KIA INCIDENT: 19800424 HMH-461 Operation EAGLE CLAW - IRAN

Brothers (& Sisters) Killed in Action in USMC Helicopters or while assigned to USMC Helicopter or Tiltrotor Squadrons

19800424 HMH-461 Operation EAGLE CLAW - IRAN

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Incident Date 19800424 HMH-461 RH-53D (USN) 158761+ (USN) - JSOG Hostage Rescue Attempt

Johnson, Dewey L. SSgt Crew HMH-461 Joint Special Operations Group 1980-04-24
Holmes, George N. Cpl Crew HMH-461 Joint Special Operations Group 1980-04-24
Harvey, John D. Sgt Crew HMH-461 Joint Special Operations Group 1980-04-24

JOHNSON, DEWEY L. : SSGT : USMC : HMH-461 : 31 : Jacksonville : NC :
HOLMES, GEORGE N. : CPL : USMC : HMH-461 : 22 : Pine Bluff : AR :
HARVEY, JOHN D. : SGT : USMC : HMH-461 : : 21 : Roanoke : VA :

KIAs from Hostage Rescue Attempt

KIA's from 1980 Iran rescue attempt: SSGT Dewey Johnson, CPL George Holmes, SGT John Harvey. They came from HMH-461.

Submitted by: Ronn Ellis, 20070815

Incident Synopsis

A Joint Special Operations Group rescue attempt of the Iran hostages was aborted on 24 April 1980 due to failure of several helicopter mechanical systems. Three Marine helicopter crewmen aboard a Navy RH-53D [the eight Navy helicopters were crewed by USMC crews of 2 pilots and three crewmen each] were KIA after a collision with a USAF EC-130E on the ground. Both aircraft burned. The loss ocurred at LZ DESERT ONE on the Great Salt Desert near Tabas, Iran.

Reason for the collision was obscured vision from excessive dust at night while relocating the RH-53D helicopter on the ground. The five USAF crew members were aboard the USAF EC-130E. The three Marines crewing the USN RH-53D were from HMH-461. Five additional RH-53D helicopters were abandoned during this mission, along with all of the TopSecret Mission Plans, jeopardizing future missions and the lives of the in-country operatives working in Iran.

Submitted by: Alan H Barbour, Historian, Historian, USMC Combat Helicopter Association, 20070815

Operation EAGLE CLAW

Operation EAGLE CLAW

On 4 November 1979, after a popular revolution swept the Shah of Iran, a close American ally, out of power, Iranian students backing the new revolutionary Islamic government stormed the US embassy in Teheran and took the staff and USMC security contingent hostage. In all, 52 Americans were captured and it was unclear whether they were being tortured or readied for execution. After six months of failed negotiation, the US broke diplomatic relations with Iran on 8 April 1980 and the newly certified US Army Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (Airborne) was put on full alert and plans were being drawn up for a rescue.

The Americans faced a daunting task. Teheran is well inside Iran and away from friendly countries. The hostages were not held at an airport as in Israel's four years earlier Entebbe raid. Good intelligence was hard to come by about forces inside the embassy and in Teheran. And of course, all the planning and training had to be carried out in complete secrecy.

Initially, the preferred solution was the infiltration of the force by trucks from Turkish territory but this plan was rejected due political disadvantages and the risk of a great number of casualties made to discard the possibility of a night paratroopers assault so the choice fell again, after all, on the use of helicopters.

By December 1979, a rescue force was selected and a training program was under way. Training exercises were conducted through March 1980 and the Join Chiefs of Staff (JCS) approved mission execution on 16 April 1980. Between 19 and 23 April, the forces deployed to Southwest Asia.

What was ultimately decided on was an audacious plan involving all four US armed forces services, 8 helicopters (Navy RH-53D's with USMC crews), 12 USAF planes ( 4 special ops MC-130E Combat Talon, 3 command post EC-130E Commando Solo, 3 gunships AC-130 Spectre, and 2 cargo C-141 Starlifter ), and numerous operators infiltrated into Teheran ahead of the actual assault. Aircraft carriers USS Nimitz (CVN68) and USS Coral Sea (CV43) were already in the Arabian Sea to provide air support if necessary with their F-14A Tomcat, A-6E Intruder and A-7E Corsair.
The basic plan was to infiltrate the operators into the country the night before the assault and get them to Teheran, and after the assault, bring them home.

