Background: The A4 Skyhawk was intended to provide the Navy and
Marine Corps with an inexpensive, lightweight attack and ground support plane. It's design emphasized
low-speed and control during take off and landing but strong enough for the rigors of a catapult launch
and the jolt of carrier deck landings. The plane was compact enough to not need folding wings for storage and handling.
LTJG Brom's unit assignment was that of pilot with Attack Squadron 66, USS INTREPID (CVS 11) in the Gulf of Tonkin.
On August 1, 1968, he was assigned the fourth position in a 4-plane daytime mission to strike Dong Dun, Ha
Tiny Province, North Vietnam with the code-name of "Rolling Thunder".
Broms and the four attack bomber aircraft rolled in on the target as planned However, during pullout, Broms
was heard to transmit, "Puffs (flak) all around me." No other radio or visual contact was made with LTJG
Broms and an extensive electronic and visual search was started. The search was
called off with negative results and the opinion of the review board there was a low probabilty of survival.
When 591 American prisoners of war were released in 1973, Broms was not among them. The Vietnamese denied
any knowledge of him. Broms was listed as missing in action until 1975 when the government declared him dead,
although his body had not been recovered.
The family vigil began early and continued with the family until September 2011.
In 1993, remains an aircraft and of missing
Americans were found at a crash site in Vietnam, but due to limits of DNA testing, the remains were not identified.
Broms, mother, June Broms McCaskey, was notified that, based on evidence found at that scene, her son had been
killed in action. "I believed after reading the report, that was what happened," Marjorie Waddell, Broms' sister,
said at the time. Full story of return of remains here.
However, positive identification of Broms' remains were still not determined until September 12, 2011 - after improvements
in DNA testing and 36 years after his plane went down. Waddell said plans for a burial would be made at a later date.
Almost a year later, The Official DoD Announcement of the return of his remains to the family for funeral
and burial with full Military Honors was issued. Burial was in Arlington National Cemetery on September 7, 2012.
Following the solemn ceremony at Arlington, the Curator of Aviation for the Intrepid Sea Air & Space Museum in New York City presented
Marjorie Broms Waddell with a piece of Intrepid's flight deck and a certificate to dedicate a Seat of Honor aboard Intrepid
in LCDR Brom's honor.
-- The Virtual Wall