On January 8, 1968, A CH-53 was lost from HMH-463. On board were over 35 individuals who died as a result of the crash. For over 35 years, we have been attempting to locate a complete manifest of passengers for that flight. We (all interested parties including the USMC, Popasmoke, POW network, Casualty Search etc) have put together a list of most of the passengers and all of the crew at http://www.popasmoke.com/kia/inciden...conflict_id=24.
On occasion, we find a name that was MIA until the 1970's and then reclassified, at random, as KIA, with no further information. This happened with two men from the US Army, Capt Zirfas and 1stLt Bardach. Through circumstantial evidence available from various military sources, we have isolated these men to a probability that they were on this flight.
Now we have located another MIA of our own, LCpl ORVAL SKARMAN, USMC, 475527715, from Duluth, Minnesota. He was reported missing on Jan 15th, 1968 when he did not return from R&R to his unit at A3 near the DMZ. He was later classified as KIA on 28 Nov 1975 when no further information about him could be found and he had not returned as a POW. He was missing from his unit, L/3/3, sometime between Jan 7th and Jan 15th, 1968 while supposedly on R&R. He may have never made it to R&R.
Recently received this from Vietnam Researcher Bruce Swander (USMC, 1stMAW, 1966-70):
Went back through the sorties done by HMH-463 on 08 Jan 68. There were 6 made from Dong Ha to A-3 - the base camp for 3/3 Marines - all flown by the Units XO, LtCol Charles H NORTHFIELD. It lists his co-pilot only as SOUDER and crewchief as SPICE.
Do any of these names show up on your membership? Since they were the only one flying up to A-3 that day - one of them might remember picking up a young Marine anxious to go on R&R. Of significance, these were resupply runs - all done out of Dong Ha - which is where the CH-53 took off from that crashed.