Birth: Jun. 20, 1943 Morehead City, Carteret Co., NC
Death: Nov. 11, 1967 Quang Tri, Vietnam.
US Air Force Major Charles Jerome Huneycutt Jr., born in Morehead City before becoming a native of Charlotte, NC was 24 years old when he was shot down and was not married. Charles died when his plane crashed. His body was recovered years later. He was reportedly shot down in North Vietnam on 10 November 1967, declared Missing in action, and then Killed in Action after the remains were returned 10 November 1988. The remains were officially identified 25 September 1989. He’s remains were identified by the family through dental records.
On November 10, 1967, 1st Lt. Charles J. Huneycutt, navigator, and his Pilot were the crew of one F4C in a flight of two which departed Da Nang Airbase, South Vietnam on an operational mission to Dong Hoa in North Vietnam, but because of inclement weather, both were directed to an alternate target nearby. Positive radar and radio contact was maintained with the aircrafts until the point when their bombing dives were to begin. All contact was then lost. Ground search was not conducted since the incident occurred over heavily defended. All four men aboard the two aircraft were classified as Missing in Action.
A North Vietnamese general was quoted in an article saying a women’s militia shot down two F4C recon planes that same day and captured “both bandits” alive. As four, not two, individuals are concerned in this incident, it is unclear which of the four the article could relate to. However, according to a POW organization 1974, the Defense Department acknowledged at one time that one crew member was indeed, a prisoner of war. According to a 1974 list published by the National League of Families, Charles J. Huneycutt survived his loss incident. In 1988, the Vietnamese discovered and returned to U.S. control the remains of 1st Lt. Charles J. Huneycutt Jr. The other three pilots lost on November 10, 1967 remain missing, and the Vietnamese deny knowledge of their fates. For 21 years, Major Huneycutt was a Prisoner of War, whether he was alive or dead.
Jerry was a Graduate of James A. Gray High School in Winston-Salem, Class of 1961. At Gray, he played Varsity Football, Varsity Basketball, All Conference Most Valuable Back and Sporting News High School All-American Team. He was inducted into the Winston-Salem sports Hall of Fame while he was MIA. Jerry had only been in Viet Nam for a month when he was shot down. He was in ROTC at Duke and had just graduated from flight school and parachute. He was a member of the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity at Duke attending on a football scholarship and played in the 1965 Tangerine Bowl.
He served with the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing, Da Nang Airbase. He was awarded The Bronze Star Medal, The Purple Heart Medal for his combat related wounds, The Vietnam Service Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal, The National Defense Service Medal, The Good Conduct Medal and The Air Medal with Multiple Oak Leaf Clusters.
Burial: Arlington National CemeteryArlington, Arlington Co., VA.
(Source: Posted with permission of Tom & Jim Reece, #46857744;
finding NC Vietnam KIA/MIA’s gravesites; Reconfigured and submitted by: Ron Yates)