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U.S.-POW Flag over the Punchbowl National Cemetery

"We sleep safe in our beds
because rough men stand
ready in the night to visit
violence on those who would
do us harm"
                                                    -George Orwell

 

 

 


Artwork courtesy of the POW Network

Eternal Father, grant, we pray,
To all Marines, both night and day,
The courage, honor, strength, and skill
Their land to serve, thy law fulfill;
Be thou the shield forevermore
From every peril to the Corps.
 

 


Flags  copyrighted by Stephen R. Scherr. © 2001-2003  Do not use without permission.

 

CONSOLVO, JOHN WADSWORTH JR


2nd Lt John W. Consolvo Jr USMC
Official US Navy Photo,

Photo Courtesy of the Consolvo Family

 

Capt. Consolvo's name on the Vietnam Wall-National Military Cemetery of the Pacific
Punchbowl National Cemetery

 

 

Name: John Wadsworth Consolvo, Jr.
Rank/Branch: O3/US Marine Corps
Unit: Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 212, 1st Brigade, MAG 24
Date of Birth: 08 January 1944
Home City of Record: Ft. Belvoir VA
Date of Loss: 07 May 1972
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 164800N 1065700E (YD010555)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F4J BuNo #155576
Refno: 1845
Other Personnel In Incident: James J. Castonguay, successfully ejected

 

Arlington National Cemetery
Section: MI  #72

Capt. John W. Consolvo Jr. feature as Story of the Week
at Arlington Cemetery Website!

 

On March 22, 2003 the "Band of Brothers-USMC" honored Capt. Consolvo, his Family and friends by laying a wreath at his Memorial Headstone
(Click on the photos to view larger image)

http://www.bandofbrothersusmc.org

Photos above courtesy of the "Band of Brothers-USMC

NATIONAL LEAGUE OF FAMILIES
OF AMERICAN PRISONERS AND MISSING IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

FREEDOM ISN'T FREE

I WATCHED THE FLAG PASS BY ONE DAY,
IT FLUTTERED IN THE BREEZE.
A YOUNG MARINE SALUTED IT,
AND THEN, HE STOOD AT EASE.

I LOOKED AT HIM IN UNIFORM,
SO YOUNG, SO TALL, SO PROUD,
WITH HAIR CUT SQUARE AND EYES ALERT
HE'D STAND OUT IN ANY CROWD.

I THOUGHT HOW MANY MEN LIKE HIM
HAD FALLEN THROUGH THE YEARS.
HOW MANY DIED ON FOREIGN SOIL?
HOW MANY MOTHER'S TEARS?

HOW MANY PILOT'S PLANES SHOT DOWN?
HOW MANY DIED AT SEA?
HOW MANY FOXHOLES WERE SOLDIER'S GRAVES?
NO ... FREEDOM IS NOT FREE!

I HEARD THE SOUND OF TAPS ONE NIGHT,
 WHEN EVERYTHING WAS STILL
 I LISTENED TO THE BUGLER PLAY,
AND FELT A SUDDEN CHILL.
I WONDERED JUST HOW MANY TIMES
THAT TAPS HAD MEANT "AMEN"
WHEN A FLAG HAD COVERED A COFFIN
OF A LOVED ONE OR A FRIEND.

I THOUGHT OF ALL THE CHILDREN,
OF THE MOTHERS AND THE WIVES,
OF FATHERS, SONS AND HUSBANDS,
WITH INTERRUPTED LIVES.
I THOUGHT ABOUT A GRAVEYARD
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA,
OF UNMARKED GRAVES IN ARLINGTON
 ... NO ... FREEDOM IS NOT FREE!

This poem was written by a high school ROTC student

 


Photo Courtesy of the Steven P. Albright Collection

 

Capt. John W. Consolvo was on a combat mission out of DaNang, South Vietnam when his aircraft was hit by ground fire as he pulled off target. He flew the aircraft about 18 miles to a safer bail-out area before the craft became uncontrollable. Although Consolvo's mission was in South Vietnam near the DMZ, the ground fire that struck his aircraft came from Laos.  "John radioed that the aircraft was incapacitated and ordered his radar intercept officer, CWO James J. Castonguay, to eject. The officer successfully reached the ground, was rescued after 19 hours and returned to DaNang."

