While flying Search and Rescue (SAR) during the evacuation of Saigon (Operation Frequent Wind) on April 29, 1975, YT14 flew into the water at a shallow angle during an approach to a night landing on the carrier, USS Hancock. Two crewman survived; both pilots, Captain William Nystul and 1st Lt. Michael Shea, are MIA.
Crash coordinates: North 09 55 32 East 107 20 06 9 (South China Sea)
Water depth at crash location: 65-100ft
Sediment deposits: “The sediment rate is very very limited, maybe 1cm/hundred years.” Z. George Xue, Ph.D., Z. George Xue, Ph.D., Asst. Professor, Dept. of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, Louisiana State University
United States Navy, Military Sealift Command (MSC) inventory includes the ships required for shallow water search: A. Oceanographic Survey Ships (USNS Pathfinder and 5 sister ships) B. Salvage ships (USNS Salvor and 3 sister ships), which have carried out previous MIA underwater, recovery missions
Fullest possible accounting: “President Obama expressed his appreciation for Vietnam’s continued cooperation in providing for the fullest possible accounting for U.S. personnel missing in action (MIA).” Joint Whitehouse meeting statement; President Barack Obama and President Truong Tan Sang of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam 7/25/13.
On August 1, 2015 the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum conducted a retirement ceremony for the CH-46 Sea Knight which served America’s military for more than 50 years. The aircraft featured in the retirement ceremony is loaned to the National Air and Space Museum and will remain on display at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center until an expansion of the National Museum of the United States Marine Corps is complete in the coming years. The aircraft displayed memorializes YT14 and her MIA pilots, Captain Nystul and 1st Lt. Shea