Larry Duane Jameson
United States Marine Corps
Cantril, Iowa
August 04, 1934 to October 08, 1963
LARRY D JAMESON is on the Wall at Panel 1E, Line 30

Combat Aircrew
Larry D Jameson
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07 June 2005

Sgt. Larry Duane Jameson
Killed in action in Vietnam on 10/8/1963.

On 10/8/1963, a USAF pilot (Captain Dean Wadsworth) had been shot down about 40 miles south of Danang, South Vietnam. Two Marine helicopters of the 1st Marine Air Wing (HMM-361) were immediately dispatched from the Danang airfield to effect a search-and-rescue mission. Due to the urgency, we have never been able to sort out who was with each helicopter - but we know that there were a total of 9 Marines and 3 Navy Corpsmen onboard. They had arrived at the position of the downed pilot, and one of the helicopters started taking ground fire as it started to descend. These hits caused it to go into a tail spin, and it rotated into the second helicopter - causing both to crash and burn, killing all 12 men. The carnage was so bad that two of the remains (1 Marine, 1 Corpsman) were never found/identified, and subsequent searches for the pilot were unfruitful - he also is listed as one of our MIA's. This incident became the largest number of US servicemen lost at one time to date.

I want to say I never met my cousin but he must of been one heck of a Marine. It has took me this long to do a family tree and to find pictures in a family bible. It sure had me in tears that I lost a family member. All his side of the family is somewhere - his mother (my Great Aunt) has now passed away and gone to heaven and probably with him now, mother and son just like old times. I wish there were others in the same unit that could say that they knew him and to tell me what he was like. I think it would make me feel to know what a hero he was to all. Cousin Larry, may God rest your soul and someday I hope to meet you past the gates in heaven to shake your hand just to say I'm proud. God bless and bless all who lost family and friends.

Mike Farr
4920 Garland Street Apt# 1, Lincoln, Nebraska 68504


Notes from The Virtual Wall

On 08 October 1963 a Vietnamese Air Force T-28B crewed by a VNAF pilot (name unknown) and Captain Dean A. Wadsworth, USAF (1st Air Commando Sqdn), went down while flying a combat support mission approximately 50 miles southwest of Da Nang, South Vietnam. As they completed a bombing run over the target, the T-28 broke apart in midair, crashed and exploded.

HMM-361, also operating from Danang Air Base, initiated search and rescue operations with two UH-34D helicopters operating in conjunction with an Army L-19 light observation aircraft. At 1930 (7:30PM) the L-19 pilot reported that he had lost radio and visual contact with the two UH-34s. Deteriorating weather and approaching nightfall precluded further SAR efforts for the missing H-34s or the T-28 until first light on 9 October.

At that time, HMM-361 launched two UH-34s (carrying ARVN troops), accompanied by an Army O-1, to locate the downed aircraft. The UH-34s sighted the wreckage of one UH-34 and approached to off-load their troops. The first UH-34 to approach the landing zone was hit by enemy fire, wounding the copilot and killing a ARVN trooper. As a result, the SAR effort rapidly became a search-and-clear operation with additional UH-34 troop-carriers placing two ARVN companies in the area. During the troop lifts, the second downed UH-34 was located about 500 meters distant from the first.

Over the next two days, some 200 air missions were flown in support of the ground operations, three additional aircraft were lost, and four others damaged. Fifteen South Vietnamese soldiers were killed and seven were wounded - and the bodies of ten of the twelve sailors and Marines were recovered from the downed UH-34s:

  • Aboard UH-34D BuNo 148781
    • WO1 Charles F Whitehead Jr., pilot
    • 1stLt Arthur G Richardson, copilot
    • Cpl Ronald F Skoviak, crew chief
    • L/Cpl Donald F Davidson, SAR crew
    • Cpl Charles P Tuthill, Combat Photographer, MABS-16
    • HN Claude Rice, USN, SAR Corpsman

  • Aboard UH-34D BuNo 148759
    • Capt William T Harris, pilot
    • 1stLt Daniel K Lessig, copilot
    • Sgt Larry D Jameson, crew chief
    • LT Bruce C Farrell, USN, Flight Surgeon
    • LCpl Luther E Ritchey Jr, SAR crew (not recovered)
    • HM3 Manuel Reyes Denton, USN, SAR Corpsman (not recovered)
Although LCpl Ritchey and HM3 Denton were not recovered, the Marine Investigating Board concluded that "Due to the condition of the wreckage, conclusive evidence existed beyond a reasonable doubt that both were dead and that they had died in the same accident at the same time as the other crew members." Accordingly, the two men were classed as killed in action/body not recovered.

A similar Air Force Board concluded that Captain Wadsworth could not have survived the T-28 crash and he too was classed as killed in action/body not recovered. In 1994-95, the T-28 crash site was located and Wadsworth's dog tags were recovered together with human remains. On 2 March 1999, the Army's Central Identification Laboratory Hawaii (CILHI) announced that Captain Wadsworth's remains had been positively identified.

The USMC Vietnam Helicopter Association site contains an unverified report that "two brittle teeth, and a military dog tag with the name: Ritchey, Luther E. Jr." were turned over by a Vietnamese to a visiting American, and that the CILHI later found that the teeth "were almost certainly the remains of Ritchey." The Virtual Wall could not confirm this report, and the DoD PM-SEA office continues to list Lance Corporal Ritchey and Hospitalman 3rd Class Denton as Body not Recovered (07 June 2005).

Read the
USMC Vietnam Helicopter Association report

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