Sherman Edward Flanagan, Jr. - KIA
Lieutenant Colonel Sherman Edward Flanagan Jr. entered the U.S. Air Force from Maryland and was a member of the 121st Tactical Fighter Squadron, District of Columbia Air National Guard on wartime duty with the 355th Tactical Fighter Squadron.
On July 21, 1968, he was the pilot of an F-100D Super Sabre ( 56-2905) that took off from Phu Cat Air Base, South Vietnam, on a strike mission against enemy targets in the Ashau Valley. Flanagan was making his first strafing pass from 3000 feet when his aircraft was hit by ground fire and dived into the ground near the target. The pilot may have been wounded by the anti-aircraft fire as he did not eject.
Both the flight leader and the forward air controller (FAC) observed the crash and reported hearing no radio transmissions and seeing no ejection. The enemy presence prevented search and rescue efforts, and an electronic search failed to detect radio transmissions or electronic beeper signals. He remains unaccounted-for. (1)
He was believed to be the first Guardsman called to duty during the period to have died in Vietnam.
Previous to his service in Vietnam, he had served in the Korean conflict with the Air Force.
Before his reserve unit was reactivated, Flanagan was a lawyer with the legal firm of Cable and McDaniel in Westminster. He had practiced law since 1960 when he graduated from the University of Maryland law school. (2)
Today, Lieutenant Colonel Flanagan is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. His name can also be found on the Vietnam Wall at Panel W51, Line 25 (3)
- 1968 355th Tactical Fighter Squadron/37th Tactical Fighter Wing/7th Air Force, Phu Cat AB, Vietnam (F-100)
Awards & Decorations
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal
Vietnam Campaign Medal
Air Force Presidential Unit Citation
Vietnam Gallantry Cross
Air Force Good Conduct Medal
Military & Civilian Education