Remains Returned 06 April 1988

Name: John Vern McCormick
Rank/Branch: O2/US Navy
Unit: Attack Squadron 144, USS TICONDEROGA (CVA 14)
Date of Birth: 12 December 1939 (Saginaw MI)
Home City of Record: Burt MI
Date of Loss: 01 December 1965
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 205757N 1062257E (XJ437188)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A4C
Refno: 0199
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 May 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 USS TICONDEROGA had first been in Vietnam waters in late 1944
when fighter planes from the TICONDEROGA and the USS HANCOCK flew strike
missions against enemy vessels in Saigon Harbor. The TICONDEROGA, the
fourteenth U.S. aircraft carrier to be built, was on station during the very
early years of the Vietnam war and remained throughout most of the duration
of the war.

Among the aircraft launched from the decks of the TICONDEROGA was Douglas
Aircraft's A4 Skyhawk. The Skyhawk was an inexpensive, lightweight attack
and ground support aircraft. The design emphasized low-speed control and
stability during take-off and landing as well as strength enough for
catapult launch and carrier landings. The plane was so compact that it did
not need folding wings for aboardship storage and handling. In spite of its
diminutive size, the A4 packed a devastating punch and performed well where
speed and maneuverability were essential.

LTJG John V. McCormick was a Skyhawk pilot assigned to Attack Squadron 144
onboard the aircraft carrier USS TICONDEROGA. On December 1, 1965, LTJG
McCormick launched in his Skyhawk on a strike mission against the Hai Duong
bridge near Hai Duong, North Vietnam.

While in a dive on the target, McCormick's aircraft was hit by suspected
57mm anti-aircraft fire and seen to crash in a clear area about 1/2 mile
west of the target. The crash site was between the Rang and Thi Binh Rivers,
approximately 6 kilometers northwest of Hai Duong City, Hai Duong Province,
North Vietnam. Other pilots in the area stated that the aircraft
disintegrated in the air and the pilot was killed instantly. No parachute
was seen. No search was initiated due to the hostile environment of the
crash site.

McCormick was initially placed in a status of Missing in Action and during
this period he was advanced in rank to Lieutenant. His status was
subsequently changed to Killed in Action.

In the years since the end of the war, McCormick's name and information
related to his loss have been given to the Vietnamese in the hopes that they
would help find his remains. On April 6, 1988, the U.S. was given skeletal
remains of several suspected U.S. servicemen. Vietnam's tentative
identification did not list LT McCormick. The Central Identification
Laboratory in Hawaii later notified Naval Personnel Command that a positive
identification had been made on one of the sets of remains, and that it
correlated to McCormick. John V. McCormick was buried with full military
honors in Arlington National Cemetery on August 5, 1988.

Disturbing testimony was given to Congress in 1980 that the Vietnamese
"stockpiled" the remains of Americans to return at politically advantageous
times. How many are waiting, in a casket, for just such a moment?

Even more disturbing are the nearly 10,000 reports received by the U.S.
relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia. Many authorities who have
examined this information (largely classified), have reluctantly come to the
conclusion that many Americans are still alive in Southeast Asia. Who are

Perhaps the most compelling questions when remains are returned are, "Is it
really who they say it is?", and "How -- and when -- did he die?" As long as
reports continue to be received which indicate Americans are still alive in
Indochina, we can only regard the return of remains as Vietnam's politically
expedient way to show "progress" on accounting for American POW/MIAs. As
long as reports continue to be received, we must wonder how many are alive.

As long as even one American remains alive, held against his will, we must
do everything possible to bring him home -- alive.