Timothy Roy Bodden

Master Sergeant
HMM-165, MAG-36, 1ST MAW
United States Marine Corps
06 November 1942 - 26 February 1980
Downers Grove, Illinois
Panel 21E Line 042

1ST MAW CH-46 HMM-165
USMC Combat Aircrew

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Timothy R Bodden

The database page for Timothy Roy Bodden

13 Oct 1999


by a friend,
Charlotte Barth
06 March 2002

Timothy, even though we have never met, I've worn your dog tag for many years and will continue to wear them . You have a special place in my heart. May God watch over you and your family.

Pat Sylvia

2 Oct 2002

I never met Timothy, but I prayed for him almost every night for the 6 years (1990-96) I wore his MIA bracelet. I now pray for his family.

E-Mail will be forwarded by the

26 Feb 2003

I bought a bracelet with your name on it in 1971. The original has been welded too many times to continue to wear it so I got another one. You have been with me EVERY day since 1971. You are my brother and one day I will meet you.

Semper Fi
Ray Baker

19 Aug 2003

Although we have never met
Your name is tattooed upon my arm
your memory is in my heart.

From one who wears his MIA bracelet,
Sandi Pappas

6 Apr 2004

I have worn his bracelet since 1980 and I have just finally put his name in the search engine.
I am happy that he has been returned to his family whom I pray for every day.

Rest in Peace, Timothy Roy Bodden.

Cindy Helsel

24 Jun 2004

I too have worn Tim's MIA bracelet since the 80's, and just now did an engine search for the first time. How wonderful to see the face of the person that I have carried in my heart for so long, and to know that he has been found. He is honored and will never be forgotten.

Jennifer Krzysiak
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

12 Nov 2004

I found my bracelet over 2 years ago and set it back out with some other momentos from high school. I just did the search on his name and it is like a closure now. I want to thank Sgt. Timothy Bodden and the many others who have fought for our freedom through the years. I too will be happy to return the bracelet to a family member.

Cathy Koncilia
Concordia, Mo 64020

8 Jan 2005

While I was in the Marines visiting the Wall, I bought a bracelet from a Vietnam veteran. I was hoping to get the bracelet of someone special, but I had no idea how special that day would be.

Tim's bracelet was the first one my hand touched. Turned out that he, like me, was a CH-46 aircrewman in HMM-165.

I went back to the Wall every Memorial Day to pay my respects to him, and ended up running into several people who knew him personally. I heard some stories that were so funny my sides hurt, and I could tell that he was also a truly fine man ... the kind everyone wanted to claim as his best friend.

Just today I found an interesting link to a picture of me paying my respects to Tim one Memorial Day long ago. Unfortunately it's a password-protected educational site in Texas, and they won't answer my email requests for a copy. If anyone is in school in Texas, they might be able to get a copy. That would be pretty cool to see some day.

Best wishes to all who knew and loved Tim. Semper Fi.

Sgt. Douglas Findlay, USMC

Caption: U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Douglas Findlay touches the engraved name of fellow Marine Sergeant Timothy Bodden, while visiting the Vietnam War Memorial. Bodden was in the same unit which Findlay currently serves in during the Vietnam War and is officially listed as missing in action. Memorial Day honors those who gave their lives in battle for the US.

Reuters/Win McNamee/Archive Photos
Reproduced under 17 USC 107

Note: The Virtual Wall asked Bill Brown, an associate of the Permian Basin (Texas) Vietnam Veterans' Memorial, to try to track down the photo shown above. As you can see, Bill succeeded.

22 Apr 2005

My name is Lori A. Jeans. I received Timothy Roy Bodden's bracelet when
I was a freshman in high school 1970. I have wondered for so
long about Timothy. Today, Apr 22, in Ceres, California,
I visited the Vietnam War Memorial Wall which was on display.
I went to the Wall and found Timothy's name,
I did a rubbing from the wall.
When I returned to work, I got on the internet and found a web site
that gave information and a wonderful picture of Timothy.
After all these years how wonderful to match a face with a name.
He must have been a very brave individual.
My thoughts will always be with his family.

