Charles Edward Cappelli

Lieutenant Colonel
United States Air Force
14 March 1930 - 24 January 1974
Providence, Rhode Island
Panel 30E Line 006


USAF Senior Pilot

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

The database page for Charles Edward Cappelli

1 Jan 2001

I am one of Eddy's cousins (about the same age as his children).

On November 17, 1967, his plane was shot down in North Vietnam. As a youth, I wore his MIA bracelet. I was very proud to wear the bracelet in honor of my cousin. We always hoped that he would be found. Superstitiously, when my bracelet broke from wear, I felt that he had died.

As it turned out, he did not survive the crash, and his remains were ultimately found and returned to his family in Rhode Island. It was especially sad for his Mother, who had held out hope for all those years. His name appears on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Panel 30E, Row 6.

From a cousin,
Sheila Brady Barth
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

25 May 2003

I wore the MIA bracelet with Lt. Colonel Charles Cappelli's name on it, until it broke. I have kept it all these years always thinking of him. I only found out last year, thanks to the net, his status. My heart goes out to his loved ones. I believe I will meet him one day.

God Bless the men and women who have fought and died for our country. They will never be forgotten.

Glenda McHarg

23 Aug 2004

Looking for immediate Cappelli family to return some personal belongings of his dad, Louis and mother. They were aqcuired in a sale and are too precious to destroy. Can reach us by e-mail.

Peace and Clarity

From an Air Force brat,
Cathy Gray-Troutt

30 May 2005
Mrs. Gray-Troutt advises that the personal effects mentioned above have been returned to the Cappelli family.
10 May 2005

I wore Charles Edward Cappelli's bracelet for many years. I was in high school when I first started to wear it. I still have it to this day. I wrote to his wife back then a couple of times and she wrote me back and sent a picture of him standing on his jet. I will always remember him and plan to make a scrapbook page in his honor. I wish his family well. Thank you.

Linda Williams Bianchi
Lodi, California

30 May 2005

Many thanks.

Steve Cappelli,
happy father of
Charles Edward Cappelli II
(he's just like his grampa Eddie :)

29 May 2005

I was given the MIA bracelet for Major Cappelli in 1967
when I was a high school senior.
I wore it for years
When my two sons were old enough to understand what it meant,
I allowed them to wear it on Memorial Days
I want the family to know that each and every Memorial Day since 1968,
someone in my family has worn the MIA bracelet
to honor a man we never knew
but remembered for his sacrifice
I have it on today
We have not forgotten -- We never will.

Maryann Neale

17 Dec 2005

My father, Captain Felix Istre, served in the Air Force with LtCol Cappelli and they were very good friends. Because I was very young at the time, I did not really ever get to know him myself but I know Dad thought fondly of him. He was also on the same mission, saw Cappelli take the hit, and then stayed with him before he went down. The fact that his friend was MIA did eat at my dad for so long.

A few years ago, I did find out that his remains were found in a shallow grave and were returned to the US for proper burial. This was great to hear ... I know my dad, who passed away in 1986, would have been pleased.

From the son of an Air Force buddy,
Mitchell Istre

06 Jan 2007

For your information, you can gain some insight into those times and the guys that were with LtCol Capelli the day he was shot down by reading "Pak Six" by LtCol G. I. Basel. Basel speaks very fondly of his personal friendship with Cappelli, and even dedicates the book to him. Basel also has a website which has a couple pictures of LtCol Cappelli.

From a brother in arms,
Bob Livingston

10 Apr 2007

I wore Charles Cappelli's bracelet starting in H.S. for many years until it split down the middle. Today I discovered his remains were returned to his family. Thank you for your service to our nation. Rest in peace.

Jo-Anne P. Sears
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

Notes from The Virtual Wall

Major Charles E. Cappelli was flying an F-105D Thunderchief (tail number 62-4258) on a strike against Bac Mai Airfield near Hanoi. As he climbed through 14,000 feet over the target, his aircraft was badly damaged by a SAM near-miss. He attempted to nurse the aircraft back to Thailand but was forced to eject about 40 miles southwest of Hanoi in Hoi Binh Province, North Vietnam. Cappelli was observed ejecting and his parachute looked normal. That was the last anyone knew of Charles Cappelli for the next 21 years.

His name never appeared on the POW lists, and when the POWs returned in early 1973 they knew nothing of him. In December 1988, the Vietnamese returned remains alleged to be Charles Cappelli to U.S. control. The positive identification of his remains was announced on 04 May 1989.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his cousin,
Sheila Brady Barth
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 1 Jan 2001
Last updated 09/13/2007