Ralph Wayne Magee

United States Air Force
28 September 1931 - 23 March 1961
Port Sulphur, Louisiana
Panel 01E Line 002


USAF Pilot

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Ralph Wayne Magee

08 Jan 2007

This memorial is for a father I never knew, and wish I had.
Lost in a "Secret" war, "volunteering" to do work for the CIA.
For my father and his crew - Rest in Peace.

From his son,
Jeffery Woods

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 23 March 1961 C-47B tail number 44-76330 departed Vientiane, Laos, enroute Saigon. The aircraft flew over the Plaines des Jarres area with the intention of monitoring North Vietnamese and Soviet activity. It was hit by enemy fire and crashed about 4 miles north of Phon Savan airfield, Xiangkhoang Province, Laos. Eight men were aboard the C-47:
  • Aircrew, 314th Air Division, PACAF
    • 1stLt Ralph W. Magee, Port Sulphur, LA, pilot;
    • 1stLt Oscar B. Weston, Norfolk, VA, copilot;
    • 2ndLt Glenn Matteson, Dallas, TX, navigator;
    • SSgt Alfons A. Bankowski, Stamford, CT, flight engineer;
    • SSgt Frederick T. Garside, Plymouth, MA, assistant flight engineer; and
    • SSgt Leslie V. Sampson, Richey, MT, radio operator.

  • Passengers, both Army Attache's Office, American Embassy Vientiane
    • MAJ Lawrence R. Bailey, Albuquerque, NM
    • WO Edgar W. Weitkamp, York, PA
Major Bailey, who by report always wore a parachute when flying, managed to jump from the aircraft before ground impact. He was captured immediately after landing and was repatriated after 18 months of captivity. According to Laotian sources, the other seven men were aboard the C-47 when it crashed and were buried near the crash site.

The remains of 1stLt Magee, 2ndLt Matteson, SSgt Bankowski, and SSgt Sampson were repatriated on 11 July 1991, with identification announced on 29 Nov 1991. The remains of 1stLt Weston, WO Weitkamp, and SSgt Garside have not been repatriated.

The 314th Air Division, based at Osan, Korea, provided air transportation services throughout the Western Pacific Ocean area and had detachments at various Southeast Asian locations. While the C-47 (and most probably its crew) belonged to one of the 314th's operating squadrons, The Virtual Wall does not know which squadron.

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index M
LA State Index . Panel 01E

Contact Us

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 08 Jan 2007
Last updated 08/10/2009