The first night, three MC-130's Combat Talon were to fly to an barren spot in Iran and offload the Delta force men, Combat Controllers, and translators/truck drivers. Three EC-130's following the Combat Talon's would then land and prepare to refuel the Marine RH-53's flying in from the carrier USS Nimitz. Once the helicopters were refueled, they would fly the task force to a spot near the outskirts of Teheran and meet up with agents already in-country who would lead the operators to a safe house to await the assault the next night. The helicopters would fly to another site in-country and hide until called by the Delta operators.

On the second night, the MC-130's and EC-130's would again fly into the country, this time with 100 US Army Rangers troops, and head for Manzariyeh Airfield. The Rangers were to assault the field and hold it so that the two C-141's could land to ferry the hostages back home. The three AC-130's would be used to provide cover for the rangers at Manzariyeh, support Delta's assault, and to suppress any attempts at action by the Iranian Air Force from nearby Mehrabad Airbase. Delta would assault the embassy and free the hostages, then rendezvous with the helicopters in a nearby football stadium. They and the hostages would be flown to Manzariyeh Airfield and the waiting C-141's and then flown out of the country. All the aircraft but the eight helicopters would be flown back, the helicopters would be destroyed before leaving.

The RH-53D (Sikorsky S-65) was the specialized mine countermeasures variant (fitted with devices for the detection, sweeping and neutralization of all types of mines) of the CH-53 Sea Stallion. The US Navy received the first of 30 RH-53D in May 1973 to replace the old RH-3A Sea Kings and, coincidentally, the only other customer of the RH-53D was the Iranian Navy with 6 aircraft delivered to the Shah.

The determination of the type of helicopter to be used was very difficult but the Sea Stallion was selected in good part due to its great capacity to carry heavy loads. Completely supplied can take 30 people and with less fuel 50 with a maximum gross weight of 42,000 pounds (15 tons approx) and is capable of speeds up 160 knots. In spite of its huge size, the Sea Stallion has been known to make a few loops from time to time.

The RH-53D variant had extra fuel tanks on the landing gear pylons so this aircraft was preferable to the normal CH-53D due it's long range. A year before, on April 1979 a RH-53D from US Navy squadron HM-12 set a new nonstop transcontinental flight by flying from Norfolk, Virginia, to San Diego, California. The helicopter flew 2,077-nm in 18.5 hours, air refueling from an Air National Guard HC-130 Hercules. The flight demonstrated the long-range, quick-response capability of the RH-53D helicopter and was commanded by Lieutenant Rodney M. Davis. But moreover a hunting-mines helicopter would not seem outside of place on board an aircraft carrier.

In October 1979, US Navy Squadron HM-16 was participating in Canous Marcot 79, a joint U.S. - Canadian exercise, shore based at CFB Shearwater, Nova Scotia, Canada. The squadron's prime objective was to clear a simulated minefield blocking this major strategic Canadian port. Four days after returning from this Canadian deployment, HM-16 was tasked to execute a no-notice rapid deployment to the Indian Ocean area. Within a 34 hour period, all personnel and squadron assets were deployed from the commands home base in Norfolk, Virginia and stationed aboard carrier USS Nimitz where their RH-53's were painted brown for the camouflage effect of the Iranian desert and to be similar to Iranian aircraft paint schemes.

HM-16 provided the eight helicopters for Eagle Claw and was until 19 May 1980 when the squadron returned to Norfolk after an unprecedented 193 days continuous at sea.

On the evening of 24 April 1980, six C-130s left Masirah Island, OMAN, and eight RH-53D helicopters departed the USS NIMITZ in the Arabian Sea. Both formations headed for the location; code-named DESERT ONE. A month before the assault a CIA Twin Otter had flown to DESERT ONE. A USAF Combat Controller had rode around the landing area on a light dirt bike and planted landing lights to help guide the force in. That insertion went well, with no contact, and the pilots reported that their sensors had picked up some radar signals at 3,000 feet but nothing below that.

Despite these findings, the Marine helicopter pilots on Operation EAGLE CLAW were told to fly at or below 200 feet to avoid radar. This limitation caused them to run into a haboob, or dust storm, that they could not fly over without breaking the 200 foot limit. Two helicopters lost sight of the task force and landed, out of action. Another had landed earlier when a warning light had come on. Their crew had been picked up but the aircraft that had stopped to retrieve them was now 20 minutes behind the rest of the formation.

Battling dust storms and heavy winds, the RH-53's continued to make their way to DESERT ONE. After receiving word that the EC-130's and fuel had arrived, the two aircraft that had landed earlier started up again and resumed their flight to the rendezvous. But then another helicopter had a malfunction and the pilot and Marine commander decided to turn back, halfway to the site. The task force was down to six helicopters, the bare minimum needed to pull off the rescue.

