Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc.
Darwin J. Thomas Memorial Chapter 201
Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), Inc., the only Congressionally
Chartered National Veterans Organization devoted exclusively to Vietnam and
Vietnam Era Veterans, was founded in 1978 and received its Congressional Charter in
1986. It remains the only organization devoted exclusively to improving the
lives of those who served in uniform during this nation's longest and most
The VVA provides leadership and education opportunities, as well as support and assistance in securing benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. It plays an active role in Government relations advocacy at the Federal and state levels to improve benefits and services available to our nation's veterans. The VVA supports veterans memorials and observances, participates in education and drug-prevention projects, and promotes youth and family activities to build strong communities.
VVA Chapter 201 in San Jose, California was formed in 1984 and received it's National Charter in July, 1988. The Chapter has established itself as a leader in the veteran community, with a variety of activities that emphasize and support the goals and objectives of Service, Brotherhood, Pride, and Knowledge.
VVA Chapter 201 is named memorially after Ensign Darwin Joel Thomas. Darwin Thomas was born on the 28th of April 1943 in Santa Clara, California. He flew off the carrier USS Oriskany and was shot down over North Vietnam on the 14th of October 1966. Originally listed as Missing In Action, he is now listed as "killed, body not recovered."
Ensign Thomas, as a member of the Navy Reserve, was flying an A-1H Skyraider on a night armed reconnaissance mission in a hilly area about 25 miles southeast of Thanh Hoa, North Vietnam. When lights were spotted on a road, Ensign Thomas, rolled in to attack the target but failed to pull out before the aircraft impacted the ground and exploded. His remains have not been repatriated.
Ensign Thomas was 23 years old and married. He is listed on panel 11E, line 075 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.
Note: Please go to www.vva201.org for current information and updates.
VVA California State Council
VVA Chapter 201 Photos
Associates of VVA 201
Sinking of the Oriskany 17-May-2006
United Veterans Council of Santa Clara County
VVA Chapter 201 Meeting Minutes
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PO Box 26203, San Jose, CA 95159
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