Robert Charles McMahan

Lieutenant Commander
United States Navy
14 June 1942 - 02 December 1977
Jacksonville, Illinois
Panel 39E Line 036



Naval Aviator

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Robert Charles McMahan

10 Sep 2002

In 1984 at the age of nine I heard about the memorial in D.C. It wasn't long after that I purchased a bracelet with your name on it. Since that day I had worn it with hopes of your safe return. Every night I prayed that I would hear that you and others were returning home. Then I would look at the bracelet and tell you before I went to sleep that, when you arrived I wanted to be there to welcome you home. At times it felt like you were there with me, sharing the good and helping me through the bad. When times got rough I knew I had to be strong like you. Up until 3 years ago I wore your name on my wrist. I never knew that your remains were returned to us in 1991. When I found out I couldn't help but cry. I never had a chance to welcome you home. Now that I have a chance...

Welcome Home, my friend! You and the other men and women who served shall always remain in my prayers.

From one who wore his MIA bracelet,
Michael Mihalovits

30 Nov 2005


by his wife,
Jerri Kemp McMahan

Notes from The Virtual Wall

Although introduced into the Navy and Marine Corps as an air superiority fighter, the F-8E CRUSADER also was used in the ground attack role. On 14 February 1968 then-Lieutenant (junior grade) Robert McMahan of Fighter Squadron 194 launched from the USS TICONDEROGA on a mission over North Vietnam. His aircraft was hit by enemy fire and went down near the city of Vinh, about 15 miles inland. Search and rescue efforts were unsuccessful - there was no contact with LTJG McMahan - and he was placed in"Missing in Action" status. Because he went down in a heavily populated area there was some hope that he had been captured, but his name never appeared on North Vietnam's prisoner-of-war lists and he was not released with the POWs in February 1973.

He was continued in Missing in Action status, and was twice promoted while MIA - first to Lieutenant and then to Lieutenant Commander. On 02 December 1977, almost ten years after he was shot down, the Secretary of the Navy approved a Presumptive Finding of Death for LCDR McMahan.

On 13 September 1990, a number of remains were repatriated. Seventeen men were positively identified, all aviators. One of them was LCDR Robert C. McMahan.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009