Philip Raymond Shafer

Specialist Six
Army of the United States
13 May 1949 - 02 September 1975
Grand Junction, Colorado
Panel 51E Line 002



Army Aircrew

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

The database page for Philip Raymond Shafer

06 Apr 2006

Dear Philip,I had the honor of wearing your MIA bracelet for many years. I had the opportunity to go to Washington D.C. in March of 2006, so I looked up your information on the internet and discovered your remains had been recovered in 1999 and identified in 2001. I tried to find family contacts to return your bracelet, or to see if anyone had written memorials to you, but I found very little ... and this saddened me. When I went to D.C. I was asked what I wanted to see. Though there were many things, my priority was to see your name on the "Wall" and to take your bracelet "home". I printed out a 3 page bio on you I found on the internet, along with your picture. I put your bio, along with your bracelet, in a plastic bag, and left it at panel 51E. I no sooner put it down than people were reading it ... I went back several hours later on a night tour of D.C., and people were reading about you by flashlight. Philip, I don't know where your family is, or if they are still around ... but on March 25th 2006, many knew who you were and the sacrifice you made ... God bless you!

Susan Christiansen

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Landing Zone Tiger was located in the upper reaches of the A Shau Valley. Following initial air assaults by 1st Cav elements, larger helicopters were needed for resupply. Three of the aircraft, all hampered by sling loads, were shot down as they approached the LZ:
  • CH-47A (tail number 64-13124, A Company, 228th Avn Bn) received small arms fire from the ground and crashed. The pilot and co-pilot were able to crawl away from the wreckage, but three other crewmen were not found:
    • SSG Douglas R. Blodgett, gunner, Alexandria, VA (11/19/1978)
    • SSG William R. Dennis, flight engineer, Pittsburgh, PA (03/29/1977)
    • SSG Jesus A. Gonzalez, crew chief, El Paso, TX (04/10/1978)

  • CH-47A (tail number 66-19063, B Company, 228th Avn Bn) was hit by 37mm rounds in the aft pylon area during approach. The aircraft was in flames as it descended. The flight engineer and crew chief jumped while the aircraft was still 50 feet or more above the treetops. Their bodies were not found. The other three crewmen, although injured, survived the crash. Lost were
  • CH-54A (tail number 64-14205, 478th Avn Company (Heavy Helicopter)) was on approach to the landing zone when an explosion occurred in the cockpit. The aircraft crashed against a cliffside about a mile distant from the LZ. The crash was not survivable. Four men were lost:
    • MAJ Arthur J. Lord, pilot, Savannah, GA (04/13/1977)
    • CWO Charles W. Millard, pilot, Wilson, NC (09/14/1978)
    • MSG Michael R. Werdehoff, flight engineer, Toledo, OH (06/05/1978)
    • SP6 Philip R. Shafer, crew chief, Grand Junction, CO (09/02/1975)

At day's end, the heavy helicopter companies had five injured and nine missing in action. Over time the Secretary of the Army approved Presumptive Findings of Death for the missing men; the dates are shown above in parentheses. The four men from the CH-54 - Major Lord, CW4 Millard, MSG Werdehoff, and SP6 Shafer - were repatriated in 1999 and positive identification of their remains announced on 19 Nov 2001, but as of 09 Apr 2006 the five men from the two CH-47s remain among the missing.

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