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VP-5 Memorial

VP-5 Crew - In Memorium - VP-5 Crew

"Eternal Father Strong To Save"
The Navy Hymn
Sailor Aviators Version

Eternal Father, Strong to Save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bid'st the mighty Ocean deep
Its' own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to thee,
for those in peril on the sea.

Lord, guard and guide the men who fly
Through the great spaces in the sky.
Be with them always in the air,
In dark'ning storms or sunlight fair.
O, Hear us when we lift our prayer,
For those in peril in the air.

But when at length our course is run,
Our work for home and country done,
Of all the souls that flew and sailed,
Let not one life in thee be failed,
But hear from heaven our sailors cry,
And grant eternal life on high.

May all our departed shipmates rest in peace.

Eternal Father by the U.S. Navy Band's Sea Chanters (668 kbytes - WAV file)

Killed In Action January 12th, 1962 Killed In Action
  VP-5 Mishap  Aircraft BUNO: 131521- Tap To Enlarge
VP-5 Mishap Crew - Tap To Enlarge
 
  National Flyer
Adobe PDF 258KB
11OCT2003
 
November 12th, 2012

A new LA-9 Group marker was placed in ANC on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012.

History - Tap To Enlarge Thumbnail
Contributed by Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [12NOV2012]

November 20th, 2011
UPDATE


"...The LA-9 crew remains recovered in 2004 that could not be identified through any DNA process were interred at Arlington National Cemetery on 16 NOV 11..." Contributed by Mike Kozak (Son of CDR Norbert J. Kozak) mkozak.mco@gmail.com [20NOV2011]

The LA-9 crew remains recovered in 2004 that could not be identified through any DNA process were interred at Arlington National Cemetery on 16 NOV 11, almost 50-years after the mishap on 12 JAN 62. The driving force in pushing the Navy to complete the successful full recovery of the lost crew was Robert Pettway, a Mad Fox and retired Secret Service agent. For his efforts Bob was recommended for the Department of the Navy Superior Public Service Award with silver medal by Capt. Robert P. Smyth, USN(Ret), skipper of VP-5 in 1962. The award was presented to Bob at the LA-9 P2V dedication ceremony at Heritage Park aboard JAX NAS on 06 NOV 09.

As part of the service at Arlington National Cemetery, Bob spoke briefly and eloquently at the group site, welcoming the crew home. The final detail of this event is to have the headstone memorial on the ANC group grave changed to reflect a memorial to honor the unidentified remains of all twelve LA-9 crewmen. Navy Casualty has informed us that this will be completed within the year.

I have attached several photos from the service at ANC (Left to Right):

1. Robert Pettway at Arlington National Cemetery.
2. Bob Pettway stands to receive the unidentified LA-9 group remains.
3. Navy personnel bring the LA-9 group remains to the grave site.
4. LA-9 group remains lie before the memorial headstone that is slated to have all twelve crewmen's names listed.

History - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge ThumbnailHistory - Tap To Enlarge Thumbnail

I wish entire VP Community "fair winds and following seas".

Mike Kozak
Son of Cdr. Norbert J. Kozak
Mad Foxes LA-9
October 17th, 2011
UPDATE

VP-5 LA-9 Final Closure

The burial service of the 2004 recovered unidentified LA-9 Crew remains will be conducted at Arlington National Cemetery at 3:00 pm on Wednesday, November 16, 2011. The remains will be interred in the original LA-9 group gravesite. The grave marker will include the names of all twelve crewmen.

The LA-9 Group gravesite location at Arlington is Section 46 Site 754. Its location is near the Tomb of the Unknowns.

Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [17OCT2011]
May 16, 2009
UPDATE

Hello VP-5 Friends

On Saturday, May 9th, I was honored to be invited to attend the Navy Casualty Briefing of the Kozak family, at the home of Michael Kozak in Orlando, Florida. Michael is the eldest child of Cdr. Norbert Kozak, the Pilot Commander of LA-9. Also present were Patricia and Peter Kozak, both children of Cdr. Kozak, and Linda Kozak, wife of Michael.

There were three representatives of the Navy who made the official report to the family; a Chief Petty Officer from the Navy Bureau of Personnel, Navy Casualty Division, Memphis, Tennessee, a Navy Lieutenant from Orlando, Florida who was acting in a liaison capacity with the family, and a scientist type person from the DNA lab in Washington, D.C. who was there to explain the lab report of findings.

I had prepared the family members before the meeting for the possibility of additional body parts of their father having been identified from the 2004 recovery of remains. I was glad that I did because it was something they had not seriously considered before. They all had attended the funeral of their father in Arlington National Cemetery where he was buried in a single plot in October, 1966.

The DNA analysis of the 2004 recovered remains resulted in the identification of several specific body parts of CDR. Kozak.

The Kozak family was presented several options for the final disposition of the remains, and they elected to have the additional remains buried in a small box in the same grave plot their father is buried in Arlington National Cemetery (ANC).

We were not informed of the other crew member identifications, which will be made only to those respective families. We were made aware however, that all twelve crew families would receive a similar briefing. It was disclosed that there were some remains recovered in 2004 which could not be identified from DNA analysis, for various reasons. It will be the recommendation of Navy Casualty to the Secretary of the Navy, that these unidentified remains be buried in the ANC group grave of unidentified LA-9 crew remains of 1966. We agreed this would be the most appropriate disposition.

The presentation to the Kozak family was very professional, compassionate, and yet very thorough. The report presented to the family for their keeping was over an inch thick in a leather binder. The family was required to sign various govt. authorization forms during the meeting, regarding the final disposition of their father's remains.

It was further revealed that all twelve crew members now had identified remains recovered, either in the 1966 recovery or the 2004 recovery. Each crewman, pursuant to the wishes of his family, can now have a separate grave plot either in Arlington or else in a family plot in their respective states.

