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.


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.

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

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.