James Edward George, Jr

Staff Sergeant
Army of the United States
19 July 1947 - 09 February 1968
Fort Worth, Texas
Panel 38E Line 028


POW Medal

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for James Edward George, Jr

14 Aug 2003

James, please know that you are not forgotten by your brothers at the 129AHC. You will be honored at our re-unions in the ceremony we have for our fallen brothers: a candle is lit, your name read out loud, and a moment of silence is held for all of our fallen brothers.

Rest in Peace - know that we remember.

Notes from The Virtual Wall

SP4 James E. George was not assigned to the 129th Assault Helicopter Company, but he is remembered by them.

On 08 Feb 1968 SP4 George, a refrigeration mechanic with the 129th Maintenance Company, was one of two passengers aboard a UH-1D (tail number 64-13894) of the 129th AHC which was tasked with an administrative flight to provide support to a 101st Airborne Division battalion newly emplaced just outside of Quang Tri City. The other passenger was Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin H. Purcell, commander of the 80th GS Group. The UH-1D was crewed by

  • WO1 Roy E. Ziegler II, pilot;
  • WO1 Joseph Rose, copilot;
  • SP5 Robert P. Chenowith, crew chief; and
  • SP4 Michael R. Lenker, door gunner.
The aircraft departed Danang in very poor weather, stopped in Hue so LTC Purcell could be briefed on the local situation (the Tet uprising was in full swing), then proceeded to Dong Ha where LTC Purcell and SP4 George completed their respective tasks. On departure from Dong Ha Ziegler was forced by the weather to remain at low altitude. As the aircraft passed Highway 1 heading east it was brought under fire by VC troops, caught fire, and crash-landed in flames. Ziegler had been wounded by enemy fire, and SP4 George was badly burned trying to retrieve weapons from the UH-1. The six men then attempted to evade the enemy while exiting the area.

Five of the men were captured by the VC about an hour after the crash. Warrant Officer Ziegler was able to avoid capture but was captured early on the following day. After 5 days of walking through the jungle, Ziegler arrived at a camp - and found his three crewmates and LTC Purcell already there, together with another American POW, PFC King D. Rayford (captured 02 July 1967).

Ziegler was told by the others that SP4 George had been unable to keep up the pace after capture and on the day following capture was removed from the group. Very shortly thereafter, Purcell and the others heard a gunshot from the direction George had been taken.

When the wreckage of the UH-1D was located with no sign of the six men aboard, all of them were classed as Missing in Action. Unbeknownst to US authorities, the four helicopter crewmen, Purcell, and Rayford eventually were removed to North Vietnam, and all six survived captivity. After their release in early 1973, they were able to report that SP4 James E. George was not seen after being separated from the other four POWs, who believed the VC had executed him. At that time, SP4 George's status was revised to "Died while Captured/Body not Recovered". His remains have not been recovered.

Warrant Officer Ziegler's account of the incident is available on the
129th AHC site

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend of the 129th AHC,
12 Oct 2003

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 07/11/2004