Carl Anthony Palen

Specialist Six
Army of the United States
11 April 1947 - 22 August 1978
Dubuque, Iowa
Panel 05W Line 023



Carl A Palen


Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Carl Anthony Palen

29 Nov 2001


Rita Palen
14 Nov 2003

Although I came across this name as part of a school assignment, I knew it had to be some kind of fate. I was looking at the last name of my grandparents, Leo and Lorraine Palen, and my late mother's maiden name, Christina Palen Rieger. My grandfather is from Dubuque, Iowa, so immediately I thought there had to be some connection. My cousin, Michael, son of Edward Palen, said we were second or third cousins. He asked if I remembered when the Wall came to the nearby town of Bloomington, IL. We live in Forrest, IL. He said nearly the whole family went, and then I remembered vaguely my grandma talking of a long lost relative. Even though you have remained unknown to me in the past, you will always be in my thoughts and prayers.

From a distant cousin,
Aimee Rieger
36 Pleasantview Dr., Forrest, IL, 61741

30 May 2004

I have had Carl's POW/MIA bracelet for some 30 years now. I have been to the Wall, and have his name on paper from that. This is the first time I have been to The Virtual Wall.

Thank you, Carl.


A Note from The Virtual Wall

At about 0900 03 Jan 1971 a U-6A BEAVER (serial #52-25884) departed Qui Nhon on an administrative support flight to Ban Me Thuot, South Vietnam, carrying crewmen from the 61st AHC to collect replacement helicopters for the company. The helicopter crewmen would then fly the helicopters back to Qui Nhon.

At 1120 hours, with the U-6 about 14 miles southeast of Phu Cat, radio and radar contact with the plane was lost. Because the pilot, Captain F. A. Rhodes, had announced plans to remain overnight at Ban Me Thuot, no immediate search was made. When search efforts were begun on 5 January, no trace of the aircraft or its seven occupants could be found. Formal search efforts ended on 9 January 1971.

Seven men were aboard the U-6:

  • MAJ Ferris A. Rhodes, Greenwood, SC, pilot, HHC, 223rd Avn Bn (08/14/1978)

  • 61st AHC crewmen (passengers)
    • CPT Michael D. Parsons, Reno, NV (04/03/1975)
    • CWO Luis G. Holguin, Oxnard, CA (10/30/1978)
    • CWO Thomas R. Okerlund, Seattle, WA (11/06/1978)
    • CWO Dennis W. O'Melia, Smithfield, NC (08/22/1978)
    • SP6 Patrick J. Magee, Alder, MT (04/07/1976)
    • SP6 Carl A. Palen, Dubuque, IA (08/22/1978)

All seven men were placed in MIA status. As time progressed, the Secretary of the Army approved Presumptive Findings of Death for them (on the dates in parentheses) and their status was changed to "Died while Missing". Their remains have not been repatriated.

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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 08/10/2009