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I lived w/my family in No. VA, in the Wash. DC metro area during the 70s. One day my girl friend and I went into DC to get bracelets of the MIA/POW. My bracelet was CDR Thomas Scheurich 3/1/68. My son was born 5/15/68, which made this bracelet even more important. A friend of mine just buried the remains of his brother that were found. The service was in Arlington Nat'l Cemetary. This prompted me to look up Thomas Scheurich. I'm so sad to know that he was never found, along w/the other pilot. I live in MS now as my husband is a priest in an Episcopal church after being a lawyer in DC for many years. He was also Sen. John Glenn's Chief of Staff. We will put Thomas' name on our memory board and pray for him and his family. I'm so glad I can now picture him and know his fate - I'm sure He is w/our Lord. In Christ, Susan Long White
Email Address: email@example.com
Phone: 228 255-2568
||Thomas Edwin SCHEURICH POW/MIA
As a young Officer in the 1950's, Tom was with VC-33 at NAS Atlantic City, NJ. By 1961, when I reported to the squadron, it had been re-designated VAW-33 and was at NAS Quonset Point, RI. I never knew Tom, but when I learned a former squadron-mate was a POW or MIA, I requested the privilege sponsoring him in Operation Just Cause. Although we never knew each other, we are both part of the history and brotherhood of Squadrons 33.
||By 1968, Tom was a Lcdr, flying the A-6 Intruder for VA-35.
Here is his story
|Name: Thomas Edwin SCHEURICH
Rank/Branch: Lieutenant Commander/O4 US Navy
Unit: Attack Squadron 35 (VA-35), USS ENTERPRISE (CVAN-65)
Date of Birth: 19 August 1933
Home City of Record: Norfolk NE
Date of Loss: 01 March 1968
Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 203800N 1073000E (YH605833)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel In Incident: Richard LANNOM (missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 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.
SYNOPSIS: The Grumman A6 Intruder flew most of its missions from the decks of Navy attack carriers of the Seventh Fleet. Their primary missions were close-air-support, all-weather and night attacks on enemy troop concentrations and night interdiction.
Seventh Fleet Vice Commander, Admiral William F. Bringle, said, "The low-level night missions flown by the A-6 over Hanoi and Haiphong were among the most demanding missions we have ever asked our aircrews to fly. Fortunately, there is an abundance of talent, courage and aggressive leadership in these A-6 squadrons."
LtCdr Thomas Scheurich was the pilot of an A6A on just such a mission over Haiphong on March 1, 1968. He launched on that day from the USS ENTERPRISE with his bombardier/navigator (BN), LTjg Richard C. Lannom, along with two other A6 aircraft.
The flight proceeded to their target area located approximately 45 miles northeast of Haiphong. The area was defended by medium anti-aircraft artillery, automatic weapons and small arms. The aircraft reported at the execute point, 5 minutes prior to coast-in point, at which time they turned off their IFF transponder. Therefore, radar contact was lost on the aircraft.
Following their attacks, the other two aircraft in the flight proceeded to a pre-briefed rendezvous point which was to be used in the event of radio failure for battle damage assessment. Both aircraft searched the rendezvous area and attempted radio contact with Scheurich and Lannom with negative results. Search and rescue (SAR) forces were alerted. No emergency beepers were heard during the overland flight or during the subsequent electronic search.
Scheurich's and Lannom's aircraft was evidently hit by ground fire and went down about 55 miles southeast of Haiphong in the Gulf of Tonkin. It was considered that there was little chance that the enemy knew the fate of either man, and prospects were rather dim for their survival, but both were classified Missing In Action. There was no proof they died. There still was the possibility that they bailed out and were picked up in the water by the Vietnamese.
When American involvement ended in Indochina, and 591 American prisoners were released, Lannom and Schuerich were not among them. Their families and those of nearly 2500 others still do not know with certainty whether they are alive or dead.
Reports continue to be received that Americans are still being held prisoner in Southeast Asia. Whether Lannom and Scheurich could be among them is unknown. It is clear, however, that it is long past time to bring these men home.
During the period they were maintained missing, Richard C. Lannom was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and Thomas E. Scheurich was promoted to the rank of Captain.
Tom Scheurich was an attack pilot.
He understood these excerpts from 'An Attack Pilot's Philosophy':
|In wartime, our POWs were not released because the enemy sent representatives to sit smugly at "Peace Talks". They were not released because domestic anti-war groups unwittingly played into the hands of the enemy, and tied the hands of their countrymen at arms........ They were released because brave men took their bombers downtown and spoke personally to their captors in the only language the enemy understands, iron bombs raining down upon their heads......
......Finally, and this is the bottom line, you fly Attack because to do so, is to understand the most fundamental law of wartime negotiations: You negotiate with the enemy with your knee in his chest and your knife at his throat.
|The complete 'ATTACK PILOT's Philosophy' can be found at either of these sites:
INTRUDER An A-6 Site.
|SKYHAWK The A-4 Association Site.
Tom Scheurich's 'office'.
