1967

TO LISTEN TO GEORGE JONE'S 50,000 NAMES ON THE WALL

64 65 66   68 69 70 71 72 73

 

1967

01

22

E-6 SSG

Rowland E.

Gibson

91B4S

KIA

Cam; CCC, RT Indiana; small arms fire

22 Jan 67- Rowland E. Gibson, SSG E-6, USASF, C&C, Spike Team INDIANA-KIA small arms fire.  Roland Gibson came into country in 1966 and was assigned to A--352 under B-35 located in Duc Hoa, the old rice mill in Hau Ngia province. He was a medic that I went through training with, Ranger and a hard charger in ever respect. Other than that much is unknown about him. Clarence Page

 

07 

1967

02

7

E-7 SFC

James H.

Duncan

11F4S

KIA, DOW

Laos; CCC, FOB2, during BDA, w/ 1LT Sisler

1967

02

7

O-2 1LT

George K.

Sisler

31542

KIA  Medal of Honor

Laos; CCC, FOB2, during BDA, w/ SFC Duncan

7  7 Feb 67, George K Sisler, lLt 0-2, Dexter MO, USASF, FOB 2 Kontum, Ops 35, MACV SOG, KIA-RR (Medal of Honor Winner) Exploitation Force PIt Ldr; also moh_army-s.gifJames H Duncan, SFC E-7, USASF, KIA has been indicated as being on the mission with George K. Sisler who was KIA on same date (?)  (Exploitation Force Plt Ldr, when his EF was hit on 3 sides by a Company size element. Lt Sisler distinguished himself by exposing himself repeatedly while rescuing his wounded men and killing the enemy in the process.  When the Plt came under an extremely heavy attack, he picked up grenades and charged the enemy  single handedly, firing his weapon and throwing hand grenades, which broke the enemy's assault, compelling the enemy to withdraw.  He continued to move about the battlefield directing fire.  Sisler stood to direct gun ships when a sniper's round cut him down. He died there.  George Sisler was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. [Story featured in John Plaster's SOG A Photo History of the Secret War, page 173]

George K. Sisler Fr SF Honor Roll

 

1967

02

21

E-7 SFC

Domingo R. S.

Borja

11C4S

KIA, BNR, DSC

Laos; CCN, w/ RT??, YD188011, 20k west of A Luoi

2121 Feb 67, Domingo R. S. Borja, SFC E-7, San Francisco, CA, USASF, MACV-SOG, Ops 35, KIA-Body Not Recovered.  SF recon team member operating 1 mile west of Laos/South Vietnam border. During a firefight, he and enemy soldier fired on and killed each other. Remains left for recovery later/covered with leaves next to distinctive tree. Search and Rescue searched entire area five days and found no trace of him NOTE: For further information, contact Patty Hopper at tfoinc@inficad.com  home: (623) 979-5651.  Col. & Mrs. Earl P. Hopper, Sr run Task Force Omega and keep detailed info on all POWs and MIAs. Veteran of WW2 and Korea (POW - escaped) award D.S.C.
 

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Domingo Borja was a member of a Special Forces reconnaissance team. On February 21, 1967, the team was operating in Laos near the Laos/South Vietnam border, in extreme northern Saravane Province very near the province boundary with Savannakhet Province. The location is so near Vietnam that some lists locate Borja's area of operations in South Vietnam. While trying to assist a wounded teammember, Borja was confronted by an enemy soldier. Each fired at the other simultaneously, and both were killed instantly. Both bodies were checked by 2 team members who detected no signs of life whatever. Because of the enemy presence in the area, the remainder of the team evaded and left the SFC Borja's body behind for later recovery. Subsequent efforts over the next 5 days to locate and recover the remains were unsuccessful. As of 18 Jul 2006 Sergeant First Class Domingo Borja's remains have not been repatriated

1967

03

6

E-5 SGT

Howard B.

Carpenter

05B4S

KIA, BNR

Laos; B-50, FOB2, YD180036, Operation DAWES, 21k WNW of A Luoi

06 Mar 67, Howard B Carpenter, SGT E-5, Youngstown, OH, USASF, MACV-SOG, Ops 35 along with an unknown named and number of other members of a Hatchet Force of SF Det B-5O, Project "Omega," FOB-2, Ops-35 all KIA-bodies not recovered (On operation in the Tri Border area, his HF Company came under hostile fire. SGT Carpenter left the safety of his defensive position to recover wounded team members. He immediately came into contact with 3 enemy soldiers where he killed two of them then his weapon jammed and he was shot killing him instantly. Because of the adverse situation caused by continued enemy attacks and the other wounded, the Hatchet Force Company had to leave the dead behind)

 

1967

03

23

E-8 MSG

Paul A.

Conroy, Jr.

11F5S

DNH, accidental self destruction

SVN; CCN, FOB1, RT Maine, at Kham Duc, WP grenade accident during training

23 Mar 67 Paul A Conroy, Jr, SFC E-7, USASF, RT MAINE, FOB 2, CCC, C&C Det, Kham Duc, Nung Camp, Ops 35, KIA-RR (Killed when a white phosphorus grenade exploded in his hand during a training exercise).

Paul A. Conroy, Jr. (From SF Honor Roll)

 

1967

03

25

O-3 CPT

Richard E.

Legate

31542

KIA

Laos; CCC, FOB2, Nung Company Commander

25 Mar 67 Richard Legate, Cpt 0-3, USASF, Spike Team, FOB 2 CCC, Kontum, Ops 35, KIA-RR (Cpt Legate was hit by an enemy round, which severed his femoral artery causing him to lose a large amount of blood. Legate became unconsciousness and died.)

31 Mar 67 Robert L Baldwin, Maj 04, US Air Force, UH-1 Helicopter pilot, KIA-RR (His helicopter was lowering ammunition to an Omega Recon Team when he was hit in the chest by a 12.7 mm enemy round. The Co-pilot [new and inexperienced] was stunned, sat frozen and unable to react causing the aircraft to crash] 

UH-1F Huey (tail number 65-07932) of the 20th Special Operations Squadron was tasked for an ammunition resupply mission for a Special Operations reconnaissance team. While in a low hover, delivering the munitions via hoist, the helicopter was hit by 12.7 mm rounds. Major Baldwin, then commanding "E" Flight, was killed and the copilot was wounded by the gunfire. The Huey crashed, but the surviving crewmen escaped further injury and were rescued by the SOG team.

From the VHPA database.

Major Baldwin was the first fatality for the Green Hornets. He had previously served with the 606th ACS in Thailand on a TDY basis and was considered a very good Huey pilot.

 

1967 06 3 E-7 SFC Ronald J. Dexter 11F4S KIA, BNR, died in captivity 07/67 Laos; CCN, FOB1, XD795050, CH-46 #120955 shotdown, w/ SFC Laney; 31k S of A-101 Lang Vei

1967

06

3

E-7 SFC

Billy R.

Laney

11F5S

KIA, DWM (recovered 02/16/99)

Laos; CCN, FOB1, XD795050, CH-46 #150955 shotdown, w/ SFC Dexter, 31k S of A-101 Lang Vei

