Vincent Duncan Monroe

Captain, U.S. Navy


Reconnaissance Heavy Attack Squadron 11
On Board
USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63)

Entered the Service from: New Jersey
Died: May 18, 1968
Buried at: 
Section 11, Site 279-1
                  Arlington National Cemetery 
                  Arlington, Virginia
Awards: Purple Heart

COMMANDER VINCENT DUNCAN MONROE was born on July 1, 1934. His home of record is Oaklyn, NJ. He served in the US Navy and attained the rank of Commander (CDR).

Commander Monroe was listed as missing in action on May 18, 1968. His status was later changed to killed in action. His remains were repatriated on August 23, 1978, and identified on September 11, 1978.

Synopsis (from the POW Network) as to the circumstances behind being listed as MIA:

Commander Charlie N. James, Jr. was a pilot assigned to Reconnaissance Attack Squadron 11 onboard the USS KITTY HAWK. On May 18, 1968, he launched in his RA5C Vigilante on a multi-aircraft reconnaissance mission over North Vietnam. His Radar/Navigator that day was Lt. Cdr. Vincent D. Monroe.

The Vigilante commenced its run and crossed the North Vietnam coastline as planned, proceeding toward Vinh Son, which was the primary target. James' and Monroe's aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and started to spout flames burning uncontrollably. The pilot of one of the other aircraft on the mission transmitted to Monroe that his aircraft was hit, and he responded with, "I know." This was the last transmission received from James and Monroe.

The aircraft decelerated rapidly and plunged toward the ground. Other pilots momentarily lost sight of the crippled craft, and when again observed, approximately 10 seconds later, it impacted the ground. Intensive automatic weapons fire was in the area from many sites. Two parachutes were observed and emergency radio beepers heard. Search and rescue efforts were initiated. However, failure to establish voice contact with either flight member and the intensity of the anti-aircraft fire in the area necessitated termination of the effort. Electronic surveillance continued, but to no avail.

Radio Hanoi broadcasted the capture of two American pilots on May 18, 1968 in the general area of the loss of James and Monroe. Both men were classified Prisoner of War.

Vincent D. Monroe was promoted after his crash to Captain. It is appears that it will never be known if Commander Monroe died when his plane went down or if, as suspected, was taken prisoner and died while in captivity. The Department of Defense gives his dates of death as Nay 18, 1968. Captain Charlie N. James was released by the North Vietnamese on March 14, 1973.

Commander Monroe was survived by his wife Suzanne and son James Vincent Monroe. After his remains were returned to United States custody, he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia 

is honored on Panel 62E Line 21 of
the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.


** Note that some of these messages are from years ago
and there contact information may not be good anymore **

Both my wife and I were schoolmates of Vince at Grinnell College in the late 50's. I also 
made the Navy a career and as an Aviator. Vince was a quiet and affable man who did his duty in a manner befitting himself and his country. He died serving those of us who were lucky enough to survive - But, He is not forgotten. I too wore his bracelet for many years - left it in a bag at the WALL in DC in 1992 as a tribute to him. May God grant him eternal peace. Rest well WARRIOR - we salute you Love Jon(59) and Marilyn Walker(58)

Jon Walker
School Mate
Pensacola, FL
Monday, April 23, 2001

I wore his POW bracelet

Like the others who have added comments here, I too wore Vincent's POW bracelet and I 
still have it. If anyone knows if his family would like the bracelet, please let me know. 
If it would mean something to them to have it, I'd happily send it.

Susan Mintzer
Coral Springs, FL
Wednesday, May 08, 2002