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Remains of five soldiers missing since Vietnam recovered

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  • Remains of five soldiers missing since Vietnam recovered

    SAN ANTONIO — The remains of five soldiers, including one Texan, who went missing in action after a 1968 helicopter crash during the Vietnam War have been recovered.

    The U.S. Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office said late last week that Sgt. 1st Class Ernest F. Briggs Jr., of San Antonio, was among those whose remains were identified.

    Others were Chief Warrant Officer Dennis C. Hamilton, of Barnes City, Iowa; Chief Warrant Officer Sheldon D. Schultz, of Altoona, Pa.; and Sgt. 1st Class James D. Williamson of Olympia, Wash.

    The group remains of the crew will be buried with full military honors on Aug. 14 at Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington, D.C.

    The remains of Sgt. 1st Class John T. Gallagher of Hamden, Conn., were individually identified and a burial date is to be set by his family, the personnel office said.

    The men crewed a UH-1D helicopter on Jan. 5, 1968. As they patrolled Laos and approached a landing zone, it was hit by enemy fire. After the crash attempts to reach the site were stopped by enemy fire.

    The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command led the effort to identify the remains and conducted several investigations, including interviews with witnesses to the crash. The accounting command led three excavations of the crash site and recovered remains as well as identification tags for Briggs, Hamilton and Schultz.
    ARTICLE - WACOTRIB.COM

    I wonder what they were doing in Laos, maybe inserting some SOGs.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Boonierat View Post
    ARTICLE - WACOTRIB.COM

    I wonder what they were doing in Laos, maybe inserting some SOGs.
    Something unusual or at least not usually known.

    The 2 CW as pilot and co-pilot ok, but to SFC's as crew???? That is most unusual.

    HP
    "Ask not what your country can do for you"

    Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

    you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

    Comment


    • #3
      Found what they were doing
      SYNOPSIS: On January 5, 1968, WO Dennis C. Hamilton, aircraft commander; WO Sheldon D. Schultz, pilot; SP5 Ernest F. Briggs, Jr., crew chief; SP4 James P. Williamson, crewman, and SSgt. John T. Gallagher, passenger; were aboard a UH1D helicopter (tail # 66-1172) on a mission to infiltrate an indigenous reconnaissance patrol into Laos. The reconnaissance patrol and SSgt. Gallagher were operating under orders to Command & Control North, MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observation Group). MACV-SOG was a joint service high command unconventional warfare task force engaged in highly classified operations throughout Southeast Asia. The 5th Special Forces channeled personnel into MACV-SOG (although it was not a Special Forces group) through Special Operations Augmentation (SOA), which provided their "cover" while under secret orders to MACV-SOG. The teams performed deep penetration missions of strategic reconnaissance and interdiction which were called, depending on the time frame, "Shining Brass" or "Prairie Fire" missions. As the aircraft approached the landing zone about 20 miles inside Laos south of Lao Bao, it came under heavy 37mm anti-aircraft fire while at an altitude of about 300 feet above ground level. The aircraft immediately entered a nose-low vertical dive and crashed. Upon impact with the ground, the aircraft burst into flames which were 10 to 20 feet high. No radio transmissions were heard during the helicopter's descent, nor were radio or beeper signals heard after impact. Four attempts to get into the area of the downed helicopter failed due to intense ground fire. During the next two days more attempts to get to the wreckage failed. The pilot of one search helicopter maneuvered to within 75 feet of the crash site before being forced out by enemy fire. The pilot who saw the wreckage stated that the crashed helicopter was a mass of burned metal and that there was no part of the aircraft that could be recognized. No signs of life were seen in the crash area. Weather delayed further search attempts for a couple of days. After the weather improved, the successful insertion of a ground team was made east of the crash site to avoid enemy fire. The team was extracted after the second day, finding nothing. The crash site was located near the city of Muong Nong in Savannakhet Province, Laos

      This record was last updated on 05/25/1998
      I am not stuck in the 60's and 70's -I choose to live there :)
      "Vision without action is a daydream. Action with without vision is a nightmare."

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Tu Do View Post
        Found what they were doing

        Great research

        HP
        "Ask not what your country can do for you"

        Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

        you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

        Comment


        • #5
          Lao Bao is on Route 9 on the border with Laos just west of Khe Sanh, the area must have been swarming with NVAs converging on the combat base for Têt. Good fing Tu Do!

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          • #6
            Welcome home men. Truly special men.
            "War is hell, but actual combat is a motherf#cker"
            - Col. David Hackworth

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            • #7
              They had dropped off an all indig roadrunner team and were leaving the Area when they were knocked down by AAA.
              Gallagher was a project guy overseeing the insertion.

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              • #8
                Ths 37 would have cut through the Huey 'like a hot knife through butter', litrily shredding it at a conservative 140 - 150 rpm.
                I am not stuck in the 60's and 70's -I choose to live there :)
                "Vision without action is a daydream. Action with without vision is a nightmare."

                Comment


                • #9
                  One of the girls that work with me has a friend that has made some t-shirts
                  trying to get support for her late husband's remains to be recovered from an
                  island battle he died in. Sad these people are still waiting/wondering what
                  happened exactly and for the return of their loved ones.
                  SPORTS FREAK/ PANZERBLITZ COMMANDER/ CC2 COMMANDER

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                  • #10
                    Welcome home at last.
                    All questions are valid, all answers are tentative.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Boonierat View Post
                      Lao Bao is on Route 9 on the border with Laos just west of Khe Sanh, the area must have been swarming with NVAs converging on the combat base for Têt. Good fing Tu Do!
                      Flew into a hornet's nest. The rescue pilots had the usual major guts.

                      My Avatar: Ivan W. Henderson Gunner/navigator B-25-26. 117 combat missions. Both Theaters. 11 confirmed kills. DSC.

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