EDGAR A. RAWSTHORNE, CDR, USN
Edgar Rawsthorne '49
Date of birth: October 3, 1925
Date of death: December 29, 1965
From the 1949 Lucky Bag:
On 29 December 1965, F-4B #151412 was hit by enemy fire during Operation Barrel Roll and crashed in Mu Gia Pass. The Pilot, CDR Edgar A. Rawsthorne (Commander, VF-92), and his radar intercept officer, LT Arthur S. Hill, were both killed; their bodies were not recovered.
Ed was operating from USS Enterprise (CVN 65) as a part of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 9.
From the February 1966 issue of SHIPMATE:
Cdr. Edgar A. Rawsthorne, USN, died on 29 Dec. in South Vietnam as the result of an aircraft crash while on a night reconnaissance mission from USS Enterprise. Memorial services were held at the Naval Air Station Chapel, Miramar, Calif., on 6 Jan.
Cdr. Rawsthorne, who was born in Globe, Ariz., was graduated from the Naval Academy in 1949. His naval service began in January 1943 with enlistment in the Marine Corps; he served with the 11th Marines in New Guinea and Cape Gloucester, New Britain, from Oct. 1943-May'44.
After designation as a naval aviator in 1951, he served in VG 92 for two years, with deployment to the Western Pacific during the Korean War. He was aide and flag lieutenant on the staff of Commander Carrier Division 1, after which he was a jet instructor in the Advanced Training Command at Corpus Christi.
Following a two-year tour of duty with Carrier Air Wing 6 as LSO and operations officer, he served as a pilot in VG-102 from May 1961-Jan. 1963, then with VX-4 at Pt. Mugu. In 1964 he returned to his first squadron, VF-92, as executive officer and deployed aboard RANGER during strikes on North Vietnam. In July 1965 he became commanding officer of Fighter Squadron 92 aboard ENTERPRISE.
He was awarded many decorations, including the Air Medal with three gold stars; the Commenda- tion Medal Pendant; with combat distinguishing device; the Navy unit citation with star (11th Marines); the Atlantic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal with two bronze stars; Korean Service Medal with two bronze stars. Also the United Nations Service Medal, the Fleet Gold Pistol Medal and the Silver Pistol Medal.
Survivors include his widow, Alta Louise, and four children.
From Find A Grave:
Marital Status: Married - Alta Holmes Rawsthorne, Wife died October 1998, Sons, Danial Andrew Born March 29, 1953, Philip John, Born Sept. 7, 1956 and Charles Steven Rawsthorne born Nov. 10, 1958. Daughter, Ann Rawsthorne born Oct. 28, 1964. Parents: Father, Ralph Arthur Rawsthorne, He was born March 25, 1900 in Hamilton Ontario Canada, and died February 24, 1994 in Eloy, Arizona and Mother, Catherine White Rawsthorne, born July 29, 1906 in Crab Orchard, KY, and died November 05, 1987 in Kern County, CA.
Distinguished Flying Cross
Transcribed from a scanned copy of the citation, provided by email on June 10, 2017:
The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross Posthumously to Commander Edgar A. Rawsthorne, United States Navy, for heroism and extraordinary achievement in aerial flight on 22 December 1965 while serving as Commanding Officer, Fighter Squadron NINETY-TWO, aboard USS ENTERPRISE (CVA(N)-65). As flight leader of the lead division, Commander Rawsthorne led the strike group consisting of thirty-two jet aircraft to the Uong Bi Thermal Power Plant at Haiphong, North Vietnam. At the target area he positioned his wingmen in a most advantageous position and then delivered a low-level bombing attack in the face of intense enemy ground fire. The flight carried thirty-six 500-lb bombs and all were delivered on target. By his outstanding leadership, skilled airmanship, and courageous devotion to duty, Commander Rawsthorne contributed materially to the success of this mission and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.
He was also awarded seven air medals in his career; the last being for the period December 5 - 11, 1965.