03-04 Jun 67 Ronald James Dexter SFC E-7, Abilene, TX (Official date of death 29Jul67); Billy Ray Laney, SFC E-7, Green Acres City, FL - US Army Special Forces and an unknown number of SCU Hatchet Force, FOB 1, Phu Bai, Ops 35; and Stephen P. Hanson, Cpt 03, Pilot, Restful Lake, OH; John G. Gardner, 1LT 0-3, CO-Pilot, Restful Lake, OH; and Timothy R. Bodden, SGT E-5, USMC, Crew Chief, Downer Grove, ILL- Members of The United States Marines Corps Aviation, HNMI65, CH46 Helicopter Crew "Shark Three" Khe Sahn Launch Site, FOB 1, Ops 32 were MIA-Presumptive finding of death. (A total of 23 Americans were lost; SOG raiders, Air Force and Marine Pilots and crewman--plus twice as many Nungs). The target was Oscar 8  FOR DETAILS SEE--> DEXTER/LANEY also see page57, Hunting the Jackal by Sergeant Major Billy Waugh.  A company size hatchet force raid, commanded by Maj Jerry Kilburn, operating in Oscar 8 target area, 18-22 KM SE of Khe Sanh, at an azimuth of 220 degrees, and near Route #922, which contained the largest depot outside of Hanoi, well defended with belts of antiaircraft guns. The Hatchet Force (HF) arrived at Khe Sanh, remained overnight at the Launch Site, and inserted early in the morning. The terrain favored the enemy and the area was within a horseshoe type land mass. Several hundred SPAR (Special Agent Reports) had been intercepted from the target area within a 24 hour period. These radio transmissions were originated by the NVA and were possibly associated with the Commanding General of their Army Nuyen Van Gaip. At 0545, SGM Billy William D. "Billy" Waugh boarded an 0-2 aircraft to fly FAC as the Covey Rider, flying toward the target, staying in the "Gray Forrest" area along Route #222. At about 0630, the FAC observed the Condensation Trails of nine (9) B-52's. The FAC performed 360's as the B-52 dropped their load, FAC flew over the target area, noticed several secondary fires, and actually watched as the NVA rolled what appeared to be-barrels of gasoline from one of the burning areas. The NVA were swarming, and immediately took the FAC aircraft under fire with what was probably a set of 12.7 AA guns. The FAC "hauled ass" away from the area, and sent a transmission to "scratch the infil, as the area was crawling with pissed-off NVA." Too late, the transmission did not make it in time. Due to the high hill range, just to the North of the LZ, transmissions to the launch site were not completed. The raid began with an Arc Light, and as soon as the Arc Light was over, the raider company arrived with the mission to conduct a BDA of the arc light bombing, capture any WIA NVA, and capture any NVA equipment in the area. The very first Marine HUEY Gun ship across the intended LZ and was shot down to the south of the LZ. The first CH-47 (Chinook) with troops, was noticed landing just to the North of the intended LZ, this bird was shot down as it lowered to the LZ and broke into two pieces on impact. A second Chinook attempted landing, and was also shot down, An H-34 (SOG rescue bird) came into the area, to infiltrate troops, and was shot down, landing to the South of Route "922. The crew were seen fleeing from this bird, to the West (Subsequently rescued). The approximate 100 SOG men that were inserted were surrounded and had taken cover in a few bomb craters. SFC Laney was last seen by SFC Wilklow, wounded in the back after boarding the a helicopter, the aircraft was hit by enemy fire, then the pilot was shot, and it veered out of control and crashed. After the aircraft crashed, it continued to receive heavy fire, however, many of the personnel were rescued. SFC Laney was last seen still in the helicopter chest shot and probably dead. Due to the enemy situation, he was not recovered and a later search produced negative results . Two A-1E’s came into the area, firing their guns, dropping napalm as requested by the Team Leader. One of the A-1E’s was shot through by a hail of green tracers, and rolled over-crashing without a parachute. The 2nd A-1E was shot almost to pieces, but the fine pilot managed to land that bird at the Khe Sanh airstrip (a hell of a feat). Two F-4's were performing close air support, with one being blasted right in his forward portion, causing that bird to crash. All this occurred within 30 minutes of the insert. During the initial day of insert, rescue attempts were made to recover the WIA. Early morning of the second day, the remainder of the Hatchet Force members were picked up. The NVA were silent that day, as it appeared the NVA were encouraging an exfiltration due to the 30-50 airstrikes they had endured. SFC Dexter was last seen exiting a downed CH-46 helicopter and taken as a Prisoner of War, but never reached North Vietnam alive. A report obtained from a captured Nung Commando who was later released tells of Cpt Hanson, Lt Gardner, and Sgt Bodden being executed by the North Vietnamese Soldiers (Dexter's official date of death is listed as 29 Jul 67). Of the six Americans MIAs, only USMC Lance Corporal Frank E. Cius, Jr. was confirmed by Hanoi. After Cius’s release in 1973, he told Dexter’s brother that Ronald Dexter had been captured but died in enemy hands. Note: SFC Charles Wilklow was wounded and in enemy hands. The enemy used him as bait to try and bring in aircraft to rescue him. The enemy tended to ignore him, thinking he was no risk due to his condition. He had observed NVA in formations, giving orders, etc., expecting to die any minute. After the 4th day with maggots in his open wound, barely clinging to life, he somehow managed to crawl away during the night. Around mid day, the following day a FAC flew overhead and SGM Waugh observed a body with a panel over it and when the FAC made a second pass, the body sat up and SGM Waugh recognized it was an American. When Wilklow came to, he was looking into the face of SSG Roy Pace, a Black American, who had performed a one man bright light by repelling in to rescue him. Wilklow was wearing a STABO rig and was extracted by string.

Billy R Laney, Fr SF Honor Roll John GardnerJohn O. Gardner  From Vietnam Virtual Wall   Timothy R BoddenTimothy R. Bodden, From Vietnam Virtual Wall

The complete memorial is at
http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/8901/index.html

THE MISSION

On June 3, 1967, Capt. Steven P. Hanson, pilot; then-1st Lt John G. Gardner, co-pilot; Sgt Timothy R. Bodden, crew chief/door gunner; LCpl Frank E. Cius, doorgunner; SFC Billy R. Laney, USArmy; SFC Ronald J. Dexter, USArmy; SFC Charles F. Wilklow, US Army, and an unknown number of ARVN personnel, all passengers, were aboard a CH46A helicopter (serial #150955) on an extraction mission in Laos. Loss Coordinates were 161914N 1064049E (XD795050). Six CH-46 aircraft were involved in the mission. They successfully flew in and loaded the Americans and South Vietnamese, but moments after liftoff they came under heavy fire, and three of the aircraft went down, including Gardner�s. Gardner's aircraft received extensive automatic small arms fire upon takeoff from the Landing Zone, took numerous hits and crashed 350 meters from the LZ, located about 15 miles inside Laos west of the A Shau Valley. The helicopter did not burn on impact, and continued to receive fire. Three ARVN troops from the aircraft were able to return to the LZ. The troops waiting at the LZ could not search because of the hostile threat in the area. Air searches located the survivors of the crash, but they could not be evacuated. The troops remaining at the LZ were extracted the following day. One soldier who was captured by the Viet Cong that day and later released testified to U.S. military investigators that he last saw Gardner strapped in the cockpit. Captain Gardner's remains were repatriated in 1999 and identified in August 2000. He was buried, with military honors, in the Arlington National Cemetery.

Additional details are available on the
Pop-A-Smoke site .

1967

06

15

E-8 MSG

Ben D.

Snowden

91B4S

KIA

Laos; B-50, FOB2, during CH-34 extraction, "west of the Tri-Border area"

15 Jun 67- Ben D. Snowden, SFC E-7 (MSG E-8?), USASF, B-56-KIA-RR and One unknown A-1 Skyraider pilot-MIA-Presumptive finding of Death. Snowden, a passenger in a CH-34 Kingbee attempting to rescue recon team that technically belonged to project Omega consisting of two Americans and four Nungs who were surrounded by an enemy force. The enemy had the team surrounded, but was not interested in destroying them. The team was bait to draw in a helicopter. Due to the steep slopes, the helicopter required a passenger to help load the team. Just as the team leader lifted one of his Nungs up to the helicopter, a massive volume of fire erupted from a fixed, hidden machine gun hitting the aircraft. The helicopter groggily rocked and lifted away somehow making it back to SOG’s Dak To launch site, riddled with sixty-eight bullet holes, its engine out, it slammed into a ditch. Snowden had been hit by nine times and had died. The A-1 was a propeller driven aircraft, but saved the day for the team, it received the exact heading to the hidden machine gun from the team, rolled in, banked above the team and executed a bombing run, dropping a shiny canister that spun end over end just above the team, spewing jellied gasoline into the small cave mouth which provided cover for the machine gun, the napalm flashed eliminating the machine gun allowing the team to be rescued. When the A-1 was pulling away from the bomb run, it continued taking fire until it belched smoke, nose up, with the pilot ejecting and the canopy fall away with the parachute drifting into the NVA positions. The team was rescued by the same pilot who piloted the helicopter that was shot up, who insisted on flying the rescue mission because he knew the terrain.

Ben David SnowdenBen with wife and daughterBen

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The 5th Special Forces Group's Detachment B-50 was known as "Project Omega" and specialized in long-range recon and intelligence-gathering missions in and across South Vietnam's border regions. Although accounts vary, it appears that Sergeant Snowden was flying as a passenger aboard a RVNAF CH-34 "King Bee" helicopter in support of the extraction of a recon team which had been engaged by North Vietnamese troops. The helicopter was heavily hit by ground fire and was forced to withdraw; SGT Snowden is the only known fatality aboard the aircraft. One report on the macvsog.org site states that the King Bee pilot returned to the patrol's location in another helicopter and extracted the six-man team.