ANECDOTES, SEA STORIES and OTHER STUFF ABOUT TOM SCHEURICH
Tom's nickname was Cy.
On 11/9/97 I received an E-mail from Howard Woodruff. Howard had been in VC-33 with Tom and crewed with him. I have pasted the relevant portions of Howard's E-mail concerning Tom, or Cy as he was known.
"Visited your Site this afternoon and found it a very emotional experience and a moving Memorial to a great Naval Aviator and Officer......
......Some of the things that I recall about Cy Scheurich-Cy was from Nebraska and he was kidded that most of us had never met a person from Nebraska. We thought they only had corn and cattle in Nebraska. Cy was, I believe, a Lt(jg) when he came to VC-33 in 1954. As you probably know, a large portion of our primary missions at that time was the low level strike capability and we flew them extensively. They were referred to as "Sand Blowers" and there were a number of practice missions, most east of the Mississippi river that we would run with two aircraft. One such Strike involved hitting a target in Vermont and the exercise ended at the mouth of the Thames River at New London,CT. Cy was the pilot, Chief Louis DePaul (AOC) was front seat operating the ECM gear and I was backseat as RADAR bomber and RADAR navigator. Lt(jg) Neil Atkinson (don't remember his crew) was flying our wing. After completing exercise we climbed to 1000 ft and flew down Long Island. About half way down, developed engine trouble and was trying to make Floyd Bennett Field. Just as we started across Jamica Bay the fan stopped turning and Cy did a 180 and we landed downwind on active runway at Idylwild Airport(now JFK) with Cy Declaring MAYDAY on short final and Niel Atkinson landing in formation with us. We caused a Europe bound "Connie" to abort and Idylwild tower expressed much displeasure and even more when they had to tow us off the runway and we shut them down for 20 minutes.
We arranged to have transportation from Floyd Bennett and Cy insisted we all stay at the BOQ (we all had flight suits with no rank or identification). Chief DePaul was bitching that the Chiefs Quarters were better than BOQ. From my standpoint, BOQ was better than Enlisted Barracks. That we went out pub hopping in our flight suits and got a ride back to Floyd Bennett in a horse drawn Milk Wagon-in the early hours ,of course.
Charlie, I will talk to some of the pilots who knew Cy and have them get back to you with any information they have on Cy. When the word gets around, you will find a lot of info about Cy,as he was well liked by everyone in the Squadron. As I said-A fine Naval Aviator and a fine Naval Officer."
Two more stories about Tom:
First from Robert Jones;
"I liked your page to Capt. T. E. Scheurich. Capt. Thomas Edwin Scheurich was my best friends dad. My father too was a Navy pilot. I lived in Virginia Beach as a kid and my best friend was Tom Scheurich.
I remember in the 70's with American POWs' being returned home. I remember how the teachers at our elementary school (Trantwood Elementary) wheeled the TVs' into the classrooms for the students to watch the returning American POW's. I'll never forget Tom sitting on the edge of his desk seat to see if his Dad would be one of those walking out of the transports onto the tarmac. I never asked Tom or his sisters about their Dad as I knew that would sadden them.
When Tom & I first met in 1969 Tom told me his dads plane was lost in March 1968. It has been years since I have really thought of Tom & his family. Our family moved from Virginia Beach in 1976 to Northern Virginia but I never forgot those days. I have since lost contact with the Scheurich family but I will always remember them. I now live in Pennsylvania with my wife and 2 sons. When my boys are old enough I will explain to them what great loss war brings. There are no celebrations and parades, just casualties and victims.
More recently from retired Navy Captain Bill Siegel;
I was the B/N in the same flight of two when Tom And Tado went down. I was flying with Greg Young and we went to the same Target as Tom, Cam Pha Military Barracks. The third A/C was Glenn Kollman (CO of VA-35) and Johnny Crosshairs Griffin, they when to the Than Uha (Spelling) Bridge. Greg and I went in first at 1500 feet, we were in the goo all the way to feet wet. We heard Tom call inbound. That's the last we ever heard of him. There were many Karsts (We called them Kraken Karsts; ready to smite down an A/C that got to close to them) sticking up out of the water off the targets coast line (Hundreds of them). It was very difficult to determine the coast line from the mountain ridge behind the target area. We waited for them ( Tom & Tado; pronounced Taaa Do) at the rendevouz point off shore until the Skipper joined with us, then as fuel remaining was a consideration, we returned to the Carrier, call sign "Climax."
Its odd, Glenn & Johnny were killed on a night launch during the same line period. Greg Young was killed in an accident after we returned to the US during instrument school. I'm the only survivor of that flight.
I enjoyed your Web site and it brought a pang back to the ole ticker to remember those days. In a Six month period on the line our Squadron "The Black Panthers" lost 6 A/C and 12 crew members (7 KIA's, 3 POW's and 2 fished out of the water by Rescue Helo).
I stayed in the Navy and retired as a Four Ringer. Then I was known as Lt. Bill Siegel, aka Turf, B/N, VA-35 1968 Enterprise WestPac cruise."
My sincere thanks to both Robert and Bill for sharing their stories.