Terry Dennison was born on January 20, 1934, in Cosmopolis, Washington. He enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve on December 15, 1952, and entered active duty for Naval Aviation Cadet training on October 6, 1956. He was commissioned an Ensign and designated a Naval Aviator in October 1957, and then attended F11F Tiger Replacement Air Group training before serving as an F11F pilot with VF-191. His next assignment was with VR(F)-32, followed by an assignment to complete his bachelor's degree at the University of Washington. Lt Dennison then served as an instructor pilot with VA-126 at NAS Miramar, California, followed by F-8 Crusader Replacement Air Group Training. His next assignment was as an F-8 pilot with VF-162 at NAS Miramar and then deployed to Southeast Asia aboard the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany (CVA-34) from May 1966 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on July 19, 1966. He was reported by the North Vietnamese to have died in captivity 2 days later, on July 21, 1966, but his remains were not returned to the United States until March 6, 1974, and he was buried at the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California. During the time he was listed as Missing he was promoted through the ranks to Commander.
Epitaph For A Hero
If I should perish overseas
In service to my Land
I shall have died a noble death--
Let none misunderstand.
I hope my body will be found,
Returned back to my home,
Where it was nourished and inspired--
No more to yearn, or roam.
Home is the soldier then from the war
Back to his family;
Home is the patriot at last,
Buried in majesty.
Pause, visitor, and cast a glance,
Upon a hero's grave;
Be thankful to breathe Freedom's air,
For which his life he gave.