The first group of three helicopters arrived at DESERT ONE an hour late, with the rest appearing 15 minutes later. The rescue attempt was dealt it's final blow when it was learned that one of the aircraft had lost its primary hydraulic system and was unsafe to use fully loaded for the assault. Only five aircraft were serviceable and six needed, so the mission was aborted.

And there were other problems. A bus came by on a dirt road shortly after the lead C-130 landed. Its driver and about 40 passengers were held until the Americans left.

With the mission already aborted, things got worse when one of the helicopters moved to another position and drifted into one of the parked EC-130's. In the pilot's defense, it was dark and his rotors kicked up an immense dust cloud, making it difficult to see but immediately both the C-130 and RH-53 burst into flames, lighting up the dark desert night, and 8 crewmembers lost their lives.

CAPT Harold L. Lewis Jr., USAF --- EC-130E A/C Commander
CAPT Lyn D. McIntosh, USAF --- EC-130E Pilot
CAPT Richard L. Bakke, USAF --- EC-130E Navigator
CAPT Charles McMillian, USAF --- EC-130E Navigator
TSGT Joel C. Mayo, USAF --- EC-130E Flight Engineer
SSgt Dewey Johnson, USMC --- RH-53D Crewmember (parent unit HMH-461)
Sgt John D. Harvey, USMC --- RH-53D Crewmember (parent unit HMH-461)
Cpl George N. Holmes, USMC --- RH-53D Crewmember (parent unit HMH-461)

The C-130 was evacuated and the order came to blow the aircraft and exfiltrate the country. However, in the dust and confusion the order never reached the people who would blow the aircraft. There were wounded and dying men to be taken care of and the aircraft had to be moved to avoid having the burning debris start another fire. Because of this failure to destroy the helicopters, the Americans left behind the 5 RH-53D intact and top secret plans fell into the hands of the Iranians the next day and the agents waiting in-country to help the Delta operators were almost captured.

"A few days ago the President made a very courageous decision as he ordered us to execute the rescue operation as we tried to free our Americans held hostage in Teheran. It was not a risk-free operation-there is no such thing as a risk-free operation..... we all shared considerable disappointment that we were not successful. But let's not be despondent about that. Our job is now to remain alert, to look for those opportunities, times when we can bring our Americans out. Our job is to stay ready."

After EAGLE CLAW a long negotiation followed, including the beginning of the Iraq-Iran war. It was on 19 January 1981 when Secretary Christopher signed the accord at 3:35 E.S.T. and on January 20, after last-minute delays over fund transfers, the hostages leave Teheran on the 444th day of their captivity, minutes after President Carter leaves office. On January 21, citizen Carter greets the hostages at Wiesbaden, West Germany.

Operation HONEY BADGER, which was to be the second attempt to rescue the hostages from Iran, was no longer necessary.

A six-member commission was appointed by the JCS to study the operation. Headed by Adm James L. Holloway III, the panel included Gen LeRoy Manor, who commanded the Son Tay raid, November 21, 1970 in Vietnam to rescue prisoners. One issue investigated was selection of aircrew. Navy and Marine pilots with little experience in long-range overland navigation or refueling from C-130s were selected though more than a hundred qualified Air Force H-53 pilots were available. Another issue was the lack of a comprehensive readiness evaluation and mission rehearsal program. From the beginning, training was not conducted in a truly joint manner; it was compartmented and held at scattered locations throughout the US. The limited rehearsals that were conducted assessed only portions of the total mission. Also at issue was the number of helicopters used. The commission concluded that at least ten and perhaps as many as twelve helicopters should have been launched to guarantee the minimum of six required for completion of the mission. The plan was also criticized for using the "hopscotch" method of ground refueling instead of air refueling as was used for the Son Tay raid. By air refueling en route, the commission thought the entire Desert One scenario could have been avoided.

Although the results of the mission were tragic, Operation EAGLE CLAW'S contribution to the American military was invaluable. The lessons learned from the mission illustrated serious deficiencies in the capability of the American military. The mission forced the political and military leadership to address these inadequacies and initiate changes. Military reforms would be complete and revolutionary. In particular, the mission was a major contributor to the changing of service parochialism. The mission contributed to the development of Jointness.

USN RH-53D serial number 158761 was destroyed in the collision with USAF EC-130E BuNo 62-1809.

