LEON F HAAS - LT
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- April 03, 1943
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- July 17, 1972
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- North Vietnam
Leon F. Haas was born on April 3, 1943. His home of record is Newton, NJ.
He enlisted in the US Navy and attained the rank of Lieutenant (LT).
Haas is listed as missing in action as of July 17, 1972.
Synopsis (from the POW Network) as to the circumstances behind being listed as MIA:
The USS ORISKANY was a World War II-era carrier on duty in Vietnam as early as 1964. The ORISKANY at one time carried the RF8A (number 144608) flown by Maj. John H. Glenn, the famous Marine astronaut (and later Senator) flew in his 1957 transcontinental flight. In October 1966, the ORISKANY endured a tragic fire which killed 44 men onboard, but was soon back on station. In 1972, the ORISKANY had an at-sea accident which resulted in the loss of one of its aircraft elevators, and later lost a screw that put the carrier into drydock in Yokosuka, Japan for major repairs, thus delaying its involvement until the late months of the war.
The Vought A7 Corsair II was a single-seat attack jet utilized by both the Navy and Air Force in Vietnam. The aircraft was designed to meet the Navy's need for a subsonic attack plane able to carry a greater load of non-nuclear weapons than the A4 Skyhawk. The aircraft's unique design completely freed the wingspace for bomb loading; the Pratt and Whitney jet engine was beneath the fuselage of the aircraft. The Corsair was used primarily for close air support and interdiction, although it was also used for reconnaissance. A Corsair is credited with flying the last official combat mission in the war - bombing a target in Cambodia on 15 August 1973.
Lieutenant Leon F. Haas was a pilot assigned to Attack Squadron 155 on board the USS ORISKANY. On July 17, 1972, Haas was assigned a night surveillance mission near the city of Vinh in Nghe An Province, North Vietnam.
During the mission, Haas flew his aircraft into the water about 5 miles off the coast of North Vietnam in an attempt to evade hostile fire or possible mid-air collision with another aircraft. He was not recovered, and was thought to have died when the aircraft crashed. He was initially listed missing in action, but his status was later changed to killed in action.
Sources: POW Network and NJVVMF.
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