NWEF Albuquerque

Naval Weapons Evaluation Facility, Kirkland AFB, Albuquerque, NM

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Naval Weapons Evaluation Facility,
(NWEF) Albuquerque, NM
Patch from G. Verver
 
The Skyhawk Association NWEF website page is dedicated to Commander Henry Hooker Strong, Jr. Cdr Strong was the A-4 Project Officer [as a LT.] at NWEF in 1962-1963 and who, while CO of VA-212, was lost during a strike on the Ben Thuy road bridge three miles south of the city of Vinh on 25 May 1972. Cdr Strong's A-4F Skyhawk BuNo 155045, NP-301, operating from the USS Hancock was last seen by his wingman as he rolled in on the target. Several of the Skyhawks were hit and damaged by the intense flak that filled the air over the target. Some of the pilots thought they heard the Commander report "feet wet" as he crossed the coast but there was no sign of an ejection or wreckage. The most likely cause of the loss is that the aircraft was shot down by flak

Henry Hooker Strong, Jr. was born 27 February 1933 and resided in North Wales PA.

A Board of Inquiry was convened aboard the USS Hancock shortly after CDR Strong disappeared and determined there was a slight chance CDR Strong could have ejected from the crippled aircraft without being seen by other aircrews. However, he wouldn't have escaped detection and capture once on the ground. Because of this small chance for survival, the Board of Inquiry declared CDR Strong to be Missing in Action. CDR Strong was promoted to the rank of Captain during the period he was listed as MIA.

 


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Heritage

  • The Naval Weapons Evaluation Facility (NWEF) Albuquerque, NM began in 1949 as a Naval Air Detachment at Kirtland AFB created in response to the Navy's increasing involvement with nuclear weapons and was later expanded into the Naval Air Special Weapons Facility with a NOTS detachment providing technical staff. NWEF was formally established in 1961 with the combination of its military and technical sub elements to carry out special-weapons integration, safety engineering, operational evaluation, and Fleet support.


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