5 RH-53D serials 158686, 158744, 158750, 158753 and 158758 abandoned or destroyed at Desert One.

Original Information Source:
Helicopter History Site

Submitted by: Alan H Barbour, Historian, Historian, USMC Combat Helicopter Association, 20070815

Pertinent Information

I was a CH46 pilot in HMH-362 from 1978-1980. I was on the USS Inchon in the MED when the hostages were taken (1979) and on the USS Inchon back in the MED when the rescue was attempted (1980).

Five members of HMH-362 (2 pilots and 3 aircrew) were selected and participated in the rescue attempt. Cpl. Holmes was one of those from HMH-362. Where the confusion may lie is that the CH-53 aircrew members (pilots and crew) from various MCAS New River composite squadrons who were selected for the rescue air element were all transferred to HMH-461 and then left for training in the US southwest for the raid.

Submitted by: James Healan, On the USS Inchon - HMH-362 at the time, 20120208

The Hostage Rescue Attempt In Iran, April 24-25, 1980

The Hostage Rescue Attempt In Iran, April 24-25, 1980

20th Anniversary of the Hostage Rescue Attempt

April 26, 2000


By Arlo Wagner, The Washington Times

Four year old Cailin Mayo ignored the cold, April rain yesterday as she placed yellow roses on the grave of the grandfather she never knew.

At her side at Arlington National Cemetery, in only his shirtsleeves and apparently oblivious of the weather was her father, Douglas Mayo of Roseville, Mich. He is one of four sons of Air Force Tech Sgt Joel C. Mayo, who was being honored.

Sgt. Mayo was 34 years old when he and seven comrades died exactly 20 years ago during an aborted mission to rescue the 53 American hostages in Iran.

Ultimately. the hostages were freed. Yesterday, nearly a dozen were among 200 friends, relatives and servicemen--most standing instead of sitting on wet folding chairs--to honor the fallen heroes in a remembrance ceremony.

"They gave their lives that others might live," said Lt. Gen. James B. Vaught in a prayer during the ceremony about 100 yards from the Tomb of the Unknowns.

Gen. Vaught was one of the commanders of the Iran Rescue Mission code-named Eagle Claw.

"Eagle Claw was one of the most daring [rescue missions]," said Gen. Henry H. Shelton, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

"The sheer audacity of it," Gen. Shelton said, focused on bravery and indomitable spirit.

Unexpected aircraft failures had caused commanders to abort the rescue mission. At the site called "Desert One", the rotary blade of a helicopter containing three Marines (Note: There were 5 Marines on board, 2 pilots and 3 crew) hit the fuselage of a C-130 transport plane. Both aircraft burst into flames.

The Marines died instantly. On the C-130, the Captain, though mortally wounded, stayed at his post, directing the other occupants to evacuate. Three crew members remained and died trying to rescue the captain. Sgt Mayo, the flight engineer, performed his duties of fire control so others might escape--until it was too late to save his own life.

Former hostage Richard Morefield said the deaths of the 5 Airman and three Marines "profoundly changed my life." Without their unselfish and heroic actions, Mr. Morefield said he could not have escorted his daughter down the wedding aisle or watched his son graduate from High School.

He said the heroes demonstrated 3 kinds of love. "Love of country was exemplified by them," he said, followed closely by love of family--so important to America, and love of friends--since several of the heroes died while trying to save their comrades.

The memorialized heroes are Marines: Sgt. John D. Harvey, 21, Roanoke; Cpl. George N. Holmes Jr., 22, of Pine Bluff, Ark.; Staff Sgt. Dewey L. Johnson, 31, of Dublin, Ga; and Airmen: Capt. Charles T. McMillan II, 28, of Corryton, Tenn.; Capt. Lyn D. McIntosh, 33, of Voldosta, Ga.; Maj Richard L. Bakke, 33, of Long Beach, Calif.' Sgt. Mayo, of Harrisville, Mich.; and Maj. Harold L. Lewis Jr., 35, of Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

"My father was proud to be an American," said Lauren Beth Harvey, 21, daughter of Sgt. Harvey.

Miss Harvey choked back sobs as she led the audience in the "No Greater Love Pledge of Peace," which was written in 1985 for children. It concludes, "I promise to do everything I can to help create a common future of peace and justice for all human beings." The pledge has been recited over the past 15 years by "hundreds of thousands of youngsters the world," said Angelo Bianco, president of the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association who introduced Miss Harvey.

No Greater Love, a non-profit organization that sponsored yesterday's program, has conducted scores of remembrance programs, during the last 20 years, for Americans who died in service to their country, or as victims of terrorists.

