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Page Is Dedicated To
|Thanks to Joni's Patriotic Graphics.|
FIRE - Bodies recovered. See Also This Tribute to AL Avery by John C. Ratliff. I do believe it will
warm your heart as it did mine to see them home finally.
Here is a news release from the Air Force News. A must read Article on the Funeral of Al and his crew.
Also here is a special new letter containing information on the return of the Jolly 67, and numerous letters in remembrance of CMSGT Chuck Walther who recently passed away.
|SYNOPSIS: On the afternoon of April 2, 1972, two Thailand-based EB66 aircraft ( Bat 21 and Bat 22), from the 30th Air Division, were flying pathfinder escort for a cell of B52s bombing near the DMZ. Bat 21 took a direct SAM hit and the plane went down. A single beeper signal was heard, that of navigator Col. Iceal Hambleton. At this time it was assumed the rest of the crew died in the crash. The crew included Maj. Wayne L. Bolte, pilot; 1Lt. Robin F. Gatwood, LtCol. Anthony R. Giannangeli, LtCol. Charles A. Levis, and Maj. Henry M. Serex, all crew members. It should be noted that the lowest ranking man aboard this plane was Gatwood, a First Lieutenant. This was not an ordinary crew, and its members, particularly Hambleton, would be a prize capture for the enemy because of military knowledge they possessed.|
critical, therefore, that the U.S. locate Hambleton, and any other surviving crew members
before the Vietnamese did - and the Vietnamese were trying hard to find them first.
DOD - October 1, 1997
The remains of seven American servicemen previously unaccounted-for from Southeast Asia have been identified and were returned to their families for burial in the United States.
They are identified as Capt. Peter H. Chapman, Centerburg, Ohio; 1st Lt. John H. Call III, Potomac, Md.; Tech. Sgt. Allen J. Avery, Auburn, Mass.; Tech. Sgt. Roy D. Prater, Tiffin, Ohio; and Sgt. William R. Pearson, Webster, N.H., all U.S. Air Force personnel. The names of one U.S. Air Force airman and one U.S. Army aviator will not be released at the request of their families.
On April 6, 1972, Chapman, Call, Avery, Prater, and Pearson were flying an H-53C Super Jolly helicopter on a search and rescue mission over Quang Tri, South Vietnam. While trying to evade enemy ground fire, Chapman, the pilot, flew the helicopter to an altitude of 200 feet. Subsequently, the helicopter crashed into the ground and burst into flames. Other aircraft in the area did not see anyone exit the aircraft prior to impact.
In 1989, 1992, and 1994, joint U.S.-Vietnamese teams investigated and excavated a crash site in Quang Tri Province. During the 1992 investigation of this loss incident, a local villager reported finding remains and burying them in his garden. The U.S. investigators excavated the garden and recovered possible humans remains. Later, in 1994, a joint team found numerous bone fragments, personal effects, and aircraft wreckage. The remains were repatriated to the United States.
The remains of Chapman, Call, and Pearson were identified individually, and along with Avery and Prater, are part of a group remains identification. Mitochondrial DNA testing was used to confirm the identifications.
With the identification of these seven servicemen, 2,109 Americans remain unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War.
The U.S. government welcomes and appreciates the cooperation of the government of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam which resulted in the accounting of these servicemen. We hope that such cooperation will bring increased results in the future. Achieving the fullest possible accounting for these Americans is of the highest national priority.
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|Thanks to Ron Fleischer.|
|"All Biographical and loss information on POWs provided by Operation Just Cause have been supplied by Chuck and Mary Schantag of POWNET. Please check with POWNET regularly for updates."|
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