Name: Malcolm Arthur "Art" Avore 
Rank/Branch: Lieutenant/US Navy 
Unit: Attack Squadron 163, USS Oriskany (CVA-34) 

Date of Birth: 25 August 1938
Home of Record: Hallwell, ME
Date of Loss: 18 July 1965 
Country of Loss: South Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 091959N 1085057E (BL638323)
Click coordinates to view maps

Status in 1973: Killed/Body Not Recovered 
Category: 5
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A4E "Skyhawk"
Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing) 


SYNOPSIS:  The Douglas A4 Skyhawk was a single-seat light attack jet flown by both land-based and carrier squadrons, and was the US Navy's standard light attack aircraft at the outset of the war. It was the only carrier-based aircraft that did not have folding wings as well as the only one that required a ladder for the pilot to enter/exit the cockpit. The Skyhawk was used to fly a wide range of missions throughout Southeast Asia including close air support to American troops on the ground in South Vietnam. Flying from a carrier was dangerous and as many aircraft were lost in "operational incidents" as in combat.

In 1965 when the USS Oriskany returned to Vietnam, it was initially stationed off the coast of South Vietnam, in Dixie Station, to conduct a series of training exercises for both its aircrews and ship's company. While there, an explosion seriously damaged one of the principle US Air Force installations in the region affording the Navy pilots the unique opportunity to fly combat missions in southern South Vietnam.

On 18 July 1965, Lt. Malcolm A. "Art" Avore launched from the deck of the USS Oriskany in an A4E, aircraft number BU-151089, to conduct a combat mission over the southern-most region of South Vietnam. At the time the Skyhawk was launched, the aircraft carrier was approximately 139 miles southeast of Vung Tau and 175 miles southeast of Saigon.

During the launch sequence, a malfunction occurred with the ship's catapult system resulting in the Skyhawk not having enough speed to complete a successful launch. The aircraft initially slightly rose from the deck before loosing altitude and ditching in the South China Sea. Search and rescue (SAR) helicopters, which are always standing by during flight launch and recovery operations in case of an emergency, were on-site within minutes, but were unable to rescue Lt. Avore before the Skyhawk sank below the waves.

Navel personnel, using aircraft and small boats, searched the area in which the A4E disappeared on the outside chance the pilot was able to exit the aircraft and swim to the surface. Unfortunately, no trace of Lt. Avore was found. At the time the initial search effort was terminated, Art Avore was reported as Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered and probably not recoverable.<?p>

While the fate of Art Avore is not in doubt, he has a right to have his remains returned to his family, friends and country if at all humanly possible. Above all else, he has the right not to be forgotten by the nation for which they gave his life.

For other Americans who remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, their fate could be quite different. Since the end of the Vietnam War well over 21,000 reports of American prisoners, missing and otherwise unaccounted for have been received by our government. Many of these reports document LIVE American Prisoners of War remaining captive throughout Southeast Asia TODAY.

American pilots in Vietnam were called upon to fly in many dangerous circumstances and they were prepared to be wounded, killed or captured. It probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country they so proudly served. Malcolm Arthur Avore graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1960.