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MIA Recovered James Widener/passanger

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  • MIA Recovered James Widener/passanger

    No further information on the other 6 passangers of the the 4 crew. Only received this news article:HMM-265 11 June 67 NW Dong Ha

    Vietnam War MIA’s remains found

    Associated Press


    CHILI, N.Y. — After 39 years of waiting, a Rochester, N.Y.-area family has learned that their son’s remains have been recovered in Vietnam.

    Marine Pvt. James Widener, of Chili, was reported missing in action June 11, 1967, when his helicopter was shot down over South Vietnam. He had enlisted in the Marines after graduating high school in 1966 and volunteered for reconnaissance duty after arriving in Vietnam.

    A helicopter he was riding in went down after being hit by ground fire. All seven aboard were reported missing in action.


    Widener’s remains were recovered by Vietnamese officials and his parents learned the news Wednesday.

    “His body was stored in a warehouse and they never let us know he was dead,” said his father, Jay Widener. “We tried to find him after the war, hoping for years that maybe he was alive. Even in war, there should be some fairness.”

    Widener will receive a full military funeral at Arlington National Cemetery.

    As of Jan. 1, 1,382 people remain missing from the Vietnam War, according to the U.S. Defense Prisoners of War-Missing Personnel Office.

    Chili is a suburb of Rochester.

  • #2
    KIA Incident Report by Al Barbour

    670611 HMM-265 Vietnam

    Incident Date 670611 HMM-265 CH-46A 150270+ / EP-158 Mechanical Failure


    [CREW]
    Bohlscheid, Curtis Richard Capt Pilot HMM-265 MAG-16 670611 (vvm 21E:091)
    Gonzalez, Jose Jesus LCpl Gunner HMM-265 MAG-16 670611 (vvm 21E:088)
    Hanratty, Thomas Michael PFC Crew Chief HMM-265 MAG-16 670611 (vvm 21E:089)
    Oldham, John Sanders Maj Co-Pilot HMM-265 MAG-16 670611 (vvm 21E:091)

    [PASSENGERS]
    Chomel, Charles Dennis PFC Passenger 3rdForRec, 3rdRecBn 670611 (vvm 21E:087)
    Christie, Dennis Ray LCpl Passenger 3rdForRec, 3rdRecBn 670611 (vvm 21E:087)
    Foley III, John Joseph LCpl Passenger 3rdForRec, 3rdRecBn 670611 (vvm 21E:088)
    Havranek, Michael William LCpl Passenger 3rdForRec, 3rdRecBn 670611 (vvm 21E:089)
    Kooi, James Willard LCpl Passenger 3rdForRec, 3rdRecBn 670611 (vvm 21E:090)
    Moshier, Jim Edwin Cpl Passenger 3rdForRec, 3rdRecBn 670611 (vvm 21E:091)
    Widener, James Edward PFC Passenger 3rdForRec, 3rdRecBn 670611 (vvm 21E:093)






    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    BOHLSCHEID CURTIS RICHARD : 078631 : USMC : CAPT : O3 : 7562 (H-46) : 30 : POCATELLO : ID : 19670611 : hostile, crash, land : Aircraft Commander : body NOT recovered : Quang Tri :08 : 19361209 : Cauc : Protestant/married : 21E : 091
    CHOMEL CHARLES DENNIS : 2268368 : USMC : PFC : E2 : 0311 : 19 : COLUMBUS : IN : 19670611 : hostile, crash, land : Passenger (3rdForceRecon) : body NOT recovered : Quang Tri :00 : 19470823 : Cauc : Roman Catholic/single : 21E : 087

    CHRISTIE DENNIS RAY : 2234699 : USMC : LCPL : E3 : 7141 : 20 : IMPERIAL BEACH : CA : 19670611 : hostile, crash, land : Passenger(3rdForceRecon) : body NOT recovered : Quang Tri :01 : 19460811 : Cauc : Roman Catholic/single : 21E : 087

    FOLEY JOHN JOSEPH III : 2253524 : USMC : LCPL : E3 : 0311 : 20 : PLAINFIELD : NJ : 19670611 : hostile, crash, land : Passenger(3rdForceRecon) : body NOT recovered : Quang Tri :00 : 19470611 : Cauc : Roman Catholic/single : 21E : 088

