Martin W SteenMajor
United States Air Force
20 February 1936 - 24 January 1974
Grand Forks, ND
Panel 07E Line 129
The database page for Martin W Steen
The Lippiett family
25 February 1998
Addendum 1 - 01 Jun 2001I am the proud wearer of Maj. Martin Steen's POW/MIA bracelet since I was in the 10th grade, 1971. It still has the blue star, which indicates MIA status. As a young teenager, I used to believe that somehow Maj. Steen found his way back to his family. My heart was broken when my family and I visited The Wall in 1996. When I found his name on The Wall, my husband, daughter and I wept for his loss. He has been on my mind ever since and I have researched the following information about him:
On May 31, 1966 Capt. Steen was the pilot of an F-105D, one in a flight of four aircraft on an armed reconnaissance mission over Van Chan District, Nghia Lo Province. On egress from his target he radioed he'd been hit by hostile fire while over the target, was unable to control his aircraft and was going to eject. Other flight members observed his canopy separate, saw him eject, there was a good chute, and he apparently landed in mountainous terrain along a 3000 foot ridge line. Search and rescue forces were alerted and a pararescue specialist lowered to the area where Capt. Steen's parachute had touched down, found it snagged in the trees with the harness approximately 30 feet off the ground, with no trace of the Captain. Captain Steen was declared MIA. In January 1974 he was declared dead/body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.
In December 1983, Vietnamese officials returned the military identity card of Captain Steen. Later a next of kin became aware that a pistol and watch was available for purchase through private channels and these were believed to have belonged to Captain Steen.
In December 1990 a joint US/Vietnamese team visited Yen Bai Town and gained access to Nghia Lo Province documents which described the incident of Captain Steen's loss. Investigators interviewed witnesses and the witnesses stated that the pilot had died on May 31, 1966 but it was not until four days later that they found a body covered with a parachute. The body was buried in a remote forested area.
After reading the few documents that described the incidents above I am not sure that he is dead. From other documents I've read he went down in hostile territory, and very near a infamous POW camp. He may well have been captured!
Please, let's pray for the safe return of our MIA's and POW's.
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A memorial from one who remembers,|
25 Feb 1998
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)