Edward Milton Parsley

Chief Master Sergeant
311TH ACS, 315TH ACG, 13TH AF
United States Air Force
22 January 1933 - 09 January 1978
Naugatuck, West Virginia
Panel 04E Line 135



Edward M. Parsley

USAF Aircrew

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

The database page for Edward Milton Parsley

16 Nov 2001

I have worn his bracelet for 20+ years thru the birth of my two boys, thru good and bad times. I got this bracelet when I was in the 6th grade and as a daughter of a Veteran and granddaughter of a Veteran I knew it was the right thing to be doing.

My heart was sad that no one had placed his name on The Virtual Wall. But I can understand it, while visiting the Wall today in DC I could not bring myself to look for his name. I could not say good bye to my hero that gave me so much.

I have my orginal bracelet tucked safely away with a rubbing of his name a friend got for me some years ago. Both are tucked safely away in the flag that was on my husband's coffin. And at the very least I know that Lou (a Nam Vet too) would want to keep his memory safe and the spark of Hope burning that some day all our heroes will return home.

Dorsey Clement

18 May 2002

has named its first scholarship after Eddie Parsley.
We remember our own forever.

Walt Baade

28 May 2004

Edward, I do not know you or your family but as a Parsley I want to thank you for being there in our time of need and a big "Thank you" to you.

I also want your family members to know that as a Parsley I am proud to know that he is in the Parsley line. He had to be a good man to serve his country.

Thank you again Edward, from a cousin maybe a long time removed but a cousin anyway.

I was fortunate to have my husband to come home from Vietnam twice and a cousin, but as for you, my friend, my heart goes out to your family whereever they are now.

From a friend and cousin,
Betty Parsley Byrd

25 Jul 2005

During my tour at Zaragoza Air Base in Spain I was given a bracelet with Chief Parsley's name on it. I wore it during Desert Storm as a Flight Mech on an EC135. All of the time while flying I wondered if the Chief had the same feelings of awe while looking at the sky while airborne. I wondered about his family and how they were coping without the knowledge of what happened to their loved one.

While searching the net tonight I found that the Chief was found and laid to rest here in the states. I said a small prayer for the man who inspired me though tough flights and long waits on the flight line.

Welcome Home, Chief! and May God bless your family,

TSgt Gerrit Lawrence USAF (Ret)

06 May 2006

Forty years have come and gone since those Viet Nam memories were made. The names of these four brave airman ring fresh in my mind as I read the entries in this website. I not only flew with each of these men, but also participated in the search missions shortly after they were reported missing.

As a young loadmaster in a very hostile environment, I am grateful to have had these men as examples. I will forever remember their sacrifice as well as the sacrifice their families made.

We were right then in defending our nation, and we are right today.

God Bless America

A Commando forever,
SMS (Retired) Joseph L Brown
344th Air Commando Sq.

04 Jul 2006

Today is July 4, 2006. I am 48 years old and I have worn M/Sgt Edward Parsley's POW/MIA bracelet ever since I first got it in grade school during the Vietnam War. I only wear it during Patriotic holidays now ... as I don't want it to break.

I never was able to find out what happened to M/Sgt Parsley ... til today! I found his information, along with a picture, and the story of how he was lost during the war, on the internet. I can't tell you how much this person has meant to me over the years. He has symbolized the fight for freedom for me during my whole life. I have had family members and friends who have served in the military ... but I have never lost any of them. I just wanted to say that it was truly an honor to finally see his face ... to put a face with the name ... I want to thank his family for the ultimate sacrifice that he made for my freedom! Please know that he did not die in vain ... that these United States were created as one nation ... Under God ... and that the fight for freedom - ALL freedom - will always be in our hearts! Thank you!

Karen P. Stone
E-mail address is not available.

Notes from The Virtual Wall

The C-123 PROVIDER was a short-range cargo aircraft used for a variety of missions in Vietnam. On 03 February 1966, a C-123B (tail number 55-4537) of the 311th Air Cargo Squadron departed Da Nang on a round-robin combat airlift support mission. The first leg of the trip took it to Khe Sanh, thence to Dong Hai and back to Khe Sanh. It departed Khe Sanh for another shuttle mission at about 4:55 in the afternoon.

During this leg radio communications with the aircraft were lost. An extensive search was made without results; neither the aircraft nor its crew could be located. Its flight plan would have taken it over heavily jungled mountains. On 10 February, after 25 search sorties had been flown, the dedicated search effort was terminated and the crew was listed as Missing in Action.

Four Americans were aboard the C-123:

  • Major James L. Carter, pilot;
  • Captain Wilbur R. Brown, co-pilot;
  • SGT Edward M. Parsley, loadmaster; and
  • SGT Therman M. Waller, flight mechanic.
On 09 January 1978, the Secretary of the Air Force approved a Presumptive Finding of Death and Chief Master Sergeant Parlsey's status was changed to Killed in Action/Body not Recovered. As of 28 May 2004, the remains of the four men have not been repatriated; see our PM-SEA pages for current status.


The remains of Major Carter, CMSgt Parsley, and Sgt Waller were repatriated on 19 May 2003, with identification publicly announced on 07 June 2004. Burial information for these three men follows:
  • Colonel James L. Carter, Site 3795, Section 64, Arlington National Cemetery.
  • CMSgt Edward M. Parsley, Site 46-A-15, Section MF, Arlington National Cemetery.
  • CMSgt Therman M. Waller, Site 016, Row 02, Section K, Missouri Veterans Cemetery, Bloomfield, Missouri.
Although one report has been found indicating that Major Brown's remains also were recovered, as of 25 July 2005 the DoD PMSEA office has not made any official announcement regarding his repatriation.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 16 Nov 2001
Last updated 08/10/2009