Earl Glenn Cobeil

Lieutenant Colonel
333RD TFS, 335TH TFW, 7TH AF
United States Air Force
29 August 1934 - 05 November 1970
Pontiac, Michigan
Panel 29E Line 023

Air Force Cross POW Medal

USAF Navigator

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Earl G Cobeil

The database page for Earl Glenn Cobeil

15 Jul 1999

My name is Don Kevern. Glenn and I attended high school together in Waterford, and we also packed groceries at the local Kroger store in the early 50's.

Glenn was one of the finest young men in our high school. Glenn worked hard, played hard, and gave fully of himself.

When one serves his country, one fulfills
A page of history's lore.
You've added class to the list of those
Whose names appeared before.

You gave your life on foreign soil
For friends like Ron and me.
You've made this world a better place.
You've kept our country free.

Thank you, Glen, for what you've done
Your memory stands so firm.
Your Air Force wings have been replaced
By those in Heaven earned.

May God keep you in his trusting arms
May you forever be a friend.
May we find joy in a promise sweet,
That we shall meet again.

From Don Kevern and all your friends from WTHS

13 Feb 2006

I am moved to tears by what they did to you. Words cannot describe my sorrow. I pray for you. God Bless you. Hero.

From an admirer,
John Eck

23 Oct 2006

My name is Dale Ann Williams. I am proud to say I wore Earl Cobiel's MIA bracelet for many years. I never saw his name on any list of the men who came home. I am so glad I found this site, now I will bury his bracelet with honors.


Dale Ann Williams

20 Sep 2007

I wore your MIA bracelet for many years hoping someday I would hear of your safe return. Not a day went by that I didn't have you in my thoughts and prayers. Now, after all of these years, I have finally found this memorial to you. You were my hero then, and will be forever. I will never forget you.

Nancy Lee Stewart
Danville, California

25 Oct 2007

Colonel Cobeil,
Salute! and Thank You.
Many Americans choose to remember each of you.
I am one.
One American.

From someone who cares.

24 Feb 2008

I had Major Earl Cobeil's POW/MIA bracelet while I was in high school (1970-1974). I wore it for years. I never knew what happened to him until today. I found this page after finding the bracelet in my room and wondered if I could find any information on him. I am saddened to find out that he was tortured. Is there any family that we can return this bracelet to?

Kathleen Lerner

Notes from The Virtual Wall


On 05 Nov 1967, Thailand-based F-105s from the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing at Takhli RTAFB were targeted against the Phuc Yen airfield in North Vietnam. The strike force included both F-105D bombers and F-105F two-seat SAM suppression "Wild Weasel" aircraft. Major Richard A. Dutton, pilot, and Captain Earl G. Cobeil, in F-105F serial 62-4430, launched as a spare aircraft but continued on the mission when one of the primary F-105Fs was forced to abort.

The F-105F SAM suppressors were first in the target area, but one of the bombers - Captain Billy R. Sparks in F-105D 61-0173 - was first hit. Sparks' flight was pulling off target when they came under SAM attack; Sparks took the flight low to evade the SAMs but he was then hit by several 57mm anti-aircraft shells. He remained in his burning aircraft long enough to eject in a lower-risk area, where he was picked by by a SAR helicopter.

Just after Sparks' aircraft was hit, Dutton and Cobeil were hit by 37mm AAA. Like Sparks, their aircraft caught fire, but they could not stay in it long enough to escape the heavily populated areas and were forced to eject near Piu Tho, just south of the Red River. Both were immediately captured and were taken by helicopter to Hanoi. On arrival both were subjected to beatings and torture for several days.

Captain Cobeil was selected for interrogation by a Cuban team led by the infamous "Fidel", Major Enrico Mauss. According to available information, Cobeil was beaten senseless on numerous occasions, subjected to electroshocks, and otherwise tortured repeatedly until his death in November 1970, three years after he was captured. His remains were returned by the North Vietnamese on 6 March 1974 and positively identified on 3 April 1974 with burial in Arlington National Cemetery. Promoted while a POW, Lieutenant Colonel Cobeil also was awarded a posthumous Air Force Cross.

Dutton and Cobeil have been associated with both the 333rd TFS and the 357th TFS. Both squadrons belonged to the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, and both squadrons had one flight of F-105Fs assigned. In "Vietnam Air Losses" Hobson associates the two men with the 357th TFS, but the Air Force's killed in action database says he was assigned to the 333rd TFS.

Additional information regarding the circumstances of LTC Cobeil's death is available on the

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Don Kevern

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 15 Jul 1999
Last updated 06/10/2008