Eilers, Dennis Lee, Lt Col

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Lieutenant Colonel
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1965-1965, 6250th Combat Support Group
Service Years
1959 - 1965
Lieutenant Colonel

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

11 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt Thomas LaRoe (Birddog) to remember Eilers, Dennis Lee, Lt Col.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Cedar Rapids
Last Address

Casualty Date
Dec 24, 1965
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
04E 037

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans MemorialAmerican Battle Monuments Commission
  1965, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2012, American Battle Monuments Commission

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Aviator (Basic)

 Unit Assignments
4th Air Commando SquadronUS Air Force
  1965-1965, 4th Air Commando Squadron
  1965-1965, 6250th Combat Support Group
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1965-1965 Non-operation sorties/Reconnaissance missions over Laos
 Colleges Attended 
Coe College
  1957-1961, Coe College
 My Aircraft/Missiles
AC-47 Spooky/Puff  
  1965-1965, AC-47 Spooky/Puff
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Captain Dennis Eilers served with the 4th Air Commando Squadron, 6250th Combat Support Group, 13th Air Force out of DaNang Airbase, South Vietnam. He was shot down on 24 December 1965, aboard an AC-47D gunship, call sign "Spooky 21." They were on an armed reconnaissance/strike mission over the panhandle of Laos.

The crew:
Lt. Col. Derrell B. Jeffords, pilot
Capt. Dennis L. Eilers, co-pilot
Maj. Joseph Christiano, navigator
TSgt. W. Kevin Colwell, flight engineer
MSgt. Larry C. Thornton, gunner
SSgt. Arden "A. K." Hassenger, gunner

As the gunship made its way westward, it was diverted to a second location 18 miles east-northeast of Saravane. Shortly before contact was lost with the gunship at 1050 hours, one of the crew broadcast, "Mayday, Mayday, Mayday, Spooky 21" over the UHF emergency frequency. The aircrews of two separate aircraft who were also operating in this sector heard the gunship's final radio transmission. At 1448 hours, an extensive search and rescue (SAR) operation was initiated. During the entire search effort, SAR aircraft were subjected to intense enemy ground fire emanating from the jungle below. The search was terminated at 1500 hours on 26 December when no trace of the aircraft or crew was found. At the conclusion of the search, military personnel determined the aircraft was downed by enemy action and weather conditions played no part in its loss. They were listed as MIA.

Remains recovered:
Col. Joseph Christiano of Rochester, N.Y.; Col. Derrell B. Jeffords of Florence, S.C.; Lt. Col. Dennis L. Eilers of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Chief Master Sgt. William K. Colwell of Glen Cove, N.Y.; Chief Master Sgt. Arden K. Hassenger of Lebanon, Ore.; and Chief Master Sgt. Larry C. Thornton of Idaho Falls, Idaho, were buried as a group in a single casket representing the entire crew on 9 July 2012 in Arlington National Cemeter


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