Marvin Lee Foster

Lieutenant Colonel
Army of the United States
12 December 1929 - 10 October 1978
Hubbard, Texas
Panel 29W Line 052

The database page for Marvin Lee Foster

21 Aug 2002

I carried your POW bracelet all through the 70's hoping you would come back safely but that was not to be.

You are not forgotten

A memorial initiated by
Lee Kehoe
13 Nov 2002

I am his great niece (his brother Jack is my grandfather). I am serving my first enlistment in the United States Air Force, and not a day goes by that I don't remember that I am carrying on a family tradition in defending my country. I think of him through every POW/MIA celebration and many times inbetween, especially as I have learned details of his relationship with my grandfather. It would have been an honor to meet him.

Erika K. Foster
Senior Airman, USAF
Incirlik Air Base, Turkey

04 Aug 2006

You were in the best of company on that fateful day. Raymond Bobe was my classmate and winged his way to Heaven with you. I am sure you and he are guarding those pearly gates and await our arrival. You will always be remembered along side Raymond when I take those special moments to remember. You shall remain forever young in the minds and hearts of those who knew and loved you. May God grant to those of us who are left here without you and Raymond the same peace that you have enjoyed for 37 years.

Reba Darnell

13 Jan 2007

I lived in Hawaii from 1971 - 1975 and wore LtCol Marvin Foster's POW bracelet too. It has the date 3-16-69 on it which I understand is the date he went missing. Sorry he never made it home but his service is appreciated.

Beverly Burke

20 Feb 2007

I wore a POW bracelet from 1971 through 1973 with the name Lt. Col. Marvin Foster. Now I know what finally happened and am so sorry.

Sue Kalahar
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

22 Jun 2007

May GOD Bless you and your family.

I also wore Lt Col Marvin Foster's POW MIA bracelet for several years. I never took it off until it broke in half. I felt as if a part of me had been taken away. I kept it with me for several years afterward and would love to have forwarded it on to his family. Unfortunately through the years and several moves I lost it.

I attempted several times to locate another one. I felt in my heart that he was a part of my family and I missed him very much. I am glad that in 2005 there was a small part of closure for his family with him being returned and laid to rest in his homeland.

I would like to thank him and his family for the ultimate sacrafice that he and they endoured. May GOD bless you always and I am hoping to one day shake Lt Col Foster's hand as he guards the Pearly Gates of Freedom.

Valerie W

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 16 March 1969 the Command Aviation Company, 210th Aviation Battalion, was tasked with flying a routine logistics flight which originated at Long Thanh with several scheduled stops enroute Hue/Phu Bai and return. The aircraft assigned was a UC-21A aircraft (tail number 66-18007). The trip was uneventful through its first scheduled stops. At Long Binh passengers Major Marvin L. Foster, SP4 Michael Batt, and PFC Raymond Bobe boarded the aircraft for transportation to Hue. The aircraft went from Long Binh to Qui Nhon, where two passengers deplaned, and departed for Hue/Phu Bai.

Although the weather was good on departure from Qui Nhon it deteriorated as the flight approached Danang and the crew requested an instrument flight plan to Hue with radar flight following. Although Danang had radio and radar contact with the UC-21, radio contact was lost when the crew was directed to change frequency to Hue Approach and radar contact was lost shortly thereafter (not unexpectedly, since there's a 5000-foot mountain range between the two places). The official reports do not indicate that Hue/Phu Bai ever established contact with the UC-21. Although search and rescue efforts were begun when the aircraft failed to arrive on time, an airborne search had to await improvement in the weather and were unsuccessful in finding any evidence of the aircraft or its crew and passengers.

The five men aboard were classed as "Missing" and were continued in that category until the Secretary of the Army approved Presumptive Findings of Death on the dates shown below:

  • Aircrew, Cmd Avn Co, 210th Avn Bn, 12th Avn Grp, 1 Avn Bde
    • CPT Charles R. Barnes, Fullerton, PA (08/24/1976)
    • CPT David R. Smith, Dayton, OH (10/15/1973)

  • HQ Company, US Army Vietnam
Nothing further was known until the following press release was issued:

from the United States Department of Defense

No. 720-05
Jul 15, 2005

Army Soldiers MIA from Vietnam War are Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of four U.S. servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and are being returned to their families for burial.

They are Lt. Col. Marvin L. Foster, Hubbard, Tex.; Capt. David R. Smith, Dayton, Ohio; Sgt. 1st Class Michael L. Batt, Defiance, Ohio; and Sgt. 1st Class Raymond E. Bobe, Tarrant, Ala., all U.S. Army.

On March 16, 1969, Capt. Smith was piloting an Army U-21A "Ute" aircraft with Foster, Batt, Bobe and one other passenger aboard whose remains have not been identified. The aircraft left Qui Nhon airfield in South Vietnam, headed for Phu Bai airport near Hue. The Da Nang control tower briefly established radar and radio contact, but was unable to maintain it. The aircraft never landed at the Phu Bai airport.

Combat search and rescue units scoured the area, both land and sea, for the next eight days, but did not find the missing aircraft.

In 1988 and 1989, the Vietnamese government turned over to U.S. specialists several boxes of human remains, including identification tags for Bobe and Smith. The technology at the time failed to yield an identification of the remains. Also in 1989, a Vietnamese refugee in the Philippines was interviewed, and turned over human remains as well as a rubbing of an identification tag for Bobe.

U.S. specialists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) conducted seven investigations between 1993 and 1999, to include interviews with Vietnamese nationals who claimed to have knowledge of the crash. Then in April and May of 2000, a JPAC team excavated an area about 25 miles northwest of Da Nang, where they found aircraft debris and human remains.

JPAC scientists and Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory specialists used mitochondrial DNA as one of the forensic tools to help identify the remains.

The press release does not mention Captain Charles R. Barnes by name; he is the "one other passenger aboard whose remains have not been identified".

A JTF-FA summary of the recovery operation dated 05 April 2005 gives the location of the crash site - the peak of Nui Cai Mountain, 11 kilometers east-southeast of Phu Loc, part of the 5000-foot mountain range mentioned above.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
one who wears his MIA bracelet,
Lee Kehoe

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 21 Aug 2002
Last updated 03/06/2008