John Alexander House, II
In addition to the medals noted above, Captain House was awarded:
Five men were not recovered from a downed helicopter. The five missing men were:
One of the survivors, Lance Corporal Dennis Mitchell Perry, A/3 Recon, died on 02 July 67 of injuries received. One of the other survivors, patrol leader Sergeant Eugene Castaneda, returned to duty and was killed in action on 12 August 1967.
In April 2017, the Department of Defense announced that House, Runnells, and Killen were accounted for. Two additional service members were previously identified from this crash in 2012, Marine Lance Cpl. Merlin R. Allen and Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Michael B. Judd. Their remains were returned to their families in February 2013 for burial with full military honors.
Area papers also made the announcement for Captain House using many of the details included below:
The remains of Captain John A (Jack) House II of Pelham have been recovered in Houng Phu Village, Vietnam, according to the U.S. Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency at the Pentagon. Captain House was a Marine pilot whose helicopter crashed on June 30, 1967, almost 50 years ago. Jack was the son of John and Dorothy House of Pelham and went through the Pelham [New York] School system, graduating from Pelham Memorial High School in 1957.
He is survived by his wife Amy and son Eric, both now from Hawaii. In addition, his brothers Robert and Mark now live in Meridian, Idaho and Pelham, NY respectively.
Following High School, Jack attended Penn State and Oregon State University, where he met the love of his life, Amy. He enrolled in the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps as a prelude to becoming a chopper pilot in the Marine Corps to follow his passion for flying. By the time his training was complete, Jack was ready for combat, and was assigned to "The Dragons," otherwise known as HMM-265, a Marine Squadron of CH-46A Sea Knight Helicopters based near Da Nang. Many of the Dragons' missions were to insert Reconnaissance teams into heavily protected Viet Cong strongholds.
On June 30, 1967, Captain House was flying 11 members of a Reconnaissance Patrol into a Landing Zone, and received heavy small arms, automatic weapons, and anti-aircraft fire from ridgelines and treelines near the LZ. The helicopter was hit and burst into flames. He aborted the landing, but with the craft severly damaged.
He was able to fly a short distance with the chopper on fire but was finally forced to make a crash landing in tall jungle canopy on a hillside approximately 1000 meters away. According to Lieutenant Colonel William R. Beeler (U.S. Marine Corps, July 1, 1967 letter to Jack's parents), the co-pilot (Ted Pittman) managed to escape along with the two enlisted crew members and four of an eight man reconnaissance team.
Prior to being rescued, two of the lesser injured reconnaissance team members returned to the scene of the crash and verified the crash scene. Jack's parents were contacted by the co-pilot and he told them that Jack was not injured from fire or the crash, but tree branches stopped his exit from the helicopter and just before he was able to get free, the helicopter exploded.
The seven Marines who survived the horrific crash and all testified in their debriefing that if it weren't for the calmness, skill, and training of their pilot and brother Jack House, they wouldn't have made it out alive. Based on their reports, Captain House was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
The coordinates of the crash-site have been repeatedly excavated and searched over the past 50 years. The remains of Capt. John A. House, LCpl John D. Killen and Cpl. Glyn L. Runnels were finally located and recovered on June 25, 2012. They were identified on December 22, 2015 and officially accounted for on March 6th and 9th 2017. In April 2017, the Defense Department concluded it's report that Captain House's remains as well as Runnels and Killen, the two other Marines, were finally found together and will now come home. These three Marines will be buried together at Arlington National Cemetery. A burial has not been set, but will probably be late fall, 2017.
Additional information is available on the
Captain John Alexander House, II was survived by his mother Dorothy Thelma House (1911-1997), father John Marcus House (1910-1982), wife Amy Emiko House, son Eric, and two brothers, Robert A, and Mark A House. His parents are buried in Beechwoods Cemetery, New Rochelle, Westchester County New York.
Jack also has an In Memory Marker placed in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu, Hawaii.
- - - The Virtual Wall, September 21, 2017
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