Thomas Frederick Riggs

Chief Warrant Officer
Army of the United States
24 July 1946 - 05 June 1973
Farmington, Michigan
Panel 21E Line 092



Army Aviator

Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Thomas Frederick Riggs

24 Jul 2002

I have MIA bracelets that I've had for years and years for two men lost in Vietnam -

Lance Corporal James Kooi
Chief Warrant Officer Thomas F. Riggs.

I have not forgotten them.

Mary Ellen
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

28 Jun 2004

Thank You

I will never forget

You are my Hero

From someone who wears his MIA Bracelet,
Gwyneth Rudes Cisneros

1 Jul 2004

It has been a long time since I last wore your name on my wrist as my copper bracelet broke and was lost. I want you to know that you were never forgotten. To this day your name is permanently stashed away in my memory. I was a college student just graduating when I received the bracelet in 1973. Thanks to you and all the others, I was able to finish school and go on in life not having to go through what you did. This past spring, my daughter was able to travel to D.C. to visit the wall and bring back a rubbing of your name. Fortunately for me I was able to visit the Moving Wall just this past weekend in Winger, Minnesota, a very small town of about three hundred people. You cannot imagine my excitement when I heard it was so close by. When my wife Susie and I arrived at the site our mood changed from excitement to sadness as it brought back many sad memories. With pride I now have two rubbings with your name displayed in my office. Thomas, you will forever have a spot in my memory and in my heart.

Respectfully Yours,
Vance D. Balstad

07 Sep 2005

I went to school with Tom, and also visited the "Wall" in Washington at a later date, pencil-scribbling his name on a piece of paper. My husband was also a helocopter pilot in Viet Nam, and these wonderful people are near and dear to my heart. I have wondered for 40 years whatever happed to Tom... and my heart breaks that his family and friends will never have "closing" on this issue. But, whatever it is, he is with God and I am thankful... Thank you Tom, thank you the Riggs family, and thank you, Lord for taking care of these blessed souls.

From a high school classmate,
Andrea (Pavlik) Moody
Okemos High School, Class of 1964
15003 Meadowlake Street, Odessa, Fl 33556

23 Jun 2006

I recently found your bracelet in with my high school memorabilia. I had no idea that I would ever find it. With the use of computers, I now know more about you than I did in the 1970s. I am from Ohio and I did not realize you were from Michigan. You are still in my thoughts and prayers.

E-Mail will be forwarded by the

07 Dec 2006

I dated Tom while he and I were both students at Ferris State in Big Rapids, Michigan. He was a fun loving, handsome young man. I saw him a couple of times while visiting another friend, Marilyn, in Farmington. I had heard all those years ago that he was missing and he has been in my thoughts so often. God Bless You, Tom.

From a friend.
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

21 Sep 2007

I proudly wear your bracelet Mr. Riggs, and have for many many years. You will be forever in my heart.

I am a member of the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 68 of Petoskey, and proudly serve with these men in honor of you. I walk in the parades for you, I make my speeches about you, I spearhead our Black Poppy Drive in honor of you. I pray for your family every night, and I have God's promise that I personally will meet you some day.

Thank you for giving your life for me and my family. Thank you for your heart, your braveness, your commitment, and your love. You will NEVER be forgotten, and will always be remembered as long as I draw breath.

I pray for peace for your family, that they may know you are loved and thought about, and that I for one am eternally grateful for your ultimate sacrafice.

May God Bless your family on this special day and always.

Marcie Ann Newton
1035 Lindell Avenue, Petoskey, Mi. 49770

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On 11 June 1967, a UH-1D Huey from C Company, 227th Assault Helicopter Battalion, (tail number 63-12958, call sign "BAMBOO VIPER 47") departed Qui Nhon on an administrative flight to another coastal airfield south of Qui Nhon. The planned flight route took the aircraft over open water. While enroute, the aircraft encountered worsening weather and requested assistance from the Qui Nhon and Tuy Hoa air traffic control facilities, but the two radar facilities were unsuccessful in guiding BAMBOO VIPER 47 to safety ashore. BAMBOO VIPER 47's last known location was approximately 21 miles east of the coastline, 25 miles northeast of Tuy Hoa and 41 miles southeast of Qui Nhon, offshore Binh Dinh Province, South Vietnam.

At 2057 BAMBOO VIPER 47 advised that they were out of fuel and were preparing to ditch the aircraft. Although a full-scale search and rescue operation was initiated at once, the SAR forces failed to locate either aircraft or crew. When the formal SAR effort was terminated on 13 June the five men aboard BAMBOO VIPER 47 were declared missing:

The Secretary of the Army approved Presumptive Findings of Death for the five men on 05 June 1973. Their remains have not been located.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
one who wears his MIA bracelet,
Mary Ellen
E-Mail may be forwarded via the

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index R
MI State Index . Panel 21E
227TH AHB Index

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 24 Jul 2002
Last updated 06/10/2008