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SFC Earl Eric Shark

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SFC Earl Eric Shark

  • Birth 23 May 1946 Pomona, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Death 12 Sep 1968 Vietnam
  • Cenotaph Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA
  • Plot Courts of the Missing
  • Memorial ID 67885547

In Memory of ......... SFC Army E-7 Earl Eric Shark.
*** Staff Sergeant Shark was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. On September 12, 1968, he was serving as point man on a reconnaissance mission near Loc Ninh, Binh Long Province, South Vietnam. He was wounded, taken prisoner and died in captivity. His remains were not recovered. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.

You may be gone, no longer living on this earth; but you will live on - in the memories of your family and friends. There will always be a part of you living in those who knew you. You will live on because we remember you!

Age: 32
Race: Caucasian
Date of Birth May 23, 1946
Marital Status: Single - He had a sister, Jean.

***** Earl was my cousin...You will always be missed and remembered!

***** He was engaged to my aunt Betty when he left, and tonight I got to hear stories about how he was her first love. He is a very honorable man, and I know she still loves him
Casey Curlee
Jun. 2, 2015

***** I have often wondered what you looked like and it's good to put a face with the name of the brave man engraved on the POW/MIA bracelet I wore every day (except during my wedding) for many years. I still have it and cherish it.
Donna Crockett Mowery
Mar. 16, 2015

***** I was the radio operator for the company commander of C company on this operation. One of my duties was to report to the battalion our daily casualties. I reminder that night very well. It was only time I ever called in a mia(missing in action). For many years I have thought about that solider, not knowing his name until I found this memorial while looking for information on my unit in Viet Nam. I will never forget Sgt Earl Eric Shark.
loran thompson
Dec. 10, 2014

***** In the story write up for Earl Eric Shark his army unit is indicated at Company C, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. The actual company was " Company A" , 1st Battalion, etc. This information is verifiable in the national archives for the VN KIA / MIA individuals at the NARA-AAD site. The ambush on Sept 12, 1968 wherein Shark became an MIA was a Squad of army soldiers from both A Company and E Company.
Gary McJimsey

***** Today we honor Earl Shark of Pomona, California, who fell in 1968. Today would have been his birthday. He is remembered by his cousin, Winnie: ' Happy Birthday Cousin. Had you lived, you would have been 68 today. I think of all the Birthdays that you've missed and the life you missed out on. It's just not fair. You were always SUCH a good guy. I remember you playing with me when the other cousin's wouldn't, even though I was 8 years younger than you. You were always so sweet to me. And before you left for Vietnam, you took me for a ride on your motorcycle. We had so much fun! I have never forgotten you Earl. I even sold MIA/POW Bracelets from the Claremont Chamber of Commerce every day after school, Jr & Sr years of High School. I never missed a day. And I ALWAYS had your bracelet on, for years, until it broke. I've scratched your name numerous times from the Wall in DC and a few Traveling Walls. Always pointing out your name to others near by. 'THAT'S my cousin Earl!' With a proud smile on my face & a tear in my eye. I'm finding comfort in knowing that you are with your Dad, brother Jeff, and my Mom & Dad, now. My Dad was always soooo proud of you. All of us have missed you so much and have always wondered how you died and where your remains are. They were never found or brought home to rest. Finding this Vietnam Memorial site, I have read many comments from people who knew you or are still wearing your bracelet. One comment finely told me about the ambush you encountered that day and that you were shot & captured. I'm so sorry that this had to happen to you. The Hell you must have endured. You were a brave & wonderful man Earl and will NEVER be forgotten. I Salute you, Sir. Love you. Your cousin, Winnie' Thank you for serving, Earl:
Larry Muse
May. 23, 2014

Date of Loss: 12 September 1968
Hostile, died while missing, GROUND CASUALTY
Rank/Branch: E5/US Army
Unit:Co. C,1st Battalion,28th Infantry,1st Infantry Division
Date of Birth: 23 May 1946 (College Park MI)
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 115314N 1063737E (XU772145)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: Ground

Body was not recovered
Panel 44W - Line 41

Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)

On 12 September 1968, then Sgt. Earl E. Shark was assigned to Company C, 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division that was conducting a reconnaissance-in-force mission.

Sgt. Shark was serving as the pointman for the 1st Squad, 3rd Platoon as the platoon advanced up a hill approximately 6 kilometers northeast of the town of Loc Ninh.

His unit came under intense enemy fire. The radio operator with Sgt. Shark transmitted that both men had been wounded and needed help.

When the point element came under fire from a superior enemy force, according to witnesses, Earl Shark was wounded in the upper torso. His radioman was also hit by the same burst of fire, but was five to ten meters behind the sergeant.

The platoon leader and his radioman reached and rescued the wounded radio operator, then crawled to within 5 to 10 meters of Earl Shark. They could see no movement, heard no noise, and saw no visible sign of life.

As the firefight continued, the platoon leader threw a hand grenade at an enemy soldier located in an entrenched bunker in front of Sgt. Shark. The grenade fell short and exploded closer to the wounded American than to the enemy soldier. Fragments from the grenade fell close enough to Sgt. Shark to set off the smoke grenades attached to his web gear, but Earl Shark still made no voluntary movement. Due to heavy enemy fire, the platoon leader and his radio operator were forced to withdraw without retrieving Sgt. Shark.

Three days later, on 15 September, the unit was able to reach the area where Sgt. Shark was last seen. The search and rescue/recovery (SAR) team found Sgt. Shark's helmet and part of his canteen in the position where he had last been seen, but found no trace of him.

Because of the circumstances of loss, the Army believed he "was captured and probably died of his wounds in captivity."

Earl Shark was listed Missing in Action.


Almost immediately intelligence reports were received and correlated to Earl Shark by US military intelligence agencies. These reports indicated that although seriously wounded, Earl Shark was alive, captured and survived for roughly 5 days before dying as a result of his wounds and complications following the amputation of one of his legs.

He is reported to have died at K101 Dispensary in Cambodia and was reportedly buried west of the hospital.

On 22 December 1970, the Viet Cong, released a list containing the names of American POWs who they reported died while under their control. The PRG list included Earl Shark as having Died in Captivity. Ironically, at the end of the war the VC refused to return the remains of Sgt. Shark in spite of the fact they acknowledged holding him prisoner.


Gravesite Details Looking for hometown location of his Memorial Headstone.





  • Created by: Eddieb
  • Added: 4 Apr 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 67885547
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for SFC Earl Eric Shark (23 May 1946–12 Sep 1968), Find A Grave Memorial no. 67885547, citing Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Honolulu County, Hawaii, USA ; Maintained by Eddieb (contributor 46600350) .