From USNA Virtual Memorial Hall

Sherwood Gifford, Jr. '57

Date of birth: September 29, 1932

Date of death: February 27, 1961

Age: 28

Lucky Bag

From the 1957 Lucky Bag:


From A-4 Skyhawk:

February 27, 1961: Lt(jg) Sherwood E. Gifford perished in A4D-1 BuNo 142153 on a low level training flight at NAS Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Other Information

From his high school yearbook

From researcher Kathy Franz:

“Sherdy” graduated from Oil City High School in 1950 with the quote “A little body lodged in a mighty mind.” Activities: Band 3, 4, Hi-Y 4, Senior Math Club 4, District Band 3. Swing Band on saxophone. Marching Band on clarinet.

In December 1957, Sherwood completed Flight Training at Saufley Field, Pensacola, and also made a solo flight in a T-34 Mentor training plane. He was then transferred for further training to Whiting Field in Milton, Florida. When he married in July 1958, he was taking advanced Naval Flight training in Kingsville, Texas.

Since early December 1960, he was student pilot with Attack Squadron 44 at Jacksonville Naval Air Station. On February 16, 1961, 16 miles southwest of Jacksonville NAS, he parachuted from an A4D-1 Skyhawk bomber which plunged to the ground from a low-level portion of a bombing training mission.

Pronounced 100% well, he was sent to Cuba for about three weeks, but he was killed on February 27.

He was survived by his wife, the former Catherine Leigh Byrd whom he married on July 26, 1958, and their son John, 10 months old. His parents were Sherwood and Erma who died in 1937. His four sisters were Mrs. Donald Baker, Dixie Lee (Mrs. Harold Flinchbaugh,) Delores Jean (Mrs. Donald Ware,) and Helen Griffin.

He is buried in Alabama.

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Bobby Broome '57 and Burke Ward '57 were also in 10th Company.

Class of 1957

Sherwood is one of 38 members of the Class of 1957 on Virtual Memorial Hall.

The "category" links below lead to lists of related Honorees; use them to explore further the service and sacrifice of the alumni in Memorial Hall.