Thomas Lee PlantsAviation Electronics Technician 2nd Class
EARLY WARNING SQUADRON 13 (VAW-13), USS MIDWAY
United States Navy
11 May 1940 - 02 June 1965
Panel 01E Line 130
The database page for Thomas Lee Plants
Remembering my Brother,
THOMAS L. PLANTS
May 11, 1940 to June 2, 1965
"No greater love has a man than this;
Kehren J. Purdy
Tom, I am a little late in finding out what happened to you and the crew, for this I am sorry. My prayers have been you and the others since. I know that you are resting in the arms of Our Lord, farewell shipmate until we meet again.
From a shipmate,
You were always in my thoughts and prayers and I was never at peace until we could bring you home... where you belong. I'm thankful that after 26 years we were able to give you a proper burial and the respect that you deserve. You are my hero... as well as everyone in my family... My Grandchildren visit your grave and bring flowers and one grandson bears your name. May God keep you in his loving care.
Your loving sister, Linda
Notes from The Virtual WallOn 02 June 1965 an EA-1F electronics surveillance aircraft launched from the USS MIDWAY in support of a search and rescue mission over North Vietnam. The crew of the Spad was LTJG M. D. McMican, pilot; LTJG Gerald M. Romano, navigator; ATR3 William H. Amspacher, Electronic Countermeasures Operator, and ATN 3 Thomas L. Plants.
While circling the scene of an A-4E pilot's ejection just offshore, the EA-1F was hit by enemy fire and was observed to crash and burn on the nearby coast. One crewmember bailed out while the EA-1F was still offshore but his parachute did not open and he fell into the sea. According to an intelligence report a week later the body drifted ashore.
The crew was listed as Killed In Action/Body Not Recovered. It was assumed three crewman died in the crash and the fourth in an unsuccessful bail-out attempt.
On 13 July 1988, nine sets of human remains were repatriated; among them were the remains of LTJG McMican, LTJG Romano, and ATR3 Amspacher. Almost three years later, on 29 April 1991, Petty Officer Plants' remains were identified as one of two sets of remains repatriated on 6 March 1991. Twenty-five years after the EA-1F was shot down, its crew had come home.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 6 Mar 2002
Last updated 08/10/2009