Brunner, Gary Edward, Capt

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1968-1969, 7th Air Force
Service Years
1966 - 1969

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt S. Kimbrow to remember Brunner, Gary 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
Last Address
Racine, Wisconsin

Casualty Date
Jun 23, 1969
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Tay Ninh (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
United States Air Force Academy Cemetery - Colorado Springs, Colorado
Wall/Plot Coordinates
22W 120

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Association of Graduates USAFAVietnam Veterans Memorial
  1966, Association of Graduates USAFA
  1969, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Aviator (Basic)

 Unit Assignments
3576th Student Squadron773rd Tactical Airlift Squadron463rd Tactical Airlift Wing7th Air Force
  1966-1967, 0006, 3576th Student Squadron
  1968-1969, 773rd Tactical Airlift Squadron
  1968-1969, 463rd Tactical Airlift Wing
  1968-1969, 7th Air Force
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1968-1969 Vietnam War
 Colleges Attended 
United States Air Force Academy
  1962-1966, United States Air Force Academy
 My Aircraft/Missiles
C-130 Hercules  
  1968-1969, C-130 Hercules
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Captain Gary Edward Brunner was a pilot with an airlift squadron stationed at Clark AFB, PI, flying TDY out of Tan Son Nhut AB and Cam Ranh Bay AB, RVN.

On 23 June 1969, he was flying a C-130B (#61-0965) on a mission out of Tan Son Nhut and was shot down at Katum during a re-supply mission of Howitzer ammunition to the Special Forces camp.

On 23 June 1969, he was aboard a C-130B (tail number 61-0965) on a resupply flight to the Special Forces Camp at Katum (A-322) in Northern Tay Ninh Province. This camp could only be resupplied by air and was always considered a "hot trip", and thus dangerous.

On approach to the Special Forces Camp, it was brought down by anti-aircraft fire. From ground witnesses, it was clear that the aircraft was on fire, and that the ramp was down as the crew was attempting to unload and the aircraft came in.

The aircraft crashed, causing the loss of the entire crew.
Crew lost:
Lt. Col. Jean A. Kearby
Maj William H. Condit (MIA-Recovered)
Capt Gary E. Brunner
1st Lt Terry M. Reed (MIA-Recovered)
SSgt Billy W. McDonald
SSgt George C. Peters

He left a wife and son at his passing in the Philippines. He was interred in United States Air Force Academy Cemetery, Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado, Plot: 003 B 059.  

An eye witness description of the loss of this aircraft may be found at the following site. It is a fuily detailed story, graphic, and tragic. Important to note that the aircrew were originally with the 772nd TAS, flying an aircraft from the 773rd.

Eye Witness Account at:

Commentary about crew:
"Captain (newly promoted) Gary Brunner was one of the young pilots. A graduate of the Air Force Academy, he was on a fast track to the left seat. . . . 1st Lt. Terry Reed was tapped as one of the best copilots in the squadron and probably soon to upgrade himself. Lt. Col. Jean A Kearby was, in my mind, one of the kindest friendliest senior officers in the squadron. For some reason he took a liking to me. He was an instructor navigator in the unit, one of the best we had. Major Bill Condit was a new navigator in the squadron. Every new arrival in the squadron had to get an in-country checkout even though they were combat ready from training in the CONUS. To round out a crew you needed a flight engineer and loadmaster. SSgt Billy McDonald and SSgt George C. Peters were among the best our squadron had. That was the crew of the aircraft shot down at Katum on that fateful day. Gary was on his very first Aircraft Commander rotation to Vietnam. He had one of the best crews the squadron could put together to support him."
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