Paul Dennis Fleming

HMM-165, MAG-16, 1ST MAW
United States Marine Corps
17 August 1947 - 07 January 1969
South Hadley Falls, Massachusetts
Panel 35W Line 047



USMC Combat Aircrew

Air Medal, National Defense, Good Conduct, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Paul Dennis Fleming

27 May 2001

Paul Dennis,

You are missed and loved by all of us. You would really enjoy your nieces and nephews and their families. Another Memorial Day is coming and we will continue the tradition of Mom and Dad.

Love From Your Family

Placed by his sister and brother-in-law,
Pat and Rick Blood

17 Jan 2007

My name is Paul Joseph Fleming. I served in Vietnam in 1968 and 1969 with the 9th Aviation Battalion. When I entered the Army, I was living in South Hadley, Massachusetts.

While I was serving in Vietnam, my mother received notice that Paul Fleming, from South Hadley, had been killed while serving in Vietnam. She contacted the Red Cross, which contacted my Colonel, who contacted my Major, who contacted me and said: "Call your mom, she is freaking out." I often wondered who the other Paul Fleming was. Now I know. I am so sorry for your loss.

While I never knew Paul D. Fleming, I still feel your loss as if it were yesterday. Amazing the depth of feelings we have for those who fell in Nam.

My wing man from Nam, Mike Underwood, just died. The deepest sorrow I have ever felt befell me.

Please know that Paul will never be forgotten.

Please accept my thanks for the sacrifice Paul D. Fleming made for his country.

Paul J. Fleming
210 Bright Water Cove, Alpharetta, Ga.

Notes from The Virtual Wall

Four men of HMM-165 are known beyond doubt to have died in the crash of their CH-46B helicopter (BuNo 152552):
  • 1stLt Glenn Jesse Ford III, pilot
  • 1stLt Vincent Lawrence Jacobs, copilot
  • Sgt Paul Dennis Fleming, aircrew
  • Sgt Glenn Edward Hobart III, aircrew
The aircraft was on a routine resupply mission in poor weather when it suffered a radio failure. The crew's efforts to recover safely under NORDO conditions failed and the aircraft impacted in mountainous terrain:
"We received notice at the squadron ODO desk that Glenn (Ford) and Vince (Jacobs) had lost radio contact heading SE of Chu Lai over the South China Sea and disappeared from radar heading in a SE direction. The SAR missions flew for a couple of days with no result. The aircraft was found over a year later. The crash site was intact, aircraft and bodies. Glenn and Vince had evidently lowered down when they realized they were heading out to sea with no radios. They made their way back to land, but crashed into the mountains West of Chu Lai. The aircraft and crew were Lady Ace, HMM-165."
Terry M. Curtis
Operations Duty Officer, HMM-165
The crash site was located and the bodies of its crew recovered on 22 Sep 1969, 8 months after the accident occurred. While burial information for three crewmembers is not known, 1stLt Vincent Jacobs was buried in Arlington National Cemetery on 10 October 1969.

There is very strong circumstantial evidence that another man died in the crash: Navy Lieutenant William Lee Covington. LT Covington is known to have died in a helicopter incident on 07 Jan 1969. His casualty record (which is coded as a hostile-action loss in Quang Tin Province) indicates that he was carried as Missing in Action until 16 Aug 1977. It also shows that his remains were recovered and at some point identified. It is not clear if the determination of death on 16 Aug 1977 was due to identification of his remains or if it was a Presumptive Finding of Death with his remains identified at some later date.

LT Covington was a civil engineering officer with the 30th Naval Construction Regiment at Danang. Available records confirm that he was traveling from Danang to Chu Lai. CH-46B BuNo 152552 was enroute from Marble Mountain (Danang) to Chu Lai when it went down. Research by the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots' Association, the USMC Combat Helicopter Association, and others have ruled out all other known helo incidents on 07 Jan 1969.

It is postulated that

  • LT Covington was an unmanifested passenger aboard 152552, a common practice;
  • His original casualty record was submitted by the 30th NC Regiment at a time when the cause and location of the loss could only be guessed at;
  • His remains were recovered with the known crewmen on 22 Sep 1969 but could not be identified;
  • His remains were identified on or after 16 Aug 1977; and that
  • His casualty record was never updated to reflect actual cause and location of his death.
While the association between CH-46B BuNo 152552 and LT Covington is based on circumstantial evidence, it appears irrefutable.

Additional information is available on the
Pop-A-Smoke site

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his sister and brother-in-law,
Pat and Rick Blood

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 27 May 2001
Last updated 05/25/2007