25 March 2002

Until recently, basically all our family knew of Ben's military career was the info given previously. We did not find out until recently (35 years later) the extent of his military prowess. Thanks to the marvels of the internet and the fact that so much of this information is now declassified we have discovered that Ben was a member of a highly skilled group of ace fighting units consisting of Army Green Berets, Air Force Air Commandos and Navy Seals. Information regarding Ben's last mission is in a book on pp. 103-107 written by three-tour SOG veteran Major John L. Plaster entitled "SOG, The Secret Wars of America's Commandos in Vietnam".

The Studies and Observations Group was "the most secret elite U.S. military unit to serve in the Vietnam War - so secret its very existence was denied by the government." According to John Plaster's book the group answered only to the Pentagon and the White House and his book gives an account of "SOG's stunning operations behind enemy lines - penetrating heavily defended North Vietnamese military facilities, holding off mass enemy attacks, launching daring missions to rescue downed U.S. pilots. From sabotage to espionage to hand-to-hand combat, these are some of the most extraordinary true stories of honor and heroism in the history of the U.S. military."

The SOG's operations in Laos, Cambodia and North Vietnam are spellbinding and although it was painful to hear in excruciating detail of some of these missions, we are thankful to men such as Major Plaster and the other brave men of SOG for sharing their stories with us.

At the time of his death, Ben was assigned to Detachment B-50, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne). He was a member of MACV/SOG, Project Omega, Forward Operating Base Two, Operation Daniel Boone on 15 June 1967.

Georgetown veteran slain in Vietnam to receive medal after 45 years photo
R
A photo of MSG Ben Snowden, during service in Vietnam.-Photo furnished by Rodolfo Gonzalez
Georgetown veteran slain in Vietnam to receive medal after 45 years photo
 
John Snowden, older brother of Ben Snowden, and Roger Widdows, right, holds a shadow box of with Ben’s picture and service medals from Vietnam outside of the VFW Post named in his honor-Photo furnished by Rodolfo Gonzalez

 

Georgetown veteran slain in Vietnam to receive medal after 45 years photo
A photo of MSG Ben Snowden, copied at the VFW Post named after him in Georgetown.-Photo furnished by Rodolfo Gonzalez
In a message dated 12/29/2012 12:09:55 A.M. Central Standard Time, rww261@yahoo.com writes:
Bob,
This may try your memory so I attached your last...
Great News!! Senator Cornyn's office notified us that effective 17 Dec 2012, Msg Ben D Snowden, B-50 Project Omega, 5th Special Forces, MACVSOG, has been awarded the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in the action that took his life on 15 June 1967.
I was able to contact John Plaster who aided our cause with his recap in his book "SOG" and with connections to Lowell Stevens (God Rest Him). After only a three year ordeal, the Army finally made the award. There are a couple dozen former SF troops who aided us immensly so if you could post this on your SOG site to let your SOG following it would be appreciated.
Roger Widdows
(Cw3, USA Ret)
Veterans Service Officer
Msg Ben D Snowden VFW Post 8587
Georgetown, Texas

Georgetown veteran slain in Vietnam to receive medal after 45 years

By Claire Osborn

American-Statesman Staff

http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local-military/georgetown-veteran-slain-in-vietnam-to-receive-med/nThK4/

GEORGETOWN —

 
Rodolfo Gonzalez
A photo of MSG Ben Snowden, copied at the VFW Post named after him in Georgetown.

Ben Snowden enlisted in the army in 1954 at age 17 while he was still in Georgetown High School. Twelve years later, he was on his third tour of duty in the Vietnam War when he tried to rescue several soldiers under fire on a patrol in Laos.

The helicopter that he was on had to hover about eight feet from the ground because tree stumps prevented it from landing. Snowden, a member of the special forces who was 6 feet 6 inches tall, reached down to grab a soldier being lifted up by a commander.

He never made contact. An enemy shot him several times in the chest with a machine gun, and Snowden died instantly. It was June 15, 1967.

His family found out this month — 45 years after he died — that he will be awarded the Silver Star for his courage.

“Our family is just thrilled it finally happened,” said one of his brothers, John Snowden of Georgetown. Snowden, a Marine, said he didn’t find out all the details of his brother’s death until 30 years after he died because the information was labeled classified.

He didn’t try to get a medal for his brother because his brother was a modest person. “He never cared about medals and thought he was just doing his job and probably if he was alive would have never pushed for it,” Snowden said.

The person who did push for the medal was Roger Widdows, a Vietnam veteran who lives in Georgetown and who never knew Ben Snowden. He said he met John Snowden on Memorial Day in 2009 and was struck by the similarities in their lives.

“It turned out that we had both lost our younger brothers in helicopter incidents in Vietnam,” Widdows said. “I said to myself if that had been my brother who was not getting any recognition for what he did, I would not feel good about it.”

Widdows said he contacted U.S. Sen. John Cornyn’s office in 2009 about Ben Snowden but that it took three years to supply all the documents detailing what happened in order to get approval for the medal. “I must have contacted about 75 people, and many wanted to remain anonymous,” he said.

Widdows said he read a book called “SOG: The Secret War of American Commandos in Vietnam” by another Vietnam veteran named John Plaster, which provided details of Snowden’s last mission. He said Plaster helped him track down one of Ben Snowden’s former commanders — Lowell Stevens — who saw the incident. Stevens, who has since died, was able to help supply Widdows with an eyewitness account, Widdows said.

Snowden’s helicopter had to crash land in a ditch after Snowden was shot, Stevens wrote in an email he sent in 2004 to Carra Elkins, one of Snowden’s sisters. “For reasons I still can’t explain, I insisted on counting the bullet holes in the chopper he was on,” the email said. “There were 68 holes in the chopper. … He sacrificed his life in an attempt to help his fellow soldiers.”

“Ben was a vital part of our family, and we still miss him every day,” Elkins said. “He has always been my hero, but now he is everyone’s hero.”

Ben Snowden was 29 years old and married with three children when he died. His wife, Betty, never remarried and is recovering from surgery in Tennessee, John Snowden said.

Ben Snowden was the first soldier from Georgetown to die in Vietnam, John Snowden said. Georgetown VFW Post 8587 is named in his honor.

 

 

1967

07

3

E-7 SFC

Leo Earl

Seymour

11C4S

MIA-PFD

Laos; CCC, FOB2, RT Texas, YB575326 4k SW of Leghorn

03 Jul 67 Leo Earl Seymour, SGT E5, Towanda, Penn, USASF Spike Team Leader of ST Texas, FOB 1, Phu Bai, Ops 35 Recon patrol in Laos MIA-Presumptive finding of death. (SGT Seymour called in two air strikes on a discovered Viet Cong position. After the air strikes, the team was directed to make a Bomb Damage Assessment [BDA] but decided to set up an ambush on a trail junction 11 miles inside of Laos northwest of Ben Het in the Dale Xow River Valley. Before the ambush location could be completed, two large hostile columns converged and noticed a propaganda poster tacked to a tree that had not been there before and began a search of the area, spotting the forward security element of the team which opened fire on the hostile force and the team came under heavy enemy fire. The team retreated to a defensive position, and again came under enemy fire. The team conducted an E&E maneuver. No one saw Sgt Seymour after the defensive position came under attack. No search was made due to the heavy enemy activity in the area). Oct 6, 2008-unsuccessful search for Leo Semour, RT Texas, Loss: July 3 1967, Attopeu, Laos. My team and I searched and recovered no remains. I found a half-burried NVA-type AK magazine harness with a white plastic spoon in it-(I assumed it to be from a C-Rat). I also found a .32 cal bullet. We tried to recreate the events based on the reports available and spent a great deal of time searching. Nothing else was recovered and we were sent to other sites for exploitation.-From: Neal Riley, SOA #2618-GL, JTFFA-Full Accounting

Leo SeymourLeo E. Seymore fr Vir Vn Wall Seymore fr SF Honor Roll

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Then-Staff Sergeant Leo E. Seymour spent four years in the U.S. Marine Corps before joining the Army. He advanced in rank and training until 1967, when he was assigned to Command and Control Central, MACV-SOG. United States Marine Corps United States Army On July 3, 1967, Seymour was a team leader of a joint U.S and indigenous reconnaissance patrol on a combat mission in Laos. The team was called Recon Team "Texas" and was operating about ten miles inside Laos in Attopeu Province. During the mission, the patrol stopped on a small hill for a break. During this break, the patrol observed a number of enemy forces moving down a trail 25 meters from their position. SSGT Seymour directed an air strike on the enemy location. Following the air strike, Seymour set up an ambush on a small secondary trail. While Seymour was readying the patrol for the ambush in the Dale Xow River Valley, two sizeable enemy columns converged at the trail junction and noticed a psywar propaganda poster which had been tacked on a tree by a member of the "Texas" patrol. Realizing the poster had not been there before, the enemy began searching and spotted the forward security man of the patrol. The security then opened fire and an intense firefight followed. The patrol split into several elements and broke contact with the enemy. Upon rallying, the patrol could not locate SSGT Seymour. No team member could recall having seen Seymour after the initial contact, nor did they hear him at any time. It is not know n if he was wounded. If he departed the area, his direction of travel was unknown. On May 28, 1974, a report indicated SSGT Seymour's last known location was in the vicinity of coordinates YB575326. Hostile threat in the area of loss precluded any on-ground inspections of the area while the U.S. maintained a presence in Southeast Asia. SSGT Seymour's remains were never recovered. From the POW Network

1967

07

4

E-7 SFC

Marlin J.

