John Robert Painter, Jr.
Killed In Action - Body Not Recovered
|SYNOPSIS: Lt. John R. Painter, Jr. was a pilot assigned to Tactical Electronic Warfare
Squadron 130, Detachment 3. On June 18, 1971, he launched in his EKA3B Skywarrior
aircraft on an operational flight. The other crew onboard the aircraft that day consisted
of Lt.JG Raymond V. DeBlasio and ADJ2 Barry A. Bidwell.
The A3 Skywarrior is a three-place light bomber, reconnaisance plane, electronic warfare craft or aerial tanker, depending upon its outfitting. The Skywarrior flown by Painter aircraft was outfitted to serve as the tanker aircraft, prepared to render valuable assistance to other aircraft returning to the ship with very little fuel. This was an extremely important job, as some types of fighter aircraft launched with a minimum amount of fuel in order to accomodate a heavier bomb load, and sometimes arrived back at ship low on fuel.
Upon launch, Painter's aircraft had some mechanical failure and crashed into the Gulf
The three-man crew were listed as killed, body not recovered. They are among over
In our haste to leave an unpopular war, it now appears we abandoned some of our best
men. In our haste to heal the wounds of this same war, will we sign their death warrants?