Deichelmann, Samuel Mackall, Maj

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
1444-Forward Air Controller
Last AFSC Group
Air Operations
Primary Unit
1968-1968, 1444, 56th Special Operations Wing/56th Special Operations Wing Detachment 1
Service Years
1959 - 1968

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Robert Bruce McClelland, Jr. to remember Deichelmann, Samuel Mackall (Raven 45), Maj.

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
Montgomery, Alabama
Last Address
Udorn RTAFB, Thailand/Bien Hoa Airbase, RVN

Casualty Date
Sep 06, 1968
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Bien Hoa (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
45W 049

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Aviator (Basic)

 Unit Assignments
7th Air Force56th Special Operations Wing/56th Special Operations Wing Detachment 1
  1968-1968, 7th Air Force
  1968-1968, 1444, 56th Special Operations Wing/56th Special Operations Wing Detachment 1
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1968-1968 Vietnam War
 My Aircraft/Missiles
O-1/L-19 Bird Dog  
  1968-1968, O-1/L-19 Bird Dog
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
"On 6 September 1968, then Capt Samuel M. "Sam" Deichelmann was the pilot of an O-1F aircraft, call sign 'Raven 45,' that departed Bien Hoa Airbase, Bien Hoa Province, South Vietnam on a classified single aircraft operational mission. The flight was to culminate with him ferrying his aircraft back to his home base of Udorn, Thailand.

Everything known about this flight is unusual. For example, Capt. Deichelmann test flew this aircraft the day before specifically to check it out. He also made it a point to talk to his brother, who was also stationed in Vietnam, the day before his final mission. In retrospect, this call seemed odd to his brother. Since this was a classified mission, no normal flight plan was logged prior to takeoff. Once airbourne, Sam Deichelmann established contact with the US Army communications center at Bien Hoa Airbase to verbally file his flight plan. Further, it was abnormally vague even for a classified mission.

As he flew north along the coast of South Vietnam, Capt. Deichelmann checked in with the communication centers at Tuy Hoa, Phan Thiet and Cam Ranh Bay. At 0810 to 0815 hours, approximately 15 minutes after departing Bien Hoa Airbase, the coastal center at Phan Thiet thought it heard a garbled transmission from Sam Deichelmann. Because of the confusion surrounding his classified mission with its built in secrecy, the lack of a standard filed flight plan outlining in detail the intended route, and no set schedule for radio check-ins, no search and rescue (SAR) operation was initiated until 1100 hours. An air search of the general region in which Sam disappeared, found no trace of the missing Bird Dog or its pilot.

The last known position of the Raven 45 placed it over a jungle covered mountain less than 1 mile north of Highway 
QL1, the primary east/west road running between the town of Xuan Loc and the coast. It was also approximately 8 miles due east of the Village of Ap Rung La that was situated along side Highway QL1; 12 miles northwest of the coastline, 30 miles east-southeast of Xuan Loc and 66 miles east of Saigon....

There has never been any indication if the Bird Dog vanished due to enemy action or mechanical failure."


Note: He was however, officially declared presumed dead 3 Nov 1976, casualty type listed as "Hostile - Died While Missing.
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