On April 15, 1969 a U.S. Navy VQ-1 EC-121M (callsign, “Deep Sea 129”) flew a routine Beggar Shadow reconnaissance mission over the Sea of Japan. At roughly 1347 local time, while approximately 90 NM off the North Korean coast, the aircraft was shot down by two North Korean MiG-21 fighters. Below are the 31 crewmen were killed.
LT Peter Philip Perrottey, USN January 16, 1942 – April 15, 1969 – Copilot
ATR2 Dennis J Horrigan, USN February 2, 1946 – April 15, 1969 – EW Operator
LT John H Singer, USN February 9, 1943 – April 15, 1969 – Senior Evaluator
LT John N Dzema, USN March 2, 1931 – April 15, 1969 – Evaluator
ATN2 Richard Henery Kincaid, USN March 15, 1947 – April 15, 1969 – Crew Leader
LTJG Norman Elbert Wilkerson, USN March 30, 1943 – April 15, 1969 – Navigator
LCDR James H Overstreet, USN April 10, 1935 – April 15, 1969 – Pilot
AT1 James Leroy Roach, USN May 4, 1937 – April 15, 1969 – Radar Operator
AT1 Bernie Joel Colgin, USN May 15, 1933 – April 15, 1969 – Airborne Electronics Supervisor
ADR2 Louis Francis Balderman, USN May 29, 1943 – April 15, 1969 – Mech
ATR2 Timothy Harlan McNeil, USN May 30, 1944 – April 15, 1969 – Radar Operator
AT1 Stephen Curtis Chartier, USN June 3, 1944 – April 15, 1969 – EW Operator
CTR3 John Alexander Miller III, USN June 4, 1944 – April 15, 1969 – Manual Morse Collection Operator
CTO2 Steven Joseph Tesmer, USN July 6, 1946 – April 15, 1969 – Secure Teletype Communicator
CTR3 Gary Ray Du Charme, USN July 8, 1945 – April 15, 1969 – Manual Morse Collection Operator
AEC LaVerne Albert Greiner, USN August 8, 1937 – April 15, 1969 – Flight Engineer
CTI1 John Howard Potts, USN August 24, 1942 – April 15, 1969 – Korean Linguist
LTJG Joseph Richard Ribar, USN August 28, 1941 – April 15, 1969 Copilot (Body Recovered)
SSGT Hugh M. Lynch, USMC October 9, 1942 – April 15, 1969 – Korean and Russian Lignuist
CTIC Frederick Arthur Randall, USN September 11, 1939 – April 15, 1969 – Russian Linguist and Manual Morse Operator
ATN3 Gene Kenneth Graham, USN October 4, 1948 – April 15, 1969 – Radar Operator
LT Dennis Baird Gleason, USN November 18, 1943 – April 15, 1969 – Evaluator
ADR1 Ballard F. Conners, USN December. 21, 1942 – April 15, 1969 – Flight Engineer
ATN3 David Monroe Willis, USN December 22, 1946 – April 15, 1969 – Radio Operator
LT Robert F Taylor, USN December 27, 1938 – April 15, 1969 – Communication Evaluator
LTJG Robert J Sykora, USN December 31, 1942 – April 15, 1969 – Navigator
ADRC Marshal H McNamara, USN 1934 – April 15, 1969 – Flight Engineer
AMS3 Richard Thomas Prindle, USN ? – April 15, 1969 – Plane Captain
CTIC Richard Earl Smith, USN ? – April 15, 1969 – Linguist
CTI3 Philip D. Sundby, USN ? – April 15, 1969 – Korean Linguist
AT1 Richard E Sweeney, USN 1938 – April 15, 1969 – EW Operator (Body Recovered)
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15 April 2020 at 12:30
My memory of this event as I was, at the time, the young USAF officer who sat next to the 314 Air Division (Also known as Air Forces Korea) commander, logging and writing the outgoing messages as the USAF response to this event unfolded.
15 April 2020 at 13:51
Whoever did this presentation Bravo Zulu you did a wonderful job remembering all those Shipmates you died that day. RIP Shipmates.
15 April 2020 at 14:31
I think this was posted previously but I never tire of reading about it. I was in Kamiseya when this happened and we lost several of the men on the plane from there, 1 Marine and several sailors and I still remember the chatter and lots more. Thanks for never letting us forget the sacrifice of so many and it is unfortunate that the general population has no clue about these tradgedies and the sacrifice of our military personnel and others every day around the globe.
15 April 2020 at 15:29
I flew with some of this crew at DaNang in 67 including LCDR Jas. Overstreet. Steve Tesmer and I were both out of San Miguel, P.I. TAD to DaNang. God bless all of you guys. You won’t be forgotten. William Leppert
16 April 2020 at 00:24
I was an ATW in VW-1 NAS Agana, Guam in 65. Flew as an operator. We flew these same flights between Japan, Taiwan and China. One of the photos shows one of the crew with a VW-1 patch. The Navy closed the ATW rate and turned us into AX. I transitioned to VP-50 Julie-Jez operator in early 66, then VP-90 in Glenview. I then got transitioned to AT again in the reserves and became an FCO in VP94.
16 April 2020 at 05:28
How does a T-bird (Potts) become a linguist? Is that a typo or did he change rates?
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16 April 2020 at 12:24
That was a typo. Correction made. Thank you!
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16 April 2020 at 15:55
He was our best Korean linguist out of Kamiseya.