Goodhue

11B4S

DNH, DWM, helicopter crash

SVN; CCC, FOB2, ST New York, two CH-34 Kingbees, midair enroute to Kontum, with SFC Terry

1967

07

4

E-7 SFC

Thomas L.

Terry

11B4S

DNH, DWM, helicopter crash

SVN; CCC, FOB2, ST New York, two CH-34 Kingbees, midair enroute to Kontum, with SFC Goodhue

04 Jul 67 Marlin J. Goodhue, SFC, Thomas L. Terry, SFC and 4 Vietnamese Commando Team Members from CCC/FOB 2 died as a result of a mid air collision of two H-34 helicopters after the team was extracted from a mission. There were no US H-34's involved in a crash that day nor any pilots killed thus the two were possibly Veitnamese H-34's. The below Prarie Fire Top Secret Report provides details of their demise. FOR DETAILS SEE--> GOODHUE/TERRY.

Thomas Terry (Left)l Thomas Terry Fr SF Honor Roll (Left)

"From: Edward Thatcher <lee1sfga@earthlink.net>
To: ghwva@aol.com
They both died on 4 July. I was with them in Da Nang at the C and C hq that morning. We had few in from FOB #2 at Kontum for a radio class and some R & R. I had been with them but got separated the night before and didn't see them again until the choppers were going to leave that morning. I decided to stay another few days. I remember giving Terry my last pack or Newport cigarettes as he ran out. They were both my close friends. Me and SSG Miller, John B. stay behind that day. I few hours later we heard the the the choppers had collided in mid air. They were mercinaries vietnamese flying them I believe. Terry, Miller, and me were legs that volunteer for a top secret assignment. We were not special forces at the time. SGM Desoto sent us to jump school at Da Nang and later we were awarded the "S" before leaving Viet Nam. I served until 1991 in Special Forces and Retired as a SGM.  SGM Edward Lee Thatcher lee1sfga@earthlink.net"

 

DETAILS:

Air Force Historical Agency Declassified 4 Feb 93 SEA Declassification & Review Team Report:

TOP SECRET LIMDIS PRAIRIE FIRE

FROM: COMUSMACV (COURIER)

TO: JCS (COURIER)

COMCISARPAC (COURIER)

CINCPACAF (COURIER)

TOP SECRET LIMDIS PRAIRIE FIRE JPCCO MACSOG 3043

Subj: PRAIRIE FIRE Weekly Report 1 - 7 Jul 67 (U)

1. (TS) Highlights:

a. There were ten Spike Team missions in the PRAIRIE FIRE area of operations during the period 1-7 Jul 67.

b. Aircraft supporting PRAIRIE FIRE missions received increased amounts of 12.7 mm, .50 Caliber, and, primarily 37mm AA fire during this period. One mission had to be aborted due to the intensity of 37mm AA fire in the target area.

c. There were 75 TAC air sorties and 45 B-52 sorties in the PRAIRIE FIRE AO during this period.

2. (TS) SUMMARY OF OPERATIONS:

a. Spike Team IDAHO landed in the vicinity of target MIKE-3(YD090010) at YD071013 ON 301140Z Jun 67. During the night of 30 Jun-1 Jul 67 the ST heard an undetermined but large number of heavy trucks moving in both directions on Route 922 in the vicinity of YD074025 to YD093025. The ST also heard an estimated enemy company searching the area around the RON location and speaking in a North Vietnamese dialect. On 1 Jul 67 the ST moved to YD078014 and was extracted on 010935Z Jul 67. During the extraction a large secondary explosion with thick, black smoke resulting from an airstrike was observed in the vicinity of YD081012.

b. Spike Team TEXAS landed in the vicinity of target CHARLIE-7 (YB509302) at YB513303 on 010700Z Jul 67. The ST observed the Dak Xou river from YB513303 to YB575323. This portion of the river is not navigable due to a series of rapids. On 3 Jul 67 the ST encountered an estimated NVA Company. The enemy personnel were wearing khaki uniforms, pith helmets and rucksacks. They were carrying AKs or some type of unidentified automatic weapons.During the ensuing fire fight the ST became split and one USSF [Leo E Seymour] and three VN team members were initially MIA. Before extraction one USSF team member found approximately 50 shallow one man foxholes at YB570325. Two USSF and three VN team members were extracted from the vicinity of Target CHARLIE-7 at YB541321 on 031000Z Jul 67. SAR Operation continues.

c. On 3 Jul 67 an attempt was made to insert one Spike Team in the vicinity of target AS-5 9 (YD160020). However, intense 37mm AA fire in the target area caused the mission to be aborted.

d. Spike Team NEW YORK landed in the vicinity of target ROMEO-6 (YC472010) at YB461983 on 010400Z Jul 67. Shortly after leaving the LZ the ST observed five enemy personnel wearing black pajamas, straw coolie hats, pistol belts without packs or other web gear, and carrying semi-automatic weapons. The ST observed a 12 foot square bunker with no overhead cover at YB457990. While attempting to emplace two M7A vehicle mines at YB443987 the ST was observed by four enemy personnel wearing black pajamas. One of the enemy was wearing a baseball cap and carrying a pistol, the others were wearing black bush hats and carrying rifles. The ST was extracted from the ROMEO-6 target area at YC436001 on 030955Z Jul 67. While the ST was being flown from the launch site in SVN to the FOB at Kontum, a mid-air collision between the two CH-34s resulted in the death of two USSF and four VN team members and two helicopter crew members in one helicopter, injuries to the remainder of the ST in the other helicopter, and the destruction  of both CH-34s......" (Note: The only USSF Personnel that died in South Vietnam on July 3 and 4, 1967 were SFC Marlin J. Goodhue, SFC Thomas L. Terry, and SGT Leo Earl Seymour. Therefore, deduction leaves the only possible SF personnel to have been Goodhue and Terry) SFC Terry's OMPF file shows:  HHC5thSFG(ABN) 1stSF MACSOG...LT WPNS LDR...22May 67 (and had previously been with 1/35 - 25thID).  Reg Manning has him correctly coded to CCC/FOB2. since they were flying from the launch site to Kontum I suspect the guys would have been with FOB2 or later known as CCC. The report indicates they actually died on 7/3/67......but the Army didn't report them KIA until 7/4 when the 170AHC got there to retrieve the remains.  This information was compiled by Bruce Swander Washington, DC USMC/66-70 and Robert L. Noe

 

1967

07

12

E-7 SFC

Robert J.

Sullivan

11C4S

KIA, BNR

Laos; CCN, FOB1, YD177031, w/ SFC Almendariz, 21 k west of A Luoi

1967

07

12

E-7 SFC

Samuel

Almendariz

11F4S

KIA, BNR

Laos; CCN, FOB1, YD177031, w/ SFC Sullivan, 21 k west of A Luoi

12 Jul 67 Almendariz, Samuel, SFC 3-7, McAllen, TX and Robert Jospeh Sullivan, SFC E-7, East Almstead, NH, USASF Spike Team Members, FOB 1, CCN, Phu Bai, Ops 35 Recon mission of Savanakhet Province, Laos KIA-Remains Not Recovered. (The team came under an attack that lasted for four hours with a superior force. The only surviving American reported that both SFC Almendariz and SFC Sullivan had been mortally wounded. The team was ambushed, not by men firing weapons, but NVA who leaped out of nowhere. One NVA wrestled Sullivan's weapon from him, then shot him dead, spun around and shot SFC Harry Brown through the shoulder, as another NVA shot Almendaiz dead. Brown and half the team broke away and ran and was able to get a radio message off. During the rescue of Brown and the remainder of the team, a single Kingbee flown by Cowboy with MSG Charles Minnick without fire support and a shot up aircraft (The bird had been shot up on the first attempt, returned to Khe Sanh for refueling. A search conducted on 16 July of the area. No remains were located), Cowboy was shot through the neck, but somehow, he flew the Kingbee with one hand and slowed the bleeding with the other while Minnick dragged the wounded aboard. A search team was inserted on Jul 16, but was unsuccessful in locating either Americans. NOTE: The legendary "Bill Waugh" felt Cowboy's valor should have won him the Medal of Honor. [See pg 105-106 SOG A Photo History of the Secret Wars by John Plaster] Please see  A Man is Not Dead Until He is Forgotten 