Lori A. Jeans
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

14 Aug 2005

Upon my arival into the Fleet Marine Force just after graduating Infantry Training School in 1980 I met a young Sergeant who was wearing a POW bracelet. I asked him how I could get one. He gave me the scoop and I was able to request a Marine, and someone from my home state which is Illinois.

The name on the bracelet is "MSGT Timothy R. Bodden USMC 3 June 67 Laos". This bracelet has only come off my wrist once since the day I got it. This was when I had heart surgery and I had to remove all jewlery. When I woke up back in my room, it was the first thing I put back on, even before my wedding band.

Tim, you have been a part of me for many years now. Every day I look at your name. When things have gone rough for me I look down at my wrist, see your name there, and it has always given me the strength to endure. I always hope that I can be as good of a man as you were.

Until it is my turn to Guard the Streets of Heaven
Rest in peace, Bro.

Semper Fi
Sgt. Mac USMC
845 N. Spring St. Elgin Illinois 60120

20 Nov 2005

I knew Tim Bodden and I hope that others who knew him will find this site and take the time to share some memories of Tim. I can't say that Tim and I were good friends. We knew each other, worked long hours together (with many others) to repair battle damage and perform the maintenance necessary to keep our helicopters flying the missions so many depended upon. We shared a mutual respect for each other's work ethic, competency, and attention to detail; traits that we had learned together during our tenure at MAMS-37. In those days, Tim was easy going, humble, FUNNY, and an expert at troubleshooting Avionics problems.

We all expected Tim to leave the Marine Corps at the end of his enlistment as he had mentioned many times, but to our complete surprise, Tim "reuped" and went to Viet Nam with HMM-165.

Almost all (98%) of helicopter crew chiefs come from one of the many mechanical disciplines at the squadron level. Tim (Mr. Avionics) was asked to be a crew chiew based upon his reputation, character, and CH-46 knowledge. This is extraordinary for a "Sparky," but it really defines Tim. He was a "go-to guy."

While I had been transferred to another squadron, the news of the loss of three CH-46 helicopter crews from HMM-165 in a single day was well known in all of Viet Nam within 48 hours. We all talked of Tim (and the others), prayed for Tim, toasted Tim, and now finally mourn Tim.

Tim was the kind of man who would have risked his life to recover the body of a dead Marine. He simply would not have left anyone in the field. It's a damn shame his remains were left on the battlefield for so long ... but he's home now. Tim, thank you for giving all that anyone can give his or her country, THEIR LIFE!

To all of those who wore Tim's name on a bracelet or dog tag, God Bless You. All of you have a connection to an extraordinary man. Tim Bodden was a patriot in every sense of the word.

Tim's medal count is light. He was awarded the Viet Nam Civil Action Medal and the Viet Nam Cross of Gallantry. Sergeant Bodden would have been tickled with his "promotion" to Master Sergeant.

Dean Rogers

Dean A. Rogers
127 Ridge Lane, Geneva, Il 60134

From The Virtual Wall:

The two additional decorations mentioned above are "ribbon-only" unit awards. Because The Virtual Wall displays only the medal array "ribbon-only" awards (which are worn separately from the medal array) are not shown ... but they were indeed awarded.
12 Dec 2005

I too have Tim's bracelet. I was so touched to see his picture, and all the other people who were deeply affected by him. I think of him often, and have been trying to express how he made me feel all these years.

Although I never knew him, I was his friend for over 30 years. I will continue to think of him and keep his memory alive. Thank you for the chance to finally tell someone who cares for him as much as I do.

Jacqui Ensor

23 May 2006

I have worn Tim's name around my wrist for over fifteen years now. Tim has watched over me during my 12 years in the Army. He was there for the births of my two children and for my wedding. He died before I was born but his death has brought meaning to my life. In a day and age where wearing the names of our POWs and MIAs on our wrists or around our necks has gone out of style, it is nice to know that a man who gave so much is still giving to us today. Thanks, Tim, and thanks to every person who went over there and did what they had to do. God Bless!

