Henry Howard Herrin, Jr.
Missing In Action
|SYNOPSIS: The A3 Skywarrior is a three-place light bomber, reconnaisance plane,
electronic warfare craft or aerial tanker, depending upon its outfitting. The RA3B was
a more powerful version of the original A3 and outfitted for reconnaisance missions. Its
armament usually consisted of a pair of 20mm cannons in a remotely controlled tail turret.
Chief Petty Officer Henry H. Herrin was a photographer's mate aboard an RA3B
aircraft flown by LTCDR James R. Dennison and co-pilot LTJG Terrence H. Hanley
ssigned a mission over North Vietnam. Their plan was to fly from the U.S. Naval Air
Station, Cubi Point, Philippines to their target area and then recover at Da Nang Air
Base, South Vietnam for refueling and return trip. The mission was for surveillance
of the enemy lines of communication to determine truck traffic. The mission was flown
under radio silence, but was under surveillance by an airborne radar control aircraft.
Emergency egress is accomplished by sliding down a chute in the bottom of the aircraft.
All crewmembers were equipped with survival radios and survival kits containing flare
pencils. The aircraft flew out to sea approximately 20 miles and turned southeast. No
further contact was made with the aircraft.
An intensive search and rescue operation was called in consisting of surface units,
helicopter and fixed wing aircraft. It was terminated with negative results. The area in
which the aircraft was lost was one heavily traveled by aircraft, fishing junks and coastal
All three men were placed in Missing In Action status, which was maintained until after
the war ended.
The crew of the RA3B downed that day in January 1968 may not have survived, but
evidence continues to mount that some of their comrades did - and are currently being
held prisoner in Southeast Asia.
The ultimate sacrifice of our nation's youth - their lives - is tainted so long as even one
American fighting man is held against his will. For the sake of the living, and the honor
of the dead, these men must be brought home.