From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall
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Donald Rissi '55

Date of birth: March 20, 1931

Date of death: December 18, 1972

Age: 41

Lucky Bag

From the 1955 Lucky Bag:

1955 Rissi LB 2.jpg


From the Vietnam Virtual Wall:

The "Christmas bombing" of North Vietnam began on the night of 18/19 Dec 1972 with a total of 129 B-52 bombers directed against a number of high-value targets in and around Hanoi. The operation consisted of three waves of heavy bombers spaced several hours apart. B-52G tail number 58-0201 (340th Bomb Sqd, 72nd Strat Wing) was in the first wave and was targeted against the Yen Vien railway yard 2 miles north of Hanoi but was struck by two SA-2 surface-to-air missiles before bomb release. Three of the crewmen were able to escape the burning aircraft, but three were not:

- LtCol Donald L. Rissi, Collinsville, IL
- Capt Robert J. Thomas, Miami, FL
- SMSgt Walter L. Ferguson, Detroit, MI

Their remains were repatriated on 23 August 1978. The other three crewman were captured and released with the other American POWs in early 1973. They were Major Richard E. Johnson, Captain Robert G. Certain, and Captain Richard T. Simpson.

Related Articles

Thomas Moore '55 was also in 1st Company.

Class of 1955

Donald is one of 34 members of the Class of 1955 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.