McDaniel, John Lewis, Maj

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Last Rank
Major
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
1535Z-Navigator
Last AFSC Group
Aircrew
Primary Unit
1968-1968, 7th Air Force
Service Years
1956 - 1968
Major

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
North Carolina
North Carolina
Year of Birth
1933
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by MSgt Gerald Lamirand (Jerry) to remember McDaniel, John Lewis (Louie), Maj.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Gibsonville
Last Address
Gibsonville

Casualty Date
Apr 26, 1968
 
Cause
Hostile, Died
Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Location
Thua Thien (Vietnam)
Conflict
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific - Honolulu, Hawaii
Wall/Plot Coordinates
52E 022

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 Unit Assignments
29th Tactical Airlift Squadron463rd Tactical Airlift Wing7th Air Force
  1967-1968, 29th Tactical Airlift Squadron
  1968-1968, 463rd Tactical Airlift Wing
  1968-1968, 7th Air Force
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1961-1973 Vietnam War
 My Aircraft/Missiles
C-130 Hercules  
  1968-1968, C-130 Hercules
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Crewmen killed in the incident: Maj Lilburn R Stow (BNR) Capt James J McKinstry Maj John L McDaniel (BNR) TSgt Russell R Fyan (600th Photo Sq.) SSgt Beryl S Blaylock Sgt Daniel J O'Connor (600th Photo Sq.) Sgt Larry R Todd (BNR) A1C Kenneth L Johnson SYNOPSIS: The Lockheed C130 Hercules, or "Herc" for short, was multi-purpose propeller driven aircraft used as a transport, tanker, gunship, drone controller, airborne battlefield command and control center, weather reconnaissance and electronic reconnaissance platform; as well as search, rescue and recovery aircraft. In the hands of the "Trash Haulers," as the crew of the Tactical Air Command transports styled themselves, the C130 proved to be the most valuable airlift instrument in the Southeast Asia conflict. They were so valuable, in fact, that Gen. William Momyer, 7th Air Force Commander, refused for a time to let them land at Khe Sanh when the airstrip was under fire from NVA troops surrounding the base. The C130 was critical in resupplying American and allied troops in this area, and when the Hercules could not land, it delivered its payload by means of a parachute drop.

On 26 April 1968, Major Lilburn R. Stow, pilot; Major John L McDaniel, pilot; and Sgt. Larry R. Todd, loadmaster; were three members of an eight-man aircrew of a C-130B that was conducting an emergency resupply mission for American and allied ground personnel who were operating in the infamous A Shau Valley, Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam. The location of the A Luoi Airfield was approximately 1 mile west of Highway 548, the primary road running through the A Shau Valley and part of the NVA's infiltration route through Laos and into this vital sector of South Vietnam; 5 miles west of the South Vietnamese/Lao border and 22 miles west-southwest of Hue. It was also adjacent to Oscar Eight, which was the code name given to a sector of eastern Laos located in rugged jungle covered mountains approximately 25 miles west-northwest of the infamous A Shau Valley, Saravane Province, Laos. The area encompassed the junction of Highway 92, which was a primary north-south artery of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and Highway 922, which branched off and ran directly east where it crossed into South Vietnam at a strategic point near the northern edge of the A Shau Valley.

Further, burrowed deep in the hills of Oscar Eight was North Vietnamese General Vo Bam's 559th Transportation Group's forward headquarters. It was also the Ho Chi Minh Trail's control center and contained the largest NVA storage facility outside of North Vietnam. The A Luoi Airfield was located in the northern portion of the A Shau Valley. Upon arriving in the area, Major Stow established radio contact with A Luoi Airfield's ground control for landing instructions. Once cleared in, the Herc made its approach and was struck by heavy, accurate enemy 37mm anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) fire.

The seriously damaged Herc attempted to land, but crashed into the runway and scattered flaming wreckage along its path. When the wreckage cooled sufficiently, search and rescue (SAR) personnel were able to locate and recover the bodies of 5 of the 8 men on board. They were unable to find any trace of either pilot or the aircraft's loadmaster. At the time the formal search was terminated, Lilburn Stow, John McDaniel and Larry Todd were declared Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered. Shortly afterward, the remaining aircraft wreckage was cleared away and damage to the runway repaired.

   
Comments/Citation
US Air Force Major John Lewis McDaniel, Vietnam Veteran, born in Louisville, Georgia, he later became a Native of Gibsonville, NC. Graduate of UNC, Class of 1955.

