Monthly Meeting Reminder
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
Saddlebrook Recreation Center
1:00 – 3:00pm
Click here for directions.
We have a GREAT meeting planned. Our guest speaker is Captain Don Fraser, USN (Retired). US Naval Academy graduate, A6 Intruder pilot, shot down over Laos, Purple Heart, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with Combat V and more. Don’t miss this exciting meeting as Captain Fraser chronicles his life experiences.
ABOUT Captain Don Fraser
Don was born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey. He graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy with the Class of 1967. He trained in Pensacola as a Naval Flight Officer, and earned his wings of gold in Glynco, Georgia in February 1968. His first operational squadron was Attack Squadron 196, based at Whidbey Island, Washington as a Bombardier/Navigator in the Grumman A6 Intruder. He deployed to WESTPAC on board USS RANGER with them in the fall of 1969. This deployment included line periods in the Gulf of Tonkin, and the Sea of Japan (after the capture of the USS Pueblo). Don’s cruise was cut short when his aircraft was shot down by anti aircraft fire over Laos in February of 1970. Don and his pilot both ejected from their aircraft and evaded capture until their successful recovery on the following day. They were the only complete crew to be rescued out of four combat losses suffered by his squadron. Don’s extensive injuries required three months of hospitalization before he returned to flight status.
Other Navy flying assignments included flight instructor duty with Training Squadron 86 in Pensacola; forward deployment with Attack Squadron 115 in Japan aboard USS MIDWAY – which involved a long deployment to the Indian Ocean area following the Iranian Hostage Crisis of 1979.
Shore duty assignments included two separate tours at the U. S. Naval Academy, and the Navy Military Personnel Command in Washington, DC.
There were 890 graduates in the Naval Academy Class of 1967, forty of them received a total of 45 Purple Hearts from 1968 through 1974. Don has made several presentations recounting his own search and recovery event in “Flight of Another Intruder” and details of a few of his classmates in “Stories of the Purple Heart”.
Don retired from the Navy in 2003 at the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola following a tour as commanding officer of the regional data center there. He then went into the high school teaching business; first, as an NJROTC instructor in the Jacksonville, Florida area and then as a social studies teacher.
His military awards include the Legion of Merit, a Bronze Star with Combat V, the Purple Heart, three Meritorious Service Medals, three strike flight Air Medals and one meritorious Air Medal.
Don moved to The Villages in 2015 and lives in the village of Collier. He is active in several shooting sports, and enjoys many of the activities The Villages offers.