1965 Philippine Sea A-4 incident
A MK43 free-fall nuclear weapon on a handling dolly
|Date||December 5, 1965|
|Summary||Pre-flight human error|
|Site||Philippine Sea, 80 mi (130 km)
E of Ryukyu Islands
|Fatalities||Pilot (LTJG Douglas M. Webster)|
|Aircraft type||Douglas A-4E Skyhawk|
|Operator|| Attack Squadron VA-56
Carrier Air Wing Five
The 1965 Philippine Sea A-4 crash was a Broken Arrow incident in which a United States Navy Douglas A-4E Skyhawk attack aircraft carrying a nuclear weapon fell into the sea from the aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga.
On 5 December 1965, 31 days after Ticonderoga's departure from U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay in the Philippines, the attack jet fell over the side during a training exercise while being rolled from the number 2 hangar bay to the number 2 elevator. The pilot, Lieutenant (junior grade) Douglas M. Webster; the aircraft, Douglas A-4E BuNo 151022 of Attack Squadron 56; and the B43 nuclear bomb were never recovered from the 16,000 ft (4,900 m) depth. The accident occurred 80 miles (130 km) from Okinawa.
- (transcription in YouTube caption) USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) Deck Log (Report). "National Archives"(previously at Washington Navy Yard: Deck Log section). December 5, 1965. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lFHjcMf3s4&feature=related. Retrieved 2012-04-18. NOTE: The Joe Baugher aircraft listing for this A-4 mistakenly identifies different waters (South China Sea near Vietnam) from those specified by the Deck Log's coordinates (E of Ryukyu Islands).
- Gibson, James N. Nuclear Weapons of the United States – An Illustrated History. Atglen, Pennsylvania.: Schiffer Publishing, 1996, LCCN 96-67282, ISBN 0-7643-0063-6, p. 130.
Winchester, Jim, Douglas A-4 Skyhawk: Heineman's Hot Rod. Barnsley, Yorkshire, United Kingdom: Pen & Sword Books, 2005, ISBN 1-84415-085-2, page 199.
- "LTJG Douglas M. Webster". A4skyhawk.org. 1965-12-05. Retrieved 2010-03-28.
- Oskins, James C; Maggelet, Michael H. (2007). Broken Arrow: The Declassified History of U.S. Nuclear Weapons Accidents. Lulu Publishing. p. 217, ch. 29. ISBN 1-4357-0361-8.
- "Ticonderoga Cruise Reports" (Navy.mil weblist of Aug 2003 compilation from cruise reports). Retrieved 2012-04-20. "The National Archives hold[s] deck logs for aircraft carriers for the Vietnam Conflict."
- Broken Arrows at www.atomicarchive.com. Accessed Aug 24, 2007.
- Winchester, Jim, Douglas A-4 Skyhawk: Heineman's Hot Rod. Barnsley, Yorkshire, United Kingdom: Pen & Sword Books, 2005, ISBN 1-84415-085-2, p. 199.
- "U.S. Confirms '65 Loss of H-Bomb Near Japanese Islands". The Washington Post. Reuters. May 9, 1989. p. A-27.
- Washington, D.C.: The Washington Post, "Japan Asks Details On Lost H-Bomb", Wednesday, 10 May 1989, page A-35.