Frankie Burnette Johnson, Jr

Specialist Six
Army of the United States
04 November 1947 - 24 July 1978
Fountain Inn, South Carolina
Panel 51E Line 021



Frankie B Johnson

Army Aircrew

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Frankie Burnette Johnson, Jr

31 Oct 2001

Frankie and I were from the same area of South Carolina and close in age. I hardly knew him but was close to his father with whom I worked on summer breaks from college. Frankie was a fellow Screaming Eagle. I arrived in Viet Nam just about a year after he was lost in an attack on his helicopter. He was the crew chief and all six men on board the chopper are still MIA after all these years. I was located in Thua Thien Province which is where he and the others were lost. I still grieve for Frankie and his family. I want the family to know that his loss still matters to me and other Viet Nam veterans after so many years.

Rest in Peace, my brother Frankie,
we still care and have not forgotten you and your sacrifice.

From his friend and fellow Screaming Eagle,
Roger Ables

Visit the

This is a thank you to Frankie and all the men and women who served in our Armed Forces.
I have been wearing Frankie's bracelet since I was 19 years old. I am now 35. I hope one day closure can come to all of us who still hope and pray for Frankie and all the MIA's.
You are not forgotten, Frankie, and never will be.
God Bless the Johnson family, and God Bless America!


E-mail address is not available.

27 Oct 2006

My name is Tom Graff and I am from Charleston, SC.

I have been in possesion of a POW/MIA bracelet with Frankie B. Johnson's name on it for 19 years. I used to wear it 24/7, until it broke about 10 years ago. Since then I have kept it in my suitcase. I travel a lot and have taken it with me everywhere I go. All I knew about him until now was that he was from South Carolina and was missing in action. I'm glad I looked him up and I feel even more connected with him now that I know his story. I would like to let his family know that he is not forgotten and that I will keep his bracelet and will someday pass it on to my son and tell him Frankie's story and why it is important to remember those who gave all for our country. Frankie B. Johnson is a hero of our nation and he deserves to be remembered as such.

Thank you,

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On 21 April 1968, six men of the 17th Assault Helicopter Company departed Phu Bai in a UH-1H (hull number 66-16209, piloted by Warrant Officer Robert C. Link) for a recovery mission at Landing Zone Veghel. The last communication with Link advised that the recovery mission had been canceled due to bad weather and the tactical situation around LZ Veghel. Link failed to return to Phu Bai, attempts to raise the aircraft by radio failed, and the aircraft could not located at other fields in the area.

Link's last known location was over extremely rugged, double-canopy jungle covered mountains approximately 4 miles northeast of the A Shau Valley. On 22 April, an extensive visual and electronic search was conducted from dawn until 1830 hours. Search and rescue (SAR) operations continued throughout the next week without success. At termination of the formal search the six men were placed in MIA status.

On 8 May, ARVN troops found SP5 Johnson's dog tags in a non-US 3/4-ton truck. On 25 May, a UH-1C gunship from the 101st Airborne Division sighted the tail boom of a crashed helicopter and on 26 May the downed aircraft was positively identified by its tail number. On 27 May troops from A/1/327th Inf were inserted to locate the helicopter and, if possible, recover the crew. The troops did locate the main rotor blades in a river bed 200 meters west of the tail boom, but before the cabin section could be located the troops came under enemy fire and were forced to depart the area. However, they were able to determine the helicopter was downed by anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) fire.

The LZ Sally web site gives this account:

"A UH-1H helicopter belonging to the 17th Assault Helicopter Company crashed on to LZ Veghel on April 20th. On April 21st one of the ground commanders on LZ Veghel requested the removal of this aircraft as well as a downed Marine gunship. He believed that the downed aircraft would hamper ground operations on the LZ. A UH-1H from the 17th AHC with six men aboard was sent to Veghel to rig the downed Huey for extraction. The Marines would have to okay the extraction of their aircraft. The weather around Veghel was overcast with fog and low clouds. While the one Huey was over the vicinity of Veghel the remainder of the 17th AHC was flying a combat assault in the area. At about 1500 hours the maintenance aircraft was told that the extraction mission was cancelled, and this radio transmission was acknowledged . That was the last contact that anyone would have with the lone Huey. Parts of the missing aircraft would later be seen scattered over an area located about 5 kilometers from LZ Veghel. It had apparently exploded in mid-air after being hit by enemy anti-aircraft artillery. Neither the remains of the crew nor any of their personal effects have ever been found."
The missing men were
  • CWO Robert C. Link, Washington, DC, pilot (05/22/1978)
  • CPT Floyd W. Olsen, Wheaton, IL, copilot (05/01/1978)
  • SP5 Larry C. Jamerson, Rosman, NC, gunner (08/13/1974)
  • SP4 Frankie B. Johnson, Fountain Inn, SC, crew chief (07/24/1978)
  • SSG Lyle E. MacKedanz, Hutchinson, MN, passenger/technician (08/28/1974)
  • SP4 James E. Creamer, North Branford, CT, passenger/technician (05/22/1978)
The Secretary of the Army eventually approved Presumptive Findings of Death for all six men on the dates shown above. The remains of the six men have not been repatriated.

More information is available on the
POW Network
Task Force Omega

Note: Most accounts contain two errors:
  • The spelling of LZ Veghel (later Fire Support Base Veghel) is incorrectly shown as "Zeghel".
  • The flight's point of departure is given as Phu Cat rather than Phu Bai.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his friend and fellow Screaming Eagle,
Roger Ables

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 31 Oct 2001
Last updated 11/13/2010