Full Name: PHILIP RAYMOND SHAFER
Date of Birth: 5/13/1949
Date of Casualty: 4/19/1968
Home of Record: GRAND JUNCTION, COLORADO
Branch of Service: ARMY
Casualty Country: SOUTH VIETNAM
Casualty Province: QUANG TRI
Date of Loss: 19 April 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 161918N 1070923E (YD291087)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Refno: 1135Source: Compiled 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 in 1998.Other Personnel In Incident: Anthony F. Housh; (missing from CH47, coordinates YD291087-LZ Tiger; pilot, co-pilot and gunner survived); Douglas R. Blodgett; William Dennis; Jesus Gonzales (missing from CH47A, coordinates
YD290105; pilot and co-pilot survived); Arthur J. Lord; Charles W. Millard; Philip R. Shafer; Michael R. Werdehoff (missing on CH54, coordinates YD255095-LZ Tiger)
SYNOPSIS: On April 19, 1968 three Army helicopters were shot down in the A Shau Valley of South Vietnam. All three were making supply runs to Landing Zone Tiger in Quang Tri Province. Five men survived the three crashes, and
nine men remain missing.
The CH47A on which Douglas Blodgett was a crewman, William Dennis was flight engineer, and Jesus Gonzales was crewchief was resupplying ammunition at the LZ when it received small arms fire from the ground and crashed. The pilot and co-pilot were able to crawl away, but the rest of the crew was never found. They were declared Missing In Action.
The CH47 on which Anthony Housh was flight engineer and Michael Wallace was crewchief was hit by 50 calibre and 37 mm ground fire on its approach to the LZ. Housh and Wallace jumped from the aircraft from an altitude of 50-100
feet above the jungle canopy. The others were rescued. No trace of Housh and Wallace was ever found. They were declared Missing In Action.
The CH54 “Flying Crane” on which Arthur Lord was aircraft commander, Charles Millard pilot, Arthur J. Lord co-pilot, Michael Werdehoff flight engineer, and Philip Shafer crewchief was carrying a bulldozer into the recently resecured LZ Tiger when the aircraft was hit and crashed. All the crew were classified Missing In Action.
Thorough searches for the 3 helicopters were not immediately possible because of the enemy situation. A refugee later reported that he had found the wreckage of two U.S. helicopters, one with 3 sets of skeletal remains, in Quang Tri Province. The U.S. Army believes this could correlate with any of the three helicopters lost on April 19, 1968, but no firm evidence has been secured that would reveal the fate of the nine missing servicemen.
Some 250,000 interviews and “millions of documents” have been analyzed relating to Americans who may still be alive, captive, in Southeast Asia. Many experts believe there are hundreds of men still alive, waiting for their country to rescue them. Whether any of the nine missing from near LZ Tiger is among them is unknown, but it is clearly past time for us to bring our men home.
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Michael Robert Patterson was born in Arlington and is the son of a former officer of the US Army. So it was no wonder that sooner or later his interests drew him to American history and especially to American military history. Many of his articles can be found on renowned portals like the New York Times, Washingtonpost or Wikipedia.
Reviewed by: Michael Howard