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DOOLEY, JAMES EDWARD
Name: James Edward Dooley
Rank/Branch: Lieutenant (JG)/USN
Unit: Attack Squadron 163, USS ORISKANY (CVA 34)
Date of Birth: 14 November 1942 (Middlebury VT)
Home City of Record: Manchester Center VT
Date of Loss: 22 October 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 205100N 1064000E (XH860893)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1990 from one or more of
the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence
with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W.
SYNOPSIS: When Douglas Aircraft created the A4 Skyhawk the intent was to
provide the Navy and Marine Corps with an inexpensive, lightweight attack
and ground support aircraft. The design emphasized low-speed control and
stability during take-off and landing as well as strength enough for
catapult launch and carrier landings. The plane was so compact that it did
not need folding wings for aboardship storage and handling. In spite of its
diminutive size, the A4 packed a devastating punch and performed well where
speed and maneuverability were essential.
LTJG James E. Dooley was a pilot assigned to Attack Squadron 163 onboard the
USS ORISKANY. On October 22, 1967, Dooley was flying an A4E aircraft in the
second division of Attack Squadron 163. The aircraft was on a strike mission
over North Vietnam. The target was the Haiphong railroad yard.
It is believed that Dooley's aircraft hit anti-aircraft fire as he pulled
off the target. Witnesses observed his aircraft straight and level and
streaming fuel while heading eastward toward open water at approximately
6,000 feet. The aircraft then commenced a gradual descent heading toward the
water and crashed. The aircraft impacted in the water in a nose and wing
down attitude about one mile from land. A thorough search of the area was
conducted by the strike group but there was no evidence of a survivor. There
was no parachute seen, nor any radio transmissions from the target area to
the site of impact. The surrounding land area was densely populated and if
he had ejected he most certainly would have been captured immediately.
James E. Dooley was placed in a status of Missing in Action. After six
years, and following the end of the war, Dooley's status was changed to
Presumed Killed in Action because there was no evidence that he was alive.
Nearly 2500 Americans are missing in Southeast Asia. Unlike the MIAs from
other wars, most of these men can be accounted for. Tragically, thousands of
reports have been received, and continue to be received, that indicate
Americans are still captive in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
Whether James Dooley survived the crash of his plane or died that day in
October 1967 is not known. What is apparent, however, is that someone knows
what happened to James Dooley. Someone knows what happened to the others who
disappeared. Even though men are alive and held captive, the U.S. has been
unable to secure their freedom. Even though American aircraft litter the
countryside of Vietnam, the U.S. has been unable to investigate these sites.
For those men and their families, the war is not over.