RIP 12/24/2014

Name: Charlie Negus James, Jr.
Rank/Branch: O5/US Navy
Unit: Reconnaissance/Attack Squadron 11, USS KITTY HAWK (CVA 63)
Date of Birth: 29 October 1929
Home City of Record: Glendale CA
Date of Loss: 18 May 1968
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 185800N 1051800E (WF316970)
Status (in 1973): Released POW
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: RA5C

Other Personnel in Incident: Vincent D. Monroe (remains returned)

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: Commander Charlie N. James, Jr. was a pilot assigned to
Reconnaissance Attack Squadron 11 onboard the USS KITTY HAWK. On May 18,
1968, he launched in his RA5C Vigilante on a multi-aircraft reconnaissance
mission over North Vietnam. His Radar/Navigator that day was Lt.Cdr. Vincent
D. Monroe.

The Vigilante commenced its run and crossed the North Vietnam coastline as
planned, proceeding toward Vinh Son, which was the primary target. James'
and Monroe's aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and started to spout
flames burning uncontrollably. The pilot of one of the other aircraft on the
mission transmitted to Monroe that his aircraft was hit, and he responded
with, "I know." This was the last transmission received from James and

The aircraft decelerated rapidly and plunged toward the ground. Other pilots
momentarily lost sight of the crippled craft, and when again observed,
approximately 10 seconds later, it impacted the ground. Intensive automatic
weapons fire was in the area from many sites. Two parachutes were observed
and emergency radio beepers heard. Search and rescue efforts were initiated.
However, failure to establish voice contact with either flight member and
the intensity of the anti-aircraft fire in the area necessitated terminaton
of the effort. Electronic surveillance continued, but to no avail.

Radio Hanoi broadcast the capture of two American pilots on May 18, 1968 in
the general area of the loss of James and Monroe. Both men were classified
Prisoner of War.

In 1973, 591 lucky American POWs were released from Vietnam. James was among
them; Monroe was not. Military officials at the time were shocked that
hundreds of servicemen suspected or known to be prisoners of war were not

Since American involvement in Southeast Asia ended, thousands of reports
have been received by the U.S. relating to Americans still prisoner,
missing, or otherwise unaccounted for from the Vietnam War. Many authorities
believe there are hundreds still alive, waiting for their country to come
for them.

Vincent D. Monroe was maintained in Prisoner of War status until January 10,
1978, at which time his status was changed to Presumed Killed in Action.
Later that year, a delegation led by Congressman "Sonny" Montgomery visited
Hanoi and was given the remains of Vincent D. Monroe. Monroe was buried with
full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

During the period they were maintained as Prisoner of War, Charlie N. James
and Vincent D. Monroe were promoted to the rank of Captain.

SOURCE: WE CAME HOME  copyright 1977
Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret),
Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor
P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Text is reproduced as found in the original
publication (including date and spelling errors).

Captain - United States Navy
Shot Down: May 18, 1968
Released: March 14, 1973

Captain Charlie N. James, Jr. was born on 29 October 1929 in Los Angeles,
California. He lived in various cities around the Los Angeles area until 12
February 1947, at which time he enlisted in the U.S. Navy as a Seaman Recruit.
He received recruit training at the Naval Training Center San Diego,
California. Upon completion of boot training he was transferred to Naval
Station, Treasure Island, California where he attended the Electronics Material
School. After graduation from the Electronics Material School he had short
tours of duty at Yerba Buena Island and Mare Island in California.

From Mare Island Captain James was transferred to the Submarine Base, Pearl
Harbor, then Territory of Hawaii. After fourteen months of working on various
submarines and surface ships out of the Electronics Repair Division, he was
transferred to the Naval Academy and College Preparatory School, Naval Station
Newport, Rhode Island in September 1949. While attending this school, he was
also accepted for the Naval Aviation Cadet Program. In April 1950 he commenced
pre-flight training as NAVCAD at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida.

