McKinstry, James J., Jr., Capt

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Primary Unit
1968-1968, 772nd Tactical Airlift Squadron
Service Years
1960 - 1968
Officer Collar Insignia

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt Stephen Willcox-Deceased to remember McKinstry, James J., Jr., Capt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
Apr 26, 1968
Hostile, Died
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Thua Thien (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
San Francisco National Cemetery - San Francisco, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
52E Line 002

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 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

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Aviator (Basic)

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
Air Training CommandStrategic Air Command (SAC)Tactical Air Command (TAC)463rd Tactical Airlift Wing
772nd Tactical Airlift Squadron
  1960-1960, Air Training Command
  1961-1961, Air Training Command
  1961-1966, Strategic Air Command (SAC)
  1966-1967, Tactical Air Command (TAC)
  1968-1968, 463rd Tactical Airlift Wing
  1968-1968, 772nd Tactical Airlift Squadron
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1968-1968 Vietnam War
  1968-1968 Vietnam Air/Ground (Tet Counteroffensive) Campaign (1968)/Operation Delaware / Lam Son 216
 Colleges Attended 
University of California, Berkeley
  1955-1959, University of California, Berkeley
 My Aircraft/Missiles
KC-97 Stratotanker  C-130 Hercules  
  1961-1966, KC-97 Stratotanker
  1967-1968, C-130 Hercules
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
To read a detailed story of the events leading up to the crash of Capt. McKinstry's aircraft, see The following is an excerpt from an article authored by Sam McGowan, USAF at the website which relates specifically to the the crash:

"At about three in the afternoon a crew from the 29th TAS at Clark, commanded by Major Lilburn, a popular pilot in the 463rd wing, approached the drop zone. They broke out a little further down the valley than most of the airplanes had, and were exposed to enemy fire for a much longer period. No fighter had made an appearance in the valley. The men on the ground at A Luoi watched as the C-130 began taking hits from 37-MM and 50-caliber fire. All radio transmissions were silenced as the enemy shells knocked out the radios. As the airplane came over the drop zone, the combat control team could see holes in both wings while one engine was streaming either smoke or fuel and smoke flowed from the open cargo doors. Apparently, the load of ammunition had been set fire. Major Stow attempted to make an emergency landing, but as the airplane made a descending turn toward the runway it struck trees and exploded. All six crewmembers and two USAF combat photographers who were aboard to record the mission were killed..."
For more biographical information about Captain McKinstry visit:
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