Ernst Philip Kiefel, Jr

United States Air Force
11 May 1933 - 15 January 1979
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Panel 05E Line 023

7TH AF B-57 Canberra 13TH BOMB SQD
USAF Navigator/Bombardier

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Ernst P. Kiefel

The database page for Ernst Philip Kiefel, Jr

05 Mar 2003

I would like to obtain more information and if possible a photo of Ernst P. Kiefel Jr, Captain, USAF. I joined the USAF in 1978 and purchased his MIA bracelet in 1979 and have been wearing it ever since. I know a little about him from what I could find through Veterans groups. I know he was from originally from Harrisburg Pa. and was married. The information I have is that he was shot down over Laos on Feb. 10, 1966, while assigned to the 13th Bombing Squadron Da Nang flying a B-57B. Any other information would be appreciated.

Brian Culp
1157 Garfield St, Melbourne Fl

31 May 2004

Lt. Col. Ernst P. Kiefel Jr. grew up in Lower Paxton Twp (Harrisburg) and graduated from John Harris High School in June 1951. He graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in 1955 with an ROTC commission in the US Air Force. He participated in High School and College Bands.

He attended Navigator training January 1956 - November 1956 at Harlingen Air Force Base, Texas, and remained as a navigation instructor.

He was married in August 1962. He and his wife, Nancy, had two daughters, Stephanie (1963) and Aloha (1966). Sadly, Aloha lost her life in a traffic accident in 1993.

Lt. Col. Kiefel was transfered to Waco Texas for overseas training for Viet Nam. He was assigned to the 13th Tactical Bomb Squadron at Clark Air Base, Philippines, and assumed duty there April 1965. His unit rotated between Clark AB and Viet Nam, mostly at Danang.

From his brother,
John A Kiefel

Mission Notes

By early 1996 the 8th and 13th Bomb Squadrons from the 405th Fighter Wing at Clark Air Base, Philippines, were solidly entrenched in South Vietnam. The 13th Bomb Squadron was attached to the 6252nd Tactical Fighter Wing at Danang and was spending much of its time on night missions over the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos.

On 10 Feb 1966, Captains Russell P. Hunter, pilot, and Ernst P. Kiefel, bombardier-navigator, departed Danang in B-57B tail number 52-1575 for a visual bombing mission, working with a C-130 flareship. The two aircraft were prosecuting a target near Ban Vangthon when, after his second bombing pass, Hunter reported an unspecified problem with his aircraft and that he and Kiefel were leaving the aircraft. The C-130 observed the B-57's impact with the ground and SAR forces later located the wreckage, but no trace was found of either crewman. The two men were classed as Missing in Action.

Eventually the Secretary of the Air Force approved Presumptive Findings of Death for Lieutenant Colonel Hunter (20 June 1974) and Colonel Ernst Kiefel (15 Jan 1979). Their remains have not been repatriated.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his brother,
John A Kiefel 
5 Mar 2003

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 06/12/2004