Thomas Jack SteimerLieutenant (junior grade)
VF-114, CVW-11, USS KITTY HAWK
United States Navy
12 May 1942 - 08 May 1967
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The database page for Thomas Jack Steimer
Tom's letter home from the aircraft carrier USS KITTY HAWK:
When I saw Tom in the Philippines in 1967 we laughed about our childhood experiences with his brother Bob in our Piedmont, California Boy Scout troop. Tom, his brother, and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara had all been Eagle Scouts in Piedmont. I think it rained on every hike. All the Steimers were very nice and I remember being invited to dinner.
In 1967 Tom had a girlfriend, and one of the young wives from his Navy fighter squadron said they made a nice couple. Soon after, Tom died on May 8, 1967 in his F-4 Phantom during a night catapult launch from Yankee Station off North Vietnam.
When Tom was killed, his brother suppressed his grief to care for his parents. Tom's Navy fighter squadron, VF-114, lost 20 F-4 Phantoms during the Vietnam War.
With respect, Pete Michael
A Note from The Virtual WallAt 1729 (5:29 PM) 08 May 1967 F-4B BuNo 152997 was launched from KITTY HAWK. The aircraft suffered an engine failure as it went off the catapult and both crewmen ejected. Both had good chutes and both landed in the water off the carrier's port side. As the carrier steamed past the two men the pilot, LTJG L. M. Tuft, was seen in good shape, but LTJG Steimer was lying face-down in the water. By the time the plane guard helo arrived from its position on KITTY HAWK's starboard side Steimer had disappeared beneath the surface. Tuft was picked up without further difficulty.
Mr. Michael addresses VF-114's aircraft losses. The squadron lost 17 men in nine incidents - but only 4 returned when the POWs came home in 1973. The incidents were as follow:
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 26 May 2008
Last updated 08/10/2009