Mitchel Messing

United States Air Force
30 December 1946 - 25 April 1969
Oceanside, California
Panel 26W Line 048

7TH AF EC-121 554TH RS
USAF Aircrew

National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Mitchel Messing

The database page for Mitchel Messing

24 May 2004


Anthony J Longo
17 Jan 2007

Mitchell, you were a great friend when we were at Mission Road Elementary School. I still remember you giving me a blue ring to be your girlfriend. We moved away because my dad was a Marine. I'll never forget you.

Barbara Hurley Miller
E-mail address is not available.

A note from The Virtual Wall

The venerable C-121 Super Constellation was used in a variety of transport and air surveillance missions during the Vietnam war. One version, the EC-121R "Bat Cat" modification, was equipped to monitor the electronic sensors emplaced along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos and within North and South Vietnam. Thirty EC-121K and EC-121P aircraft were modified to the EC-121R configuration. The 553rd Reconnaissance Wing was activated at Otis AFB, Massachusetts, in February 1967 and deployed with 27 aircraft to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base in October 1967.

On 25 April 1969, an EC-121R (tail number 67-21493) of the 554th Recon Sqdn launched on an operational mission. The weather was poor, with thunderstorms around the field. Shortly after getting airborne the EC-121R encountered a severe wind sheer which forced the heavily-laden aircraft into the ground about 4 miles southwest of the airfield, where it exploded and burned. Although rescue crews arrived at the crash site within minutes, none of the 18 aircrewmen aboard survived the crash:

  • LtCol Emerson E. Heller, Spring City, PA
  • LtCol William C. McCormick, Williamsport, PA
  • Major Thomas M. Brandom, Liberty, MO
  • Major Paul R. Lunsford, Cleveland, OH
  • Capt George R. Kidd, Punta Gorda, FL
  • 1stLt John A. Marsh, Altoona, PA
  • TSgt James H. Belflower, Atlanta, GA
  • TSgt Albert N. Booker, Waco, TX
  • TSgt Warren C. Delaney, Coolidge, GA
  • TSgt Kenneth W. Fowler, Petersburg, IN
  • SSgt Jerald C. Davis, Chicago, IL
  • SSgt Paul Faulk, New York, NY
  • SSgt James D. Moore, Marlin, TX
  • Sgt Mitchel Messing, Oceanside, CA
  • Sgt Mark M. Steeley, St Paul Park, MN
  • Sgt William D. Stepp, Jackson, MO
  • A1C Michael J. Cotterill, Rochester, NY
  • A1C Ronald C. DeForrest, Salem, ME

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 24 May 2004
Last updated 08/10/2009