, the Air Medal with combat V and two Navy Commendation Medals, one of which bore the combat V."

Hackwith's body was not recovered by Navy divers using advanced technology submersibles until more than two weeks after the accident. He was buried with full military honors Nov. 2, 1991.


1. Flight International 13/19 May 1992 p.29 at

Revision history:

10-Jan-2009 11:55 ASN archive Added
14-Jul-2010 10:41 harro Updated [Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Location, Country, Phase, Source, Narrative]
05-Apr-2016 17:44 Dr.John Smith Updated [Cn, Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]

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