Amesbury, Harry Arlo, Jr., Maj

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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1971-1972, 374th Tactical Airlift Wing
Service Years
1954 - 1972
Officer Collar Insignia

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Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Robert Bruce McClelland, Jr. to remember Amesbury, Harry Arlo, Jr., Maj.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Morrison, Illinois
Last Address
Ching Chuan Kang AB, Taiwan;
Tan Son Nhut AB, South Vietnam.

Casualty Date
Apr 26, 1972
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Vietnam, South (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
01W 007/Ashes Scattered

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Last Updated:
Apr 25, 2016

On Apr 26, 1972, Major Harry A. Amesbury, Jr., pilot; Capt. Kurt F. Weisman, co-pilot; 1st Lt. Richard L. Russell, navigator; SSgt. Calvin C. Cooke, loadmaster; TSgt. Richard E. Dunn, loadmaster; and Sgt. Donald R. Hoskins, flight engineer; comprised the crew of a C-130 that departed Tan Son Nhut Airbase on a night emergency resupply mission to the ARVN troops trapped in the besieged city of An Loc, Binh Long Province, South Vietnam. The provisional capitol located approximately 65 miles northwest of Saigon had been under siege off and on since early April by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong forces. Airborne support in the form of supply drops of food, medicine and armament, as well as close air support, were critical in keeping the city from being overrun.

After arriving in the target area, Major Amesbury established radio contact with the onsite Forward Air Controller (FAC). After providing currant mission related information, at 0412 hours the FAC gave Major Amesbury clearance to initiate the supply drop. As the C-130 made its pass over An Loc at a very low altitude, the aircraft was struck by communist small arms fire and crashed into a large rubber plantation approximately 1 mile southwest of the city. From his vantage point, the FAC watched as the cargo aircraft began its climb to drop altitude, then looked away. When he looked back, he saw the Hercules in flames going into the trees. He reported that under the circumstances, he saw no tracers aimed at the aircraft.

In the pre-dawn darkness an aerial visual and electronic search utilizing all aircraft already in the area commenced immediately. However, due to the intense enemy surrounding An Loc, no ground search of the crash site was possible. During the search operation, no emergency beepers were heard and no parachutes seen. At the time the search was terminated, Harry Amesbury, Richard Russell, Calvin Cooke, Donald Hoskins and Kurt Weisman were declared Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.

In early February 1975, an ARVN ground team under the control of an American Special Forces advisor was inserted into An Loc to search for Americans lost in several incidents in the area including the crew of the C-130. While at that aircraft's crash site, the team recovered partial remains believed to belong to one of the crew. Before departing the area, the team made note of the fact that the entire crash site location had been heavily scavenged. On Feb 27,1975, those remains were positively identified as Kurt Weisman.

His remains were recovered in 1991 and identified in 2001. They were cremated and his ashes were scattered by his family on land near Marsing, ID that he had purchased for a retirement home.

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