Charles Stoddard RowleyColonel
16TH SOS, 8TH TFW, 7TH AF
United States Air Force
14 May 1931 - 03 November 1978
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The database page for Charles Stoddard Rowley
Notes from The Virtual WallOn the night of 21/22 April 1970 an AC-130A (tail number 54-1625, call sign "Ad Lib") of the 16th Special Operations Squadron departed Ubon RTAFB, Thailand, for a "truck-busting" mission along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in southern Laos. Two tactical aircraft, call signs Killer 1 and Killer 2, joined the AC-130 enroute to the workinng area.
At about 2 AM, while working a target some 25 miles east of Saravan, Laos, Ad Lib was hit by 37mm AAA fire and caught fire. Apart from a single advisory by Major Brooks, no radio calls were received before the burning AC-130 disappeared into the jungle below. Although Killer 1 did not see parachutes, Killer 2 did report the AC-130 crew was bailing out. While Killer 1 departed the area for in-flight refueling, Killer 2 remained on scene and did establish radio contact with a crewmember who identified himself as "Ad Lib 12", Major Fisher's crewman call sign.
At daybreak, search and rescue forces did locate and recover one crewman, Staff Sergeant Eugene L. Fields, but could not establish communications with or locate any of the other ten men. SSgt Fields was unable to offer any insights into what had happened to the ten missing crewmembers; he had groped his way through the smoke-filled cabin, located a parachute, bailed out, got caught up in a tree, and was unable to get to the ground until morning when he was picked up. Enemy activity precluded a ground search and eventually the SAR effort was terminated and the ten men were classed as Missing in Action.
Over time the Secretary of the Air Force approved Presumptive Findings of Death as indicated in the crew list below:
The point-of-contact for this memorial is|
a classmate at the US Naval Academy,
J. Creighton Bricker
Col, USAF (Ret) (USNA '54)
1 Jul 2004
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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 07/02/2004