James Martin Cale

Staff Sergeant, United States Air Force


From Washington, District of Columbia

02 September 1936 - 16 May 1965

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James Martin Cale is on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Panel 01E Line 116.

23 May 2005


It's been a long time... but our children and I will always remember you and what you sacrificed. I would want the persons who read this to know that the "very best" of you lives on in our children.

I trust that you are at peace in God's presence.

I will love you always.


A Note from The Virtual Wall

B-57 Canberra In the fall of 1964 twenty 20 B-57Bs of the 8th and 13th Tactical Bomb Squadrons were deployed to the Bien Hoa air base near Saigon, marking the first deployment of jet combat aircraft to Vietnam. The initial deployment got off on the wrong foot. The first two B-57Bs to land collided with each other on the ground and blocked the runway at Bien Hoa, forcing the rest of the flight to divert to Tan Son Nhut Airport on the other side of Saigon. One of the B-57Bs dived into the ground during approach at Tan Son Nhut and was destroyed, killing both crew members.

During the next few weeks, more B-57Bs were moved from Clark AFB to Bien Hoa to make good these losses. Initially, the B-57Bs were restricted to unarmed reconnaissance missions, but actual combat was not delayed very long.

On November 1, 1964, Viet Cong squads shelled the airfield at Bien Hoa with mortars, destroying five of the B-57s parked there and damaging 15 others. On 19 Feb 1965, the B-57Bs were released for armed combat operations with the first mission taking place the same day. The B-57Bs hit North Vietnamese territory for the first time on March 2, some 25 miles north of the DMZ.

On May 16, 1965, while waiting to take off on a mission, a B-57B exploded on the ground at Bien Hoa, setting off a whole chain of secondary explosions. The resulting conflagration destroyed ten B-57s, eleven VNAF A-1H Skyraiders, and a US Navy F-8 Crusader and caused numerous casualties among air and ground crewmen - at least 26 men died in the explosions and fires.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his former wife and mother of our children.

E-Mail may be forwarded via the

The database page for James Martin Cale

Virtual Wall icon
To alpha index C
DC State Index . Panel 01E
34TH TAC GRP Index

           Memorial first published on 23 May 2005
           Last updated 01/31/2008