    GONZALEZ JOSE JESUS : 2018669 : USMC : LCPL : E3 : 6341 : 22 : EL PASO : TX : 19670611 : hostile, crash, land : Crew : body NOT recovered : Quang Tri :04 : 19440626 : Cauc : Roman Catholic/single : 21E : 088

    HANRATTY THOMAS MICHAEL : 2217895 : USMC : PFC : E2 : 6311 : 20 : BEULAH : CO : 19670611 : hostile, crash, land : Crew : body NOT recovered : Quang Tri :01 : 19460619 : Cauc : Roman Catholic/single : 21E : 089

    HAVRANEK MICHAEL WILLIAM : 2231606 : USMC : LCPL : E3 : 0311 : 19 : MISSOULA : MT : 19670611 : hostile, crash, land : Passenger(3rdForceRecon) : body NOT recovered : Quang Tri :00 : 19480530 : Cauc : Roman Catholic/single : 21E : 089

    KOOI JAMES WILLARD : 2245916 : USMC : LCPL : E3 : 3516 : 18 : FRUITPORT : MI : 19670611 : hostile, crash, land : Passenger(3rdForceRecon) : body NOT recovered : Quang Tri :01 : 19481118 : Cauc : Roman Catholic/single : 21E : 090

    MOSHIER JIM EDWIN : 2242254 : USMC : CPL : E4 : 0311 : 23 : BAKERSFIELD : CA : 19670611 : hostile, crash, land : Passenger(3rdForceRecon) : body NOT recovered : Quang Tri :04 : 19430803 : Cauc : Protestant/married : 21E : 091

    OLDHAM JOHN SANDERS : 067132 : USMC : MAJ : O4 : 7562 (H-46) : 33 : TINNIE : NM : 19670611 : hostile, crash, land : Copilot : body NOT recovered : Quang Tri :16 : 19330703 : Cauc : Protestant/married : 21E : 091

    WIDENER JAMES EDWARD : 2317507 : USMC : PFC : E2 : 0311 : 18 : CHURCHVILLE : NY : 19670611 : hostile, crash, land : Passenger(3rdForceRecon) : body NOT recovered : Quang Tri :00 : 19481112 : Cauc : Protestant/single : 21E : 93



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Personal Narrative:
    I don't know where to start, except to say that the day Dick [Bohlscheid] went down still echoes in my soul. I was lead of the section of the [VMO-2] gunships, which escorted Dick's recon insert. We briefed early in the morning. Dick was mission command; he briefed. He was nervous for no reason I could understand. I knew him from the time we were flight instructors together in VT-2, Unit 4, at Whiting. I remember so clearly those recon Marines outside the briefing hootch, there faces covered with camouflage paint, but uneasy also

    As I remember and have remembered forever, Dick tried to insert the team somewhere west of the China Wall, got shot out; we returned to Dong Ha; rebriefed, refueled, went somewhere almost at the base of the China Wall, shot out again. Dong Ha, refueled, rebriefed again. Then ordered to insert that team, period. I guess there was suspicion of pressure, heavy pressure, from the north.

    This time we tried just northwest of Dong Ha. I think this was right. I looked at my logbook and find that I have three flights that day, the first for a 3.9, the second for a 1.0, and the third, a 0.3. I remember clearing the zone and seeing nothing, nor experiencing any fire. It was a terrible day at that point, and I was relieved. I called Dick in clear and turned to escort him on his port side.

    As he transitioned to landing speed, in almost slow motion his nose rose, then rose more sharply, then climbed toward the vertical. Then the a/c rolled inverted, split S, and dived down and exploded. To this day, I will never forget, can never forget, that Dick keyed the mic at about the time he was inverted and started to say something, but what came out was a strangled cry, "Mama." Then it was over.