The F4 crashed 3-4 miles from the location the RIO landed, in enemy territory (probably just inside Laos). Although the RIO did not see his pilot eject, he believed he could have easily ejected and probably did. The wingman and forward air controller on the mission did not see him eject, but they had been unable to keep the plane constantly in sight. John Consolvo flew over 150 combat missions on his first tour of Vietnam. He was into his second tour when he was shot down on May 7, 1972. He had been in the Marine Corps since 1966.

If John Consolvo was unfortunate enough to be apprehended by the Pathet Lao, he is among nearly 600 Americans who disappeared without trace. The Pathet Lao stated on several occasions that they held "tens of tens" of American prisoners, yet not one man held in Laos was ever released - or negotiated for. Circumstances surrounding his crash indicate that the Vietnamese or Lao could account for his fate - alive or dead. John Consolvo does not deserve the abandonment he has received by the country he proudly served.
 

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1991 from one or more of
the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence
with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W.
NETWORK 1998 with information from Steven P. Albright.

Captain John W. Consolvo Jr. is on panel 01W, Line 014 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

 

    
Capt. Consolvo piloting his F4J over Hawaii  
(Photo courtesy the Steven Albright Collection)
 


Capt. Consolvo's Aircraft is the F4J with the Stars & Stripes on Tail Fin that he flew on 07 May '72
(Click on photo to enlarge)
Photo Courtesy of the Steven P. Albright Collection

 

VMFA-212 Hawaii 1971
Click on photo to enlarge
(Capt Consolvo directly behind officer on right holding sign)

 Taken from VMFA-542 Cruise Book
1970 (Click on photo to enlarge)

Photos Courtesy of the Steven P. Albright Collection

 

CAPTAIN JOHN W. CONSOLVO., JR. “JACK”

UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

BORN: 8 JANUARY 1944

MISSING IN ACTION - 7 MAY 1972

On 7 May 1972, Captain Consolvo departed DaNang, Vietnam, piloting an F4-.J on a bombing mission to strike SAM missiles on transporters. As he pulled off target his aircraft was bit and the left engine was on fire. He maneuvered his aircraft towards an area that provided a greater chance of escape and evasion.  His FAG observed that while the aircraft was uncontrollable the mechanics of ejection could still be performed. Captain Consolvo ordered his RIO to got out.  The FAG and Wingman did not see the RIO eject but did see his chute on impact.  The RIO was picked up twenty four hours later, The combination of interrupted observation of Captain Consolvo’s aircraft and the distance the aircraft traveled after the RIO ejected makes the unobserved ejection of Captain Consolvo highly probable. Due to ejecting over hostile territory, Captain Consolvo would be limited in his ability to contact friendly forces if his survival radio was lost or inoperative.

Captain Consolvo graduated from Auburn High School, Auburn, Alabama, in 1961.  he graduated from Sullivan’s Prep School in Washington, DC in 1962, ranking number one in 1-in his class.

Entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1962., graduated in 1966 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.  Basic training, Quantico Virginia.

Reported to Pensacola Florida for flight training, Designated Naval Aviator, July, 1968. Further training, Meridian, Mississippi and Beeville., Texas,

First duty stations El Toro, Marine Corps Air Stations California.  Served six Months in Marine Fighter/Attack Squadron 542 :in DaNang, Vietnam from July 1969 to Jan. 1970., flying over 150 combat missions. From Jan. 1970 to July 1970, served as Air Liaison Officer with Division of Air Offices Hdqrs. First Marine Division, Vietnam.

Joined Marine Fighter/Attack Squadron 212, Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station, Honolulu, August 1970. The-squadron was deployed to DaNang Vietnam in April 1972,

AWARDS:.

Distinguished Flying Cross'. Bronze Star with Combat ''V'', Air Medal (First thru nineteen Strike/Flight Awards, Air Medal (Bronze Star for first award)., Air Medal (Gold Star in lieu of second award) a Navy Commendation Medal. Purple' Heart,, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service medal and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

 

 

 

Statement of Captain Consolvo's Wingman concerning the missing in action status of Captain J. W. CONSOLVO Jr.  USMC 