Captain James completed flight training in November 1951  and after attending
a short course in all weather flight at Naval Air Station Corpus Cristi, Texas
he reported to Attack Squadron Fifty Five based at Naval Air Station North
Island, California for his first operational duty. While serving as an attack
pilot onboard USS Essex in 1952-53 he completed sixty-four combat missions in
A-1 Skyraider type aircraft over North Korea. Shortly after returning to Naval
Air Station Miramar, California, he was ordered to Attack Squadron One Hundred
Fifteen and deployed to the Western Pacific twice more flying various models
of AD type aircraft onboard USS Kearsarge during years 1953-1955. From June
1955 to August 1958 Captain James instructed advanced all weather flight in
the T28B and jet transitional, acrobatics and tactics in the TV2 (T33) while
assigned to Advanced Training Units 105 and 205 Naval Air Station Memphis,
Tennessee. Following a three year tour as an advanced flight instructor, he
attended the Aircraft Maintenance Officer School, Naval Air Technical Training
Center, NAS Memphis.

In November 1958 he reported to Heavy Attack Squadron Three Naval Air Station,
Sanford, Florida for replacement pilot training in A3 Skywarrior type
aircraft. Upon graduation he was ordered to Heavy Attack Squadron Five on May
1, 1959. Captain James served with VAH-5 onboard USS Forrestal on two
Mediterranean cruises. He was then transferred to Heavy Attack Squadron Seven
in November 1961, and he attended the A3J-1 (A5A) Vigilante replacement pilot
course in Heavy Attack Squadron Three. After graduation from the VAH-3
replacement pilot course he completed two short Mediterranean cruises with
VAH-7 onboard USS Enterprise.

Captain James returned to Naval Air Station Sanford in May 1963 and commenced
duty with VAH-3 as a replacement pilot instructor in A3 and A5 type aircraft.
In 1964 VAH-3 transitioned to Reconnaissance Attack Squadron Three with the
arrival of the RA5C. After various assignments which included Maintenance and
Operations Officer, he detached from Reconnaissance Attack Squadron Three on
August 7, 1967 and reported to Reconnaissance Attack Squadron Eleven onboard
USS Forrestal on August 9,1967 as Executive Officer.

Forrestal returned to the states and RVAH-11 was attached to Carrier Air Wing
Eleven and commenced combat operations in North Vietnam in December 1967 on
the USS Kitty Hawk. After completing more than fifty combat missions Captain
James was shot down on 18 May 1968 and was imprisoned in North Vietnam until
March 14, 1973.

Captain James is married to the former Rozanne Jarris of Hazard, Kentucky.
They reside in Oviedo, Florida with their daughter Karen Suzanne (8). Other
children residing in California are Randene Lisa (22), Charlie N. III  (15)
and Michaei Andres (12).

Charlie James retired from the United States Navy as a Captain. He resided
in Florida.

Woman's mission to find POW completed at last
Ozaukee Press                                                        09/14/2014
In 1968, Morreen Mersberger, then a college student, bought a prisoner of war bracelet for $2 engraved with the name Charlie James Jr. and the date ...


Captain Charlie Negus James, Jr.,  USN (Ret)  passed away peacefully December 24th, 2014. 
Charlie had terminal cancer.  He is survived by his son-Michael Andrew James, daughter-
Suzanne James Skipper and 3 grandchildren: William Jackson Skipper, Charlotte Suzanne Skipper
and Jason Artman James and his close friend, Mimi (20 years).  No service will be held.  His
ashes will be spread at a later date at Arlington or at Barrancas (Pensacola).  His obituary
was published in the Daytona Beach Journal, dated 1-1-15.  Charlie flew 55 missions in
North Korea 1952-53.  He was captured on his 64th mission over NVN.  He was a captive
for almost five years (5-18-68 to 3-14-73).  He fought throat cancer for over 20 years.  He
was active in golf and other activities until this past Spring.  The cancer spread to other
organs. MM


February 1, 2015
A heroic connection
PLYMOUTH It took her 44 years, but Morreen O'Reilly-Mersberger finally tracked down the prisoner of war whose name was on a bracelet that she ...