For those who served in the RVAH Community, their families, and friends!

Date: 9 December 1964
Aircraft type: RA-5C Vigilante
Serial Number: 149306
Military Unit: RVAH-5
Service: USN
Home Base: USS Ranger
Lt Cdr Donald Wayne Beard (KIA)
Lt(jg) Brian John Cronin (KIA)

The first RA-5C Vigilante lost during the war was also the first aircraft lost by USS Ranger, although it had been on the line in the Gulf of Tonkin since 18 September. The Vigilante was a large aircraft, originally designed as a nuclear attack bomber but by the time the war in Vietnam became ‘hot’ the only version in service with TF 77 was the RA-5C reconnaissance aircraft. The Vigilantes provided a long range, high speed photographic reconnaissance capability for TF 77 under the operation code name Blue Tree. Lt Cdr Beard’s aircraft was thought to have been lost at sea off the coast of South Vietnam due to a navigational error. Vigilante 149306 was the first of 55 production RA-5Cs to be built although a further 59 aircraft were converted from earlier models.

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Comment by Steven R. Ewing on June 17, 2020 at 12:16pm


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Everyone may have noticed that your web browser was forcing you to turn on Flash to see your badge. Adobe is doing away with Flash in a couple months so the Badges function will stop working completely then so we've removed that  feature from the main page.

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