Robert J Sullivan

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On 10 July 1967 a surveillance team composed of three American Special Forces soldiers and eight South Vietnamese Nungs was inserted just inside Laos in the extreme southeast portion of Savannakhet Province. The team was tasked with surveillance of a branch of the Ho Chi Minh Trail which followed Route 922 into the A Shau Valley. Although the team avoided contact through the 11th, at mid-morning on the 12th they were attacked by a platoon-size enemy force. Two of the Nungs were killed in the first exchange of fire, and two of the three Americans wounded shortly thereafter in the second exchange. After a five-hour running fight, six of the eleven men, all wounded, were extracted - one American and five Nungs. During his debrief the surviving American (Harry D. Brown) stated that he was present when the other two Americans - SFC Robert J Sullivan and SFC Samuel Almendariz - were killed by enemy fire. Search forces went back into the area of contact over the next few days but failed to locate the bodies of the missing men. Almendariz and Sullivan were listed as killed in action, body not recovered.

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On 10 July 1967 a surveillance team composed of three American Special Forces soldiers and eight South Vietnamese Nungs was inserted just inside Laos in the extreme southeast portion of Savannakhet Province. The team was tasked with surveillance of a branch of the Ho Chi Minh Trail which followed Route 922 into the A Shau Valley. Although the team avoided contact through the 11th, at mid-morning on the 12th they were attacked by a platoon-size enemy force. Two of the Nungs were killed in the first exchange of fire, and two of the three Americans wounded shortly thereafter in the second exchange. After a five-hour running fight, six of the eleven men, all wounded, were extracted - one American and five Nungs. During his debrief the surviving American (Harry D. Brown) stated that he was present when the other two Americans - SFC Robert J Sullivan and SFC Samuel Almendariz - were killed by enemy fire. Search forces went back into the area of contact over the next few days but failed to locate the bodies of the missing men. Almendariz and Sullivan were listed as killed in action, body not recovered. From the POW Network

23 Aug 67 Derex Williams Jr., Cpt 03, US Air Force, Pilot, "Covey," 2Oth Tac Air Support, Da Nang Air Base, Ops 32 KIA-RR when his aircraft crashed at the Khe Sahn airstrip after returning from visual recon mission in Laos.

08 Sep 67- Albert F. Sayer, Jr., CPT 0-3, USAF, FAC, C&C-KIA Captains Albert Sayer and J. J. Cappel, both of the 19th TASS, were conducting a visual recon mission in an O-1E Birddog (tail number 56-4177) when they were shot down by automatic weapons fire two miles south of Bien Hoa. Captain Sayer died of his injuries; Captain Cappel was rescued

30 May 2001

Al Sayer was a brave and exceptionally courageous man. He flew combat missions in support of the SIGMA team, where I first met him. When that unit was decimated, he was transferred to Vung Tau and flew combat missions in support of the 1st Australian Task Force. One night flying a mission, he and a fellow pilot crashed and lay in the jungle all night. Although critically injured, Al remained quiet to avoid alerting the enemy searching for them. The other pilot reported that just before daybreak, Al said "I hope you make it", threw up and died. When daylight came, the other pilot was shocked to see that Al's face had been completely torn off and was on the top of his head. He could not believe that Al forced himself to bear such pain to save his friend's life. Al, from one that knew first-hand of your bravery, I salute you and will always keep your memory with me. Rest in Peace. Joe Potter 670 Sun Hills Drive, Colorado Springs, Co 80921 jpottercs@aol.com

 

1967

09

9

E-8 MSG

William E.

Lawson

11B4S

KIA

SVN; CCN, FOB1, ST MI, unk location;   Where in II Corps??

09 Sep 67- William E. Lawson, SFC E-7, USASF, FOB-1, Spike Team MI, Assistant Team Leader-KIA Multiple fragmentation wounds

 

1967

10

11

E-8 MSG

Glen

Locklear

11B4S

KIA, DWM

SVN; CCN, FOB1, RT Massachusetts

11 Oct 67- Glen Locklear, MSG E-8, USASF, FOB-1, CCN Plt Ldr-KIA

 

1967

11

1

E-5 SGT

Don A.

Hawkins

05B4S

KIA, DWM

Laos; CCN, FOB1, RT Kansas,  w/ Woods

1967

11

1

E-7 SFC

Frank R.

Noe

91B4S

KIA

SVN; A-502, Khahn Hoa Prov., during night ambush on his last operation at A-502; was on orders for FOB2

1967

11

2

E-7 SFC

David A.

Woods

05B4S

KIA, DWM

Laos; CCN, FOB1, RT Kansas,  w/ Hawkins

01-02 Nov 67 David Alexander Woods, SFC E-7, one-one,  Don Albert Hawkins, SGT E-5, one two, USASF, and Frank Ray Noe, SFC E-7, USASF ST Kansas,  FOB 3, KIA-RR.  According to page 159, volume III, Harve Saal's SOG MACV Studies and Obserbvation Group, Behind Enemy Lines, Legends. This report is in error! It states:  Hawkins, Woods, and Noe were serving as Spike Team Members, FOB 1, Phu Bai, Ops 35 (The team discovered a gray, enemy communications wire and were directed to place a "Tap" on it. However, due to heavy enemy activity in the area, the team decided to "cut" the wire. The enemy sent out an element to check the wire and discovered the team resulting in a fierce fire fight. SFC Noe and SGT Hawkins was killed on 1 Nov and SFC Woods was killed on 2 Nov. The report also noted there was A SGT Brown was wounded in the shoulder and managed to escape and was rescued, however, again, there was no Sgt Brown on this mission, this Sgt Brown is Harry Brown who was wounded on 12 Jul 67 where Samuel Almendairz, SFC 3-7, McAllen, TX and Robert Jospeh Sullivan were killed. Correct Version:  "....Hawkins: one-two, Woods: one-one, were brought to their demise, via four each claymores...From what I gather...there may have been one or two SCU survivors...As for the claymores, Charlie creped upon the team, and being true to form, setting four of them out on the compass azimuths of: N,E,S, & W.  'Sir Charles' turned them around during the night and started popping caps in the morning, and whoever held the detonator, popped it, and in even 12' elephant grass doesn't stop those pellets.  Thus, 'they got blown up by their own claymores.  The only survivor was "Scooter" Davis. Davy Woods, my kid brother. While I was in Saigon on debriefing, Billy Waugh took every swinging Richard in camp out to retrieve the bodies, and found Scooter still breathing.  filed by James "Jim Ringo" Ringland.  Note:  After much work, it is determined Frank Noe was not killed in the same mission as Woods and Hawkins. He was Killed in Action on 01 Nov 67 while serving with Special Forces Detachment A-502 during an ambush.. Filed by:  Robert L. Noe, SFC, CCN  See correct events on Frank's death.

WoodsDA01c.jpgDavid A WoodsFrank R Noe Pic furnished by Robert Noe, brother

1967

11

8

E-5 SGT

Joseph G.

Kusick

05B2S

KIA, DWM, helicopter shotdown

Laos; CCN, RT Mass., FOB1, YC012973, 49k WNW of A-102, aboard Jolly Green 26; shotdown w/ Baxter

1967

11

8

E-8 MSG

Bruce R.

