(Footage of the toilet being
dropped ~ Original source unknown, courtesy of Michael Fuller.)
(Please give the video link time to load)
The following is an account
of this event, courtesy of Clint Johnson, Captain, USNR Ret. Captain
Johnson was one of the two VA-25 A-1 Skyraider pilots credited with
shooting down a MiG-17 on June 20, 1965.
----I was a pilot in VA-25 on the 1965 Vietnam cruise.
572 was flown by CDR C. W. "Bill" Stoddard. His wingman in 577 (which was
my assigned airplane) was LCDR Robin Bacon, who had a wing station mounted
movie camera (the only one remaining in the fleet from WWII).
The flight was a Dixie Station strike (South Vietnam) going to the Delta.
When they arrived in the target area and CDR Stoddard was reading the
ordnance list to the FAC, he ended with "and one code name Sani-Flush".
The FAC couldn't believe it and joined up to see it. It was dropped in a
dive with LCDR Bacon flying tight wing
position to film the drop. When it came off, it turned hole to the wind
and almost struck his airplane. It made a great ready room movie. The FAC
said that it whistled all the way down.
The toilet was a damaged toilet, which was going to be thrown overboard.
One of our plane captains rescued it and the ordnance crew made a rack,
tailfins and nose fuse for it. Our checkers maintained a position to block
the view of the air boss and the Captain while the aircraft was taxiing
forward. Just as it was being shot off we got a 1MC message from the
bridge, "What the hell was on 572's right wing?" There were a lot of jokes
with air intelligence about germ warfare. I wish that we had saved the
movie film. CDR Stoddard was later killed while flying 572 in Oct 1966. He
was hit by three SAMs over Vinh.----
The following is information about how CDR Stoddard was shot down in 1966
and is taken from a memorial in Atlanta, Georgia. This information is courtesy of Lt Christopher Stoddard, USMC, the grandson of CDR
---On 14 September 1966, while Commanding Officer of Attack Squadron 25
(VA25) embarked in the USS Coral Sea (CVA 43), CDR Stoddard was
leading a two-plane bombing mission over North Vietnam searching for enemy
truck convoys. Near the village of Nghi Thiet, his radar detection system
warned him of enemy missile activity. Taking evasive action, he withdrew
over the Gulf of Tonkin before his aircraft, a single engine, propeller
driven, A-1 Skyraider, was struck by enemy surface-to-air missiles. CDR
Stoddard was initially listed as Missing In Action. His status was changed
in 1973 to Killed In Action.
Note for Modelers:
previously published about this event show only three bombs and the
toilet on the aircraft's
right (starboard) wing due to the angles from which the photos were taken.
this screenshot from the first
video, there are actually four bombs and the toilet. Although photos or
videos haven't surfaced
showing the left (port) wing, it would be safe to say that the bomb load
identical, minus the toilet,
April 10, 2013 Update: The bombs carried on this mission are finally
Thomason, author and owner / operator of the
Tailhook Topics blog has worked with Jim
Rotramel and identified the weapons carried on this mission.