Carl Joseph EllerdAviation Structural Mechanic 2nd Class
VA-97, CVW-14, USS CONSTELLATION
United States Navy
27 October 1939 - 02 October 1969
Panel 17W Line 026
The database page for Carl Joseph Ellerd
Carl was from the oilfield town of Odessa, Texas, in far West Texas near New Mexico. Carl was a 1959 graduate of Odessa High School. He worked in the oil fields after high school and then joined the U.S. Navy in 1962. He had decided to make a career in the Navy and was in his second enlistment at the time of his death. He had reported to Cubi Point Naval Air Station at Subic Bay in the Philippines for transportation to his ship, the USS Constellation, which was serving in the waters off North Vietnam. On October 2, 1969, he and 25 other personnel were on a C-2A Greyhound cargo aircraft that went down for unknown reasons and all 26 personnel were lost. Carl is remembered by his community and by the Permian Basin Vietnam Memorial located at Midland International Airport, Midland, Texas.
The photograph is taken from his high school annual (1958-59).
A Note from The Virtual WallFleet Support Squadron 50 (VRC-50), based at Naval Air Station Atsugi in Japan provided "air taxi" service between shore bases and carriers at sea. VRC-50 maintained a detachment at Naval Air Station Cubi Point, part of the Navy complex at Subic Bay in the Philippines. The Cubi Point det was dedicated to supporting the carrier task forces operating in the Gulf of Tonkin.
In the early morning hours of 02 Oct 1969 a VRC-50 C-2A departed Cubi Point on a logistics flight to the carrier USS CONSTELLATION. Twentysix men were aboard - five aircrew, 20 sailors from TF 77 ships and squadrons, and a civilian technical representative, Mr. Frank Bytheway. Shortly before 6 AM, as the aircraft approached CONSTELLATION for landing, the C-2 disappeared from the approach controller's radar scope. Search and rescue efforts began at once, with helicopters overhead the C-2's last known position within minutes of its disappearance. SAR efforts continued through the day but failed to locate anything except an oil slick and aircraft fragments. No human remains were recovered. Since there was no doubt the 26 men aboard had died in the incident they were classed as Died/Body not Recovered.
As it happens, one of The Virtual Wall staff was embarked in CONSTELLATION at the time of this incident and vividly recalls the Task Group's efforts to recover survivors. CONSTELLATION detached three destroyers for surface search and of course provided helicopters for air search. The SAR effort reluctantly was terminated at sundown on 02 October. A memorial service was held aboard CONSTELLATION in remembrance of our shipmates lost at sea:
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
a hometown representative,
Billy M. Brown
5 Mar 2004
Top of Page|
With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 03/05/2004