Baxter

11F5S

KIA, BNR, heli shotdown, DSC

Laos; CCN, RT Mass., FOB1, YC012973, aboard Jolly Green 26; shotdown during extraction, w/ Kusick

08 Nov 67 Bruce Raymond Baxter, MSG E-8, Lowell, Mass, Spike Team Leader; Joseph George Kusick, SGT E-5, Bruin, Penn, Spike Team Radio Operator; USASF FOB 1, CCC, Phu Bal, Ops 35; William A. Whitney, Sgt, crewchief, 190TH AHC, 145TH AVN BN, 12TH AVN GROUP, 1ST AVIATION BDE and Six Indigenous Team Members; operating behind enemy lines in Laos along with  LTC 05, Dallas, TX, Ralph Wayne Brower, Cpt 03, Stow, OH, Eugene Lunsford Clay, SSG E-5, and Larry Wayne Maysey, SGT E-5, Chester, NJ members of US Air Force, HH3, Jolly Green 26, 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, Da Nang Air Base, Ops 32/80 All were KIA-Remains Not Recovered, John R Adams, Sgt E-5 US Army, 189TH AHC, 52ND AVN BN, 17TH AVN GROUP, 1ST AVIATION BDE, USARV, MIA.  FOR DETAILS SEE --> BAXTER/KUSICK 

Joseph G. Kusick

LTC John W. Armstrong, commander of the 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron based at Da Nang, South Vietnam, and Weapons System Officer CAPT Lance P. Sijan were tasked with a bombing mission in the Ho Chi Minh Trail area of Laos. The target was Ban Loboy Ford, and a second F-4C was along as wingman. Shortly before 9 PM, Armstrong rolled in on the target and released his ordnance. Almost immediately, the aircraft was engulfed in a ball of fire and entered a banking climb to about 10,000 feet before rolling to a near vertical plunge into the jungle below. Neither the Forward Air Controller nor Armstrong's wingman saw parachutes, but initiated SAR at once. The SAR forces established contact with Sijan, who was badly hurt during his ejection and landing, but were unable to pick him up. SAR efforts continued the next day, but were called off when no further radio contact could be established with Sijan. No contact was made at any time with LTC John Armstrong. Both men were placed in MIA status. Although wounded and without food, water, or even his survival kit, Sijan managed to evade the Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese forces for 46 days before being captured on Christmas Day 1967. By that time, he was emaciated and in extremely poor shape. Never the less, he managed to cold-cock his guard and escape, but was recaptured within hours. He was transported to a holding compound in Vinh, North Vietnam, where he was put into the care of other American POWs. After another trip to Hanoi, Sijan's body failed him and he died of wounds and exhaustion on 22 January 1968. His mental determination and physical stamina so impressed his fellow POWs that, upon their return, Sijan was nominated for and received the Medal of Honor. Further details are available on a number of web sites; Mishalov's site and the POWNetwork.org are recommended. CAPT Sijan's remains were repatriated in 1974

John W Armstrong John W. Armstrong, from Vietnam Virtual WallLarry W MayseyPhoto courtesy of Jeff Nash, MSgt, USAF (Ret)

Dear Sir,  I was the air craft commander of the two Army UH1/D helicopters that had inserted this team earlier  that day @ was sent out about 2200 to make an emergency night extraction under fire. We were the 190th AHC ,slicks SPARTANS @ our gunships were the GLADIATORS. I made my approach from the west to a single strob light on the side of the hill with all a/c lights out. All the SOG t/m loaded from the left side,. When SGT Fleming @ SGT Baxter got to the side of the a/c , a loud  discussion took place about who was going @ who was staying, at the same time my right doorgunner opens fire @ states the NVA are coming out the ground like  ants. SGT. Baxter orders SGT Fleming on the a/c @ we lift off @ my wingman comes to a high hover @ takes a RPG round in the upper right section of the a/c @ rolls down the hill to the  ravine at the  bottom. All the 4 crewmembers survived  the crash @, evaded the NVA all night, BUT crewchief SGT William A. Whitney, died due to crash injuries, before being rescued. His body was found with his M60 in his lap. An escorting KINGBEE a/c tried to pick up my wingmans crew 2 also was shot down. SOG :HQ alerted 37th asr  out of Da Nang,  Jolly26 @ Jolly29,  Jolly29 made an approach w/lights out , took many hits . J.29 picked up 3 pac. @ made an emergency landing at Kan San. Jolly 26 picked up SGT. Baxter @ SGT Kusick @ was shot down during take off.  I dropped my pac. at the USMC hospital @ landed back at SOG HQ. THE next day we rescued 7 crewmembers @ inserted a 80 man hatchet force to recover the bodies. Rescued crewmemers; WO Woolridge, WO Zanow , SP  Jarvis,all  three KINGBEE crewmembers and CPT. Young.   IRA TAYLOR SPARTAN 52  (Posted Sep 25, 2006)

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On 08 November 1967, two HH-3E SAR helicopters of the 37th ARRS departed Danang Air Base for an emergency extraction of a Special Forces road watch team operating in Laos. Shortly after midnight on 09 Nov 67 JOLLY GREEN 29 picked up part of the team before being severely damaged by hostile fire and forced to leave the area. His wingman, JOLLY GREEN 26, then attempted pick-up of the two remaining team members. The two men were brought aboard by hoist, but as the HH-3E (now with 6 men aboard) began lift-out it was heavily hit and crashed in flames. A search team was inserted into the area during the afternoon of 09 November and reached the downed helicopter as dusk approached. The search team did not actually search the HH-3 wreckage until after daybreak on 10 November, at which time they recovered and identified the remains of five men (three aircrew and the two Special Forces team members). The HH-3E pilot, Captain Gerald O. Young, had escaped the burning aircraft and was recovered (Captain Young received the Medal of Honor for his actions). Weather and enemy action precluded removal of the bodies from the area, so that five men were left behind when the search team was extracted:

bullet

From the 37th ARRS (HH-3E tail number 66-13279)
bullet

CPT Ralph Wayne Brower, copilot

bullet

SSG Eugene Lunsford Clay, flight engineer

bullet

SGT Larry Wayne Maysey, pararescueman

bullet

From C&C Central, MACV-SOG (5th SFG)
bullet

MSGT Bruce R. Baxter

bullet

SGT Joseph G. Kusick

The Task Force Omega (TFO) and POW Network sites contain additional and somewhat conflicting information.

bullet

TFO states that two helicopters (one US UH-1B and one South Vietnamese H-34) were downed in the area before JOLLY GREEN 29 made the first pickup, and Captain Young's MoH Citation contains the sentence "Previous (pickup) attempts had resulted in the loss of 2 helicopters to hostile ground fire." The POW Network makes no mention of these two aircraft. The Vietnam Helicopter Pilots' Association database shows one UH-1B (64-13986, 282nd AHC) hit on 8/9 November, but that aircraft returned to base. The database contains no mention of a downed SVN H-34.

bullet

The POW Network includes a 12 Mar 2001 e-mail from Jeff Nash, MSgt USAF (Ret), citing mission reports from the 37th ARRS and a supporting MC-130 crew which indicate all five men were located and identified; TFO states that only four bodies were located and identified.

bullet

TFO states that after the HH-3E went down there were a total of 23 US/SVN personnel on the ground (12 road-watch team members, 4 US crewmen from the UH-1B, 3 ARVN from the ARVN H-34, and 4 US from the HH-3H (sic)) and that all but the five listed above were recovered on 09 Nov; apart from 5 road-watch teammembers (3 on JOLLY GREEN 29; 2 on JOLLY GREEN 26) the POW Network mentions only Captain Young.

bullet

TFO incorrectly identifies JOLLY GREEN 26 as an HH-3H rather than an HH-3E, a small but inexplicable error

           Regardless of the discrepancies between TFO and the POW Network reports, two indisputable facts remain Five Americans died when JOLLY   

          GREEN 26 went down, and their remains have not yet been repatriated. Captain Ralph W Brower, SSG Eugene L Clay, and SGT Larry W Maysey

          received posthumous Air Force Crosses for their parts in the rescue attempt

 

1967

11

10

E-5 SP5

Michael A.

Hoglund

11B4S

DNH, accidental homicide

SVN; B-50, at FOB2, in Kontum outside the barracks

10 Nov 67 Michael A. Hoglund, SGT E-5, USASF, DET B-56, Kontum, Radio Operator, Project Omega (13-50), Killed by SFC Allen, a friend, in an argument over a female. (Shot with a 9mm pistol through a screened window of the Project Omega Bldg, FOB2. Due to the secrecy of SOG, the killer, SFC Allen was fined a carton of cigarettes and reassigned from SOG suffering no further punishment). {Filed by Don Martin, SOA, * I was present at FOB-2 that evening, along with several of my fellow aviators, crew chiefs, door gunners. However, we were asleep at the time of the incident as I recall. We were told the story by SF personnel the next day. As I remember it, two SF NCOs, nicknamed "Snake" and "Squirrel" told us what happened, filling in some of the details over a period of days and nights, with the latter spent around a small campfire while drinking beer and thinking about what perils awaited us on the next mission to Laos or Cambodia. I must add that it now seems, after reading your web page, that the stories we heard were probably embellished quite a bit. What I heard made it sound at the time like a gun duel in old Laredo, or the gunfight at the O. K. corral. Also, we originally heard (and I don't recall hearing anything different back in 1968) that the argument was over a card game, versus a woman, with lots of drinking and accusations of cheating (at cards) involved. I just remember it was quite a story at the time, but never really knew if any of what I heard was factual or not}.   Version 2: John Plaster's book, SOG A Photo History of the Secret War, page 108: describes Sgt Hoglund as being killed in action as part of a Hatchet force sent in to rescue the Jolly Green surviving crew, Cpt Young, USAF, Jolly Green Pilot received the Medal of Honor for his action this date]-see 9 Nov 67 action above.