Submitted by: Alan H Barbour, Historian, Historian, USMC Combat Helicopter Association, 20070815

The Hostages and The Casualties

Sixty-six Americans were taken captive when Iranian militants seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran on Nov. 4, 1979, including three who were at the Iranian Foreign Ministry. Six more Americans escaped. Of the 66 who were taken hostage, 13 were released on Nov. 19 and 20, 1979; one was released on July 11, 1980, and the remaining 52 were released on Jan. 20, 1981. Ages in this list are at the time of release.

The 52:

Thomas L. Ahern, Jr., 48, McLean, VA. Narcotics control officer.
Clair Cortland Barnes, 35, Falls Church, VA. Communications specialist.
William E. Belk, 44, West Columbia, SC. Communications and records officer.
Robert O. Blucker, 54, North Little Rock, AR. Economics officer specializing in oil.
Donald J. Cooke, 26, Memphis, TN. Vice consul.
William J. Daugherty, 33, Tulsa, OK. Third secretary of U.S. mission.
Lt. Cmdr. Robert Englemann, 34, Hurst, TX. Naval attaché.
Sgt. William Gallegos, 22, Pueblo, CO. Marine guard.
Bruce W. German, 44, Rockville, MD. Budget officer.
Duane L. Gillette, 24, Columbia, PA. Navy communications and intelligence specialist.
Alan B. Golancinksi, 30, Silver Spring, MD. Security officer.
John E. Graves, 53, Reston, VA. Public affairs officer.
Joseph M. Hall, 32, Elyria, OH. Military attaché with warrant officer rank.
Sgt. Kevin J. Hermening, 21, Oak Creek, WI. Marine guard.
Sgt. 1st Class Donald R. Hohman, 38, Frankfurt, West Germany. Army medic.
Col. Leland J. Holland, 53, Laurel, MD. Military attaché.
Michael Howland, 34, Alexandria, VA. Security aide, one of three held in Iranian Foreign Ministry.
Charles A. Jones, Jr., 40, Communications specialist and teletype operator. Only African-American hostage not released in
November 1979.
Malcolm Kalp, 42, Fairfax, VA. Position unknown.
Moorhead C. Kennedy Jr., 50, Washington, DC. Economic and commercial officer.
William F. Keough, Jr., 50, Brookline, MA. Superintendent of American School in Islamabad, Pakistan, visiting Tehran at time of embassy
Cpl. Steven W. Kirtley, 22, Little Rock, AR. Marine guard.
Kathryn L. Koob, 42, Fairfax, VA. Embassy cultural officer; one of two women hostages.
Frederick Lee Kupke, 34, Francesville, IN. Communications officer and electronics specialist.
L. Bruce Laingen, 58, Bethesda, MD. Chargé d'affaires. One of three held in Iranian Foreign Ministry.
Steven Lauterbach, 29, North Dayton, OH. Administrative officer.
Gary E. Lee, 37, Falls Church, VA. Administrative officer.
Sgt. Paul Edward Lewis, 23, Homer, IL. Marine guard.
John W. Limbert, Jr., 37, Washington, DC. Political officer.
Sgt. James M. Lopez, 22, Globe, AZ. Marine guard.
Sgt. John D. McKeel, Jr., 27, Balch Springs, TX. Marine guard.
Michael J. Metrinko, 34, Olyphant, PA. Political officer.
Jerry J. Miele, 42, Mt. Pleasant, PA. Communications officer.
Staff Sgt. Michael E. Moeller, 31, Quantico, VA. Head of Marine guard unit.
Bert C. Moore, 45, Mount Vernon, OH. Counselor for administration.
Richard H. Morefield, 51, San Diego, CA. U.S. Consul General in Tehran.
Capt. Paul M. Needham, Jr., 30, Bellevue, NE. Air Force logistics staff officer.
Robert C. Ode, 65, Sun City, AZ. Retired Foreign Service officer on temporary duty in Tehran.
Sgt. Gregory A. Persinger, 23, Seaford, DE. Marine guard.
Jerry Plotkin, 45, Sherman Oaks, CA. Private businessman visiting Tehran.
MSgt. Regis Ragan, 38, Johnstown, PA. Army noncom, assigned to defense attaché's officer.
Lt. Col. David M. Roeder, 41, Alexandria, VA. Deputy Air Force attaché.
Barry M. Rosen, 36, Brooklyn, NY. Press attaché.
William B. Royer, Jr., 49, Houston, TX. Assistant director of Iran-American Society.
Col. Thomas E. Schaefer, 50, Tacoma, WA. Air Force attaché.
Col. Charles W. Scott, 48, Stone Mountain, GA. Army officer, military attaché.
Cmdr. Donald A. Sharer, 40, Chesapeake, VA. Naval air attaché.
Sgt. Rodney V. (Rocky) Sickmann, 22, Krakow, MO. Marine Guard.
Staff Sgt. Joseph Subic, Jr., 23, Redford Township, MI. Military policeman (Army) on defense attaché's staff.
Elizabeth Ann Swift, 40, Washington, DC. Chief of embassy's political section; one of two women hostages.
Victor L. Tomseth, 39, Springfield, OR. Senior political officer; one of three held in Iranian Foreign Ministry.
Phillip R. Ward, 40, Culpeper, VA. Administrative officer.

