Bell, Hardy Lee, CMSgt

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Last Rank
Chief Master Sergeant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
43190-Aircraft Maintenance Superintendent
Last AFSC Group
Aircraft Maintenance
Primary Unit
1965-1966, 421st Tactical Fighter Squadron
Service Years
1940 - 1966
Enlisted Collar Insignia
Chief Master Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

28 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Annette Voelter-Family to remember Bell, Hardy Lee, CMSgt.

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
Paris, TX
Last Address

Casualty Date
Nov 26, 1966
Non Hostile- Died Other Causes
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Bien Hoa (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Meadowbrook Memorial Park - Paris, Texas
Wall/Plot Coordinates
12E 118

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Aircrew Enlisted (Chief)
Flight Engineer Badge
Sharp Shooter

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
United States Army Air Corps (USAAC)United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)8th Air Force457th Bombardment Group, Heavy
748th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy7th Air Force388th Tactical Fighter Wing421st Tactical Fighter Squadron
  1940-1942, United States Army Air Corps (USAAC)
  1942-1947, United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
  1943-1945, 457th Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1943-1945, 8th Air Force
  1944-1944, 457th Bombardment Group, Heavy
  1944-1945, 748th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy
  1965-1966, 7th Air Force
  1965-1966, 388th Tactical Fighter Wing
  1965-1966, 421st Tactical Fighter Squadron
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1942-1944 World War II/European-African-Middle Eastern Theater/Air Offensive, Europe Campaign (1942-44)
  1952-1953 Korean War/Third Korean Winter (1952-53)
  1965-1966 Vietnam Defensive Campaign (1965-66)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-17 Flying Fortress  C-47 Skytrain/Dakota  
  1943-1944, B-17 Flying Fortress
  1963-1966, C-47 Skytrain/Dakota
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Mar 24, 2013, General Photos2
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
From USMF 13 Aug 09: "This is CMS Hardy L. Bell's daughter-in-law, Annette Voelter. You may email me at I will do my best to give some answers." ----------- Check this for a bit about Hardy Bell: Includes a B-17 flight crew photo with him in it! (Front row, far left) --------------- 25 airmen were lost in the crash of USAF C-47 tail #44-76574 on a flight returning to Thailand from Ton Sun Nhut AB, due to mechanical failure. Included with Capt. Sobolik that day were: Lawrence Barcklow, A2C Troy Bealin, A1C Hardy Bell, CMSgt (See AFTWS profile for him) Earl Burns, SMSgt (See AFTWS profile for him) Charles Faulkner, 1st Lt Harold Graves, Lt Col Carroll Hogeman, Capt John Humphrey, Capt Edward Kerr, A2C Marchelle Lanzone, MSgt William Lynch, Lt Col Norman McRobie, A1C James Oxley, 1st Lt Adrian Purnell, 1st Lt Alden Riley, CWO Alan Steffen, SSgt Walter Sukar, Maj Joe Trickey, Capt James Webb, Lt Col Paul West, SSgt Bobby Williams, SSgt Dennis Wright, A2C ------------- "When the Pilots and other passengers arrived, we all shook hands and Ray and Earl boarded the C-47. Although I did not reboard, I know they strapped themselves in amid the inevitable freight. Their were about 25 people, baggage and a full gas load aboard when they taxied out. The rest of the story I reconstructed from radio call logs and from witnesses for I did not see it. The C-47 made a normal take off and climb. About 5 minutes out, the pilot radioed radar control that he had a rough #1 engine and was turning back to Tan Son Nhut. He received a vector course to steer. Shortly thereafter, the pilot reported he had to feather #1. Soon he reported the field in sight and was cleared for a straight in, down wind approach. Next he called the control tower reporting he could not get his landing gear fully down and locked. A witness later said only the left gear was down. This gear trouble undoubtedly added severely to his unsymetrical drag