US Air Force Major John Lewis McDaniel was a casualty of the Vietnam War. As a member of the Air Force, MAJ McDaniel served our country until April 26th, 1968 in Thua Thien, South Vietnam. He was 34 years old and was married. It was reported that John died when his plane crashed. His body was not recovered. John was born on July 8th, 1933 in Gibsonville, North Carolina. MAJ McDaniel is on panel 52E, line 022 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. He served our country for 12 years.

John Lewis McDaniel, Major, Unit: 772nd Tactical Airlift Squadron, Serial Number: 57547, Date of Birth: 8-Jul-33, Date of Death: 26-Apr-68, City: Gibsonville, State: NC. Notes: Major McDaniel was a member of the 772nd Tactical Airlift Squadron. On April 26, 1968, he was a crew member of a Lockheed Hercules Transport Aircraft (C-130B) on a mission over A Shau Valley, Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam, when his aircraft received ground fire and crashed. His remains were not recovered. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.

Survival school partner. John, we went through survival school together in Spokane before being assigned to the 130's at Mactan. I think we may have been in the same squadron. I had been in the squadron for only two weeks when we lost you a week later I was fortunate and only received wounds at Kam Duc. I think of you from time to time and our talks while sitting around our campfire in the snow in Spokane. My heart hurts. A fellow navigator, John(Jack)Anderson, 1605 London Lane, Cambria, CA 93428-5344, jack@whisperingpinesbedandbreakfast.com

Fellow Air Crew Member for 4 years and my best Friend. Louie my Buddy and yes I know the Louie isn't the way you spelled your name, but to me your Boom Operator on Crew J-03, at Blytheville AFB, Arkansas from 1962 till you left for Bootstrap in '67, you will always be Louie. And to your beautiful wife, Gloria. What a tragic loss of the most honest and truthful person I have ever known in my entire life, then and now. Gloria, I am very sorry but I didn't know that Louie had been killed in that terrible place because I was there myself at the time. I got the news after I returned and it was heartbreaking. To this day, I think of Him a lot. My kids know of him and everyone should. He was, without a doubt, the best person I ever knew. The world lost when Louie passed. Louie Buddy. Think of this Pal. I am now 70 and soon we will be Crew Members together. Chuck Hamilton, 3433 Old Dennis Rd, Weatherford, Texas 76087.

John McDaniel is my wife's cousin and we all attended the same high school. "ROADSIDE MEETINGS"; A little more tired at close of day, A little less anxious to have our way; A little less ready to scold and blame; A little more care for a brother's name, And so we are nearing the journey's end, Where time and eternity meet and blend. The book is closed and the prayers are said, And we are part of the countless dead. Thrice happy then if some can say "I live because he has passed this way." --Stephen Crane-- Our soldiers at Au Luoi will never forget your valor; our family and hometown will never forget your sacrifice. Roy V. Fair, Colonel(Ret),8820 Lake Drive, Snellville, Ga 30039, royvfair@bellsouth.net.

John Lewis McDaniel was my mother's brother. He loved his family and his country. He left behind a wife, 4 sons, a mother, 2 sisters and 4 nieces, who love him and still miss him to this day, 37 years later. We have not yet been able to bring him home, but there is hope that one day he will be found and the government will bring him back to U.S. soil where he belongs. He grew up in Georgia and Gibsonville, NC, and he worked his way through college at the University of North Carolina where he joined the ROTC and later made a career for himself flying planes in the Air Force. He was a brave man who faced his challenges head-on and he was truly, OUR HERO.

OPERATION DELAWARE, which began 19 April 1968, was intended to disrupt enemy activities in the western part of the A Shau Valley. On 25 April, US cavalry units air assaulted into the abandoned airstrip at A Loui. On the 26th, in weather with ceilings as low as 300 to 500 feet, C-130s from Cam Ranh Bay, Bien Hoa, and Tan Son Nhut were tasked with air-dropping supplies to the cavalrymen. The first 20 C-130s received antiaircraft fire, and seven of them were hit. The 21st C-130 (tail number 60-0298) was hit heavily by .51 caliber and 37mm AAA fire and its cargo was set afire. The pilot elected to attempt an emergency landing on the airstrip but hit trees on final, crashed, and exploded. When the burning wreckage cooled sufficiently, the bodies of five of the eight men were recovered - but there was no trace of the pilot, navigator, or loadmaster. All eight men were classified killed in action: Maj John L McDaniel was one of them.

