Paul Eugene Yonkie

Technical Sergeant
United States Air Force
04 June 1934 - 01 September 1968
Ridgway, Pennsylvania
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437TH MAW TSGT Paul Yonkie

USAF Flight Engineer

Purple Heart, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Paul Eugene Yonkie

5 Aug 2001

Husband of Marie,
father of Sharon, Wanda, and Brenda.

Died 1 September 1968,
Clark Air Base, Republic of the Philippines,
of wounds received in Southeast Asia.


"Paul Yonkie was a flight engineer on C-141s, stationed at Charleston AFB, SC. He was on a classified mission for the purpose of bringing home two POW Air Force officers who were being released by the North Vietnamese if the officers were inclined. The officers selected commercial travel, however. The crew was preparing the aircraft for departure from Udorn, Thailand, when a communist sapper attack took place. Paul was hit in the stomach with grenade fragments and was flown to Clark AB in the Philippines for medical attention. After several operations and 5 weeks Paul passed away. I was at Paul's side when he died."

Bruce Cook, SMSgt USAF (Ret)

Almost thirty years to the day after his death the Airlift Wing at Charleston AFB, SC, dedicated a C-141 to Paul Yonkie. They call it "The Spirit of TSgt Paul E. Yonkie". His widow and daughters were in attendance.

Paul E Yonkie

Daughter Brenda, wife Marie, daughters Sharon and Wanda
in front of a portrait of Paul Yonkie, Charleston AFB, SC.

Paul E Yonkie

Sister Pattie, brother Clyde.

From his wife,
Marie Cook
28 April 2002

We remember Paul at each high school reunion.
We graduated in 1953.

From a classmate,
John Askey Jr
813 Mellowood Avenue Orlando, FL 32825

26 Apr 2003

Paul E. Yonkie is remembered at Scott Air Force Base. Our 'C' street was renamed 'Yonkie Drive' in honor of him.

TSgt Michael Byrd
375 Airlift Wing Historian

Notes from The Virtual Wall

The two Air Force POWs mentioned by SMSgt Cook were Majors Fred N. Thompson and James F. Low. MAJ Thompson, an F-100 pilot, had been shot down and captured on 20 March 1968. MAJ Low was a F-86 ace in Korea, with 5 MiGs to his credit. An F-4D pilot in Vietnam, he and then-1LT Howard J. Hill were shot down by a MiG-21 on 16 December 1967. Both were captured. Thompson and Low were released in Hanoi on 2 August 1968 as a propaganda move. Hill survived captivity and was released with the other POWs on 14 March 1973.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 5 Aug 2001
Last updated 08/10/2009