Robert Stewart Graustein

Lieutenant Commander
United States Navy
29 September 1939 - 03 March 1975
Fryeburg, Maine
Panel 01W Line 099

Silver Star

Naval Aviator

DFC (multiple), Purple Heart, Air Medal (multiple), Navy Commendation (multiple), National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Robert Graustein

The database page for Robert Stewart Graustein

05 Sep 2003

One of those unselfish A-6 aircrew heroes of the Vietnam war, who was declared missing in action on the night of 21 December '72, along with his bombardier-navigator LCDR Bart Wade, after a night low level bombing mission on Kien An Airfield, near Haiphong, North Vietnam.

From a fellow A-6 Intruder aircrewman,
Michael J Munson

Notes from The Virtual Wall

During the "Christmas Bombing" at the end of 1972 the A-6 Intruder squadrons operating off the carriers were heavily tasked with night low-level bombing missions. Attack Squadron 75 embarked in USS SARATOGA launched several such strikes on the night of 21/22 December. As noted above, LCDR Robert S. Graustein, pilot, and LCDR Barton S. Wade, bombardier-navigator, in A-6A BuNo 152946 were tasked against the Kien An Airfield with a target time shortly after dusk. The Haiphong and Kien An Airfield areas were well defended by a mix of conventional and missile antiaircraft sites.

The crew reported a successful drop on the target but shortly thereafter other aircrews noted an airborne explosion followed by a fire on the ground. When Graustein and Wade failed to return it was assumed that they had been lost in the target area and the crew was placed in MIA status.

None of the POWs repatriated in Feb/Mar 1973 had any knowledge of the two men, and they were continued in MIA status until the Secretary of the Navy approved Presumptive Findings of Death, Graustein on 3 March 1975 and Wade on 24 Aug 1976.

On 7 March 1986, the Government announced that the remains of the two aircrewmen were among a group of remains turned over by the Vietnamese government on 04 Dec 1985.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a fellow A-6 Intruder aircrewman,
Michael J Munson 
05 Sep 2003

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 11/30/2004