and his control problem. The tower first saw the plane turning slowly left away from the field at very low altitude, to stall, wing over and suddenly plunge to earth. Witnesses saw a steep, violent, crushing impact followed instantly by a fierce fire. The time was about 1850 hours on November 26,1966. In Part Written By: Col Carl Walter to Mrs. Lanzone December 15,1966 --------------- 2. (Contributed by friend, "Steindaddie", former airman) Through numerous websites I have tied this together: Hardy L. Bell was a passenger on C-47 44-76574 when it crashed on 26 Nov 1966 while attempting an emergency landing at Tan Son Nhut - all on board were killed. At that time he was assigned to the 388th TFW at Korat. Given that most killed were maintenance troops, I'm assuming Chief Bell was their boss. Here is some of that info. C-47 Crash Victims From Vietnam Veterans Memorial The Wall USA website: QUOTE HARDY LEE BELL CMS - E9 - Air Force - Regular Length of service 26 years Casualty was on Nov 26, 1966 In BIEN HOA, SOUTH VIETNAM NON-HOSTILE, FIXED WING - NONCREW AIR LOSS, CRASH ON LAND Body was recovered From DoD news release 29 Nov 1966 US Military Casualties - Vietnam: Note: 29 Nov is the news release date, not date of death QUOTE U~ S. MILITARY CASUALTIES- VIETNAM .< Continued) (C~231) 29 Nov 66 DIED NOT AS A RESULT OF HOSTILE ACTION (Continued) CMSGT Hardy L. BELL, husband of Mrs. Martha L~ BELL, 2900 West 15th Street, Texarkana, TX --------------------------------- 3. (Found by fellow airman) A Note from The Virtual Wall Captain John R. Humphrey was the copilot of C-47B tail number 44-76574, a wing transport aircraft assigned to the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Korat RTAFB, Thailand. According to Hobson's Vietnam Air Losses the aircraft departed from Tan Son Nhut Air Base near Saigon after dark on 26 November on an administrative flight back to Korat RTAFB. Shortly after take-off the aircrew advised Tan Son Nhut they had an engine problem and were returning to that airfield. Their first approach was aborted when the landing gear would not extend; their second approach ended in a fiery crash into a rice paddy while on short final to the runway. The port engine's propeller was in the "feathered" position, indicating that engine had been shut down before the crash. Hobson says that 31 people - 30 military, 1 civilian - were killed in the crash. The casualty database shows only 25 military personnel killed in non-hostile fixed wing incidents during the period 26-30 Nov 1966, all in Gia Dinh Province (where Tan Son Nhut is located) and all on 26 Nov 1967. The "Plane Crash Information" web site has data on the crash; it says there were 25 people on board and all died in the crash. The Virtual Wall believes that Hobson's 31 dead is not correct. ------------------------------ 4. (Contributed by Mike Walsh) My books says and gives this information (I have typed the circumstances verbatim from the book): C-47B SN# 44-76574 388th Tactical Fighter Wing based out of Korat Capt. Karl David Sobolik (killed) Lt.Col. William Affley Lynch (killed) Capt. Carroll Gene Hogeman (killed) Capt. John Richard Humphrey (killed) Capt. Joe H. Trickey (killed) SSgt. Alan Ralph Steffen (killed) 25 passengers (killed) "Most Wings based on Southeast Asia had a Headquarters Flight, which maintained one or two transport or utility aircraft for administrative flights. The 388th TFW's C-47 crashed while on a flight from Saigon killing all 31 passengers and crew on board, including one civilian. The aircraft had taken off in darkness from Tan Son Nhut for the return flight to Korat but the pilot radioed that he was returning to Tan Son Nhut with an engine problem. The aircraft had to go around from it's first approach as the undercarriage would not lower. The aircraft crashed in a rice paddy near the airfield with its port engine propeller in the feathered position." MW
Report: "I am the daughter-in-law of Chief Master Sergeant Hardy Lee Bell. His son Michael Hardy Bell was my husband. Michael H. Bell, my husband of 35 years, was deceased in March of 2000. I have all the medals and awards and paperwork on CMS Hardy L. Bell. His wife, Martha L Bell deceased in 2003." ---------

