KERR, ERNEST CLANEY JR.
Name: Ernest Claney Kerr Jr.
Rank/Branch: E3/US Marine Corps
Unit: HMM 363, Marine Air Group 36
Date of Birth: 21 July 1946
Home City of Record: Akron OH
Date of Loss: 26 March 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 161408N 1080740E (AU930130)
Status (in 1973): Body Not Recovered
Other Personnel In Incident: Glenn W. Mowrey; Larry E. Green; Richard Evancho;
Frankie E. Allgood (all missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 June 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.
REMARKS: PIL/COP RES - ALL SEARCH FAIL - J
SYNOPSIS: The Sikorsky UH34D Seahorse was a vital aircraft in Vietnam,
serving as transport of both personnel and materiel. The Seahorse and its
pilots particularly distinguished themselves throughout the spring of 1968
during one of the most crucial and bitterly contested struggles of the
Vietnam War -- the Tet Offensive.
On March 26, 1968, a UH34D was serving as a medevac helicopter in South
Vietnam. The crew consisted of the pilot and co-pilot, as well as CPL Larry
E. Green, crew chief; and LCPL Ernest C. Kerr Jr., gunner. They were
transported wounded Marines for medical treatment.
LTC Frankie E. Allgood had been wounded in the temple by shrapnel; LCPL
Richard Evancho and CPL Glenn W. Mowrey were also injured. These three were
being medevaced onboard the UH34D. The helicopter crossed a stretch of the
South China Sea during adverse weather conditions. The helicopter crashed
into the sea about three miles from its destination, Da Nang, South Vietnam.
Search teams were dispatched at once, and the pilot and co-pilot were
rescued. Crew members Kerr and Green were not rescued, nor were the other
occupants of the helicopter, including the badly wounded Frankie Allgood.
All were presumed drowned and were classified Killed, Body Not Recovered.
Because the medevac was apparently not struck by hostile fire, the incident
was deemed non-battle related.
For the men aboard the Seahorse lost on March 26, 1968, death seems a
certainty. For hundreds of others, however, simple answers are not possible.
Adding to the torment of nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing
in Southeast Asia is the certain knowledge that some Americans who were
known to be prisoners of war were not released at the end of the war. Others
were suspected to be prisoners, and still others were in radio contact with
would-be rescuers when last seen alive. Many were known to have survived
their loss incidents, only to disappear without a trace.
The problem of Americans still missing torments not only the families of
those who are missing, but the men who fought by their sides, and those in
the general public who realize the full implication of leaving men
unaccounted for at the end of a war.
Tragically, many authorities believe there are hundreds of Americans still
alive in captivity in Southeast Asia today. What must they be thinking of
us? What will our next generation say if called to fight if we are unable to
bring these men home from Southeast Asia?