Michael Paul Rice of VF-74
By Stan Prince
A VF-74 RIO was killed while attempting a night trap aboard the USS America on Yankee Station. I was up forward ready to disarm his plane. He made a hard landing and FOD'ed an engine and tried climbing his F4 for a go-around. But they ejected out into the night. I picked up his chute just before he plowed into the bow. When my flashlight caught his face he looked at me helplessly as I did him right before his death.
I sometimes wake up at night with his face staring at me for help and there is nothing that can be done. If he had only been ten feet higher I think we could have saved him.
I checked the shis cruise book and found him. His name was Lieutenant Michael Paul Rice. There were no details in the cruise book but a Google search has a short note that he was killed on 13 September, 1972 during a crash lasnding at night.
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