Frederick Lee Holmes

Commander
VA-165, CVW-9, USS CONSTELLATION
United States Navy
19 December 1936 - 12 April 1975
Morgan Hill, California
Panel 02W Line 092

USS CONSTELLATION

VA-165
A-6

Naval Aviator

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Frederick Lee Holmes

7 Aug 2004

REMEMBERED

by a shipmate.

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16 Jun 2007

I have had LCDR Holmes' POW/MIA bracelet since I was in high school. I would like to say my thoughts continue to be with his family.

Kathy James
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A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 30 Dec 1971 Carrier Air Wing 9 aboard USS CONSTELLATION launched a combined A-6/A-7/F-4 strike against Yen Dung near the city of Vinh, North Vietnam. Because a solid undercast precluded dive-bombing, the strike aircraft were led by an A-6A pathfinder; the intention was that the entire strike package would follow the INTRUDER's lead in delivering their ordnance from straight-and-level flight at 12,000 feet. The only problem with this approach was the vulnerability of the strike package to antiaircraft and surface-to-air missile fire. As the package crossed the beach an SA-2 missile burst through the undercast and exploded near the lead A-6, which promptly became engulfed in flames and broke up. The bombardier-navigator, LT W. Burton, survived with injuries and was picked up just off-shore by a SAR helicopter, but the pilot, then-LCDR F. L. Holmes, could not be located and was classed as Missing in Action.

None of the POWs who returned two months later had any knowledge of LCDR Holmes and he was continued in MIA status until 12 April 1975 when the Secretary of the Navy approved a Presumptive Finding of Death. Holmes was promoted to Commander while in MIA status. His remains have not been repatriated.



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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 7 Aug 2004
Last updated 02/01/2008