Habakangas, Wilbert Edward, Capt

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 1051-Pilot - Two-Engine
Last AFSC Group
Pilot (Officer)
Primary Unit
1950-1951, 5th Air Force
Service Years
1943 - 1951
Officer Collar Insignia

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt D.L. Kimbrow (Skip) to remember Habakangas, Wilbert Edward, Capt.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Deep River
Last Address
Not Specified

Casualty Date
Apr 30, 1951
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Korea, North
Korean War
Location of Interment
Remains Not Recovered, Korea
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Korean War Fallen
  1951, Korean War Fallen

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Pilot Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
21st Troop Carrier Squadron Unit 4, 21st Troop Carrier Squadron374th Troop Carrier Wing5th Air Force
  1950-1951, 21st Troop Carrier Squadron Unit 4, 21st Troop Carrier Squadron
  1950-1951, 374th Troop Carrier Wing
  1950-1951, 5th Air Force
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1943-1945 World War II
  1950-1951 Korean War
 Colleges Attended 
Washington State University
  1939-1943, Washington State University
 My Aircraft/Missiles
C-47 Skytrain/Dakota  
  1950-1951, C-47 Skytrain/Dakota
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
After graduation from Washington State University, 1st Lt Wilbert Habakangas enlisted in the Army Air Corps on 23 April 1943 in Spokane, Washington. Served as an enlisted man in the infantry, prior to receiving his commission in February 1945.  Transferred to the Air Force in 1947.  He was married on 14 August to Darline Schmitten.

In Korea, he served with Unit 4, the Special Air Missions (SAM) Detachment, 21st Troop Carrier Squadron, "Kyushu Gypsies", 374th Troop Carrier Wing based out of Kimpo AB (K-14) then back to Taegu AB (K-2) South Korea.

This unit flew special PSYOPS and related missions.

On 30 April 1951, he was a crewman of a USAF C-47D (#44-77261) that departed Taegu West AB (K-37) and was shot down on a leaflet dropping mission along the Seoul to Wonsan highway, somewhere south of Wonsan. Though the aircrew and craft sent out a "May Day" call and an IFF signal, they were never found.

Those lost on this mission were: All MIA 
TSgt. Robert F. Gross
1st Lt. Wilbert E. Habakangas
Capt. John S. Maniatty
SSgt Robert L. Seese
Cpl. Joseph C. Ratti, US Army  (see Army TWS Profile)
MSgt. Ok Sok Yang, ROK Army

There is a memorial for Lt. Habakangas at the flagpole in Peaceful Hill Cemetery, Naselle, Pacific County, Washington.

http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/korea/reports/air/korwald_info_1569.htm http://www.psyopvets.com/kia/index.htm

http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19510430-0 http://www.timyoho.com/bvapage/HistoryPsyWar/1st-LL.htm

http://www.leatherneck.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-4077.html (C-47 in Korea)

See: Sam Gowan, Trash Haulers: The Story of the C-130 Hercules Troop Carrier/Tactical Airlift Mission, Author House, 2011, pp. 7-11. 21st/374th in Korean War.

See: William M. Leary, Anything, Anywhere, Anytime: Combat Cargo in the Korean War, AIr Force History and Museums Program, 2000.

See: Michael E. Haas, Apollo's Warriors: United States Air Force Special Operations During the the Cold War, Air University Press, 1997.
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