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USMC/COMBAT HELICOPTER & TILTROTOR ASSOCIATION - KIA DATABASE
USMC/COMBAT HELICOPTER ASSOCIATION
Brothers (& Sisters) Killed in Action in USMC Helicopters or while assigned to USMC Helicopter or Tiltrotor Squadrons in Vietnam



680827   HML-167     Vietnam

Incident Date 680827 HML-167 UH-1E 151880+ Hostile Fire, Crash

[CREW]
Becker, John Bertram Cpl Gunner HML-167 MAG-16 680827 (vvm 46W:037)
Stockburger, Arthur Lee Capt Co-Pilot HML-167 MAG-16 680827 (vvm 46W:045)
Wagstaff, James Donald PFC Crew Chief HML-167 MAG-16 680827 (vvm 46W:045)


BECKER JOHN BERTRAM : 2218428 : USMC : CPL : E4 : 6212 : 22 : COLD SPRING-HIGHLAND HTS : KY : 19680827 : hostile, crash, land : Crew : body recovered : Quang Nam (Da Nang) :02 : 19460213 : Cauc : Roman Catholic/single : 46W : 037

STOCKBURGER ARTHUR LEE : 081350 : USMC : CAPT : O3 : 7563 : 28 : LIVINGSTON : MT : 19680827 : hostile, crash, land : Copilot : body recovered : Quang Nam (Da Nang) :10 : 19400420 : Cauc : Protestant/married : 46W : 045

WAGSTAFF JAMES DONALD : 2208375 : USMC : PFC : E2 : 6311 : 20 : HARPURSVILLE : NY : 19680827 : hostile, crash, land : CrewChief : body recovered : Quang Nam (Da Nang) :02 : 19480404 : Cauc : Protestant/single : 46W : 045


HML-167 Squadron Command Chronology 6Sep68:
27 August 1968:
One HML-167 gunship while on a "FireFly" mission, Took fire at BT011608; reported streaming fuel, exploded, and crashed nearby. The co-pilot, crew chief and gunner were KIA, while the pilot was rescued with Bravo injuries. The aircraft was a total loss.

3.Casualties:
a. Captain Arthur L. STOCKBURGER 081350 KIA Da Nang TACAN Ch#77 180
degrees at 7 miles.
b. Corporal John B. BECKER 2218428 TACAN Ch#77 180 degrees at 7 miles.
c, Private First Class James D. WAGSTAFF KIA Da Nang TACAN Ch#77 180 degrees at 7 miles.
d. Captain John Henry KEY 086585 WIA Da Nang TACAN Ch#77 180 degrees at 7 Miles.

s/Major G.H. Dunn,
Lt. Col. T F. Miller

Submitted by Jerry Gibson, squadron mate 68-69

MAG-16 Command Chronology - Sept 1968:
One HML-167 gunship on the Fire Fly mission received fire at BT011608 and the pilot reported streaming fuel. The aircraft soon exploded and crashed, killing Capt A L Stockburger, copilot; Cpl J B Becker, aerial gunner; PFC J D Wagstaff, the crew chief. Captain John Henry KEY, 086585 miraculously escaped with severe injuries. [Maj John Henry KEY, USMC(Ret), died 20 June 2009.]
Submitted by Alan H Barbour, Historian, USMC Combat Helicopter Association

MAG-16 Command Chronology - Sept 1968:
HOSTILE 27 August 1968. 7 mies south of Danang, Quang Nam, RVN. UH-1E aircraft was hit by enemy fire, crashed and burned while on TAOR mission. Copilot, Crew Chief and Gunner were killed. Pilot was WIA (critical).

Command Eulogy:
This is the Eulogy I gave at Marble Mountain Helicopter base, Danang, Vietnam on August 27,1968:

"We are gathered here this evening to pay out last respects to three of our brother Marines who gave their lives in combat early in the morning last Thursday, the 27th of August 1968.

Captain Arthur Lee STOCKBURGER
Corporal John Bertram BECKER
Private First Class James Donald WAGSTAFF

These three men were crew members of a UH1E "Huey" gunship that was escorting the night searchlight aircraft. Their aircraft had received hostile ground fire which set the aircraft on fire and caused them to crash, about seven miles south of Danang, RVN.

At a time like this - - No eloquence of words can describe our loss. No amount of sadness or emotion can adequately express our sorrow and grief. No amount of benevolence or condolences can ever cushion the shock, or ease the pain being felt by their loved ones back home. We can only sadly, yet proudly say that we have had the opportunity to know, to have worked with and served with three of the finest.

To most they were more than just squadron mates,they were dedicated Marines and proud Americans.

We remaining can only hope and pray that those at home and elsewhere in the free world will undestand, will appreciate and will respect the sacrifice these and thousands more have made for our country, our way of life and our ideals.

