Gary Henry Fors
Lieutenant Colonel
VMFA-122, MAG-11, 1ST MAW, III MAF
United States Marine Corps
Puyallup, Washington
April 29, 1941 to August 07, 1980
(Incident Date December 22, 1967)
GARY H FORS is on the Wall at Panel 32E, Line 44

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Gary H Fors
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26 Feb 1998

REMEMBERED

by
Bill Puller
puller@earthlink.net

 
08 May 2004

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Washington State University, Pullman WA, 1963

Photos courtesy of
Darilee Bodnar
bookstorelady@prodigy.net

Faces from the Wall


 
24 Mar 2006

I would like to say that I have had and worn for many years the MIA bracelet bearing the name of Gary Fors. I always wondered what happened to him until I found this web site and saw all the information I didn't want to hear. My sorrow and prayers go out to his family and friends. This war was a great tragedy for many like you. Well, enough tragedy for all Americans. This same war took the life of my best friend's Father, Col Richard Abbot Kibbey, so we know the pain as well.

Joanne Loehner
jloehner@cfl.rr.com


 
06 Jul 2006

Two years ago at a softball park, I looked down by the bleachers and saw Gary's MIA bracelet. I immediately put it on and haven't taken it off ever since. I have felt like Gary is a part of me and wondered every day about what had happened to him. Recently a friend told me to go to this web site and I could find information. I'm sure glad I did because I feel even closer to him now. I am 48 and remember the Vietnam war. Unfortunately, back then our vets who protected our freedom were not classified as the heros nor shown the respect they deserved as are the men and women in today's armed forces. I will continue to wear Gary's braclet because after reading the unclear information about his crash and possible capture, I will keep on praying that he will be back again someday. God Bless all those who protect our freedom.

Julie B. Dial
bwdjbd@yahoo.com


 
23 Dec 2006

Gary,

You are in my prayers on a daily basis. I will continue praying for you till my end. I wear your bracelet with pride. December 23rd is embedded into my head. You will never be forgotten, BROTHER! SEMPER FI

Tom Ingram
USMC
tommy621@ultimateemail.com


 
15 Jul 2007

I cherish the times we shared when we attended school together at PHS.

I idolized you and you always had time to share with me or give a ride to the bottom of the hill before you turned for home.

I often thought of your encouraging words as I strove to be as good as you said I could be. Through my own tour in 1967 I often wondered if we would ever cross paths again. When I received the news of your MIA status I always felt that somehow you would manage to get through it all.

Though 40 years have passed I can still clearly see your smile and the confidence you radiated to all who were blessed to know you. Next month's reunion will not be complete knowing you are still not home. The vets will not forget.

Semper Fi, Gary

From a teammate and friend,
Craig Runger
carunger329@hotmail.com


 
09 Aug 2007

To Gary -

For sixteen years I have worn this bracelet with your name on it and for sixteen years I have wondered what your fate was. I have read what I can, and if it is true, you lost your life in that cave you spent so many years in. I am sorry that so many loved ones were left behind missing you, but I understand what you had to do. I understand the obligation you felt, and I understand the pride you had as a Marine. I understand that you did what you felt was right, and I thank you for it.

I am sure that you served your country and your Corps with honor to the very end, and I am sorry if you feel that America has forgotten you. The politicians left you behind, not us, and for that their penance will be great. We couldn't save you the day you went down, and we haven't been able to find you since, but there are those of us who wear your name and hold your memory with pride. We have not forgotten you, Gary, and we never will. I promise. We will find you one day, and we will bring you home.

Guard the streets of Heaven with pride, my brother, and if and when I finally get the call, please come find me. I want to thank you in person.

Semper Fi, Gary, I will never forget.

From a brother in arms,
Douglas S. Russell
Sergeant USMC
16418 63rd Ave W., Lynnwood, WA 98037
doug@voiceovergeek.com


 

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 22 Dec 1967 then-Captain Gary Fors and 1stLt Guy K Lashlee crewed an F-4B (BuNo 148388) of VMFA-122 tasked with striking a target along Route 922 just across the SVN/Laotian border. Although details of the mission vary somewhat according to source, the VMFA-122 Mission Accomplishment sheet for 22 Dec shows they were the flight lead of a two plane section. The wing aircraft was flown by "McAnnally/Meders" (rank/initials not given). The section departed Danang at 1450 (2:50 pm) and McAnnally/Meders recovered at Danang at 1615 (4:15 pm). The flight was working under control of an airborne Forward Air Controller at the time of the incident.

Fors' aircraft was hit by enemy fire while pulling off target after a bombing run and immediately began to burn, forcing both crewmen to eject. There is general agreement that 1stLt Lashlee landed at some distance from the F-4B impact point; that SAR operations were initiated immediately; and that Lashlee was picked up by a Marine UH-1E from Khe Sanh. There is less agreement about what happened to Captain Fors.

According to one report, 1stLt Lashlee watched as Fors landed in the immediate vicinity of the F-4B wreckage and was immediately subjected to a man-hunt by enemy troops. Another source states that the FAC and the second F-4B crew both observed Fors' landing near the wreckage. None of the available sources claim that anyone actually saw what happened to Captain Fors after he touched down.

Although both the POW Network and Task Force Omega sites say the Marine Corps concluded that Fors had probably been captured, according to DoD records he was classed as Missing in Action and continued in that status until 07 August 1980 when the Secretary of the Navy approved a Presumptive Finding of Death, changing his status to Died while Missing/Body not recovered. There is no evidence that he ever was formally classed as "captured" and his records are not coded as "Died in Captivity".

The POW Network and Task Force Omega sites both contain unsubstantiated claims that he was seen in captivity, and a similar claim is made in the book "The Bamboo Cage" (Nigel Cawthorne) - but many similar claims were made for men whose remains subsequently were recovered from the wreckage of their aircraft. The simple fact of the matter seems to be that no-one actually knows what became of Fors ... but he has not come home.


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