    Sorry to get emotional, but this event, this tragedy, was and is the apotheosis of Vietnam to me. Dick was such a gentle man. God bless him, and all who went with him. For a long time, Dick's name was not on the Wall, because, I guess, he was still MIA, but it is now, and I have touched it.
    Submitted by Hank Trimble, VMO-2 gunship escort


    Major John S. Oldham:
    My dad was Major John S. Oldham KIA 6/11/67 at Dong Ha; copilot on board Sommersail. Anything you"ve got would be of help. thanks.
    Glenn Oldham [hddgro@sbcglobal.net]

    Submitted by webmaster@popasmoke.com, POPASMOKE webmaster


    Homecoming II Project 15 June 1990:
    LOSS COORDINATES: 165454N 1065530E (YD048689) [N16 54 54 E106 55 30]

    SOURCE: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 June 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. NETWORK NOTE: In May of 1997, we received a note from a woman correcting an error in the birth date of this biography. That note generated a "Did you know him?" question that brought the following memories and then the additional news copy - which we asked permission to add here. Unfortunately, none of the articles had a source noted. Updated Memorial Day 1997

    REMARKS: A/C CRASH-EXPLODED-NO SURVS OBS-J

    SYNOPSIS: On 11 June 1967, Capt Curtis Bohlscheid was the pilot of a CH46A helicopter inserting a seven-man Marine Force Recon [3rd Force Recon] team into a predesignated area 11 1/2 nautical miles northwest of Dong Ha, South Vietnam -- right on the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). A total of four aircraft were involved in the mission; two CH46's and two UH1E helicopter gunships [VMO-2]. Bohlscheid flew the lead aircraft. His crew included MAJ John S. Oldham, LCPL Jose J. Gonzales (crew chief) and PFC Thomas M. Hanratty (crew chief).

    Members of the 3rd Recon Company, 3rd Recon Battalion, 3rd Marine Division [3rd Force Recon] who were being inserted were CPL Jim E. Moshier, LCPL Dennis R. Christie, LCPL John J. Foley III, LCPL Michael W. Havranek, LCPL James W. Kooi, PFC Charles D. Chomel, and PFC James E. Widener.

    The flight departed Dong Ha at about 11:15 a.m. and proceeded to the insertion location [YD041681]. The gunships made low strafing runs over the landing zone to clear booby traps and to locate any enemy troops in the area. No enemy fire was received and no activity was observed. The lead aircraft then began its approach to the landing zone. At an estimated altitude of 400-600 feet, the helicopter was observed to climb erratically, similar to an aircraft commencing a loop. Machinegun men had been waiting for the opportune time to fire on the aircraft. Portions of the rear blades were seen to separate from the aircraft and a radio transmission was received from the aircraft indicating that it had been hit. The helicopter became inverted and continued out of control until it was seen to crash by a stream in a steep ravine.

    Subsequent efforts by ground units to reach the crash area failed due to a heavy bunker complex surrounding the site. The ground units inspected the site from within 500 meters through binoculars and observed no survivors. All eleven personnel aboard the helicopter were therefore classified Killed In Action, Body Not Recovered. Other USMCR records indicate that the helicopter also burst into flames just prior to impacting the ground.




    Task Force Delta File:
    Comment on Incident from Task Force Delta File:
    [http://taskforceomegainc.org/h370.html]
    On 11 June 1967, Capt. Curtis R. Bohlscheid, pilot; Major John S. Oldham, co-pilot; LCpl. Jose J. Gonzales, crewchief; and LCpl. Thomas M. Hanratty, door gunner; comprised the crew of the lead CH46A helicopter on a troop insertion mission. Cpl. Jim E. Moshier, LCpl. Dennis Christie, LCpl. James W. Kooi, LCpl. John J. Foley, LCpl. Michael W. Havranek, PFC Charles Chomel and PFC James E. Widener comprised half of the Marine reconnaissance team being inserted into a designated landing zone (LZ) on an intelligence gathering mission. A total of four aircraft were involved in the mission, two CH46's and two UH1E helicopter gunships that were providing air cover for the transports. The LZ was located in the rugged jungle covered mountains approximately 5 miles northwest of Firebase Vandergrift, 9 miles south of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) and 11˝ miles northwest of Dong Ha, Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam.