    On 7 May 1972, 1 was assigned to be the wingman for Bootleg 5 flight. The lead aircraft crew was Captain Jack CONSOLVO and CWO-3'Jim CASTONGUAY. After take-off at DaNang AB, the flight proceeded north to rendezvous with Seafax 01 an P-4 FAC off Quang Tri. We proceeded inbound to the-tar- get which was a suspected SAM storage depot located about 10 miles north of the DMZ. The FAC briefed us that they had SAM's on trailers and some trucks and that he would mark the target. On Captain CONSOLVO's first run, he did not drop any ordnance. On our first run, we dropped six MK-82 bombs. As Captain CONSOLVO pulled off from his second run, I observed what appeared to- be fuel streaming from under the left side of the aircraft. Almost Immediately, Captain CONSOLVO reported th4it he had been hit and that he bad a fire warning lite on the left engine. He turned the air- craft toward the south west and started climbing. We .followed Captain CONSOLVO out of the target area. My RIO,  picked up Captain CONSOLVO's aircraft on radar at 25 degrees right and 1.5 miles ahead. The Air Force PAC was in trail of Captain CONSOLVO and told him to shut down his left engine. 'Captain CONSOLVO acknowledged and almost immediately, his aircraft went into uncontrollable flight. The FAC told the crew to eject, but I did not see any ejection. This can be contributed to the fact that the aircraft was rolling away from me and also start- ed burning in flight. I observed the smoke coming up after the aircraft impacted the ground. We tried to con- tact the FAC on UHF but could not. We did make contact with King 26 on guard and gave him the TACAN position off .Channel 69 (Hue-Phu Bai) where the aircraft crashed. We proceeded feet-wet still trying to contact the FAC and also asking King 26 if we could be of any assistance. After orbiting for about 10 minutes we proceeded back to DaNang.

 

 

I Statement of Wingman's RIO concerning the missing in action status of Captain J. W. CONSOLVO Jr. USMC 

     On 7 May 1972, we were assigned as wing on Bootleg 5 flight -led by Captain Jack CONSOLVO and CWC-3 Jim CASTONGUAY.  We -took off from DaNang AB at approximately 1415 local time and proceeded north to-rendezvous with- Seafox 01, ad P-4 FAC controlling the area, feetwet off of Quang Tri City. After the rendezvous, the flight-proceeded inland to the target area some 10 miles north of the DMZ. Seafox 01 marked the target with a smoke and stated that it was missiles on trucks. Captain CONSOLVO made his first run and dropped no ordnance, then we made our first run and dropped 6 MK-82 bombs. Captain CONSOLVO made his second run and while he was pulling off target' I observed that -he had been hit. He then acknowledged over UHF that he was hit and had a' fire warning light on the left engine. We aborted our second run and told Captain CONSOLVO and CWO-3 CASTONGUAY that we were following them out of the@ target area. We were at about 15,000 feet and kept them in sight both visually and on radar. Seafox O1, pulled up In trail of Captain CONSOLVO and told him to shut down his left engine because he was on fire. Captain CONSOLVO acknowledged that he was shutting his left engine down. Seafox 01 then told Captain CONSOLVO and CWO-3 CASTONGUAY to get out because he was still on fire. Almost immediately Captain CONSOLVO called over UHF that-ii-e-was losing control of the air- craft. I saw the aircraft impact the ground but was unable to see any ejections. I was unable to contact -- Seafox 01 so I switched to guard and talked with King 26. 1 advised them of the situation and gave them the TACAN position off-Ch 69 (Hue-Phu Bai) where 'I had seen the aircraft -Impact.- We then proceeded feetwet where we held for about 10 minutes talking with King 26 to see if any assistance was required in the SAR effort. We then proceeded to DaNang and landed uneventfully. This statement is true to the best of my knowledge.

 

 

Click on above to read the report from the Joint Task Force-Full Accounting

Click on the above  map of the Quang Tri Province. 
Location "B" is where Capt. Consolvo's RIO Parachuted.
Location "A" is believed to be where Capt. Consolvo's Aircraft went down .

 

Read letter to President George W. Bush (31 July, 2001)

 

 

To view the above brochure click on each page.

 

Capt. John W. Consolvo has been adopted by the Virtual Military Command-Navy 

The Virtual Military Command Navy emulates operations of the United States Navy .

VMC Navy includes Surface, Naval Aviation, Submarines and Special Operations Forces.

Our primary focus is realism, but We are in no way affiliated with the US Navy or any other Government organization.


Thanks to the 1st Battalion, Third Marines, Third Marine Division site for these graphics

 


Click on above for my Awards Page

 

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Updated: 11/01/03 22:17:34

I would like to thank the Consolvo Family for their assistance, support and friendship

The Banner at the top of the page is Courtesy of Jacquie Scherr

All Photos on this site are copyrighted, please do not copy or download without permission

Copyright © 2001-2003 Stephen R. Scherr

 

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