The date was May 24, 1965.
The mission was to bomb recently discovered “hard targets” near the border
between North and South Viet Nam and return damage assessment photos to the
The crew aboard ZB-10, bureau
no. 138974, VAH-4, Det. Golf, was
Lcdr. Richard Skeen, pilot,
and Frank Dublin, AO2, crewman.
The other VAH-4, A3B crew
Lcdr. Richard Walls, pilot,
Lt.j.g. Ignatius Signorelli, bombardier,
Nunez, AOC, crewman,
and the photographer was Lt.j.g. Rick Lippincott carrying a
35mm camera sitting in the jump seat.
The plan was for each A3 to
dive bomb together and the A3 carrying the photographer would pull out of the
dive and do a loop coming back over target and Lt.j.g. Lippincott would take
the damage assessment photos.
As we started the dive to
target Lt.j.g. Lippincott centered ZB-10 in his lens and when the “bombs away”
tone sounded he snapped the picture. It was a perfect capture with the bomb
clearly visible being ejected from the bomb bay.
The damage assessment photos,
after being returned to the ship, apparently revealed that the target was
destroyed and no follow up flights were required.