It then occurred to me that what was viewed as a negative by many friends and family members of the fallen crew (that the fullest possible accounting of all the recovered remains would not be allowed because of Army's refusal to disinter and identify the 1966 unidentified ANC group remains), could be turned into a positive for the fallen crew and their families very easily and with little expense.

At Arlington National Cemetery there is a "common casket" grave site memorial dedicated to five crewmen of LA-9, either unrecovered or only partially recovered but unidentified from the 1966 recovery. This memorial is located at Section 46, # 754. These five crewmen are:
    LT(jg) Anthony Francis Caswick
    AT3 Alan Patrick Millette
    AO3 Grover Eugene Wells
    LT John Augustus Brown, MD
    AEAN Joseph William Renneberg
Their five names are inscribed on the group tombstone. This inscription was not accurate back in 1966, and will be even less so once the additional unidentified 2004 recovered remains are added to the plot and other dispositions of identified 2004 recovery remains are made. I suggested to Chief Rivenburgh that Navy Casualty make a recommendation to SECNAV that the Headstone Memorial on the ANC group grave be changed to reflect a memorial to honor the unidentified remains of ALL TWELVE LA-9 crewmen; and list all of their names on the stone. I believe this would be a fitting tribute for this "Band of Brothers," the LA-9 Crew. It would be more reflective of the unknown contents of the grave, as well as provide a memorial to all twelve families at Arlington National Cemetery, as some of the families elected to have their prior burials in family plots in various states. This would more accurately reflect the actual contents of the grave site; turn what was viewed by many as a negative into a positive, and how could ANC and/or Army Officials possibly oppose making it a tribute to the entire crew?

Since making this suggestion, I was informed by Mr. Ken Terry of Navy Casualty that this will be done; all twelve crew names will be inscribed on the Arlington group grave as a memorial to the entire crew.

Closure is complete. Each crew member can have a private burial plot and a group memorial at ANC. The crew is home.

I am forever grateful to each of you for your help in getting this accomplished. Thank you.

Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [17MAY2009]
I had had a local Chattanooga artist and photo doctor working on the LA-9 crew picture. What he has produced is remarkable.

The plane overhead is the last picture of LA-9, taken in Prestwick, Scotland, The artist took off the landing gear & wheels as the original pic was taken on the ground.

When the artist took Don Latimer out of the crew pic, he had to draw an arm on Joe Renneberg. He spent hours working on this, after inserting pictures of crewmen Millette, Brown, & Caswick.

Now we have a crew picture of all twelve crewmen together.

VP-5 Mishap Crew - Tap To Enlarge

Should anyone care to order an 11x14 print of the crew picture, they may do so through the artist, Tracy Knauss, "The Photo Doctor", at (423) 629-5378, Chattanooga, TN.

Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [31JAN2010]
I had the same artist create a memorial print of the LA-9 saga from a collage of photos.

VP-5 Mishap Crew - Tap To Enlarge

SI had the same artist create a memorial print of the LA-9 saga from a collage of photos. Should anyone care to purchase a 24x20 or smaller size copy, they should contact the artist direct, Tracy Knauss, "The Photo Doctor", at (423) 629-5378, Chattanooga, TN.

Bob Pettway rpettway@epbfi.com [01FEB2010]
Jump To Current Memorial Service Updated
20NOV2011
Jump To Mishap Newspaper Articles Updated
04DEC2010
Jump To Lockheed P2 Redesignated LA-9 Updated
19NOV2009
Jump To 1966 Recovery Memories Updated
19MAR2009
Jump To Help Bring VP-5 Crew Home! Updated
29JUL2008
Jump To Miscellaneous Information Updated
13DEC2007
Jump To Current Status of Crew Remains Updated
01DEC2007
Jump To Current Recovery Attempt Updated
28AUG2004
Jump To Shipmate and Family Memories Updated
03AUG2004
Jump To Crew Listing Updated
22MAY2004
Jump To 1966 Recovery Memories Updated
06OCT2003
Jump To Crew Photographs Updated
04AUG2003
HELP BRING VP-5 CREW HOME
On January 12, 1962, twelve good men and fellow crewmates perished on the Kronborg Glacier on the east coast of Greenland. They were the flight crew of LA-9 (BUNO: 131521) aircraft of Patrol Squadron Five (VP-5), U.S.Navy, flying a routine ice patrol out of NAS Keflavik, Iceland (SEE: In Memorial for lost friends...12JAN62).

The crash site and their remains were not discovered until August, 1966, when an expedition of 4 geologists from Oxford University, U.K. were traversing the glacier on foot. A recovery mission was mounted by the Navy in September, 1966, utilizing the Icebreaker USS Atka and helicopters. "Several identifiable remains were recovered," and the aircraft wreck destroyed.

For whatever reasons, some crew remains were left at the crash site. Now, 35 years later, geologists exploring the area have again reported that in the summer months, human remains of these servicemen lie exposed on the glacier. This information is confirmed by the Missing Persons Group, Bureau of Naval Personnel, USN, as being accurate.

There is an upcoming POW/MIA Casualty Conference (November 14-16, 2001 and not open to the public), and the LA-9 issue is on the agenda. The Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii (CILHI) is willing to schedule the recovery of these remains, but the Military Services and Department of Defense support is needed to make it happen and to justify an increase to CILHI's budget to accommodate operational losses (non-hostile) in addition to combat losses (hostile). Public awareness and Congressional support is essential, particularly at this time.

Write your congressional representatives to demand that the Department of Defense and U.S. Navy bring these sailor's remains home for proper burial!
AFTER ALMOST 40 YEARS SINCE THE CRASH
ISN'T IT TIME THEY CAME HOME?

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