Page Is Dedicated To
James J. Sansone.
|Thanks to Joni's Patriotic Graphics.
- Name: James Joseph Sansone
- Rank/Branch: E3/US Navy
- Unit: Crewman, USS NEWPORT NEWS
- Date of Birth: 24 March 1950
- Home City of Record: Norwood MA
- Date of Loss: 10 August 1972
- Country of Loss: North
- Loss Coordinates: 165544N
- Status (in 1973): Killed/Body
- Category: 5
- Other Personnel in Incident:
by Homecoming II Project 01 September 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data
from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published
James J. Sansone wa a crewmember assigned to USS NEWPORT NEWS (CA 184) on station in the
Gulf of Tonkin offshore from the Demilitarized Zone in Vietnam. On September 10, 1972 at
8:47 a.m., Seaman Sansone was seen to fall overboard from the outboard hatch of a 5"
/ 38-gun mount. All main 5" /38-gun mounts on the NEWPORT NEWS are positioned so that
when trained centerline their outboard sides are parallel to the life lines which run fore
and aft on the sides of the ship. Since such lines preclude movement of the mounts, they
are removed at any time a mount is to be trained outboard in firing position.
Sansone's fall, the gun mount had been trained to the starboard side in order to conduct
transmission checks. At the conclusion of these checks, a warning bell would sound to
indicate that the mount was about to move and to warn all personnel to clear the area
around it. Seaman Sansone was apparently in a position half in and half out of the mount's
As the mount came to centerline, the operator stated that he applied the brake switch and
the mount jerked in a quick movement of two or three degrees each way as it came to rest.
It was at this moment that Sansone was seen to fall into the water. "Man
Overboard" was immediately sounded. Seaman Sansone was seen by several ship's crew to
be swimming toward one of the life rings and appeared to be unhurt. He sank beneath the
surface several times before reaching any ring, and was not seen again after going under
the fifth time. A rescue helicopter was overhead just as he disappeared below the water's
Search and rescue efforts continued with the use of nearby units from the USS HOEL and USS
ANDERSON, but failed to produce any sign of Seaman Sansone. He was placed in a category of
Killed, Body Not Recovered. He is among nearly 2500 Americans who remain unaccounted for
from the Vietnam war. The cases of some, like Sansone, seem clear - that they perished and
cannot be recovered. Unfortunately, mounting evidence indicates that hundreds of Americans
are still captive, waiting for the country they proudly served to secure their freedom.
In our haste to leave an unpopular war, it now appears we abandoned some of our best men.
In our haste to heal the wounds of this same war, will we sign their death warrants? Or
will we do what we can to bring them home?
Biographical and loss information on POWs provided by Operation Just Cause have been
supplied by Chuck and Mary Schantag of POWNET. Please check with
regularly for updates."
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