United States Air Force Aircrew – 30 June 1970

Remains were returned 03/95 as “120 bone fragments which cannot be degregated, fragments too small for DNA testing as it would “destroy the chips”, a dental prostheses, a St. Christopher's medal, coins, buttons, etc. They say the fragments represent a minimum of one person, a maximum of two people, yet they feel this is a full accounting of five men who served our government.” March 30, 1995.

Rank/Branch: O4/US Air Force
Unit: 40th Aerospace Rescue/Recovery Squadron, Udorn Airfield, Thailand
Date of Birth: 30 July 1930
Home City of Record: Kirkwood MO
Date of Loss: 30 June 1970
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 165004N 1063104E (XD617617)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 3
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: HH53C
Refno: 1643

Other Personnel In Incident: Michael F. Dean; Paul L. Jenkins; Marvin E. Bell; Leroy C. Schaneberg (missing); on nearby OV10A: Williams S. Sanders (missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 March 1991 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 1998.


SYNOPSIS: On June 30, 1970, a crew from the 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron at Udorn Airfield, Thailand was dispatched to rescue a downed flight crew. Crew aboard the Sikorsky HH53C “Super Jolly” helicopter included the pilot, Capt. Leroy C. Schaneberg, crewmembers Major John W. Goeglein, MSgt. Paul L. Jenkins, SSgt. Marvin E. Bell, and SSgt. Michael F. Dean.

The members of the 40th Air R & R were trained for both air and sea recovery, and the big “Super Jolly” was equipped to airlift both the crew and aircraft out of sticky situations.

The downed and injured pilot was located in Savannakhet Province, Laos, about two kilometers south of Bang Tang. The HH53C penetrated the area, known to be hostile, in an attempt to rescue the pilot, but was forced away by hostile ground fire. A second attempt was made, but the helicopter was hit by hostile fire, caught on fire, went out of control and crashed. The Air Force states it received evidence on July 4, 1970, that the crew was dead, but that evidence is
not specifically described, and no remains identifiable as Bell, Dean, Goeglein, Schaneberg, or Jenkins have been recovered. Schaneberg received the Air Force Cross for extraordinary heroism as the aircraft commander on this rescue

On the same day, Capt. Williams S. Sanders was flying an OV10A Bronco southeast of Khe Sanh at a point where Laos veers north to intrude on South Vietnam. His aircraft was shot down just inside Laos, not far from the location of the downed helicopter. The Bronco was generally used for marking targets, armed reconnaissance and forward air control, so the nature of Capt. Sanders' mission and its precise relation to the mission of the Super Jolly from Udorn is unknown. The crew of the helicopter was numerically listed missing before the OV10, so it is does not seem likely that the helicopter was assisting the observation aircraft, but as no other aircraft is missing on that day in that area, either the downed pilot was Sanders or the pilot was rescued by other means.

Unfortunately, for families of men missing in Laos, information is difficult to obtain. Twenty and twenty-five year old records remain classified and details obscured. Much of this information was classified to distort American
involvement in a now well known “secret” war in Laos.

Sergeant, United States Air Force
DATE OF BIRTH: 07/27/1943
DATE OF DEATH: 06/30/1970

Major, United States Air Force

Sergeant, United States Air Force

Master Sergeant, United States Air Force

Captain, United States Air Force


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