Donald Glenn Stayrook

Aviation Ordnanceman 2nd Class
VP-1, TF 72, 7TH FLEET
United States Navy
14 December 1946 - 24 October 1967
Somerset, PA
Panel 28E Line 065


USN Aircrew
Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Donald Glenn Stayrook

Donald G. Stayrook, AO3
United States Navy

In the fall of 1967 Patrol Squadron One (VP-1) was deployed to Naval Air Station, Sangley Point, in the Republic of the Philippines. The Squadron had a detachment in Cam Ranh Bay, and the planes and crews rotated back and forth, spending about two weeks in Viet Nam on each cycle. VP-1's mission in Viet Nam was known as Operation Market Time. This mission required continuous patrols along the coastal waters of South Viet Nam in order to prevent infiltration of enemy supplies or troops from the sea. Our aircraft was the Lockheed, P2V-7 Neptune which carried a crew of 11. Airman Stayrook was in charge of ordinance in Crew 8, my crew.

Donald Stayrook was a key member of the crew and handled the loading of flares, the M-60 machine gun and anti-submarine ordinance when required. He took great pride in his job, especially when flying in the combat zone. Donald had previously served in Viet Nam during VP-1's 1966 deployment to Japan and Tan Son Nhut Air Base in Saigon. This prior experience in handling dangerous ordinance was particularly valuable for the safety of the crew 8 and our aircraft.

The flying schedule out of Cam Ranh Bay called for operations 24 hours a day. It was a demanding task. Crews seldom had much time off, but when possible, they frequently went for a swim in the warm waters of the South China Sea. On the evening of October 23, Crew Eight began a long, nighttime patrol, and after landing early the next morning, some of the crew decided to go swimming. Tragically, there was a strong undertow that day in the normally tranquil waters. Airman Stayrook and a second crew member were caught in the current and could not make it back to shore. Both drowned before the rescue helicopter arrived. Their friends had tried to save them, but were unsuccessful and barely reached the safety of the beach on their own.

The death of Donald Stayrook was a great loss to VP-1, especially his comrades in Crew 8. Airman Stayrook served his country in a time of war, and did so with honor.

Mel Hinton
Lieutenant USNR (1967)
Plane Commander
VP-1, Crew 8

A memorial initiated by his Plane Commander,
Mel Hinton
Lieutenant USNR (1967) 
06 Jun 2002

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 08/10/2009