James Joseph Sansone
Killed In Action - Body Not Recovered
|SYNOPSIS: Seaman James J. Sansone was a crewmember assigned to USS Newport
News (CA 184) on station in the Gulf of Tonkin offshore from the Demilitarized Zone
in Vietnam. On September 10, 1972 at 8:47 a.m., Seaman Sansone was seen to fall overboard from the outboard hatch of a 5"/ 38-gun mount. All main 5"/38-gun mounts
on the Newport News are positioned so that when trained centerline their outboard sides are parallel to the life lines which run fore and aft on the sides of the ship. Since such lines preclude movement of the mounts, they are removed at any time a mount is to be trained outboard in firing position.
Prior to Sansone's fall, the gun mount had been trained to the starboard side in order to
conduct transmission checks. At the conclusion of these checks, a warning bell would
sound to indicate that the mount was about to move and to warn all personnel to clear
As the mount came to centerline, the operator stated that he applied the brake switch
Search and rescue efforts continued with the use of nearby units from the USS Hoel
In our haste to leave an unpopular war, it now appears we abandoned some of our best men. In our haste to heal the wounds of this same war, will we sign their death warrants? Or will we do what we can to bring them home?