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James Richard Dennison


Rank/Branch: O4/US Navy
Unit: Heavy Photographic Squadron 61, USS ORISKANY (CVA-34)
Date of Birth: 28 February 1934
City of Record: Rochester NY
Date of Loss: 01 January 1968
Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 0174000N 1071000E (YE298544)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 5
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: RA3B
Others in Incident: Henry H. Herrin; Terrence H. Hanley (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.


The A3 Skywarrior is a three-place light bomber, reconnaisance plane, electronic warfare craft or aerial tanker, depending upon its outfitting. The RA3B was a more powerful version of the original A3 and outfitted for reconnaisance missions. Its armament usually consisted of a pair of 20mm cannons in a remotely controlled tail turret.

 Chief Petty Officer Henry H. Herrin was a photographer's mate aboard an RA3B aircraft flown by LTCDR James R. Dennison and co-pilot LTJG Terrence H. Hanley assigned a mission over North Vietnam. Their plan was to fly from the U.S. Naval Air Station, Cubi Point, Philippines to their target area and then recover at Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam for refueling and return trip. The mission was for surveillance of the enemy lines of communication to determine truck traffic. The mission was flown under radio silence, but was under surveillance by an airborne radar control aircraft.

 Emergency egress is accomplished by sliding down a chute in the bottom of the aircraft. All crewmembers were equipped with survival radios and survival kits containing flare pencils. The aircraft flew out to sea approximately 20 miles and turned southeast. No further contact was made with the aircraft.

 An intensive search and rescue operation was called in consisting of surface units, helicopter and fixed wing aircraft. It was terminated with negative results. The area in which the aircraft was lost was one heavily traveled by aircraft, fishing junks and coastal shipping.

 All three men were placed in Missing In Action status, which was maintained until after the war ended.

 The crew of the RA3B downed that day in January 1968 may not have survived, but evidence continues to mount that some of their comrades did - and are currently being held prisoner in Southeast Asia.
 The ultimate sacrifice of our nation's youth - their lives - is tainted so long as even one American fighting man is held against his will. For the sake of the living, and the honor of the dead, these men must be brought home.


"All Biographical and loss information on POWs provided by Operation Just Cause have been supplied by Chuck and Mary Schantag of POWNET. Please check with POWNET regularly for updates."


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