Schoderer, Eric John, AX3

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Last Rank
Petty Officer Third Class (E-4)
Last Primary Designator/NEC
AX-0000-Aviation Anti-Submarine Warfare Technician
Last Rating/NEC Group
Aviation Anti-Submarine Warfare Technician
Primary Unit
1966-1966, 8202, USS Kearsarge (CVS-33)
Service Years
1964 - 1966
AX-Aviation Anti-Submarine Warfare Technician

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Jim Hunnewell, AWC to remember Schoderer, Eric John, PO3.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Surf City, NJ
Last Address
Surf City, NJ

Casualty Date
Nov 10, 1966
Non Hostile- Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Sea
Tonkin Gulf
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial - Honolulu, Hawaii
Wall/Plot Coordinates
12E 052

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Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

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 Duty Stations
VS-21 Fighting RedtailsUSS Kearsarge (CVS-33)
  1966-1966, 8202, VS-21 Fighting Redtails
  1966-1966, 8202, USS Kearsarge (CVS-33)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1964-1973 Yankee Station, North Vietnam 1
 Colleges Attended 
Temple University
  1963-1964, Temple University
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Feb 08, 2013, General Photos2
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
In the dead of night, at 10:30 p.m. on November 10, 1966, an S2E launched  from the USS Kearsarge with pilot LT Thomas J. McAteer, and crewmembers LTJG William T. Carter, AX3 John M. Riordan, and AX3 Eric J. Schoderer. (AX designates Antisubmarine warfare technicians and related duties). Their mission was a surveillance flight in the Gulf of Tonkin.

The Grumman S-2F Tracker aircraft, better known as the "Stoof", was designed as an anti-submarine warfare aircraft, but in the Gulf of Tonkin its primary role was for surface search and reconnaissance.

On 10 November 1966 a VS-21 S-2 launched from the USS Kearsarge (CV-33), crewed by pilots LT Thomas J. McAteer and LTJG William T. Carter and enlisted aircrewmen AMS3 John M. Riordan and AX3 Eric J. Schoderer. They were assigned a night surface surveillance flight in the Gulf of Tonkin.

Given that S-2 pilots frequently would go below the ship's radar horizon while investigating possible surface contacts, a loss of radar contact by the controlling ship at 0145 was not cause for concern. However, the aircraft did not reappear, and subsequent search and rescue efforts located aircraft wreckage and personal gear, but no survivors.
The cause of the crash was not determined. It was suspected that the aircraft made an uncontrolled contact with the water. The aircraft was determined lost about 55 miles east-northeast of the city of Hue in the Gulf of Tonkin. The crew status was initially Missing in Action, but was changed the following day to Killed/Body Not Recovered.
Eric John Schoderer was born on June 16, 1944, and lived in Darby, PA, with his parents, John and Doris Schoderer, a brother Stephen and a sister, Lisa. Eric enjoyed sports cars and surfing. His home of record is Surf City, NJ. 

A 1963 graduate of Upper Darby High School, Eric attended Temple University in Philadelphia and his family soon moved to Surf City, NJ.
Schoderer entered the US Navy in November 1964, and served aboard the USS Kearsarge CVS-33 and attained the rank of Antisubmarine Warfare Technician (AX3). The antisubmarine teams were often used for search missions and also assisted in attacks near or over the water.
Schoderer was listed as missing in action on November 10, 1966, when his aircraft disappeared.
Schoderer was awarded the US Navy Air Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Ribbon Bar.
Synopsis (from the POW Network) as to the circumstances behind being listed as MIA:
In the dead of night on November 10, 1966, Schoderer, along with other crewmembers went on a surveillance flight mission in the Gulf of Tonkin in an S2E Tracker. That night they lost radar contact, which was not uncommon when a Tracker dove. However, they never arrived back at the ship at the expected time. A search was performed and remains of the aircraft were found, but no sign of the crewmembers. It was suspected that the craft experienced uncontrolled contact with the water. There were no survivors.
The incident took place about 55 miles east-northeast of the city of Hue. Petty Officer Schoderer and his crew were initially listed as missing in action.
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