ABRAMS, LEWIS HERBERT
Remains returned 06/26/97
Name: Lewis Herbert Abrams
Rank/Branch: O5/United States Marine Corps/pilot
Unit:
Date of Birth: 17 August 1929
Home City of Record: Montclair NJ
Date of Loss: 25 November 1967
Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 200000 North  1070000 East
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A6A
Missions:
Other Personnel in Incident: Maj. Robert Holdeman, remains returned
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews.
REMARKS: Radio contact lost
Note: CACCF states "crash not at sea"
The following citation is QUOTED DIRECTLY FROM:
"For Extraordinary Heroism,  The Navy Cross, Vietnam
Citations of Awards to men of the United States Navy and The United States
Marine Corps, 1964-1973"
published by Sharp & Dunnigan 1987
[* Posthumous Award]
*ABRAMS, LEWIS H.
Citation: For extraordinary heroism as Commanding Officer of Marine All
Weather Attack Squadron 242 and as Pilot of an A6A Intruder aircraft in
Vietnam.  In the early morning hours of 25 October 1967, Colonel (then
Lieutenant Colonel) Abrams, in the first Marine aircraft to strike at the
heart of North Vietnam's Air Force, exhibited outstanding courage and
presence of mind in the midst of violent combat action as he successfully
completed a high-priority mission by bombing the principal military airfield
in North Vietnam.  A highly effective integrated complex of hundreds of
radar-controlled antiaircraft weapons, barrage balloons with steel cables
extending hundreds of feet into the air, two enemy airfields with MIG
interceptor aircraft, and many active surface-to-air missile sites protected
every approach to his target.  Acting on an urgent fragmentary order,
Colonel Abrams personally took charge of the preparations for a multiplane,
multisquadron attack against the formidably defended Phuc Yen airfield.
Barely six hours before takeoff time another fragmentary order was received,
modifying the previous plan and requiring Colonel Abrams to make extensive
last-minute changes in navigation and attack procedures, which allowed no
margin for error.  With grim determination, he promptly made corrections in
heading, altitude, and airspeed and accurately delivered his bombs on the
runway at Phuc Yen.  Under the most demanding conditions of degraded systems
operation, low-level flight in mountainous terrain in darkness, and in the
face of a vicious volume of antiaircraft and guided missile fire, Colonel
Abrams courageously accomplished his mission of devastating the runway at
Phuc Yen.  His bravery and determination throughout the bitter action were
an inspiration to all who were involved and were instrumental in
accomplishing this crucial mission.  By his intrepid fighting spirit, daring
initiative, and unswerving devotion to duty, Colonel Abrams reflected great
credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and upheld the highest traditions
of the United States Naval Service.
-------------------------
         UNITED STATES AIR FORCE NEWS RELEASE-60TH AIR MOBILITY WING(AMW)
                             PUBLIC AFFAIRS DIVISION,
                      TRAVIS AFB, CA PHONE: (707)424-2011
                NEWS RELEASE NO. 9706-20     JUNE 26, 1997
The remains of FIVE American service members previously unaccounted for from
Southeast Asia have been identified and are being returned to their families
for burial in the United States.  Their remains will be repatriated in a
ceremony at 4:00 pm June 26 on the Travis flight line.
They are identified as LT.COL. LEWIS H. ABRAMS, MARINE CORPS, of Montclair,
N.J.; MAJ.  ROBERT E. HOLDEMAN, MARINE CORPS. of Winchester, Ind.; and
CAPTAIN JOHN N. FLANIGAN, MARINE CORPS, of Winter Haven, Fla.  THE NAMES OF
TWO AIR FORCE AVIATORS WILL NOT BE RELEASED AT THE REQUEST OF THEIR
FAMILIES.
On Nov. 25, 1967, Abrams and Holdeman were shot down while flying a night
strike mission near Haiphong, North Vietnam.  A radio Peking broadcast
confirmed the Marine Corps aircraft had been shot down in the vicinity of
Haiphong.  In 1988, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam repatriated what they
believed to be the remains of U.S. service personnel lost during the Vietnam
War. Included in the remains was a military identification card fragment
with what appeared to be the name Abrams.
In 1993 and 1995, joint U.S. and Vietnamese teams investigated and excavated
a crash site in Hai Phong Province.  Local villagers reported that remains
had previously recovered and turned over to higher authorities.  They also
turned over bone fragments found near the crash site. On August 19, 1969,
Flanigan and his pilot were flying an F-4B as escort for a photo recon
mission over North Vietnam.  They lost contact with other aircraft in their
flight, and never made it back to their base at Danang, South Vietnam.  In
1989, the Vietnamese gov. repatriated remains believed to be those of
Flanigan.  Four subsequent joint US and Vietnamese investigations were able
to locate their crash site in Quang Binh Province.  The site was excavated
in 1995 where aircraft wreckage, aircrew related items, and personnel
effects were located, but NO human remains were found.  The remains of
Flanigan turned over by the Vietnamese were positively identified and
Mitochondrial DNA testing was used to confirm the identification. With the
identification of these FIVE service members, 2118 Americans remain
unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.** No additional information about the
two Air Force aviators has been given.****