Stephen Paul Finke
Warrant Officer
Army of the United States
St Louis, Missouri
August 01, 1949 to May 05, 1970
STEPHEN P FINKE is on the Wall at Panel W11, Line 101

Stephen P Finke
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29 Aug 2002

Steve Finke was a friend of mine from when I was a child. We both attended Mt. Zion Bible School at Ava, Missouri. He was a teenager, I was grade school. We hadn't heard anything about him until we got the newsletter saying that he had been killed in Vietnam. That's when I realized something was going on over there. His dying brought me together with some of the finest men and women around - Vietnam Veterans. I will always miss him, always remember him.

Steve was a Cobra co-pilot, the pilot was Captain Tschann Mashburn. When I visit the Moving Wall, or go to Washington D.C., I remember both of them - they died doing what they thought was right.

Words from his Commander, Captain Seth F. Hudgins, Jr.:

"Steve was killed on the afternoon of 5 May 1970 while giving close fire support to an American unit that was in heavy contact and was being extracted. Steve's aircraft had already taken several hits, yet he elected to continue giving the close fire support that was so necessary for the accomplishment of the mission. On his last pass, he received intense enemy fire causing his aircraft to explode in the air and again upon impact with the ground."

I miss you, my friend, and promise I will never forget what you and Tschann did for me and everyone else.


08 Mar 2008

Steve was my brother-in-law, married to my sister Donetta. I first met Steve while working with the High School Baseball team in St. Louis. We had good times together talking about helicopters and going to Vietnam. Steve was killed in 1970 while I was still in high school. He was the main reason I joined the Army just after graduation. His love of flying and this country was the reason I wanted to also serve. I retired from the Army Reserves after serving 21 years in both active and reserves. Donetta was killed last year in an automobile accident. They are both together again and I pray that they are happy once again.

John R. Grindstaff


A Note from The Virtual Wall

According to Army records, Warrant Officer Finke was the pilot-in-command ("Aircraft Commander") and Captain Mashburn was the weapons system operator and copilot of AH-1G tail number 67-15634 on this mission. In Army usage, WO Finke usually would be shown as "AC" and CPT Mashburn as "pilot", a usage which can (and in Barb's case did) cause confusion amongst those not familiar with Army terminology.

The incident occurred in the coastal plain of Quang Tri Province just south of the Demilitarized Zone - about 6 kilometers north-northeast of Con Thien (Hill 158).

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