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
Category: 5 -- Category unrelated to degree of enemy knowledge.
A. Individuals whose remains have been determined to be non recoverable
as outlined in Department of the Army Technical Manual 10-286,
January 1964, section 39.
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, and interviews.
Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 1998.
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?
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