SYNOPSIS: The Lockheed C130 Hercules, or "Herc" for short, was multi-purpose propeller driven aircraft used as a transport, tanker, gunship, drone controller, airborne battlefield command and control center, weather reconnaissance and electronic reconnaissance platform; as well as search, rescue and recovery aircraft. In the hands of the "Trash Haulers," as the crew of the Tactical Air Command transports styled themselves, the C130 proved to be the most valuable airlift instrument in the Southeast Asia conflict. They were so valuable, in fact, that Gen. William Momyer, 7th Air Force Commander, refused for a time to let them land at Khe Sanh when the airstrip was under fire from NVA troops surrounding the base. The C130 was critical in resupplying American and allied troops in this area, and when the Hercules could not land, it delivered its payload by means of a parachute drop. On 26 April 1968, Major Lilburn R. Stow, pilot; Major John L McDaniel, Navigator; and Sgt. Larry R. Todd, loadmaster; were three members of an eight-man aircrew of a C-130B that was conducting an emergency resupply mission for American and allied ground personnel who were operating in the infamous A Shau Valley, Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam. The location of the A Luoi Airfield was approximately 1 mile west of Highway 548, the primary road running through the A Shau Valley and part of the NVA's infiltration route through Laos and into this vital sector of South Vietnam; 5 miles west of the South Vietnamese/Lao border and 22 miles west-southwest of Hue. It was also adjacent to Oscar Eight, which was the code name given to a sector of eastern Laos located in rugged jungle covered mountains approximately 25 miles west-northwest of the infamous A Shau Valley, Saravane Province, Laos. The area encompassed the junction of Highway 92, which was a primary north-south artery of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, and Highway 922, which branched off and ran directly east where it crossed into South Vietnam at a strategic point near the northern edge of the A Shau Valley. Further, burrowed deep in the hills of Oscar Eight was North Vietnamese General Vo Bam's 559th Transportation Group's forward headquarters. It was also the Ho Chi Minh Trail's control center and contained the largest NVA storage facility outside of North Vietnam. The A Luoi Airfield was located in the northern portion of the A Shau Valley. Upon arriving in the area, Major Stow established radio contact with A Luoi Airfield's ground control for landing instructions. Once cleared in, the Herc made its approach and was struck by heavy, accurate enemy 37mm anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) fire. The seriously damaged Herc attempted to land, but crashed into the runway and scattered flaming wreckage along its path. When the wreckage cooled sufficiently, search and rescue (SAR) personnel were able to locate and recover the bodies of 5 of the 8 men on board. They were unable to find any trace of either pilot or the aircraft's loadmaster. At the time the formal search was terminated, Lilburn Stow, John McDaniel and Larry Todd were declared Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered. Shortly afterward, the remaining aircraft wreckage was cleared away and damage to the runway repaired.

Lewis' parents were Ralph and Reba Cook McDaniel who lived in my hometown of Louisville, GA until Ralph's death in 1940. Lewis was 18 months older than I but I clearly remember meeting him from time to time on the streets of Louisville in our grammar school years at Louisville Academy (11 grades) which for both of us would be about 1940 as he was born in July 1933 and I was born in Jan 1935. His father was a close friend of my own father and drove the Standard Oil truck in Louisville delivering gas to farmers. The family lived in a still standing home on upper Broad Street near the city cemetery where Ralph McDaniel and several of his McDaniel ancestors are buried. His widow eventually moved to Gibsonville, NC near her family which became Lewis' new home. My wife's mother was a member of this McDaniel family from Georgia's Jefferson, Washington and Glascock Counties that goes back to the early 1800s. A memorial on the grounds of the Jefferson County (Louisville) County Court House bears the name of Major John Lewis McDaniel and other county heroes who lost their lives in combat. I am the individual who caused his name to be placed on that stone. Roy V. Fair, Historian.

McDaniel, John L. Major, U. S. Air Force, died April 26, 1968, while serving aboard a C-130 that was hit by hostile fire over Vietnam. Age 34, Major McDaniel was a 12-year veteran of the Air Force and had served as navigator of the C-130. He was a native of Georgia, a graduate of McLeansville High School and the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He held a master's degree from the University of Arizona. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Gloria Ann Bland McDaniel, his parents, Reba Resse and Lacy Cook, two sisters, and 4 sons--Roger, Brett, Gregory, and Neal McDaniel, all of the home. A memorial service was held at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. Source: Times-News May 4, 1968.

He was the husband of Mrs Gloria B McDaniel, 322 Doggett Drive, Graham, NC.

He served with the 772nd Tactical Air Squadron, 463rd Tactical Airlift Wing, 7th Air Force.

Some of his awards include The Purple Heart Medal for his combat related wounds Posthumously, The Air Medal with Oak Leaf Clusters, The Vietnam Service Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal, The National Defense Service Medal, The Air Force Commendation Medal and the Air Force Achievement Medal.
   
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