5 December 1956 – A Northrop XSM-62 Snark, 53-8172, N-69D test model, fitted with a new 24-hour stellar inertial guidance system, launches from Cape Canaveral Missile Test Annex, Florida. It wanders off-course, ignores destruct command, disappears over Brazil. It is found by a farmer in January 1983. The Day They Lost the Snark By J.
James M. Brinkman, III - KIA
James Martin Brinkman, III was born in Memphis, TN. After graduating from high school in 1962, Jim left for the United States Air Force Academy. His cadet yearbook describes him:
“Le Creole came to Sky Blue U four years ago from the wilds and dark alleys of New Orleans. Although he was relatively new to this military jazz, he soon found many areas in which to exercise his many talents. His biting humor and personality soon became famous from CWC to Sweden. It was only a short time until it was recognized that Jim possessed a great deal of potential both military and social. In the social aspects of life, it could be said that at times, Don Juan would appear as bashful as a schoolboy, by comparison. His ambition and drive have brought him to a high degree of success as a career in the Air Force.” (1)
Capt. Brinkman was attacking enemy vehicles seven miles north of Dau Tieng and was delivering his second load of napalm when the aircraft was hit by the blast from the explosion of its own ordnance. The Super Sabre crashed immediately giving Capt. Brinkman no chance to eject.” (2)
Jim is buried in the United States Air Force Cemetery in Colorado Springs, CO. (Plot 003 E001, Memorial ID 17921647) and is honored on Panel 47E, Line 30 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
- Source: USAFA cadet yearbook
- The above narrative was written by Charles Louis Weinert, USAFA 1969