 

1967

12

15

E-7 SFC

Dan

Wagner, Jr.

11C4S

KIA

SVN; CCS, RT Screwdriver, YB723056 in Charlie 50 34k WNW of A-241 Polei Kleng; hit just off the LZ

15 Dec 67 Dan Wagner, Jr. SFC E-7, USASF, FOB 2, Kontum, Tm Ldr, RT Nevada, KIA-RR. (See Kedenburg, KIA 13 Jun 68)Dan Wagner Silver Star Citation: Sergeant First Class Wagner distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 15 December 1967 while serving as patrol leader of a long range reconnaissance team operating in enemy controlled territory. His team was infiltrated into an area containing major enemy troop concentrations and installations, with the mission of locating them and destroying them with tactical air strikes. Although the patrol was discovered and pursued, Sergeant Wagner declined to call for evacuation and expertly maneuvered his team to evade the enemy. During this movement, he pinpointed several large troop concentrations. He then led the patrol to high ground and requested fighter aircraft. As he directed devastating air strikes on the hostile forces and equipment, the team suddenly began receiving intense fire from an enemy unit which had followed the patrol's maneuver. Sergeant Wagner alertly diverted the air strikes to the attackers. Exposed to a savage hail of bullets, he continued to direct the fighter aircraft until the insurgents fled in disorder. Sergeant Wagner was mortally wounded by sniper fire while skillfully adjusting lethal air strikes on the routed enemy. His courageous actions saved the lives of his comrades and enabled them to complete the mission. Sergeant First Class Wagner's gallantry in action, at the cost of his life, was in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflects great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

 

1967

12

21

E-7 SFC

Lee D.

Scurlock, Jr.

11B4S

MIA-PFD

Laos; CCN, FOB1, w/ RT??, YB464105, shot off ladder during extraction, 25k SW of Leghorn

21 DEC 67 Lee D. Scurlock, Jr., SSG E-6, Restful Lake, OH, USASF, FOB 1, Phu Bal, Ops 35, Recon Team operating in Laos, MIA-Presumptive finding of death. (SSG Scurlock was a member of a team operating 18 miles west of Vietnam, on the Laotian-Cambodian boundary of the tri-border region, which had come under heavy enemy fire from the front and rear, rescue could not be made by landing due to adverse terrain conditions; thus, a rope ladder was deployed by the 119th Aviation Company (Gator 376). As the last man to be rescued, SSG Scurlock began to climb the ladder, after the 3rd rung on the 1st attempt, lost his grip, removed his rucksack and radio then began to climb slowly, appearing weak and possibly wounded, encouraged by the door gunner he climbed to almost to the point of reaching outstretched hands to give him help, he fell off the ladder fifty feet to the ground, landed on his neck and head, rolled down the hillside and was stopped by a small tree.. It is reported Scurlock was thrown from the ladder when the aircraft’s windshield exploded because of enemy fire causing the pilot to jerk the aircraft. Heavy enemy activity precluded recovery and a later search of the area did not find SSG Scurlock).

Lee D. Scurlock, Jr. Fr SF Honor Roll

29 Dec 67- Donald E. Fisher, LTC 05, Navigator, of Halfway, Org; Charles Peter Claxton, Pilot, MAJ 04, of Chicago, ILL; Edwin Neims Osborne, Jr., Aircraft Commander, CPT 03 of Ralford, FL; Frank C. Parker,III, Electronic Warfare Officer, CPT 03 of Bridgeport, Penn; Gerald Gordon Van Buren, Pilot, CPT 03 of Toledo, OH; Gordon J. Wenaas, Navigator, CPT 03 of Mayville, ND; Jack McCrary, Flight Engineer, SSG E-5 of Madison, Tenn; Gean Preston Clapper, Radio Operator, SGT E-5 of Altoona, Penn; Edward Jospeh Darcy, Loadmaster, SGT E-5 of Portlandm Org; Wayne Allen Eckley, Flight Engineer, SGT E-5 of Enterprise, Org; and James R. Williams, Loadmaster, SGT E of Charlotte, NC all USAF, Air Crew, C- 130, "Combat Talon", DET 1 (NHA TRANG), 314TH TAC ALFT WING, 13TH AF, Ops 32/75, Nha Trang-Performing aerial resupply mission for Project Oodles phantom team over North Vietnam they never returned MIA-Remains not recovered. [See page 85, SOG A Photo History of the Secret Wars, by John Plaster]

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On the night of 28/29 December 1967, a "Combat Talon" MC-130E (tail number 64-0547) departed Nha Trang for a special operations mission over North Vietnam. The aircraft and the crew (Combat Talon crew S-01) were assigned to Detachment 1, 314th Tactical Airlift Wing, 13th AF, based at Nha Trang. The mission involved a low-level incursion into northwestern North Vietnam, with a propaganda leaflet drop that would be followed by a diversionary resupply drop in the Song Da Valley. These drops were intended to fool the North Vietnamese into thinking there were clandestine teams working within a particular area. Progress along the route was reported by "quick-burst" radio signals. At about 4 AM the crew reported completion of the leaflet drop. Nothing further was heard, and the aircraft did not return to base. Although extensive efforts were made to locate the crash site, it was not found. The 11 crewmen were classed as Missing in Action. In 1977 and 1978 the Secretary of the Air Force approved Presumptive Findings of Death for the eleven missing crewmen, all of whom had been promoted while in MIA status. The eleven crewmen were

bullet

Colonel Charles P. Claxton, Chicago, IL

bullet

Colonel Donald E. Fisher, Halfway, OR

bullet

Lt Col Edwin N. Osborne, Raiford, FL

bullet

Lt Col Gerald G. Van Buren, Toledo, OH

bullet

Lt Col Gordon J. Wenaas, Mayville, ND

bullet

Major Frank C. Parker, Bridgeport, PA

bullet

CMSgt Edward J. Darcy, Portland, ME

bullet

CMSgt Wayne A. Eckley, Enterprise, OR

bullet

CMSgt Jack Mc Crary, Madison, TN

bullet

CMSgt Gean P. Clapper, Altoona, PA

bullet

SMSgt James R. Williams, Charlotte, NC

In the early 1990s the crash site was located about 100 feet below the summit of a 4900-foot-high karst cliff in the mountains of Lau Chau Province, NVN, some 32 miles northeast of Dien Bien Phu. Investigations in 1992 identified the aircraft and led to a full-scale excavation in 1993. Department of Defense analysts concluded from the distribution of the aircraft wreckage that the C-130 hit the mountainside and that the crew was unaware of the impending crash. The identification of the very fragmented human remains repatriated on 13 December 1993 - almost 26 years after the loss - was announced on Friday, 27 Oct 2000. Only five of the men could be positively identified by means of DNA analysis - Darcy, Eckley, Parker, Fisher, and Williams. The remaining individually unidentifiable remains were grouped as remains "from an incident involving" 11 men. On 6 November 2000 the remains were turned over to the crewmens' families for burial, and on 15 November 2000 the remains were interred in a group burial in one casket in Arlington National Cemetery under a headstone bearing all 11 crewmen's names.


Photograph by M. R. Patterson, October 2002
From the Arlington Cemetery site

PARKER, FRANK CLAVELOUX III (Compiled by Task Force Omega Inc) Remains Recovered 13 December 1993; Identified 7 September 2000

Name:

Frank Claveloux Parker III 

Rank/Branch:

Major/US Air Force 

Unit:

314th Tactical Airlift Wing, 
Nha Trang Airbase, South Vietnam 

Date of Birth:

02 March 1940

Home of Record:

Bridgeport, PA

Date of Loss:

29 December 1967 

Country of Loss:

North Vietnam

Loss Coordinates:

220900N 1032200E (UK315501) 
Click coordinates to view (4) maps

Status in 1973:

Missing in Action 

Category:

4

Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground:

C130E "Hercules"

Other Personnel In Incident:

James R. Williams; Gean P. Clapper; Gerald G. Van Buren, Edward J. Darcy; Wayne A. Eckley; Edwin N. Osborne, Jr.; Donald E. Fisher; Charles P. Claxton; Gordon J. Wenaas; Jack McCrary; (missing) 

REMARKS:  RADIO CONTACT LOST

SYNOPSIS:  The Lockheed C130 Hercules, or "Herc" for short, was multi-purpose propeller driven aircraft used as a transport, tanker, gunship, drone controller, airborne battlefield command and control center, weather reconnaissance and electronic reconnaissance platform; as well as search, rescue and recovery aircraft. In the hands of the "Trash Haulers," as the crews of the Tactical Air Command transports styled themselves, the C130 proved to be the most valuable airlift instrument in the Southeast Asia War. They were so valuable, in fact, that Gen. William Momyer, 7th Air Force Commander, refused for a time to let them land at Khe Sanh when the airstrip was under fire from NVA troops surrounding the base. The C130 was critical in resupplying American and allied troops in this area, and when it could not land, it delivered its payload by means of a parachute drop.

