site is dedicated to the memory of LT John Douglas Prudhomme
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Sender: Ted Langworthy
name is Ted Langworthy and I was flying behind Jack when he was
shot down. I saw his airplane fly in to a ridge and explode. He
did not eject and we assume he was killed instantly in the cockpit,
we were flying south towards the power plant. His leader said
that Jack made an uncommanded crossunder and passed under the
leader's a/c, he looked down in to the cockpit and saw blood everywhere.
At almost the same time, Charlie Amacker announced that Ray Alcorn
had just "punched out". I assumed that the a/c I saw was Ray's
but it was Jack's and did not realize that until half way back
Jack and I had become very close friends while enroute to Vietnam.
The trip took almost 3 wks. Jack was made Weapon's Training Officer
before we left and with no training or schools, he asked me if
I would tutor him. I had held this position for more than a year
in my squadron. We spent every night enroute going over mil settings
and weapons capabilities. I had been to every school the Navy
had to offer and was pleased to be able to help Jack.The night
before he was killed, he came to my stateroom and announced that:
"I am not going to make it". He was totally psyched and after
3 aborted attempts, he was very nervous about his possibilities
of living through the mission. My squadron mate, Roger Kisiel,
was with us that evening and we told Jack he had nothing to worry
about. We told him that if anyone would make it, it would be he.
Roger knew Jack well as he played sports with Jack.
Eleven years ago I met Jack's son, Dave, at the Academy and told
him how his father died. He had never been told before. That was
a most diffilcut thing to suffer through!! We both were crying.
You have chosen a wonderful man to honor.
played Lacrosse with Jack at the Naval Academy, and in fact, we
ran in the same midfield my junior year and Jack's senior year.
Our third middie was Don MacLaughlin, a sophomore. Donnie also
flew A-4s from the Enterprise with us on that cruise. After Jack
was killed on 22 Dec 65, Don was killed on 3 Jan 66. Ironically,
I was a spare for Jack's flight, and I was working on the flight
deck for Don's flight. Except for their plane captains, I was
the last person to talk face to face with them as they strapped
into their cockpits. Jack's wife Pattie later married Ray Herzog,
a friend and classmate of Jack's and Ted's. I was at Patuxent
River with Ray after we had completed Test Pilot School. Ray did
a great job being a good dad for Jack's family. He is retired
from P&G and they live in the Cincinnati area.
Bob Kelly Captain, USN (Retired)
entered the U. S. Naval Academy in 1957 as a member of the Class
of 1961 after a year at Ohio State University. Throughout his
years at the Academy, Jack excelled in academics and athletics,
and was one of the most respected and well-liked members of his
class. An exceptionally gifted athlete, Jack was a standout performer
in every sport he undertook as evidenced by being a highly valued
member of the varsity lacrosse and soccer teams even though he
had played neither sport previously. Jack was co-captain of the
soccer team, and selected as an All-American midfielder in lacrosse
during his last two years at the Academy. Jack was also a standout
performer in wrestling, boxing and fieldball, and clearly would
have been a top performer in other sports if he had the time to
participate in them. His accomplishments are even more remarkable
in light of the fact that Jack was unable to take part in high
school sports due to the distance he lived from school.
Academics came easily to Jack, and this enabled him to turn his
energies to other activities such as serving as a Battalion Commander
in the Brigade leadership organization, as a class officer for
two years and an N Club officer during his first class year, as
a member of the Honor Committee, and to always be available to
assist a classmate when the need arose. Jack's easy going approach
to the rigors of Academy life, his wonderful sense of humor, his
ready smile, and his unpretentious manner, all made him a most
welcome addition to any group and one of the most popular members
in the Class of 1961.
Jack married Patti Bradshaw in June 1961 and had two children.
Their son, David, followed in Jack's footsteps by graduating from
the Naval Academy in 1985. Following graduation in June 1961,
Jack entered flight training and was stationed in Pensacola, Florida;
in Meridian, Mississippi; and in Beeville, Texas as part of his
training to fly the A- 4 Skyhawk attack jet. Jack was a member
of Attack Squadron 76 (VA-76), known as the Spirits, assigned
to Air Wing 9 aboard USS Enterprise, the first nuclear-powered
aircraft carrier. In VA-76, he was regarded highly for his ability
to fly the aircraft to the edge of the envelope, for his knowledge
of the aircraft, for his ability to make correct decisions quickly,
and for his tenacity and fortitude. Enterprise departed Norfolk,
Virginia in October 1965 for deployment to waters off the coast
of Vietnam. Jack was lost during a mission over North Vietnam
on December 22, 1965.
Jack was truly a unique individual. He was a dedicated husband
and father, a true friend to all, and an officer and a gentleman
in the best sense of the words. No one who knew him had any doubt
that he was destined for greatness in the Navy. Jack will always
be remembered and missed by his family, classmates, shipmates,
and his numerous friends.
© M.Gordon 2002