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POSTED ON 12.31.2022
POSTED BY: John Fabris

honoring you...

Thank you for your service to our country so long ago sir. The remembrances from your son Russell are touching and reflect his enduring love for you. As long as you are remembered you will remain in our hearts forever….
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POSTED ON 4.7.2019
POSTED BY: Lucy Micik

Thank You

Dear Cdr Jack Harris,
Thank you for your service as an Unrestricted Line Officer (Pilot) on the U.S.S. ORISKANY. It is Lent, which is a time of preparation. The war was years ago, but we all need to acknowledge the sacrifices of those like you who answered our nation's call. Please watch over America, it stills needs your strength, courage and faithfulness. Rest in peace with the angels.
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POSTED ON 10.26.2018
POSTED BY: A Grateful Vietnam Veteran

Distinguished Flying Cross Citation

Jack Harold Harris

Distinguished Flying Cross
DURING Vietnam War
Service: Navy
Rank: Commander
All Hands (May 1967)
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) to Commander Jack Harold Harris (NSN: 0-491957), United States Navy, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight during an air strike against Bach Long Vi Island in North Vietnam, on 29 March 1965. In order to permit strike aircraft to destroy important military targets on the island, Commander Harris attacked and silenced enemy anti-aircraft gun positions. During his second attack, his aircraft sustained a critical hit and he was forced to eject over enemy waters. He was rescued shortly thereafter.
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POSTED ON 5.17.2018
POSTED BY: Russell H Harris

CDR Jack Harold Harris - The Last Fighter Pilot to be rescued by a submarine

On March 26, 1965 units of the US Seventh Fleet began their participation in Operation Rolling Thunder, a systematic bombing of military targets throughout North Vietnam. Pilots from the USS Coral Sea CVA 43 struck island and coastal radar stations in the vicinity of Vinh Son.
On that date Carrier Air Wing 15 embarked in USS Coral Sea was tasked with an ALPHA strike against North Vietnamese air search radar facilities on Bach Long Vi Island, which is located about 70 miles offshore roughly midway between Haiphong and the Chinese island of Hainan. The raid failed to knock out the radars and lead to the loss of three aircraft. However no pilots were loss.
The USS Charr began conducting surveillance operations of such radar stations in February of that year and was on station at Bach Long Vi Island during that raid.
The air wing tried again on 29 March 1965, dispatching 70 aircraft against the target. As usual, the flak suppression aircraft went in first and took the brunt of heavy anti-aircraft fire. Three and a half aircraft were shot down with one pilot being loss.
CDR Jack H. Harris, CO of Attack Squadron 155 flying A-4E BuNo 150078, lost his engine to enemy fire while over the target and ejected just offshore the island. The USS Charr surfaced and picked him up within a matter of minutes.
LCDR Kenneth E Hume of VF-154, flying F-8D BuNo 148668, was hit while making a ZUNI rocket attack against an AAA site. Although a small fire was visible, Hume decided to try to get to Danang, but within minutes his F-8 suddenly went into a dive and plunged into the sea. His escort saw the canopy separate before water impact but Hume did not eject. After picking up CDR Harris and with the air raid still in progress the USS Charr remained on the surface in search of Hume without success. An oil slick from his aircraft was all that was visible. His remains were never recovered.
The “half” aircraft was CDR Pete Mongilardi, CO of Attack Squadron 153, whose A-4 was hard hit and bleeding fuel. He was able to meet up with a tanker aircraft which “dragged” him back to the USS Coral Sea, pumping jet fuel into the A-4 as fast as it bled out. CDR Mongilardi was recovered safely aboard Coral Sea.
CDR William N. Donnelly, CO of Fighter Squadron 154 flying F-8D BuNo 148642, had his controls shot out while in a dive-bombing run against an AAA site. He ejected while inverted at 450 knots and 1000 feet altitude, landing about 4 miles from the island. On the night of March 30th upon becoming aware that transmissions from CDR Donnelly’s emergency radio were being received the USS Charr surfaced and conducted a grid search but was unsuccessful in finding him. Later that day during the mid-watch, (12 noon to 4 p.m.) CDR Donnelly was sighted floating in his survival raft by aircraft which were in route to another bombing raid. His location was about 14 miles from the Charr which was submerged at the time. Once in receipt of this information LCDR John M. Draddy, CO of the Charr, surfaced and proceeded to CDR Donnelly’s location. Upon arrival at the site a fleet of Chinese junks were already there with no sight of CDR Donnelly or his raft. With belief that the junks had gotten to him first, LCDR Draddy quickly assembled an armed boarding party with the intention of rescuing him. However, before any action was taken LCDR Draddy received word that CDR Donnelly had already been picked up by a US Air Force HU-16 amphibian and the boarding party was dismissed. In his raft CDR Donnelly had successfully evaded North Vietnamese patrol boats for some 45 hours.

