Lantie Lawrence Harris, Jr

Lance Corporal
HMM-362, MAG-16, 1ST MAW
United States Marine Corps
29 July 1948 - 11 October 1968
Shrewsbury, New Jersey
Panel 41W Line 046

Combat Aircrew

Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Lantie Lawrence Harris, Jr

15 Apr 2005

We shared the same training and unit assignments.

From a friend,
Allan D. Cain

26 Jul 2005

Someone wrote me an email concerning Lantie, but I deleted it by accident and before I could respond. If you will try again, I will hope to be more careful. Thanks

From a friend,
Allan D. Cain

10 May 2006

I received a forward through the mail about Lawrence, whom they called "Lawless", describing his courage and loyalty. I am currently a cadet at the University of Texas at Austin hoping to one day beecome a commissioned officer of the Army. I pray that one day I will be as good a person and leader as he was, and have friends and loved ones to pass on my memory to others as his loved ones have done. Someone once told me that "a man is only as good of a friend as he is to his own friends," and I truly believe Lawless fit that profile. He is truly an inspiration.

Kimbelryn Barton

03 Jan 2007

I was his fiancee when he was killed.

Lantie earned other awards as well that are not listed and need to be. He earned an Air Medal (12 awards) and we recently learned he earned a Bronze Star Medal with Combat V though no one seems to know why.

Katie Mullen Campbell
639 Collins Creek Rd, Murrells Inlet, S C 29576

02 Mar 2007

Lantie's death was listed as hostile when in truth that was not the case. His helicopter and another helicopter crashed midair. Both helicopters were US Military. Also Lantie never received the purple heart but was awarded the Bronze Star and several other awards not listed.

From his fiancee,
Katie Campbell

From The Virtual Wall: Fourteen men from two squadrons and one infantry battalion died in this helicopter incident. All fourteen records are coded as hostile losses. While the loss would appear operational rather than caused by hostile action, the fact remains that all three commands separately decided it should be considered a combat loss.

Notes from The Virtual Wall

Although there is confusion regarding some details of this incident, there is no doubt about what happened: there was a mid-air collision between a CH-46A and a UH-34D above Hill 52 southwest of Danang. Fourteen men aboard the two aircraft died as a result. The following synopsis is drawn from the Pop-A-Smoke site:

On 11 Oct 1968 four CH-46As from HMM-265 were engaged in resupplying Marines at Hill 52 north of the Song Vu Gia River in Quang Nam Province. The weather was good, described as "a clear, sunny day with a few scattered clouds high in the sky" although there were "some threatening heavy clouds off to the northeast towards DaNang". As CH-46A BuNo 151917 lifted off from the landing area at the base of Hill 52 it climbed into the flight path of a UH-34D, BuNo 148802, from HMM-362. From the ground the collision appeared to be limited to rotor strikes, but both aircraft shed their rotors, caught fire, and plunged vertically to the ground, impacting on a sand bar in the river. The UH-34D was entirely consumed by post-crash fire, while the CH-46 was demolished on impact but had only a limited fire. All aboard the two aircraft died:

  • CH-46A 151917, HMM-265, MAG-36:
    • 1stLt Jeffrey W. Rainaud, South Hadley Falls, MA, pilot
    • 1stLt William T. Hale, Big Spring, TX, copilot
    • Sgt Marvin Wesley, Guin, AL, crewman
    • Cpl Gary D. Kemski, North Hollywood, CA, crewman

  • UH-34D 148802, HMM-362, MAG-16
    • Capt Steven W. Martin, Wolfeboro, NH, pilot
    • 1stLt Peter E. Schryver, Fort Lauderdale, FL, copilot
    • LCpl Lantie L. Harris, Shrewsbury, NJ, crewman
    • LCpl Lawrence C. Kleinhans, Honeoye Falls, NY, crewman

  • Passengers, E Co, 2nd Bn, 5th Marines:
    • Cpl Benny J. Hicks, Pensacola, FL
    • Cpl J D. Walters, Dayton, OH
    • LCpl Willie C. Ferguson, Oklahoma City, OK
    • LCpl Thomas F. Hankins, Pittsburgh, PA
    • LCpl Brian T. Heaver, Peoria, IL
    • HN Ivan L. Heller, Geneseo, IL (H&S/2/5 with E/2/5)
As noted above, there is some confusion in detail, specifically about which aircraft was carrying the Marines from Echo 2/5. The USMC/Vietnam Helicopter Association (operators of the "Pop-A-Smoke" web site) places the six passengers aboard the CH-46A, while the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots' Association (VHPA) puts LCpl Ferguson and Hospitalman Heller aboard the UH-34D - and by inference, so too the other four men from Echo 2/5. One eye-witness description on the Pop-A-Smoke site very specifically states that the CH-46A took off without passengers - but another eye-witness states that it was the UH-34 which lifted off and climbed into the CH-46, an account which is clearly mistaken.

The HMM-265 and MAG-36 Command Chronologies are specific in saying that four men died aboard CH-46A 151917, while the HMM-362 and MAG-16 Chronologies say only that all aboard UH-34D 148802 died. These contemporary documents place the passengers aboard the UH-34.

In one sense it makes no difference; the passengers died in the crash. While the 1993 casualty database indicates that the bodies of all 14 men were recovered, another source indicates that the remains of LCpl Ferguson and Hospitalman Heller were not recovered and identified until early 1973 - a further indication they were aboard the UH-34D, which was reduced to a smoldering pile of ash by the post-crash fire.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Allan D. Cain

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index H
NJ State Index . Panel 41W
HMM-362 Index

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 16 Apr 2005
Last updated 05/21/2007