LEONARD F. VOGT, JR., CDR, USN

From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Leonard Vogt, Jr. '49

Date of birth: June 7, 1925

Date of death: September 18, 1965

Age: 40

Lucky Bag

From the 1949 Lucky Bag:


Loss

From Task Force Omega:

On 18 September 1965, Cmdr. Leonard F. Vogt, Jr., pilot and Commanding Officer of Attack Squadron 75; and Lt. Robert F. Barber, bombardier/navigator; comprised the crew of an A6A Intruder (aircraft serial #151588) that launched from the deck of the USS Independence as the lead aircraft in a flight of four conducting a night strike mission against the North Vietnamese Navy Swatow torpedo patrol boats that were based at Dao Bach Long Island. The island was located well out to sea in the Gulf of Tonkin approximately 76 miles southeast of the major port city of Haiphong.

When the flight entered the target area, Cmdr. Vogt established radio contact with the Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center (ABCCC). After receiving updated weather and mission instructions, the flight was given clearance to commence operations. They found two enemy patrol boats just south of the island and one of the Intruders dropped flares to illuminate the surface of the water while the other aircraft made attack passes on the gunboats.

Just as Cmdr. Vogt and Lt. Barber approached the target, the flares burnt out. Leonard Vogt continued through the attack run on the gunboat and dropped his bombs. Shortly afterward the other pilots reported seeing a huge fireball on the surface of the water. During their after action debriefings, each reported it was his belief that the explosion was caused by the Intruder impacting the water. However, they were unable to determine if Lead had been hit by the heavy anti-aircraft artillery fire (AAA) directed at it by enemy gunners onboard the boats, or if the Intruder flew into the sea because of pilot disorientation or instrument failure. In the darkness no parachutes were seen and no emergency beepers heard.

Mike was Commanding Officer of Attack Squadron 75 (VA-75) at the time he was shot down. He was survived by his wife and four children.

Obituary

From the November 1965 issue of SHIPMATE:

LEONARD FREDERICK VOGT, JR. '49

Cdr. Leonard F . Vogt, USN, died on 18 Sept. as the result of an aircraft crash while engaged in night bombing attacks on enemy patrol in the Gulf of Tonkin. Memorial services were held 23 Sept. in the Naval Air Station Chapel, Oceana, Va.

Cdr. Vogt attended the Illinois Institute of Technology as part of the V -12 Program before entering the Naval Academy, from where he was graduated in 1949. He then had flight training at Pensacola, and was designated a naval aviator in 1950. In 1952 he attended the Naval Postgraduate School at Monterey, and in 1955 received a Master of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from Princeton University.

In 1960 he was graduated from the Naval Test Pilot School at the NATC, Patuxent, then served as an attack weapon system project pilot and as assistant chief project officer at the Service Test Division until June 1962. Following duty on the staff of the Operational Test and Evaluation Force in Norfolk, he went to Attack Squadron 52, the training squadron for the Grumman A-6A Intruder, then became executive officer of Attack Squadron 75. He assumed command of the squadron in August.

He is survived by his widow, Nancy, and four children, Michael, Patricia, Christopher and Mary Jane, … and his parents.

Remembrances

From the November 1965 issue of SHIPMATE:

The war in Vietnam extracted a heavy price from the class of 1949 with the death of Mike VOGT on 18 Sept. Mike was killed by enemy action while leading a flight conducting night attacks on Viet Cong forces. At the time, he was CO of Attack Squadron 7 5 operating from USS INDEPENDENCE. This squadron is composed of the Navy's most advanced carrier-based attack aircraft, the A6A Intruder. Mike had lived with this aircraft from its inception. He worked on its design, flew it as a test pilot and introduced it into combat. It was truly his plane! His loss deprives the country of an outstanding aviator and one of its most dedicated and competent naval officers. He lived up to the faith placed in him on graduation when he was awarded the wristwatch presented annually to the midshipman most likely to succeed in naval aviation. No award was more richly deserved.

The Chapel at Naval Air Station, Oceana, overflowed with classmates, old shipmates and friends who paid their respects during memorial services conducted on 23 September. The esteem in which Mike was held was evident by the number of senior officers in attendance, including the Commander in Chief Adantic, Adm. T.H Moorer.

The class extends its deepest sympathy to Nancy and the four children. The courage and faith which they have shown would have been a source of pride to Mike.

Distinguished Flying Cross

1949 Vogt 1.jpg

From Hall of Valor:

(Citation Needed) - SYNOPSIS: Commander Leonard Frederick Vogt, Jr. (NSN: 0-521938), United States Navy, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) for sustained heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight as pilot of an A-6A aircraft from 1 July to 18 September 1965, in developing strike tactics for the A-6A aircraft while operating in the combat environment of Southeast Asia.

General Orders: All Hands (September 1967)
Action Date: July 1 - September 18, 1965
Service: Navy
Rank: Commander


Class of 1949

Leonard is one of 40 members of the Class of 1949 in Memorial Hall.