CDR Harris remained on the USS Charr for several days and was eventually high-lined to a Navy destroyer for return to the Coral Sea.

In appreciation of his stay on the Charr, CDR Harris made each crewman an honorary member of his squadron. Sadly CDR Harris was killed on 26 October 1966 in a fire aboard the USS Oriskany.
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POSTED ON 8.13.2017

Casualty at Sea

On October 26, 1966, there was an aircraft flare fire aboard the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany operating in the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of Vietnam. Two sailors were re-stowing unexpended MK-24 Mod 3 Flares when one was accidentally dropped. The igniter had not been reset to SAFE. As it dropped, the safety lanyard was inadvertently pulled, actuating the flare. For reasons known only to him, one of the sailors picked up the armed flare, threw it into the magazine locker, and closed the door. Some 2.75-inch rocket warheads loaded with Composition B were stowed in the locker. Shortly after the flare ignited in the locker, the intense heat caused a 2.75 rocket warhead in the locker to detonate, sending fire and smoke into the hangar bay. This was followed by a second warhead explosion that spread fire throughout the entire hangar deck and in the forward portion of the ship. Finally, heat caused a liquid oxygen tank to explode. Before the fires were completely under control, 44 sailors had died (43 from asphyxiation and one from burns) and 156 had been injured. Beside the material damage to the ship, two helicopters and an A-4E aircraft were destroyed and three A-4E aircraft were damaged. The estimated cost of the material damage was $11 million. The following officers and men of Oriskany died in or as a result of the fires: CDR Jack H. Harris, CDR Richard E. Donahue, CDR Harry W. Juntilla (DOW 10/31/66), LCDR William J. Garrity Jr., LCDR Walter F. Merrick, LCDR Omar R. Ford, LT Frank M. Gardner, LTJG Dewey L. Alexander, LTJG Ramon A. Copple, LTJG James B. Hudis, LTJG James A. Kelly Jr., LTJG Franklin M. Tunick, BM3 Donald W. Shanks, BM3 Alvin M. Shifflett Jr., SN Robert L. Dyke, SN James K. Gray, SN James A. Lee, FN William Walling, AA Greg E. Hart, CDR Rodney B. Carter, LT Lloyd P. Hyde, LTJG William R. Clements, CDR George K. Farris, LCDR James A. Smith, LT John F. Francis, CDR John J. Nussbaumer, AZAN David A. Liste, LCDR Clement J. Morisette, LT Clarence D. Miller, LTJG Thomas E. Spitzer, ENS Ronald E. Tardio, CDR Clyde R. Welch, LCDR Daniel L. Strong, LTJG James L. Brewer, LTJG William A. Johnson, LCDR Norman S. Levy, LTJG Cody A. Balisteri, LTJG William G. McWilliams III, ENS Charles W. Boggs, LT Josslyn F. Blakely Jr., LT Julian D. Hammond Jr., LTJG Gerald W. Siebe, LTJG James R. Welsh, and ENS Daniel O. Kern. [Taken from insensitivemunitions.org and virtualwall.org]
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