Samuel Herbert Powell

First Lieutenant
H&MS-12, MAG-12, 1ST MAW
United States Marine Corps
31 May 1945 - 12 June 1972
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Panel 01W Line 041

1ST MAW A-37 MAG-12
Naval Flight Officer

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

The database page for Samuel Herbert Powell

08 Nov 2005

1stLt Powell was a Bombardier/Navigator attached to VMA(AW)-533, A-6A Intruders at Nam Phong, Thailand, in May 1972. While flying right seat on an orientation flight in an Air Force A-37 bomber from the 8th SOS, the aircraft took a .50 caliber round through the floor and right seat. 1stLt Powell was killed in action on June 12, 1972.

SSgt John F. McNamee

27 Nov 2005

Sam was assigned to H&MS-12, MAG 12, because all of the Bombardier/Navigator slots were full in VMA(AW)-533. MAG-12 was deployed to Bien Hoa Viet Nam. Sam was an A-6A B/N, but assigned to H&MS-12 which was not assigned aircraft. He volunteered for combat flights with other squadrons to get his flight time.

From a friend,
John McNamee

04 Dec 2005

Correction to my 8 Nov 2005 message for Sam, VMA(AW)-533 was in Iwakuni, Japan in May of '72 not Nam Phong, Thailand. The night of June 12 1972 the group duty officer in Iwakuni, Japan received the message of Sam's death and notified the VMA(AW)-533 C.O. That same night VMA(AW)-533 received orders to Nam Phong, Thailand for combat in Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia. Although Sam was not with us in Nam Phong, he was there in spirit and helped us complete our mission.

From a friend,
John McNamee

17 May 2007

My name is Capt John "GiddyUp" Bunch. I was a friend and Escort Officer, at the order of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, for 1/Lt Sam Powell. My assignment was very difficult. Meet Sam at Treasure Island, Ca and fly him home to Tulsa. My orders were specific for a closed casket. There is not a day thoughts of Sam don't cross my mind. He would have been very proud of Operation Open Arms.

I am the Founder of

From Escort Officer and personal friend of Lt Sam Powell,
Capt John "Giddyup" Bunch

A Note from The Virtual Wall

1stLt Powell was permanently assigned to H&MS-12, Marine Air Group 12, and his death is reported in the MAG-12 Command Chronology for June 1972:
"12 June: MAG-12 suffered one KIA. Lt Samuel POWELL, a B/N, was killed while flying in the right seat on an A-37 on a strike mission."
Although his casualty record indicates he was killed in a crash, that's misleading: the A-37 did not go down.

The Air Force unit involved was the 8th Special Operations Squadron, which was assigned to Bien Hoa Air Base from 15 Jan to 01 Oct 1972 in response to the NVA build-up prior to the 1972 "Easter Offensive".

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 08 Nov 2005
Last updated 08/10/2009