J. Cape Rust
1221 Olive Street, Leavenworth, Kansas 66048

09 Oct 2006

I wore his bracelet for almost 20 years. I had the honor of wearing it til I was contacted by a family who had been notified that their family member was finally returned for burial. I sent the bracelet with them so that Timothy could be with Charles's just as he was with Charles when he became missing. I still wear two others and I hope some day soon to return them to their family as well. My heart and prayers go out to all the families waiting for word of their loved ones.

Donna Grabs
P. O. Box 496, Peotone, Illinois 60468

29 Jan 2007

I recently found out that this man was my original grandfather. Just like my mother I am very curious. My mom was adopted at birth, not knowing who her parents were. Recently she found out that this was her father. I am a Marine now, and have been for a while. Is there anyone out there who could give me some info about him? If so please just shoot me an email.

From a fellow Marine and lost grandchild,
Brent Stevenson

09 May 2007

I also wore Timothy Bodden's bracelet since 1971 and still have it tucked away with my jewelry and other precious items. Today is the first time I found this web site but know that I have thought of Timothy often and periodically take that bracelet out and just look at and say a little prayer. My deepest heartfelt thanks for all that he and so many men and women gave so that we may enjoy our freedom.

Lynette Citro

03 Jun 2007

It was 40 years ago today (June 3, 1967) that Timothy Bodden was lost. I wore his bracelet for many years, and have been to "The Wall" in Washington and the "Traveling Wall" in Michigan.

I continue to pray for him and his family. We will not forget the sacrifice that he and so many others have made.

God bless you, Timothy Bodden.

Karen Hagerty
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

18 Jul 2007

Thank you, Tim Bodden, for defending our country and freedom of others. I attended Puffer School and can still remember you there, and around the Belmont neighborhood. Rest in peace.

From a friend and neighbor,
Darleen Poynter (Murray)
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

18 Aug 2007

My father was with Timothy right before he got on that helicopter. I would love to talk with Richard Bodden. If it wasn't for Timothy, my brother would not have had his father and I would never have been born. If you know Tim's brother, please have him contact me. Thank you.

From the daughter of a friend,
Penny Drumm

01 Nov 2007

I have been wearing his bracelet since 1996! God Bless America

Dave Dykstra

11 Jan 2008

I have been wearing Sergeant Bodden's bracelet for 72 hours. I saw it for sale for $1 in Quartzsite, Arizona and was so drawn to it - I'm wearing it right now in my home in California and being able to see a picture of him brings tears to my eyes. Thank you, Sergeant Bodden.

Jan Mcguire Michael
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

24 Jan 2008

A couple years ago I saw a steel bracelet in my mom's craft room. I asked her what it was. She told me, but it did not mean much til a year later when I asked again. By this time I was in High School and in Marine Corps JROTC. By that time I wanted to know more about MSgt Bodden.

By my senior year I asked my mom if I could keep the bracelet. I wore the bracelet every day in school. I found out even more history before he joined the military.

First off, my mom grew up in Downers Grove, Illinois. Second someone in my class was born in Laos. Thirdly, when MSgt Bodden was a senior in high school a family member of mine was a sophmore at the exact same high school.

Then come to find out my Grandma knew the Bodden family from Youth Group!

From a present day fellow Marine,
Pfc Luke Degroot

19 Feb 2008

Tim Bodden is the greatest hero in my eyes and I never was able to meet him. I have read through all of the materials online that I can find on this man and all that I can find are good and positive. Tim Bodden was my father, I was only 2 when he went missing. So many years later, I was given the information of who he is. What a hero to be able to say is your father!!!!!!!

Two of my sons have gone on to be Marines. They are both also very proud to say he is their grandfather. He gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. The bravery of this man overwhelms me when I think about it. Tim is my hero!! He has given not only me but my children a legacy that we all look at with great pride! God Bless Tim and God Bless all who have given the ultimate sacrifice!

From his daughter,
Leona Estes

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On June 3, 1967, six Marine CH-46 aircraft were involved in an extraction mission in Laos (coordinates 161914N 1064049E, map ref XD795050, about 15 miles inside Laos west of the A Shau Valley). They successfully flew in and loaded the American and South Vietnamese troops but moments after liftoff they came under heavy fire and three of the aircraft went down.

