Michael Frank Dean

Staff Sergeant
United States Air Force
13 September 1946 - 30 June 1970
La Puente, California
Panel 09W Line 103



Silver Star

USAF Aircrew

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

The database page for Michael Frank Dean

29 Jan 2002

I bought the bracelet in 1993 while I was in Basic Training at Lackland AFB, Texas. I looked for one with an Air Force enlisted person, and found SSgt Michael F Dean.

Two years later I was reading an article in the base newspaper at Vandenberg AFB. Some MIA remains had been returned from a helicopter crash site in Laos. I read the list of names and thought one looked familiar, so I read it again. I looked down at my bracelet, then back at the article, to make sure it was really him. An indescribable feeling crept over me, still sitting there in disbelief. I took the bracelet off and told everyone I came in contact with the news.

Nathan Machula
Minneapolis, Mn

15 Dec 2004

"Of every one hundred men (in battle),
Ten shouldn't even be there,
Eighty are nothing but mere targets,
Nine are real fighters...
We are lucky to have them...
They the battle make -
Ah, but the one, one of them is a WARRIOR...
and he will bring the others back."
Hericletus, 500 BC

You were a good friend. I miss you and Paul.

Jon A. Sigsby
33rd ARRS, Naha, Okinawa.. 1961 / 1966
36th ARRS, Tachikawa, Japan .. 1966 / 1969
457 Harr Drive Apt A , Midwest City , Ok. 73110

14 May 2005

He has been and will always be my hero.
Michael Frank Dean was my father. God bless him...

From his son,
SFC Dennis (Dean) Higa
Platoon Leader
1st Platoon, Delta Co.
2/299 Infantry, 29BCT
Baghdad, Iraq

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On 30 June 1970, Captain William S. Sanders, pilot, and SFC Albert E. Mosiello, observer, were conducting a visual reconnaissance mission in an OV-10A (hull number 68-3807, call sign "Nail 44"). Due to mission requirements for handheld photography NAIL 44 was flying below the usual minimum of 1500 feet. The aircraft was taken under fire and hit by a 37mm AAA shell in its left side adjacent to the pilot's position. With his pilot unresponsive and the OV-10 no longer airworthy, Mosiello ejected.

The OV-10 had gone down in heavily forested, rugged mountains about 3 miles west of the Lao/South Vietnamese border and 12 miles south of the demilitarized zone (DMZ).

A second FAC in the vicinity heard SFC Mosiello's emergency beeper and made radio contact with the downed observer. He then initiated Search and Rescue operations.

A HH-53C JOLLY GREEN helicopter (68-08283) from the 40th Air Rescue/Recovery Squadron (ARRS) at Udorn RTAFB, Thailand, was immediately dispatched to the area of loss. The HH-53 crew consisted of

  • Captain Leroy C. Schaneberg, pilot;
  • Major John W. Goeglein, co-pilot;
  • MSgt Paul L. Jenkins, pararescueman;
  • SSgt Marvin E. Bell, flight engineer; and
  • SSgt Michael F. Dean, pararescueman (38th ARRS).
As the aircraft hovered over SFC Mosiello's position, it was hit by a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) in the rotor head. The rotor assembly separated from the fuselage, which rolled over and crashed in a fireball on the ground. No emergency beepers were heard emanating from the helicopter's crash site and the FAC could see no signs of survivors.

Although nightfall was approaching, a second effort was staged using a helicopter from Danang and A-1E SANDYs for fire suppression. SFC Mosiello was picked up. In his debriefing statement, SFC Mosiello stated a belief that Captain Sanders had been killed by the AAA hit and that he did not see Sanders eject or another parachute deploy.

Search efforts for Captain Sanders and the HH-53 crew continued through the next day, but no beepers were heard, no contact with the downed aircrew was made, and there were no visual sightings of survivors. SAR efforts were terminated and the six men were listed as Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.

In December 1992, a US/Lao team surveyed and excavated the HH-53 crash site. Human remains were recovered and on 7 March 1995 the US government identified the remains as those of the five HH-53 aircrewmen. Efforts to locate the OV-10 crash site were unsuccessful due to the terrain and dense jungle.

Additional information is available on the
POW Network
Task Force Omega

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his son,
SFC Dennis (Dean) Higa
29 Jan 2002

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 09/25/2005