ERWIN B. TEMPLIN, JR., LCDR, USN
Erwin Templin, Jr. '63
Date of birth: December 24, 1940
Date of death: January 22, 1966
From the 1963 Lucky Bag:
During the early morning hours of 22 January 1966, an S-2D anti-submarine warfare aircraft (BuNo 149252) from VS-35 launched on a night visual surveillance mission along the coast of North Vietnam in support of the SAR destroyers stationed off the coast. There were four men aboard the aircraft: LT William S. Forman, pilot; LT(jg) Edwin B. Templin, copilot; AMHC Edmund H. Frenyea; and ADR2 Robert R. Sennett.
At about 6 AM, toward the end of the mission, the aircraft disappeared from the destroyers' radar scopes. That wasn't unusual; if the aircraft descended to low altitude to investigate a contact, it would frequently go below the ships' radar horizons. However, when radio contact could not be made with the aircraft search and rescue efforts were begun. Eventually, after some days, a life raft - inflated, undamaged, and apparently unused - was found, as was LT(jg) Templin's helmet.
North Vietnam never claimed these men as captured or killed, although within a few hours of the disappearance Radio Hanoi reported that an aircraft had been shot down near Bach Long Vi Island, North Vietnam. The four crewmen had simply disappeared. Since there was no proof of their deaths, they were classed as Missing in Action.
When the American POWs were released in February 1973, none of them had any knowledge of Forman or his crew. On 10 May 1973, the Secretary of the Navy approved Presumptive Findings of Death for the four men, changing their status to Died while Missing/Body not Recovered.
The site also says that Skip had a daughter born April 4, 1966. He flew from USS Hornet (CVS 12).
From Wall of Faces:
I knew Erwin B. Templin, Jr. as "Skip" Templin. We were classmates at the U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1963. In July, 1959, when we were sworn in as Midshipmen, Skip and I were in the same crew (approximately 12 plebes) and we spent plebe summer together getting accostomed to live at USNA. I lived next door to Skip and we did a lot together that summer. I remember his as a tall, red haired, slender fellow from Texas, who was full of energy and fun and who had a great sense of humor. In the fall of 1959, our crew was dispersed among the Brigade of Midshipmen and Skip and I were in different companies. Our paths seldom crossed after that, but I was terribly saddened when Skip lost his life in the service of our country, and I have very fond memories of him to this day. I greatly appreciate his sacrifice and I extend my sympathies to his family. D. TERRY ROGERS, 11/15/98
Skip and I were fellow midshipmen and good friends at the Naval Academy, and spent 1960 Christmas leave together in Houston, where in anticipation of the 1961 Orange Bowl Game we erected a giant "Go Navy Beat Missouri" banner on the grounds of the Shamrock Hotel. Unfortunately, the outcome of the game wasn't what we (or, I believe, President-elect Kennedy, who attended the game in person) had hoped for. DENNIS CROSS (USNA 1962), W.D.CROSS@HOTMAIL.COM, 5/19/16
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency lists Erwin as "unaccounted for."