Robert John Zonne, Jr

Army of the United States
28 May 1942 - 20 April 1970
Midland, Texas
Panel 11W Line 029


Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Robert J Zonne

The database page for Robert John Zonne, Jr

25 Aug 2004

Robert J. Zonne Jr. was a 1961 graduate of Midland High School, Midland, Texas. He received a Congressional Appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point, entered in the fall of 1961, and was graduated with the Class of 1965. He did one previous tour in Vietnam and at the time of his death, he was in his second tour. He was married. Cpt. Zonne died from injuries from a crash of UH-1H Huey which occurred on April 17, 1970. Cpt. Zonne died three days later. The aircraft hit two high tension cables which were strung across the Saigon River. The aircraft hit the cables at a height of about 70 feet AGL. Cpt. Zonne and nine other passengers perished, the others from drowning. One passenger survived. Cpt Zonne is remembered by the USMA Class of 65 and also by the Permian Basin Vietnam Veteran's Memorial located at Midland International Airport, Midland, Texas.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 17 Apr 1970 Company A, 25th Aviation Battalion, was tasked with providing the 25th Infantry Division courier flight. A UH-1H Huey (tail number 67-17706) and crew was assigned and the round-robin flight begun, with passenger pick-ups and drop-offs at a number of locations.

The last stop was at the II Field Force Headquarters, with arrival at 1712 (5:12 PM). During the one-hour ground time, the crew took the evening meal, returning to the aircraft at 1800. Passengers were boarded and the Huey departed for Cu Chi at 1812. Fifteen minutes later, while crossing the Saigon River at an altitude of 70 feet AGL the aircraft struck two high-tension wires, broke up, and went into the water in a vertical nose-down attitude. Three men rose to the surface, one dead and two alive. One of the living survivors, Captain Zonne, died of injuries three days later; the other, SSG D. P. Ouellette, survived the incident. The dead were

  • A Co, 25th Avn Bn, aircrewmen:
    • WO Dean A. Harig, Superior, NE, pilot
    • WO Frederick M. Simeonoff, Spenard, AK, copilot
    • SGT Frederick C. Marsh, Egg Harbor City, NJ, gunner
    • SP4 William K. Hunter, Lynchburg, VA, crew chief

  • Passengers:
    • CPT Howard R. Andrews, Huntsville, AL, 25th Admin Co
    • CPT Robert J. Zonne, Midland, TX, HHC, 25th Inf Div (died 04/20/1970)
    • CWO Alvin E. Cross, Greensboro, NC, A Co, 25th Avn Bn
    • SGT Jack D. Tuggle, Valparaiso, FL, A Co, 25th Med Bn
    • SP4 Michael J. Weik, Fort Worth, TX, C Co, 125th Sig Bn
    • PFC Howard D. Landry, Baton Rouge, LA, A Co, 53rd Sig Bn
Captain Robert J. Zonne, Jr, had completed a previous tour of duty as an infantry officer with A Company, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division. He is buried in the US Military Academy Cemetery, West Point, New York.

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Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 08/10/2009