GOODWIN, CHARLES BERNARD
Name: Charles Bernard Goodwin
Rank/Branch: O2/US Navy
Date of Birth: 02 August 1940
Home City of Record: Haskell TX
Date of Loss: 08 September 1965
Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 174300N 1063500E (XE678593)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 April 1990 from one or more of
the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence
with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W.
SYNOPSIS: The Vought F8 "Crusader" saw action early in U.S. involvement in
Southeast Asia. Its fighter models participated both in the first Gulf of
Tonkin reprisal in August 1964 and in the myriad attacks against North
Vietnam during Operation Rolling Thunder. The Crusader was used exclusively
by the Navy and Marine air wings (although there is one U.S. Air Force pilot
reported shot down on an F8) and represented half or more of the carrier
fighters in the Gulf of Tonkin during the first four years of the war. The
aircraft was credited with nearly 53% of MiG kills in Vietnam.
The most frequently used fighter versions of the Crusader in Vietnam were
the C, D, and E models although the H and J were also used. The Charlie
carried only Sidewinders on fuselage racks, and were assigned such missions
as CAP (Combat Air Patrol), flying at higher altitudes. The Echo model had a
heavier reinforced wing able to carry extra Sidewinders or bombs, and were
used to attack ground targets, giving it increased vulnerability. The Echo
version launched with less fuel, to accommodate the larger bomb store, and
frequently arrived back at ship low on fuel. The RF-A models were equipped
for photo reconnaissance. The RF-G were also photographic versions, but with
additional cameras and navigational equipment.
The combat attrition rate of the Crusader was comparable to similar
fighters. Between 1964 to 1972, eighty-three Crusaders were either lost or
destroyed by enemy fire. Another 109 required major rebuilding. 145 Crusader
pilots were recovered; 57 were not. Twenty of these pilots were captured and
released. The other 43 remained missing at the end of the war. In addition,
there were 16 pilots who went down on photographic versions of the aircraft.
Of these 16, seven were captured (six were released, one died in captivity).
Lt.JG Charles B. Goodwin was the pilot of an RF8A on a combat mission in
Quang Binh Province, North Vietnam on September 8, 1965. As he was about 5
miles east of the city of Quang Khe, just over the Gulf of Tonkin, his
aircraft crashed. It was felt that there was a very good chance that Goodwin
survived, and he was declared Missing in Action.
The Defense Intelligence Agency further expanded Goodwin's classification to
include an enemy knowledge ranking of 2. Category 2 indicates "suspect
knowledge" and includes personnel who may have been involved in loss
incidents with individuals reported in Category 1 (confirmed knowledge), or
who were lost in areas or under conditions that they may reasonably be
expected to be known by the enemy; who were connected with an incident which
was discussed but not identified by names in enemy news media; or identified
(by elimination, but not 100% positively) through analysis of all-source
Since the war ended, nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing,
prisoner or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia have been received by the U.S.
Government. Many authorities who have examined this largely classified
information are convinced that hundreds of Americans are still held captive
today. Fighter pilots in Vietnam were called upon to fly in many dangerous
circumstances, and were prepared to be wounded, killed, or captured. It
probably never occurred to them that some of them could be abandoned by the
country they proudly served.
From: Duus, Kristen L SFC USARMY DPAA EC (US)
Sent: 3 June, 2017 13:45
To: Undisclosed recipients:
Subject: Sailor Missing From Vietnam War Identified (Goodwin)
U.S. Navy Cmdr. Charles B. Goodwin has now been accounted for.
On Sept. 8, 1965, Goodwin was the pilot of an RF-8A aircraft, assigned to
Detachment D, VPF-63, CVW-15, when he launched from the USS Coral Sea, for a
combat photo mission over North Vietnam (now Socialist Republic of Vietnam.)
At the time of the early-morning flight, numerous intense thunderstorms were
reported between the USS Coral Sea and the North Vietnam. Fifteen minutes
after launching, Goodwin reported that he had encountered thunderstorms en
route to the target area. That was the last radio transmission from him.
efforts over the target area and adjacent coastal waters were unsuccessful,
no emergency radio signals were heard and no aircraft wreckage was sighted.
Goodwin was declared missing in action as of Sept. 8, 1965.
In February 1988, a Vietnamese refugee provided information regarding the
location of possible human remains and material evidence, including a
identification card for Goodwin. Between April 1993 and December 2016,
multiple attempts were made by the Vietnamese Office for Seeking Missing
Persons (VNOSMP) and Joint U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) teams
to locate the crash site and remains of the pilot, without success. In
December 2016, a Joint Forensic Review team received possible human remains
that had been in the possession of a Vietnamese national. The remains were
sent to the DPAA laboratory for analysis.
DNA and laboratory analysis were used in the identification of his remains.
The support from the government of Vietnam was vital to the success of this
Interment services are pending.
For more information about DPAA, visit www.dpaa.mil, find us on social media
at www.facebook.com/dodpaa, or call 703-699-1420.