CARLOS A. MILLER, LT, USN
Carlos Miller '80
Date of birth: January 20, 1958
Date of death: January 23, 1985
January 23, 1985, the VA-3B disappeared from a radar tracking screen approximately 125 nautical miles north of Guam. The subsequent JAG investigation, completed in September, reported the Skywarrior took off from Atsugi at about 1000 Guam time. Twenty minutes later the crew contacted the VQ-1 detachment at Atsugi and reported an air turbine motor (ATM) was malfunctioning. The VA-3B continued on its course and stayed in radio contact with Navy officials, first on Iwo lima, and then on Guam. At 1230 Guam time the navigator reported the starboard ATM was shut down and the port one was heating up. Seventeen minutes later the aircrew requested permission to descend from 33,000 to 20,000 ft. Four minutes later, at 1251, radar contact was lost with the stricken aircraft. A massive air and sea search and rescue effort failed to locate any trace of the VA-3B or its crew and passengers.
An endorsement to the accident investigation by VADM James E. Service, Commander Naval Air Pacific, summed up by saying: “Although the exact cause of the mishap cannot be determined from available information, dual ATM failure with resultant flight control problems is the conclusion best supported by the circumstantial evidence.” The ATMs provide power for the hydraulic pumps, which in turn power the flight control surfaces.
CDR John T. Mitchell (Squadron Commander), LCDR Robert E. Delateur, LT Carlos A. Miller, LT Marshall L. Laird, LTjg Richard A. Thomson, AMSC John T. Clark, AEC David K. Nichols, AT3 Thomas J. Jorgenson, AD3 Thomas J. Degryse.