Thomas Earl DunlopCommander
CARRIER AIR WING 15, USS CORAL SEA, USS CORAL SEA
United States Navy
10 July 1930 - 07 April 1973
Neptune Beach, Florida
Panel 02W Line 131
The database page for Thomas Earl Dunlop
Welcome home, Commander.
I was stationed aboard the USS CORAL SEA when Commander Dunlop was lost. I was a DM3 attached to Commander Carrier Division Three. We lost more than Commander Dunlop on the deployment, but his loss always touched me more.
Maybe it was because he was CAG and a left a larger void when he did not return. In my job I worked directly with Admiral James Ferris and I can still remember how difficult the loss was on him.
My hope now that his family can at last find some closure from this long period of empty loss. Although I did not personally know the Commander, I felt a kinship that sailors feel for their shipmates.
My best wishes to Commander Dunlop's family.
Sincerely from a CORAL SEA Sailor (COMCARDIV 3),
A Note from The Virtual WallCommander Dunlop was the Commanding Officer of Carrier Air Wing 15, the CORAL SEA's embarked Air Wing. Known as "CAG", Commander Dunlop functioned as the senior pilot in the Air Wing and as such was expected to lead from the front.
On 06 April 1972 CAG Dunlop was flying an A-7E (BuNo 157590) assigned to Attack Squadron 22 as flight lead for a section of two aircraft assigned to an armed road recon mission near Dong Hoi, North Vietnam. Due to poor weather and low clouds, the two A-7s entered their working area at low altitude and promptly drew intense ground fire. Soon after beginning their road recce the wingman saw CAG's aircraft take a direct hit from a SAM. The aircraft exploded in flight and hit the deck with no apparent ejection. Search and rescue efforts failed to generate any contact with Commander Dunlop. Since there was no positive proof of his death, Commander Dunlop was classed as Missing in Action. The first annual review of his case led to a recommendation that all available evidence indicated that Commander Dunlop had died in the incident and his status was changed to Died While Missing, Body Not Recovered, with an official date of death of 07 April 1973.
In 2003 and 2004 specialists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) excavated a crash site where they found aircraft debris, personal effects and human remains later identified by JPAC scientists as those of Commander Dunlop. Formal notice of identification was announced on 24 May 2004, with burial at Arlington National Cemetery a year later on 21 March 2005.
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
25 Mar 2005
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 04/07/2005