On 29 December 1967, Maj. Charles P. Claxton, aircraft commander; Capt. Gerald G. Van Buren, 1st pilot; Capt. Edwin N. Osborne Jr., pilot; Lt. Col. Donald E. Fisher, navigator; then Capt. Frank C. Parker III, navigator; Capt. Gordon J. Wenaas, navigator;  SSgt. Gean P. Clapper, radio operator; SSgt. Wayne A. Eckley, flight engineer; TSgt. Jack McCrary, flight engineer; SSgt. Edward J. Darcy, loadmaster; and Sgt. James R. Williams, loadmaster; comprised the crew of a C130E (tail number 64-0547). The aircraft departed Nha Trang Airbase, South Vietnam at 0030 hours on a highly classified special mission over the rugged jungle-covered mountains of Tuan Giao District, Lai Chau Province, North Vietnam. The weather conditions included solid cloud cover with bases at 800 feet and tops to 8,000 feet. There were scattered high clouds with bases at 25,000 feet and tops to 30,000 feet. The visibility ranged from 3 to 5 miles with isolated rains showers throughout the region.

At 0430 hours, the pilot made radio contact with the Nha Trang air traffic control tower reporting the mission was progressing as scheduled. When no further radio contact could be established with the aircraft or its crew, and it failed to return to base at the time its fuel supply was exhausted, search and rescue (SAR) efforts were organized. The last radio transmission with the C130E placed the Herc over a region that was sparsely populated approximately 7 miles south of Ban Nam Muong, 19 miles southwest of Ban Ko La, 28 miles southwest of the Vietnamese/Chinese border and 41 miles northeast of the Vietnamese/Lao border. Over the next two weeks 1 electronic search and 3 photo reconnaissance missions were conducted over these extremely rugged enemy controlled mountains of northwestern North Vietnam. When no trace of the aircraft or crew was found, the formal search was terminated on 29 January 1968. At that time all eleven crewmen were listed Missing in Action. In April 1991 the US government released a list of Prisoners of War and Missing in Action who were known to be alive in enemy hands and for whom there is no evidence that he or she died in captivity. This list, commonly referred to today as the USG's "Last Known Alive (LKA)" list, included Jack McCrary. According to a Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report dated 1979, there was "radio contact with TSgt. McCrary" some time after the aircraft was declared overdue. In a 1992 letter to Senator John Kerry, Major Van Buren's son wrote: "This highly classified aircraft was loaded with electronic warfare equipment including terrain following radar and, as such, I don't see it crashing into the side of a mountain as the Air Force would have us believe." He went on to say that he believes "the aircraft was caught over China, shot down or forced down, and the crew taken prisoner by the Chinese or Soviets." In August 1992, the Vietnamese Office Seeking Missing Persons (VNOSMP) reported to US officials that it had conducted a unilateral investigation/recovery mission in Lai Chau Province and presented information to them concerning this case along with photos of a crashsite. The Vietnamese also reported they recovered some remains at this location. In October 1992, a team from the Joint Task Force for Full Accounting (JTFFA) made the arduous trip to this isolated crashsite previously investigated by VNOSMP near Phu Nhung Village, Tuan Giao District, which is situated at approximately 4300 feet in rugged mountains that could only be reached by a six-hour trek. The team members interviewed villagers, one of whom said that immediately after the crash, there were too many aircraft flying around to risk going to the crashsite. Later he did go there twice where he saw bodies in the wreckage and left without taking anything away with him. Shortly thereafter other villagers traveled to the site and began hauling away pieces of metal. Another villager said he hiked to the C130E's site three times. On each of these trips he also saw bodies in the wreckage. Further, the Tuan Giao District Assistant Chief stated the crash happened in an area inhabited by ethnic minorities who are not often in touch with local authorities because of terrain and distance.

On 30 October 1992, four sets of remains were turned over by the Vietnamese. The next day, 31 October, "an additional" four sets of human remains were shown to the team along with a Geneva Convention Card, and identification tag and an aircraft data plate. On 8 November, the team traveled again to the crashsite to interview more villagers, and again they gathered more information about remains collected from the site by local residents as late as October 1991. In spite of the fact that the 1992 JTFFA team recommended this site not be excavated due to the serious logistic, operational and recovery problems, a full scale excavation operation was initiated a year later. During the excavation, aircraft wreckage, survival gear and human remains including teeth and literally hundreds of bone fragments were recovered. On 8 June 1994, a Vietnamese citizen turned over an unspecified number of bone fragments to JTFFA's Detachment 2 in Hanoi and reported that another resident of Son La Province had remains and material evidence belonging to men aboard this C130E. Later that month JTFFA team members traveled to Son La Province to investigate this report further. At that time they received some remains, but believed the villager(s) had chosen to hold either remains and/or material evidence back from those they considered outsiders. The Vietnamese Border Defense Forces representative agreed to continue the investigation noting that "local people considered US and Central Vietnamese outsiders." According to the JTFFA site report, the remains recovered by the Son La People's Committee were repatriated to US control on 13 February 1995. By August 1997, the search for the crewmen of the C130E took another unusual turn. Another Vietnamese presented Detachment 2 with a rubbing of a military dogtag for Col. Fisher. She said some close friends are holding identification tags and a skull at their home. She said she would return to their homes and encourage the friends to turn in the remains. She also told them she repeatedly dreamed she would meet a man with American remains who would ask for her help. She went on to say the man approached her on a Hanoi street and gave her a dogtag rubbing, then asked her to take it to Detachment 2. She said she did not know the man's name, and he never contacted her again. In January 1998, yet another Vietnamese reported to Detachment 2 that a relative found remains and an ID tag in Tuan Chau District. He said he was holding other remains associated with this incident. As proof he presented them with a computer-printed replica of Col. Fisher's dogtag and a ½ inch bone fragment. He said he had the real dogtag and a full set of remains. Upon examination by the Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii (CIL-HI), the bone fragment was determined to be Mongoloid. Six months later, in June 1998, the same Vietnamese who made the January report adjusted it. He said he went to a wedding in Thuan Chau Village, and his nephew told him local residents had the remains of an American soldier. His nephew took him to another village where he was shown several large pieces of bone. He thought they were American due to their size and the presence of an identification tag. These people told him they bought the remains from an ethnic Hmong. When queried about the man and village, he said he could not remember the name or the village and could not contact his nephew by telephone. The remains turned over by the Vietnamese were combined with the remains recovered during the crash site excavation, which was closed on 13 December 1993. All the remains were transported to CIL-HI for examination. Of the 11 men on board the C130E, both dental and mt-DNA were used to positively identify Edward Darcy, Wayne Eckley and James Williams. Frank Parker and Donald Fisher were positively identified by mt-DNA only. According to CIL-HI analysis, no individual association could be made between hundreds of fragments and specific crewmen. The fragments were fractured in a manner consistent with an aircraft crash and were all in a similar state of preservation. Consequently, these individually unidentifiable remains were grouped as remains "from an incident involving" 11 men. While CIL-HI made this determination for the entire crew on 9 March 2000, the announcement was not made public until the US Air Force had the opportunity to contact all of the crewmen's families. All remains were turned over for burial on 6 November 2000. On 15 November 2000, these remains were interred in a group burial in one casket in Arlington National Cemetery under a headstone bearing all 11 crewmen's names. The families of Charles P. Claxon, Gerald G. Van Burin, Edwin N. Observe Jr., Donald E. Fisher, Frank C. Parker III, Gordon J. Weans, Jean P. Clapper, Wayne A. Beckley, Jack McCrary, Edward J. Darcy, and James R. Williams finally have the peace of mind and know within reason where their loved ones are buried. For other Americans who remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, their fate could be quite different. Since the end of the Vietnam War well over 21,000 reports of our government has received American prisoners, missing and otherwise unaccounted for. Many of these reports document LIVE America Prisoners of War remaining captive throughout Southeast Asia TODAY. Pilots and aircrews were called upon to fly in many dangerous circumstances, and they were prepared to be wounded, killed or captured. It probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country they so proudly served.

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