Jack Walters, Jr
Lieutenant Commander
RVAH-13, CVW-11, USS KITTY HAWK, TF 77, 7TH FLEET
United States Navy
Whiteville, North Carolina
June 10, 1939 to May 20, 1967
JACK WALTERS Jr is on the Wall at Panel 20E, Line 51

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Jack Walters
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Jack Walters

LCDR JACK WALTERS Jr

 
28 Oct 2001

REMEMBERED ACROSS THE YEARS

I would like to hear from anyone who knew my father or knows anything about him.

Jack Stroup
jackc21@earthlink.net


 

The Mission

The RA-5C VIGILANTE began life as a heavy bomber but found its real niche as a reconnaissance aircraft. A truly beautiful aircraft in flight, the RA-5C was capable of Mach 2+ at altitude ... but its mission required low-altitude operations. At those altitudes it still could approach or surpass Mach 1, usually outrunning its F-4 Phantom fighter escorts. Still, it was vulnerable to barrage antiaircraft fire and its relative lack of low-level agility increased its vulnerability to surface-to-air missiles.

On 19 May 1967, LCDR James Griffin, pilot, and LT Jack Walters, Recon Attack Navigator (RAN), launched for an over-the-beach mission in the Haiphong/Hanoi area. While overhead Hanoi the aircraft was hit by enemy fire and both crewmen ejected. A radio broadcast from Hanoi announced that both men had been captured. As a result, the Navy placed Griffin and Walters in POW status.

As time passed, both Griffin and Walters were promoted, Griffin to Commander and Walters to Lieutenant Commander.

In January 1973, shortly before the POWs were released (February 1973), Hanoi announced that Griffin and Walters had died of injuries sustained during the shootdown/ejection, Walters on 20 May 1967 and Griffin on 21 May 1967. On 16 January 1974 the Secretary of the Navy verified their deaths. Hanoi returned their remains on 13 March 1974, and positive identification of both men was announced on 17 April 1974. The Democratic Republic of Vietnam offered no explanation for the five and a half year delay in announcing the deaths of the two men.

From the POW Network pages for CDR Griffin and LCDR Walters.


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