McMAHAN, ROBERT CHARLES Remains Returned September 1991 - ID Announced 29 November 1990 Name: Robert Charles McMahan Rank/Branch: O2/USN Unit: Date of Birth: 14 June 1942 Home City of Record: Jacksonville IL Date of Loss: 14 February 1968 Country of Loss: North Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 184000N 1054300E (WF748635) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 2 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F8E Refno: 1048 Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 March 1991 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. NETWORK 1998. REMARKS: 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 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 Echo model of the aircraft 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 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. Navy Lt. Robert C. McMahan's F8E aircraft was shot near the city of Vinh in North Vietnam on February 14, 1986. He has not been heard from since, but factors surrounding the incident indicate the strong possibility that enemy forces know his fate. On November 29, 1990, U.S. officials announced that remains repatriated in September 1990 had been positively identified as being those of Robert C. McMahan. After 22 years, McMahan has come home.