    At 1115 hours, the flight of four helicopters departed Dong Ha and proceeded without incident to the LZ. Before the Sea Knights landed, the gunships made low strafing passes over the landing zone to set off any booby traps that might have been placed there as well as to locate any enemy positions in the area. When no booby traps were sprung and no enemy fire was received, the lead aircraft then began its approach to the LZ. At an estimated altitude of 400-600 feet, the helicopter was observed to climb erratically in a manner similar to an aircraft commencing a loop. As those aboard the other helicopters watched in horror, portions of the rear rotor blades were seen to separate from the Sea Knight. At the same time Capt. Bohlscheid radioed that they had been hit by machinegun fire. The helicopter then rolled to an inverted position, burst into flames and continued out of control until it crashed into a steep ravine on the north side of a stream that ran through it.

    Ground units subsequently entered the area to search for survivors or recover the remains of the dead if possible. Due to a well-entrenched and camouflaged enemy bunker complex surrounding the entire LZ and crash site location, the ground units could only inspect the site through binoculars from a distance of approximately 500 meters. During the brief time available to them, they observed no survivors in or around the aircraft wreckage. At the time the ground mission was terminated, all eleven Marines were listed Killed In Action, Body Not Recovered.

    If the crew and passengers aboard the Sea Knight died in their loss incident, they have a right to have their remains returned to their families, friends and country. However, if they survived, they most certainly would have been captured due to the fact that a large number of enemy troops were actively operating in this region. Their fate, like that of other Americans who remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, could be quite different.




    Comment on Incident:
    3rd Force Recon Company - TEAM SOMERSAIL ONE:
    Sgt. Jim E. Moshier, LCpl. James E. Kooi, LCpl. Michael W. Havranek, LCpl. John J. Foley, LCpl. Dennis R. Christie, Pfc. Charles D. Chomel, Pfc. James E. Widener

    On 11 June 1967 a seven man Recon Team "Somersail-One" from 3rd Force left Dong Ha for an insertion LZ at YD 041681. This LZ was directly on the southern boundary of the DMZ. This area was four kilometers north of Hill 208, which was identified, during Operation Hastings in July 66, as the Division Command Post for the 324B NVA and 900 meters west of Hill 174, another well known NVA position.

    The Flight left Dong Ha at 11:15hrs. A total of four Helicopters were involved. Two CH 46A's and two UH1E gunships. As the insertion helicopter was approaching the LZ it snapped up vertically and then rolled inverted tumbling end over end and crashed. It was seen spiraling out of control and the rear blades were seen separating. The helicopter crashed then burst into flames. The bodies of the men lost were never recovered and they are listed today as KIA/BNR. Summary taken from 3rd Recon narrative. [The UH-1E gunship crews were eyewitnesses to the crash and indicated no enemy action evident – suspect mechanical failure. Aircraft burned upon impact with full load of fuel - no survivors possible]

    Submitted by John Lane, researcher,


    Personal Letter:
    I am confused as to the cause of the crash. I have heard that it was due to mechanical failure, but also hostile machine gun fire. I do know that two similar instances of catastrophic aft pylon failure occurred in the 1960's, one with a civilian version and another one in Vietnam. Any comments?

    Another comment made was that (assuming the crash was caused by hostile fire) if the landing approach had been made as a "combat landing approach" (please forgive my lack of knowledge of the lexicon) rather than a less aggressive landing, there would have been a better chance of landing. Any comments?

    If this is the case, I'm sorry to all involved that perhaps this loss of life could have been prevented. I did not know my father well. I was 7 when he was killed and he was gone quite a bit training, flying and saving the world, as so many of the Marines were doing in the 1960's. I attended a squadron reunion around 1996 in San Diego and met some of my father's squardron mates. Some interesting tales. I would be interested in any contact from any who knew him.

    Thanks
    Submitted by Jeffri Bohlscheid, Son of C. R. Bohlscheid


    Maj John Sanders Oldham:

    http://www.popasmoke.com/visions/image.php?source=2641

    Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin


    HN James Patrick McGrath, Corpsman:

    http://www.atterburybakalarairmuseum...ietnam_war.htm
    Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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