We in Marine Light Helicopter Squadron 167, our Corps and our country have lost three more outstanding young men.

It is our duty now, and in the years to come, to insure that these men did not give their lives in vain, but that their supreme sacrifice was for the benefit of freemen everywhere and that their deeds will be remembered."

Thomas F. Miller
Lt.Col USMC

Submitted by LtCol Thomas F. Miller, USMC, I was their proud Commanding Officer,1968-69

Personal Information:
Major John Henry Key, USMC (RET), the pilot and only survivor of this incident died in Texas on June 20, 2009 at age 68.
Submitted by Doug Frank, AO he flew with in RVN Jul-Sep 64 in O1Bs - SHUFLY

Personal Information:
Contact me at 563-209-2701(H) or 563-391-0633(C) for information.
Submitted by Alan C. Lefler, I was in another huey behind WAGSTAFF AND BECKER

Friends and Family:
John "Sloop John B." Becker and I went through Avionics school together at Memphis in '66 and served in the same Avionics shop at H&MS-26, MCAS New River. I was at MMAF when J.B. was KIA. John was one of the good guys and an outstanding Marine! SEMPER FI!
Paul O. Hunt,Sgt.,H&MS-16,MAG-16,1st MAW, '67-'68

Submitted by Sgt Paul O. Hunt, served with John, H&MS-16, MAG-16, 1st MAW

Personal Comments:
After leaving Vietnam, and being sent to MCAF Tustin, I questioned all the returning people for news of JB until someone said he had died. For years I refused to believe that JB had been killed. I continued this refusal until 2000 when I visited the wall and found his name. One of the saddest days of my life.
Submitted by Sgt Steven Bassett, MAG-16, J.B. was one of my best friend in country.

PFC James Donald Wagstaff:

http://www.popasmoke.com/visions/image.php?source=1345
Submitted by MGySgt George Curtis, Popasmoke Admin

Family Commentary:
MY OLDEST BROTHER WAS NAMED AFTER WAGSTAFF. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I HAVE SEEN A PICTURE OF HIM. MY FATHER DOES NOT HAVE A PICTURE OF HIM.
Submitted by JERRY HESTER JR, Wagstaff was my father's best friend

Family Narrative:
I am a first cousin to Jimmy Wagstaff and would welcome anyone who wishes to contact me about Jimmy. Jimmy's father is still living, and is in his 80's.

The death of Jimmy was a terrible tragedy for all our family. You may be interested in knowing that my father, Arnold Wagstaff, was eating in a restaurant many years ago when he noticed two military officers come into the restaurant and sit down to eat. During his meal, my Dad felt a strong impression that he needed to go see his brother Don, who is Jimmy's father, and who lived nearby. He finished his meal, and proceeded to Don's home, where he lived alone.

Very soon after he arrived, while talking to his brother, they noticed a car pulling into the driveway. It was the same military oficers my Dad had seen at the restaurant, and they were there to inform Don of the terrible news. My Dad has always said that he believed God had impressed him to go see Don in order that someone of the family would be with him as comfort to this tragic news.

I also have an Uncle, Wayne Posson, who was very close to Jimmy and also a Vietnam vet. I know he would appreciate hearing any memories of Jimmy. I can be reached at 704 433 4648. Thank you all for your contribution to this page. I am sure no one in our family has ever seen this picture of Jimmy.

Submitted by Dale Wagstaff, Cousin of James D. Wagstaff, USMC

Personal Request:
Personal Reference:
I cannot help but to think about the past. I truly believe I can make contact with the brothers involved in the rescue mission from "G" Co, 1st Plt, 2nd Bn, 27th Marines, 5th MarDiv. I also want to make contact with the fallen brothers family members.

As a Traditional Native American (Navajo) my culture and traditional ways are urgently at risk. My healing process (PTSD) will begin with making contact with the brothers and the fallen brothers' family members.

Please make contact with me. I am pleading for your help. Please call me or my very special friend Annaletta Austin at (928) 725-2098.

Submitted by Annaletta Austin, ph 928-675-7628.

Submitted by Edwin Irvin, Rifleman, Former Marine

Personal Request:
Personal Request:(UPDATE 01/10/2012)

I cannot help but to think about the past. I truly believe I can make contact with the brothers involved in the rescue mission from "G" Co, 1st Plt, 2nd Bn, 27th Marines, 5th MarDiv. I also want to make contact with the fallen brothers family members.

As a Traditional Native American (Navajo) my culture and traditional ways are urgently at risk. My healing process (PTSD) will begin with making contact with the brothers and the fallen brothers' family members.

Please make contact with me. I am pleading for your help. Please call me at (928)675-0511(Arizona) or my daughter, Michelle Paulus(San Diego),(858)737-4833.

Submitted by Edwin Irvin, Former Brother, Marine rifleman


USMC/COMBAT HELICOPTER & TILTROTOR ASSOCIATION