United States Navy Aircrew
9 October 1973
Remains identified January 1995
Name: Edward Frank Gold
Rank/Branch: O3/US Navy
Date of Birth: 30 January 1927
Home City of Record: Oakland California
Date of Loss: 22 December 1965
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 211300N 1065700E (XJ023471)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Other Personnel in Incident: Billie J. Cartwright (missing)
CARTWRIGHT, BILLIE JACK
When nuclear powered USS ENTERPRISE arrived on Yankee Station on December 2, 1965, she was the largest warship ever built. She brought with her not only an imposing physical presence, but also an impressive component of warplanes and the newest technology. Her air wing (CAG 9) consisted of more than ninety aircraft. Among her attack squadrons were VA 36, VA 93, VA 76 and VA 94. She launched her opening combat strike against targets in North Vietnam on December 17, and by the end of her first week of combat operations, the ENTERPRISE had set a record of 165 combat sorties in a single day, surpassing the KITTY HAWK's 131. By the end of her first combat cruise, her air wing had flown over 13,000 combat sorties. The record had not been achieved without cost.
On December 22, the ENTERPRISE teamed with the carriers KITTY HAWK and TICONDEROGA in one of the war's biggest strikes to date, with one hundred aircraft hitting the thermal power plant at Uong Bi located fifteen miles north-northeast of the city of Haiphong. This was the first industrial target authorized by the Johnson administration. The ENTERPRISE's aircraft approached from the north and the KITTY HAWK/TICONDEROGA force from the south, leaving the plant in shambles. The day's casualties were two A4Cs from the ENTERPRISE, an RA5C Vigilante, and an A6A Intruder -- six Americans shot down.
One of the A4s was flown by LTJG Wendell R.
Alcorn, a pilot from Attack Squadron 36 onboard the ENTERPRISE. Alcorn's
aircraft was shot down about 15 miles north-northeast of Haiphong and he
was captured by the North
The second A4C shot down on December 22, 1965 was flown from the ENTERPRISE by LT John D. Prudhomme. Prudhomme's aircraft was hit by enemy fire and crashed near Alcorn's position. Prudhomme was not as lucky as Alcorn; he was deemed to have been killed in the crash of his aircraft. He is listed among the missing because his remains were not recovered.
The RA5C reconnaissance aircraft was shot down
about 5 miles east of Hai Duong in Hai Hung Province, about 30 miles from
Alcorn and Prudhomme. Its crew consisted of the pilot, LCDR Max D. Lukenbach
and his rear-seater, LTJG
LTJG William L. Shankel describes the flight:
"About twenty planes were going after a bridge over the Red River, halfway
between Hanoi and Haiphong and I was in the second section. My A4 was a
real dog, and I had to cut corners to keep everybody else from running
off and leaving me. I reached the target by myself, pulled up, and rolled
Shankel, Alcorn and Daigle were all held in
what has come to be known as the Hanoi prison system -- The Hoa Lo (Hanoi
Hilton), Heartbreak Hotel, the Zoo, Alcatraz, Briarpatch and others. Although
their captivity was distinctly
These reports are the source of serious distress
to many returned American prisoners. They had a code that no one could
honorably return unless all of the prisoners returned. Not only that code
of honor, but the honor of our
William L. Shankel, Glenn H. Daigle and Wendell
R. Alcorn were promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander during the
period they were Prisoners of War. Billie J. Cartwright was promoted to
the rank of Captain and Edward F.
15 March 1995
Two sets of remains were identified in January,
Comd. Gold's being one of the 2. The family asked that the name of the
2nd individual NOT be released at this time.
Full Name: EDWARD FRANK GOLD
Photo Courtesy of Roxsane Wells-Layton, August 2006