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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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From World War II to Operation Desert Storm. The "Fighting Shamrocks" from VMSB to VMFA have served and sacrificed gallantly every time it has been called upon. From the cold inside the Artic Circle at Bodo Norway to the heat and dirt of Balıkesir Turkey. Shamrocks have left their mark.


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