ANDREW J WANG
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HONORED ON PANEL 61W, LINE 18 OF THE WALL

ANDREW JACOB WANG

WALL NAME

ANDREW J WANG

PANEL / LINE

61W/18

DATE OF BIRTH

10/09/1946

CASUALTY PROVINCE

OFFSHORE, PR&MR UNK.

DATE OF CASUALTY

06/02/1968

HOME OF RECORD

JOHNSTON

COUNTY OF RECORD

Providence County

STATE

RI

BRANCH OF SERVICE

NAVY

RANK

ABH3

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR ANDREW JACOB WANG
POSTED ON 7.3.2019
POSTED BY: Larry manuel

I remember Andy.

My name is Larry Manuel, I worked with Andy in v-1 division on the Valley. I remember very vividly the day Andy died, and the ensuing fire on the flight deck.
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POSTED ON 5.28.2018
POSTED BY: Alan Diaz

On this Memorial Day

I was a Marine aboard the Valley Forge that day. I was working just below the flight deck and witnessed the aftermath of that incident. Also from Rhode Island, only today did I discover we grew up only miles apart. Sometimes it's only inches that separate our fates. God bless you, sailor. Thank you for your service.
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POSTED ON 10.5.2017
POSTED BY: wkillian@smjuhsd.org

Casualty at Sea

Casualty at Sea
On June 2, 1968, the USS Valley Forge (LPH-8) was engaged in helicopter flight operations a few miles off the coast of Vietnam. Army and Marine helicopters routinely used the ship as a safe haven from Viet Cong and NVA night attacks in and around Da Nang. Such was the case of a USMC CH-46A Sea Knight (#152545) preparing to return to its base that afternoon from the Valley Forge. The pilot was not familiar with Navy takeoff procedures and began lifting off while the helicopter was still held by four chain tie downs. The starboard tie down held, but the port one snapped, sending the aircraft over on its right side. A squad of 14 Marines stationed on the USS Valley Forge were standing on the flight deck at the time of the accident waiting for the helicopter to take them to the USS Thomaston. Several of them witnessed as ABH3 Andrew J. Wang, who directly in front of the helicopter signaling the pilot, was fatally injured after the main rotor made contact with the deck and sent pieces flying across the flight area. The aircraft burst in to flames and ammunition began firing off. Crew members charged the crash with hoses, but had to clear the deck because of the exploding small arms ammo. Personnel were seen running from the aircraft, their clothes on fire, and one jumped over the port side, 56 feet down into the water. CPL Philip P. Reed was recovered by one of the 16-foot motor whaleboats launched off the carrier. He was evacuated to the 106th General Hospital in Yokohama, Japan, for treatment where he died June 8, 1968, due to renal failure and pneumonia from second and third degree burns he sustained in the fire. SMAJ Jack E. Muisener, who served as the gunner on the Sea Knight, was also fatally burned in the incident. Crash crews and fire teams used a yellow crash tractor named “Tilly” to push the burning chopper off the right side of the flight deck into the South China Sea. It made an eerie sound as it fell to the sea and floated a while before sinking into the depths. [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org and popasmoke.com]
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POSTED ON 5.8.2016
POSTED BY: Dan McNulty

My cousin Andy

I remember late in 1967 or early 1968 when my cousin Andy came to my parents house while on leave from the Navy dressed in uniform, he was so happy and proud. He drove up to the house in a green V.W. Beetle to see my parents and brothers. Andy was much older than I at that time as I was only about 10 years old. It's a real shame that I really never got to know this hero Cousin of mine. He was in the Navy on a ship during Nam, what could happen or go wrong on a ship? Well my cousin Andy lost his life on that ship protecting my family and yours from the ravages of war. God bless all the families of the 58000 plus who lost their lives in Vietnam and all of the families of those still protecting us from evil around the world.

Thank you Andy for your service to our country.
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POSTED ON 9.25.2015
POSTED BY: Doug Olson

The day we lost Andy

On June 2nd, 1968, the USS Valley Forge LPH-8 was engaged in helicopter flight operations a few miles off the coast of Vietnam. Army and Marine helicopters routinely used the ship as a safe haven from VC and NVA night attacks in and around Da Nang.

Such was the case of an Army CH-47 preparing to return to its base that afternoon. The pilot was not familiar with Navy takeoff procedures and began lifting off while the helicopter was still tied down. The following is an excerpt from my private log entries that day:

“The starboard tie down held but the port one snapped, sending the bird over on its nose. Smith and Edlund hit the deck and Lee fell running from it as it flipped over, splitting open. All 13 passengers spewed out unhurt. One crew-member ran from the plane, his clothes on fire and jumped over the port side (56 feet down) into the water. Another crewman jumped from the plane and into the forward safety net. He was cremated.” (My friend and shipmate Andy Wang, who was directly in front of the helicopter and signaling the pilot, never had a chance and was hit by a rotor blade as the helicopter tipped over.)
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