Wayne Louis Bolte

United States Air Force
27 January 1935 - 20 July 1978
Claremore, Oklahoma
Panel 02W Line 127


USAF Pilot

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Wayne Louis Bolte

13 Apr 2004


by a friend,
Beti Ryan-Mercer
06 Aug 2006

What is wrong with America? It is the land if the free and home of the brave. What about the bravery of those who are not home or are not free?

I would like to stand up and salute the servicemen and women who in the past, in our present, or the ones in our future have fought for the freedom of our country. I am proud to say I live in America, to know I live in a country where we have THE bravest of the brave.

I pray for the families which have lost loved ones, or do not know where their loved ones are. I pray for the families whose loved ones are calling or writing home, yet saying 'I dont know yet what will happen'.

The words "In God We Trust" are but just a memory and are scarcely used. BUT 'In God I Trust' is knowing what He is and has been with every one of our beloved soldiers. May you all be safe. May you all know you are loved, thought of, and cherished.

I don't know how far the 'Red Friday' has gotten in emails. But I would like to lift up that offer for all who love and support our troops overseas and here in America to wear red every Friday. It is a symbol of our love and support for those who have shed blood in order for our country to be free, or those who have shed blood for other countries. For those who have given their lives for us and others.

May God rest you in His arms, in peace and love.

Take a look at this 'movie' and answer to yourself what does your dash mean to you? http://www.thedashpoemmovie.com (copy and paste into your browser). "The Dash" was written by Linda Ellis.

From a friend in Christ,
LoriAnn Aguilar

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 02 Apr 1972 two EB-66 electronic warfare aircraft departed Korat RTAFB in Thailand to provide EW support to B-52 bombers operating south of the DMZ. BAT 21 was lead with BAT 22 as number two. The "Easter Offensive" had just begun and very large North Vietnamese forces were moving south through the DMZ.

Although numerous SA-2 missiles were fired at the B-52s, there were no hits ... until BAT 21 was hit while turning south to vacate the target area. The stricken EB-66 broke up at about 18,000 feet, but only one crewman - navigator Lt Col Iceal Hambleton - was able to parachute to safety on the ground.

The safety was illusory, though, since Hambleton landed in the midst of the south-bound NVA forces. SAR and strike aircraft supported Hambleton as he moved south toward a pick-up point, but it soon became apparent that the area was simply too "hot" for SAR helicopter operations. After 11 days of travel by night, Hambleton was able to join up with a South Vietnamese SEAL team led by US Navy Lieutenant Tom Norris and was successfully rescued.

The downing of BAT 21 and the subsequent SAR efforts were costly in terms of aircraft and aircrews:

  • 2 Apr: BAT 21, EB-66C tail number 54-0466, 42nd TEWS: The remains of BAT 21's crew have not been repatriated.

  • 2 Apr: Army UH-1H tail number 67-17801, F Troop, 8th Cav Rgt
    • 1LT Byron Kent Kulland, pilot, MIA
    • WO1 John Wesley Frink, pilot, MIA
    • SP5 Ronald Page Paschall, crew chief, MIA
    • SP4 Jose M. Astorga, gunner, POW, repatriated 05 Mar 73
    The remains of Kulland, Frink, and Paschall were repatriated in 1993 and identified in 1994.

  • 2 Apr: Army AH-1G tail number 68-17033, F Troop, 8th Cav Rgt
    Aircraft destroyed; no losses.

  • 3 Apr: USAF OV-10A tail number 68-3789, 23rd TASS
    • 1st Lt William J. Henderson, POW, repatriated 27 Mar 73
    • 1st Lt Mark N. Clark, picked up

  • 3 Apr: Army UH-1H tail number 68-16330, 37th Signal Bn
    • CW2 Larry A. Zich, pilot, MIA
    • WO Douglas L. O'Neill, pilot, MIA
    • SP5 Allen D. Christensen, crewman, MIA
    • SP4 Edward W. Williams, crewman, MIA
    This loss was not directly associated with the BAT 21 incident, but occurred in the same area. Their remains have not been recovered.

  • 6 Apr: USAF HH-53C tail number 68-10365, 37th ARRS
    • Capt John Henry Call, pilot
    • 1st Lt Peter Hayden Chapman, pilot
    • TSgt Allen Jones Avery, crewman
    • TSgt Roy Dewitt Prater, crewman
    • Sgt William Roy Pearson, crewman
    • Sgt James Harold Alley, combat photographer, 601st Photo Flight
    The HH-53 was hit by ground fire as it approached Hambleton's position, rolled inverted, and exploded and burned on ground impact. The crewmen's remains were repatriated and identified on 25 Sep 1997.

  • 7 Apr: USAF OV-10A tail number 68-3820, 23rd TASS
    • Captain Bruce C. Walker, USAF, pilot
    • Captain Larry F. Potts, USMC, observer, 1st ANGLICO
    Walker evaded capture for 11 days; his last radio transmission to SAR forces was to not to make a rescue attempt as the enemy was closing in. There are reports that Potts was captured and died in Quang Binh prison. Both men remain unaccounted for.

All told, 26 US aircrewmen were on the ground. Four were rescued: Hambleton, Clark, and the two AH-1G crewmen. Two were repatriated when the POWs returned: Henderson and Astorga. Twenty died or disappeared. Of those men, nine have come home. Eleven have not. Colonel Wayne Bolte is among these eleven men.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Beti Ryan-Mercer

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 14 Apr 2004
Last updated 04/15/2017