One hostage was freed July 11, 1980, because of an illness later diagnosed as multiple sclerosis:

Richard I. Queen, 28, New York, NY. Vice consul.

Six American diplomats avoided capture when the embassy was seized. For three months they were sheltered at the Canadian and Swedish embassies in Tehran. On Jan. 28, 1980, they fled Iran using Canadian passports:

Robert Anders, 34, Port Charlotte, FL. Consular officer.
Mark J. Lijek, 29, Falls Church, VA. Consular officer.
Cora A. Lijek, 25, Falls Church, VA. Consular assistant.
Henry L. Schatz, 31, Coeur d'Alene, ID. Agriculture attaché.
Joseph D. Stafford, 29, Crossville, TN. Consular officer.
Kathleen F. Stafford, 28, Crossville, TN. Consular assistant.

Thirteen women and African-Americans among the Americans who were seized at the embassy were released on Nov. 19 and 20, 1979:

Kathy Gross, 22, Cambridge Springs, PA. Secretary.
Sgt. James Hughes, 30, Langley Air Force Base, VA. Air Force administrative manager.
Lillian Johnson, 32, Elmont, NY. Secretary.
Sgt. Ladell Maples, 23, Earle, AR. Marine guard.
Elizabeth Montagne, 42, Calumet City, IL. Secretary.
Sgt. William Quarles, 23, Washington, DC. Marine guard.
Lloyd Rollins, 40, Alexandria, VA. Administrative officer.
Capt. Neal (Terry) Robinson, 30, Houston, TX. Administrative officer.
Terri Tedford, 24, South San Francisco, CA. Secretary.
Sgt. Joseph Vincent, 42, New Orleans, LA. Air Force administrative manager.
Sgt. David Walker, 25, Prairie View, TX. Marine guard.
Joan Walsh, 33, Ogden, UT. Secretary.
Cpl. Wesley Williams, 24, Albany, NY. Marine guard.

Eight U.S. servicemen from the all-volunteer Joint Special Operations Group were killed in the Great Salt Desert near Tabas, Iran, on April 25, 1980, in the aborted attempt to rescue the American hostages:

Capt. Richard L. Bakke, 34, Long Beach, CA. Air Force.
Sgt. John D. Harvey, 21, Roanoke, VA. Marine Corps.
Cpl. George N. Holmes, Jr., 22, Pine Bluff, AR. Marine Corps.
Staff Sgt. Dewey L. Johnson, 32, Jacksonville, NC. Marine Corps.
Capt. Harold L. Lewis, 35, Mansfield, CT. Air Force.
Tech. Sgt. Joel C. Mayo, 34, Bonifay, FL. Air Force.
Capt. Lynn D. McIntosh, 33, Valdosta, GA. Air Force.
Capt. Charles T. McMillan II, 28, Corrytown, TN. Air Force.

The Jimmy Carter Library

Submitted by: Alan H Barbour, Historian, Historian, USMC Combat Helicopter Association, 20070815

Personal Recollection

I was a young Marine stationed out of MCAS(H) New River when this happened. Even though I was not directly involved, I was in the Med at the time (onboard the USS Inchon - an LPH) and we learned we had lost some very talented and special people. There is a sense of loss that has always lingered. Two of the young Marines who got killed were just like me from New River - young men just wanting to make a life and live their dreams. There is, for me, a sense of anger, bewilderment over non-action, etc. Why did we just waste those people? Not politically correct? It would have been the most politically correct thing this country has ever done. I have more information on this and would like to speak about it with others - I know it won't mean anything now, but would be nice to talk.
Semper Fi

Submitted by: David Rice, former Sgt, USMC 1982, USS Inchon, 20100418

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