Karl Elton Kelley, Jr

Staff Sergeant
United States Air Force
30 June 1944 - 21 October 1968
Miami, Florida
Panel 40W Line 012


Air Force Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Karl Elton Kelley, Jr

27 Jul 2004

My friend Karl,

Thirty years after your plane went down, I wrote a letter to your family telling them about our last day together in Vietnam. Karen and I reunited and had a great time remembering the good times the three of us shared back in the old neighborhood.

I know how proud you are of the grown woman your "little sister" grew up to be. Karen honors your memory in so many different ways.

This poem is our tribute honoring your goodness and grace still cherished by your friends and family today.


Remember me etched on The Wall,
My name in black marble stone.
Feeling your loving touch,
Yearning memories returning home.

Remember me sharing your life,
For within your heart I'm not alone.
Honor and Duty were my calling,
Immortal destiny a soldier's sacrifice.

Remember me smiling for I have known,
Love of Mom, Dad, sister, friends and wife.
Blessed with two precious daughters of my own,
A new father's love celebrating the miracle of life.

Remember me proudly doing my best,
For family, friends and country.
Sacred oaths and commitments kept,
Badges of honor laid to rest.

Remember me living a life so true,
Blessed with loving friends and family.
A journey walked with each of you,
Soaring now with Angels for all eternity.

Love ...
Karen and Bob

12 Aug 2007

I am very glad to see this memorial to Karl. I was going to go with him but backed out at the last minute. We were teammates in the 460th Engine Shop from March 1968 to his untimely death. I have never forgotten him. He was a true friend. I have kept a framed tracing of his name on my wall for over ten years now and it will stay there for as long as I am alive. He was a good man.

From a friend and teammate,
Jim Harris
SMSgt USAF (Ret)

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Twenty-one US servicemen and two US civilians died when C-47 tail number 45-0934 went down about 30 miles south of Ban Me Thuot in Darlac Province, South Vietnam. The aircraft, which belonged to the 460th Tac Recon Wing at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, was enroute Hong Kong via Danang, carrying a load of R&R personnel. While enroute the pilot declared an emergency, stating that the port engine had failed and that the propeller would not feather. He requested and received vectors for an emergency landing at Ban Me Thout, but instead hit a mountainside at the 2300 foot level.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend of his sister's.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 27 Jul 2004
Last updated 03/20/2008