• Rolling Thunder

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    Name: Rolling Thunder
    Date: March 23, 2019
    Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT
    Event Description:


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 11, 2019

    Saturday March 23, 2019 2:00 pm

    Mercer County Judicial Center 224 South Main St Harrodsburg, KY 40330 ROLLING THUNDER Remembrance & Wreath Laying Ceremony

    For Harrodsburg, Ky Vietnam POW​​MIA Lieutenant Commander John Bethel Tapp US Navy VA-93, Carrier Air Wing 9 - USS Enterprise
    Born 06 September,1933 - Harrodsburg, KY
    Date last seen 23 March,1966 - South China Sea, North Vietnam

    “As a community we can never forget about the ones we left behind on the battlefield. Your primary mission at Rolling Thunder is to remember. We are honored that we have the opportunity to bring awareness to the public so they know we will never forget the sacrifice,” said Todd Matonich, a United States Navy Veteran and Board Member at Rolling Thunder®, Inc. Kentucky Chapter 5.

    On 23 March 1966, as part of Operation Rolling Thunder, Lt Commander Tapp launched his Douglas A-4 Skyhawk Aircraft from the USS Enterprise as the leader of a nighttime armed reconnaissance mission into enemy territory in North Vietnam. He navigated directly to his assigned target where he completed his attack on enemy installations. Anti-aircraft fire was observed in the area, but John reported no difficulty.

    After departing the coast and returning from his 64th combat mission toward the Enterprise, he and his wingman checked each other’s aircrafts for damage. None was observed.

    At about 8 miles out, Lt Commander Tapp’s A-4 faded from the ship’s radar scope and he failed to respond to radio calls. Two Helicopters and Two Destroyers were immediately dispatched to the area to assist the search with the Enterprise. The sky began to show signs of daybreak about an hour later and an oil slick was spotted. Scattered wreckage was recovered and identified as belonging to John’s aircraft.


    Todd Matonich, Rolling Thunder KY 5 859-595-2770 RollingThunderKY5@gmail.com RollingThunderKY5.org

    Lt Commander John Bethel Tapp has never been found. He left behind a wife, a daughter and a son.

    On Saturday, March 23rd, Rolling Thunder KY 5 will lay a Wreath in a short ceremony to remember Lt Commander Tapp at the Mercer County Judicial Center Vietnam Monument on the lawn.

    We encourage the public to join us in remembering and honoring those who never returned. The major function of Rolling Thunder, Inc. is to publicize and create awareness of the POW​​MIA issue. For further information about Rolling Thunder KY 5 and its mission, please go to www.rollingthunderky5.org.

    Follow us on Facebook : @Rolling Thunder KY5 and Instagram : @rollingthunderky5

    Rolling Thunder®, Inc KY 5, is based in Lexington, Kentucky, and is recognized as a 501(C)(4), all-volunteer, non-profit organization created to remember and honor the Prisoner of War and Missing in Action Service Members.

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