Gene Paul Stuifbergen

Staff Sergeant
United States Air Force
29 June 1934 - 27 November 1968
Augusta, Michigan
Panel 38W Line 079


UH-1 Huey

USAF Aircrew

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

The database page for Gene Paul Stuifbergen

On 27 Nov 1968, a UH-1F Huey (tail number 65-07942) of the 20th SOS was tasked to insert a 6-man mixed US/ARVN Special Forces team into an enemy bivouac area near Phu Nhai village, Rotanokiri Province, Cambodia. The aircraft was crewed by
  • Pilot, name unknown
  • MAJ John B. Walker, copilot
  • S/SGt Gene Paul Stuifbergen, flight mechanic
  • T/Sgt Victor R. Adams, crew chief
As the Huey made a steep descent to an intended hover to off-load the team, it came under heavy fire. The gunfire damaged the Huey's flight controls and the aircraft crashed and burst into flames. Five men - the two pilots, T/Sgt Adams, and two American team members were able to escape, but the other five men died in the crash. Several attempts were made to recover the remains of the five men but were unsuccessful due to stiff enemy resistance.

Post-war investigation of the crash site was stymied by the presence of extensive mine fields, and his remains have not been repatriated.

From another Green Hornet,
Robert Hall

15 Apr 2002

04 June 2002

This hero was my personal friend.

Gene was my sponsor as I arrived in Vietnam. He took great interest in making me feel comfortable in harsh surroundings, let alone a war zone.

He led me, and provided me with the tools I needed to survive my tour. He set my mind to survive.

He always had a camera with him, and took pictures constantly. The vision of him with that camera around his neck is how I picture him still today.

It hurts that I never got to tell him, "Thank you".

In life, and even more so in a war zone, you never know when your friend will be taken, but you have to make friends to endure the hazards and sorrow of combat.

He set the tone for me to endure that place.

To his family, my eternal sorrow is with them for losing him.

I hereby attest that he was a good man, a friend, a leader, a compassionate man, a professional airman, and a hero.

He will forever be remembered.

From a friend and "Brother-in-Arms",
Tommy G. Kitchens

01 Dec 2006

I was at the "Michigan Remembers" memorial this year and was asked and honored to stand for Gene Paul Stuifbergen to show all the Michigan heroes that have not returned from that war. I was not able to serve my country but I try now to serve those that served for me. I ordered Gene's POW/MIA bracelet and wear it daily.

I serve now with the PGR and with and Mich care packages.

To all the veterans past and present I am so grateful for your service that allows me the freedom to do what I do and I THANK YOU !!! GOD BLESS

Larry Root

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The POW Network associates a soldier, SP4 Earl F. Gurnsey, with the loss of UH-1F tail number 65-07942, but they are wrong to do so. SP4 Gurnsey was a door gunner on UH-1C tail number 66-15015 from the 118th Assault Helicopter Company. The 118th AHC was involved in air-lifting an ARVN unit to an LZ just inside South Vietnam when 66-15015 was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade and went down between a village occupied by NVA/VC and the ARVN positions. Although a smoke grenade was ignited from the downed Huey, proving that someone had survived the crash, neither side could get to the aircraft. A US infantry unit was inserted and eventually got to the crash site as the NVA/VC withdrew into Cambodia. They recovered the bodies of three crewmen, but found no trace of SP4 Gurnsey. SP4 Gurnsey eventually came under control of the Cambodian government and was repatriated on 06 Jan 1969.

It is more likely that Sergeant Richard W. Casey, C Company, 5th SF Group, is the second casualty from UH-1F tail number 65-07942. Sergeant Casey died in Cambodia on 27 Nov 1968 in a helo-related incident - and 65-07942 is the only aircraft that went down in Cambodia that day. His body was recovered, presumably as the other US members were picked up from the crash site.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 15 Apr 2002
Last updated 08/10/2009