Lawrence Neal Helber

VMFA-314, MAG-11, 1ST MAW
United States Marine Corps
05 February 1934 - 07 December 1977
Logan, Ohio
Panel 04E Line 084


Naval Flight Officer

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

The database page for Lawrence Neal Helber

09 May 2002

Lord, guard and guide the men who fly
Through the great spaces in the sky.
Be with them always in the air,
In darkening storms or sunlight fair.
O hear us when we lift our prayer
For those in peril in the air.
From the Navy Hymn
("Eternal Father")

Placed by
Thomas M Shuttleworth
02 Jan 2007

I found a brass POW bracelet several years ago. Don't remember where or when I found it, although I think it was shortly after I finished college at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in 1971. I have kept it in a box of mementos in my basement for many years.

Today as I was going through that box, I picked up the bracelet and it occurred to me that I might find out more on the internet about "Capt. Lawrence Helber 1-24-66"

Thanks for your service, Captain Helber. With thoughts and prayers for you and your family.

Juanita Paulis
Springfield, Il
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

Notes from The Virtual Wall

Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 (VMFA-314) deployed from MCAS Iwakuni, Japan, to Danang AB, RVN, on 12 January 1966. The squadron's first losses occurred on 24 January 1966, when VMFA-314 lost two F-4B PHANTOM aircraft and four aircrewmen. Information from the POW Network and Task Force Omega sites is in some conflict and the latter site incorrectly identifies the squadron as "Fighter Squadron 315", a non-existent unit. The four men lost that day were
  • F-4B BuNo 152265
    • Capt Doyle R. Sprick, pilot, and
    • 2nd Lt Delmar G. Booze, radar intercept officer.

  • F-4B BuNo 152265
    • Capt Albert Pitt, pilot, and
    • 2nd Lt Lawrence N. Helber, radar intercept officer.
The VMFA-314 Command Chronology for January 1966 contains the following entry:
"Casualties. On 24 January 1966, two aircraft failed to return from a Landing Zone Preparation mission. As of the end of the reporting period [31 Jan 1966], no trace of either the aircraft or aircrew has been found. Listed as missing in action are: Captain Albert PITT; Captain Doyle R. SPRICK; 2ndLt Delmar G. BOOZE; 2ndLt Lawrence N. HELBER."
Extensive air searches failed to locate the wreckage or crew of either aircraft - they had simply disappeared. The two aircraft were believed to have gone down in enemy-held territory 8 to 10 miles southwest of Hue, but since the wreckage was never found it's impossible to be sure. For that reason, the coordinates and/or maps on the POW Network and Task Force Omega sites should be considered illustrative rather than definitive.

The VMFA-314 Chronology for Feb 1966 notes that the four men were transferred by service record to Marine Air Group 11, VFMA-314's parent unit. That fact may explain why some sources place one or more of the four with MAG-11 rather than VMFA-314. Over time, the Secretary of the Navy approved Presumptive Findings of Death for the four men. Captain Helber's status was changed on 07 December 1977.

As of 18 Feb 2006 the remains of the four men have not been repatriated.

VMFA-314 shifted to Marine Air Group 13 at Chu Lai Air Base in September 1966.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
one who remembers,
Thomas M Shuttleworth

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index H
OH State Index . Panel 04E
VMFA-314 Index

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 9 May 2002
Last updated 04/15/2007