SHERMAN, JOHN BROOKS Remains returned 06/30/98 Name: John Brooks Sherman Rank/Branch: O2/US Marine Corps Unit: VMA 235, MAG 11 Date of Birth: 30 January 1940 Home City of Record: Darien CT Date of Loss: 25 March 1966 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 152505N 1082902E (BT210096) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: F8E 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. NETWORK. 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 (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 models were equipped for photo reconnaissance. 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. 1Lt. John B. Sherman was the pilot of an F8E conducting a combat mission over South Vietnam on March 25, 1966. Sherman had completed his bombing run when his aircraft crashed, perhaps due to enemy anti-aircraft fire. Sherman's last location is listed as being about 10 miles west of Chu Lai in Quang Tin province. There was little hope that Sherman survived the crash of his aircraft and he was declared Killed/Body Not Recovered. However, it is believed that the Vietnamese could most likely account for him. 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 they could be abandoned by the country they proudly served. MEMORANDUM FOR CORRESPONDENTS June 30, 1998 No. 110-M The remains of two American servicemen previously unaccounted-for from Southeast Asia have been identified and are being returned to their families for burial in the United States. They are identified as US Marine Corps Capt. John B. Sherman of Darien, Conn., and US Army Staff Sgt. Robert F. Preiss, Jr., of Cornwall, NY On March 25, 1966, Sherman was dive-bombing enemy positions in Quang Ngai Province, South Vietnam when his F-8E Crusader was struck by enemy ground fire. The aircraft crashed in Quang Nam-Da Nang Province. A groun d search for his remains was not possible because of enemy activity in the area. In April and May 1993, a joint team of U.S./Socialist Republic of Vietnam investigators interviewed several local informants in Quang Nam-Da Nang Province who provided information about the crash of a US aircraft. The US team, led by the Joint Task Force Full Accounting, reported that two of the informants recalled an incident in March or April 1966 in which they buried the body of an American pilot near a crash site. Two other witnesses reported they disinterred the remains in 1990, which they turned over to the joint team. The joint team surveyed the crash and burial sites indicated by the local Ainformants and found aircraft wreckage as well as pilot-related items. The remains and other items were returned to the U. S. Army Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii, where laboratory analysis confirmed the identification. On May 12, 1970, Preiss was the leader of a reconnaissance team that came under enemy fire in Laos. He suffered a mortal wound but because of enemy action and difficult terrain his body could not be recovered. Six days later, a recovery team failed to locate Preiss' body. The team reported that a rock slide had covered the body with large boulders. In March and April of 1995, a joint U.S./Lao People's Democratic Republic team investigated Preiss' loss in Xekong Province. The team conducted a ground search along the banks of the stream in the vicinity of the loss location with negative results. In May 1995, another joint team interviewed villagers nearby and persuaded them to take the team to a place where remains allegedly had been seen. The team did recover some personal equipment and possible human remains. A third trip was made to the area in April 1997. This team recovered material evidence, however no remains or personal effects were found during this investigation. In early 1998, another joint team excavated the site where they recovered possible human remains and personal effects. Anthropological analysis of the remains and other evidence by CILHI confirmed the identification of Preiss. With the identification of these two servicemen, 496 Americans have been accounted for since the end of the war in Southeast Asia, with 2,087 still unaccounted-for. The US government welcomes and appreciates the cooperation of the governments of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Lao People's Democratic Republic that resulted in the accounting of these servicemen. We hope that such cooperation will bring increased results in the future. Achieving the fullest possible accounting for these Americans is of the highest national priority.