One of the three downed helicopters (CH-46A BUNO 150955) carried seven Americans and an unknown number of ARVN troops. The Americans were

  • Captain Steven P. Hanson, USMC, pilot;
  • 1st Lt John G. Gardner, USMC, co-pilot;
  • Sgt Timothy R. Bodden, USMC, crew chief/door gunner;
  • LCpl Frank E. Cius, USMC, door gunner;
  • SFC Billy R. Laney, 5th SF Grp, US Army;
  • SFC Ronald J. Dexter, 5th SF Grp, US Army; and
  • SFC Charles F. Wilklow, 5th SF Grp, US Army.
Hanson's aircraft was subjected to heavy automatic small arms fire upon takeoff, took numerous hits, and crashed 350 meters from the LZ. The helicopter did not burn on impact, but the NVA forces continued to fire on the aircraft. Three ARVN troops and one American (Wilklow, who was captured but escaped) from the aircraft were recovered.

Sergeant Bodden was among those who were not recovered and was believed to have died, but since there was no evidence of his death he was carried as Missing in Action. Although later reports indicated he survived and was captured, post-war debriefs of another crewman (LCpl Cius) captured and released in 1973 indicated that Bodden had been shot at least twice before the helicopter crashed. Even so, Sergeant Bodden was retained as "Missing" until a Presumptive Finding of Death was approved by the Secretary of the Navy on 26 February 1980.

Several searches of the wreckage were carried out in the 90's, resulting in the recovery of human remains. While positive DNA identification was possible for several of the men in the downed helicopter, no DNA matches could be made for MSGT Bodden. However, given the circumstances - eye-witness testimony that Bodden was down and believed dead before the helicopter crashed and the absence of any credible evidence that he survived the crash - the Defense Department held that he had died in the incident and that the absence of a positive DNA match did not warrant an assumption otherwise.

On 15 September 2000, the ABC TV affiliate in Chicago aired a special on the recovery and identification of the remains of two local-area men; the portion concerning MSGT Bodden follows.

The road home comes up short for the other airman, Master Sergeant Timothy Bodden. Bodden grew up in west suburban Downer's Grove. His family now lives south of Decatur.

"About 30 days ago, the Marines made a visit to our home here," said Richard Bodden, Timothy's brother.

What they told Bodden's brother and mother was that his helicopter wreckage had been recovered in Laos where it crashed on June 3, 1967. The remains of three crewmen were identified by DNA tests. There was no DNA match for Bodden, but the military has concluded Bodden died in the crash.

"It's just a sense of relief. It's just a reality that's all there is," said Richard Bodden.

"I know this is as much as I'm ever going to know," said Dorothy Semraw, Sgt. Bodden's mother. "We do know Tim was killed from the reports of men in the helicopter and ones who got away. We know he was hit from the bottom as he rose. Hit once, fell down, got up and fell and never got up again."

American military officials at the Pentagon are expected to announce next week what we've just told you, the identification of Master Sgt. Tim Bodden and the others who died in that Indochina helicopter crash more than 30 years ago.

WLS-TV Chicago.
The full text is at
Republished by permission of WLS-TV.

Appreciation to Ray Baker
for bringing the WLS-TV special to our attention.

Full details of the incident are on the
and the
POW Network
web sites.

Two of the seven Americans survived (Wilklow recovered; Cius captured and released in 1973); one was captured and died in captivity (Laney); three were positively identified among the recovered remains; and one - Bodden - was not positively identified by DNA testing.
  • Major Stephen Paul Hanson; remains positively identifed
  • Capt John Garrett Gardner; remains positively identifed
  • MSgt Timothy Roy Bodden; remains not positively identifed
  • SFC Ronald J. Dexter (died 7/29/67 in captivity; remains not recovered)
  • SFC Billy R. Laney; remains positively identifed

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his daughter,
Leona Estes

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index B
IL State Index . Panel 21E
HMM-165 Index


With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 13 Oct 1999
Last updated 02/24/2008