Gregory Lee Anderson

Staff Sergeant
United States Air Force
27 August 1947 - 28 January 1970
Wheaton, Illinois
Panel 14W Line 073


Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Gregory Lee Anderson

01 Oct 2005

Greg was an outstanding young man who had the respect of all who served with him. He was dedicated to the mission and often volunteered to on missions with the 40th Air Rescue. On his last mission the helicopter he was flying on was shot down by a MIG. He had volunteered to go on the mission and was due to rotate home. We miss you, Greg, and personally think of you often. Farewell, good and faithful servant. All is well, all is well.

From a comrade,
Ronald House
Master Sergeant, USAF (Ret)

04 Jun 2007

Just a short hello, Greg, just to let you know you are not forgotten by your friends or your country. I think of you often and that it was such a honor to have known you. We will always be friends and one day we will meet again on the other side and have a big party with all that are there. I know that your mother and father have already said "Welcome home, son". For those of us who you left behind you will forever be in our hearts and mind.

From a friend,
Ron House

03 Jul 2007

Just reflecting on the sacrifices our young men have made during the times our country called them to arms. Tomorrow will be July 4th and I will be thinking of Greg Anderson as a true hero. I will stand in silent prayer for Greg and salute him as the flag of the United States Of America is being raised for him and all who have defended and are now defending our nation. God Bless you, Greg, you are not forgotten.....

From a comrade, a friend ... forever,
MSgt Ronald D. House

21 Oct 2007

Hi Greg, it has been quite some time since someone acknowledged your presence. Yes, Greg, your presence is among those you served with. I know personally I feel your presence many times as I travel this journey through life. Every once in a while someone will mention Southeast Asia and the the first thing that hits me is your name.

We had a great comraderie and all of us in our small unit were more like brothers than airmen performing some kind of duty. I went to the Wall last year and touched your name ... it felt like we were so close, so many memories flashed through my mind. I am reminded how young you were when God took you home. Each day I thank my higher power for the privilege to have known someone like you, who was so hard to say goodbye to. God Bless You Greg you fought the good fight.

From a friend and comrade,
Ronald D. House
MSgt (Retired)
P O Box 1346, Mount Airy, N C 27030

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 28 January 1970 an F-105G "Wild Weasel" aircraft of the 354th Tactical Fighter Squadron, tail number 63-8329 and call sign SEABIRD 02, was shot down within North Vietnam. There are different stories with respect to why it was there:
  • Hobson's "Vietnam Air Losses" and the POW Network say the aircraft was part of a SAM supression flight protecting an RF-4C photo-recon aircraft, but
  • The Task Force Omega (TFO) site claims the Wild Weasel aircraft were on a dedicated SAM "hunt and destroy" mission.
In either case, the flight came under attack from the NVA air defenses and responded in kind. Hobson says SEABIRD 02 "was hit by AAA and burst into flames" while pulling off after a strike run, while TFO claims SEABIRD 02 "was struck by an air-to-air missile from a MiG-21". The POW Network is noncommittal, saying simply that SEABIRD 02 was shot down. Regardless of the exact cause, SEABIRD 02's two crewmen were forced to eject in the vicinity of the Mu Gia Pass.

Although other US aircrews spotted two good parachutes and heard two emergency beeper signals, they could not establish voice communications with the downed crewmen. Search and Rescue efforts were initiated at once, with HH-53B JOLLY GREEN rescue helicopters and supporting aircraft dispatched from Udorn and Nakon Phanom airfields in Thailand. The HH-53s were placed in a holding position about 20 miles northwest of the crash site while other aircraft attempted to locate Mallon and Panek.

Two MiG-21s, reportedly from the NVAF's 921st Flight Regiment, made a single pass at the holding area and were able to hit one of the HH-53s (serial # 66-14434, call sign JOLLY GREEN 71) with an air-to-air missile (the NVAF pilot reportedly was Vu Ngoc Dinh, a North Vietnamese ace with 6 kills). JOLLY GREEN 71 exploded and disintegrated in flight, involving its six crewmen in an apparently unsurvivable crash.

All eight men initially were classed as "Missing in Action":

  • F-105G 63-8329, 354th TFS:
  • HH-53B 66-14434, 40th ARRS:
    • Major Holly G. Bell, Beaumont, TX, pilot;
    • Capt Leonard C. Leeser, Floral Park, NY, copilot;
    • SMSgt William D. Pruett, Bluefield, VA, pararescueman;
    • MSgt William C. Sutton, Goldsboro, NC, pararescueman;
    • SSgt William C. Shinn, Woodland, CA, flight engineer; and
    • SSgt Gregory L. Anderson, Wheaton, IL, 601st Photo Sqdn photographer

The Air Force convened a Board of Inquiry to consider the facts and circumstances surrounding the loss of JOLLY GREEN 71; in April 1970 the Board concluded that the crash was not survivable and the status of the six crewmen was changed to Killed in Action/Body not Recovered.

There are conflicting reports with respect to the SEABIRD 02 crew. Official reports indicate that neither the aircraft wreckage or the two crewmen were located, but the POW Network site includes an unofficial report attributed to another member of the 354th TFS that "both men were seen in a clearing within the hour, being surrounded [by enemy troops], stripped to their shorts, and holding their hands in the air." However, in 1992 National Security Agency radio intercepts were declassified; those intercepts included North Vietnamese radio messages to the effect that neither Mallon nor Panek survived the shootdown. In any case Mallon and Panek were not reported as captured by the North Vietnamese and the POWs released in 1973 had no knowledge of them. The Secretary of the Air Force approved Presumptive Findings of Death for the two men, Mallon on 23 September 1975 and Panek on 6 July 1978.

On 15 December 1988 a number of human remains were repatriated. Of these, 33 were ultimately identified, including the remains of Captain Richard Mallon (announced 18 Apr 1989), Captain Robert Panke (04 May 1989), and Major Holly Bell (01 Jun 1989). As of 02 Oct 2005 the remains of the other five men from JOLLY GREEN 71 have not been recovered.

Compiled from several sources, including
the POW Network
Task Force Omega
and VHPA/USAF records.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a comrade,
Ronald House
MSgt, USAF (Retired)
P O Box 1346, Mount Airy, N C 27030

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 01 Oct 2005
Last updated 02/14/2008