16 April 2020 at 17:39
CTI1 John Howard Potts – Korean linguist. John’s first enlistment was in the USAF, and he received his initial training in Korean at Yale University courtesy of the Air Force. After reenlisting in the Navy John did tours in Okinawa (Joint Sobe Processing Center) and Naval Communications Station Philippines (San Miguel). During the latter tour, John spent considerable time in Da Nang, earning 10 Air Medals. He had recently been reassigned to Kamiseya when the shootdown occurred.
3 November 2020 at 18:28
John flew with me in Danang when I was an evaluator from San Miguel. I knew that he was a Korean linguist but his role on my flights was actually supervising the manual morse guys.
16 April 2020 at 13:41
I served with “Larry” Griener in VW-1 when he checked in with his red ’57 Chevy! He was a good AE and popular in a quiet way. I was priveledged (spelling ) to serve with him.
16 April 2020 at 14:24
Thank you to each and every one of you who gave your lives to our country, our Navy and Marine Corps, and our freedom. I’ll always have a hard time understanding how our politicians allow incidents such as this to take place without any apparent repercussions. Wonderful job—as always, Mario—posting these Station HYPO historical pieces!
17 April 2020 at 18:08
Every April 15th I am drawn back to that infamous day in 1969. The morning watch brought us the news of the flight. NSGA Hakata had shipmates on board. We met the news with silence. We did not talk about this day as time passed.
4 June 2020 at 11:05
BZ for putting this together.
I notice that CTIC Smith appears to be quite senior in age and is wearing what appear to be both WWII and Korean War ribbons.
I bet his would be a very interesting story!
I suspect all readers of this fascinating blog would enjoy knowing his history.
Thank you for your efforts here!
6 July 2020 at 12:32
I was on duty at CINCPACFLT when this plane was shot down. All hell broke loose in the comm center. One of my shipmates, Jerry Chelleu, had just transferred in from that unit. He knew all those guys, he was visibly shaken.
6 July 2020 at 13:41
I was an ELECTRONIC Signals Analyst stationed at VQ-1 from 1965 – 1967 which ended my enlistment and I knew some
of the crew members onboard.
The shoot down gave me a sense of sadness and grief beyond description resulting in my enlistment into the Navy Reserves where I stayed for another 20 years.
10 February 2021 at 02:37
Yup , My Name Is George Ramirez And Stephen Curtis Chartier Was A Classmate.Electronics Learning With Navy Airmen Seamen And Corpsmen At Age 3&1\2 With Dad.Stephen Would Actually Give The Photographs To Admiral Moorer.Admiral Thomas Moorer Gave Me The Oath Personally at 3years 10months old Left Hand Over Navy Doctrine&Command Right Hand Raised.May 23rd 1968 Pt.Mugu While Dad Was Working On A Pour.I Got Away From Navy Guy Watching Me. Cuz I Was Thirsty.Cuz After Lunch Kellogg,Brown nRoot Absconded Us and Left My Juice And Red Hots In The Car.I Was Headed Back in The Restricted Area When An MP Seen Me And Said What I was Doing Their.I Said I was Waiting On Dad working On A Pour.Headed Back To Car To Get My Juice And Red hots.He Says I do not Know About That.I Am Going To take You To The Sdmirals Office.I Said Alright.Then He Said Well Get In.He was In The Jeep.Then I Said Ok.Jumped In Taken To Admirals Office Where Lt.Col.William Bennet Asked What I Was Doing There.I Am Waiting On Dad Working On A Pour.Lt.Col. Calls Down There Reluctantly.Guy Answers.Lt.Col.Says Is There A Guy Down There Working On A Pour GotbA Four Year Old kid The Guy Says Yea. Lt.Col.Says.Well Tell Him To Come Pick His Son Up.Guy Says Nope He Won’t be Done here For Another 30 45
Minutes.Then Tells Him That I had Been There 4 5 months Already.Then Admiral Moorer Walks In The Lt.Col Informs Admiral Moorer.While I Look At The Paintings 4 Of Them Mayflower Salem And Plymouth I Looked At When Lt.Col.Bennet Said What Are We Going To Do With Him.Admiral Moorer Says Since Hes Been Here With Us Hes Just Going To Have To take The Oath To The Country Too.Lt.Col. Bennet Goes Back To His Desk.I Get Sat Down On Admiral Moorer’s Desk.Lt.Col Takes Out Second Testament.Admiral Says Put That Away We Are Using Navy Doctrine& Command On The Kid.Put Left hand On Book Ad Miral Said And Raise Your Right Hand .I Did.He Said Repeat After Me. He Said I.I Said I.He Said Name. I Said George.He Said Last Name.I Did Not Want To Get Dad In Trouble And Hesitated When The Lt.Col Bennet Whispered In My Ear Ramirez He said. Then I Said Ramirez. solemnly Swear To Protect Constitution etc. I do And I Did. Then From Their He Took Me Inside The Planning Room.Where I Watched Him Work.3d map of Vietnam and outlying countries Also.Plus Everything Else.
20 February 2021 at 15:11
CT3 Phil Sundby was the best in our class at DLIWC.
Also, he was a Chinese
linguist, not Korean.
13 April 2023 at 17:41
My first missions in VQ1 were the last of the 121 missions in the Sea of Japan (Aug 74), Lt Mike Asher was our pilot. His crew was supposed to be flying the mission that was shot down, but had engine problems, and did not go. In March 2003 I put hand cuffs on Yah Jung Yun, the 1st North Korean Spy arrested in the US. Not much pay back to the KN’s but payback still.