Malcolm Kirby USAF Veteran-191st photo recon. Rest in Peace, my Brother You will not be forgotten... Apr 13, 2008 manny g Fellow Veteran 69-70 An Khe Union Gap, WA. 98903 ?You are Remembered? Peace and condolence, to the family and friends. "He which hath no stomach to this fight let him depart. But we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers!! For he today, that sheds his blood with me, shall always be my brother?. Rest in peace brave soldier, you have not been forgotten. (W.Shakespeare) May God Bless You for your Sacrifice!!! Nov 26, 2007 Bill Gallenstein USAF Veteran Zephyrhills FL 33541 A very proud cold war USAF veteran remembers you on this day. My God bless you and your family always. I salute you, Thank you Apr 1, 2007 Doug Darrow IN I was on the flight line when you boarded the plane.

Rest in peace Sgt. Bell Aug 22, 2006 Daniel Petterzon Researcher from Sweden SWEDEN During WWII Hardy L Bell was an T/Sgt in the 457th Bombgroup. During a mission to Politz in Poland the 7th of October 1944 was the plane he was on hit by FLAK. They barely made it to my hometown in Sweden. Looking for relatives or someone who knows anything about him. In the picture he\'b4s at the front row, far left. Tuesday, April 11, 2000 Kimberly Kimmel-Ober admirer Encinitas, California United States of America For Chief Master Sergeant Bell and all those who knew him and loved him, I just want to say thank you for your dedication and sacrifice! Please know that you have not been forgotten and always will hold a special place in my heart! It would have been nice to have known you as a person, and I greatly appreciate your service! I just wish you did not have to pay so high a price! You forever will be a hero in my eyes! Wednesday, April 17, 2002 ------------------------------- 3. Link to 457th Bomb Group Association, 8th Air Force ------------------------------- 4. (Contributed by fellow airman) Birth: Apr. 13, 1919 Death: Nov. 26, 1966 Hardy Lee Bell son of Luther B. Bell and Martha Jane Westbrook. Born in Paris, Texas Died in crash of C-47 Transport Aircraft in Tan Son Nhut, Vietnam. US Air Force. Family links: Parents: Luther B. Bell (1888 - 1968) Martha Jane Westbrook (1896 - 1964) Burial:: Meadowbrook Memorial Park Paris Lamar County Texas, USA Plot: F-314-01 Created by: Jenevia Clark-Lowery Record added: Dec 15 2008 Find A Grave Memorial# 32175970 ---------------------------- 5. (Contributed by fellow airman) SERVICE Very likely served from 1942 - 1966 when he was killed. WWII He was trained at at least the following airbases: Rapid City, SD; Ephrata AAF, WA; Wendover, UT; and finally Grand Island, NE from which he flew to Englan in January 1944. First mission over Europe was one month later. Gives infor on his flight that was interned in Sweden and this has complete details with all crew lists In England, he was assigned to: 748th Bombardment Squadron, 457th Bomb Group (H), 94th Combat Wing, 8th Air Force. USAAF Station 130, Glatton near Connington, Cambridgeshire, England. They flew in some of the most deadly missions in Europe... In the October 7th mission alone, 50 aircrew were lost. His aircraft among the 5 aircraft lost. This was Mission # 133, heading for Politz, Poland. If you wanted to add a photo of a B-17, the following might help as to tail markings. ( note on Group markings. The "Triangle U" was, of course, assigned when the Group came to Glatton in Jan. 1944. In August 1944, a diagonal blue stripe was added to the vertical stabilizer/rudders of the Group ??s aircraft. (( Apparently there is a picture of him in WWII in one of those flight crew pictures. I could not find his pilot Jennings to connect the two. However, the aircraft # was 42-102905 Callsign "J". It was a B-17G aircraft, noticeably by its "chin" turret which was great for holding off nose to nose attacks by the Luftwaffe. Early B-17s were easy targets with nose on nose attacks.
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