The Wall of Faces

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JOHN LEE ESPENSHIED


is honored on Panel 17W, Line 101 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

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REMEMBRANCES

  • Family

    Posted on 1/26/18 - by Kim kimalacombe@gmail.com
    Jack was my Grandfather. If there are any messages that would be beneficial to relay back to family please feel free to email me directly. Thank you.
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  • Remembering Major John Espenshied

    Posted on 10/22/17 - by MD Mercury mdmercury@gmail.com
    After recently watching the PBS documentary on Vietnam I was inspired to search for information on Major John Espenshied. I was relieved to find on this site that he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. I still have his POW/MIA bracelet that I wore from 1971 to 1975 and also located his name on the Vietnam Wall when it was first built.
    In 2001 I wrote a paper in college on the experience and in the early days of the internet tried to contact his family to pass his bracelet onto.
    On this anniversary of his passing I would like to remember Major Espenshied, as it was an honor and a privilege to wear his bracelet.
    Thank you to all of the men and women who served in Vietnam.
    Peace & Love
    Michelle Mercury
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  • My Father's B-47 Pilot

    Posted on 8/25/17 - by Greg Draper
    My father, Lt.Col. Derwin "Dale" Draper, was navigator on the B-47 crew piloted by Jack Espenshied. Also on the crew of three was Jack Morrison, copilot. They were based at Lockbourne AFB, Columbus. OH, in 1962-64.

    Dad has told me stories from those days. My favorite one was that after a B-47 made the national news with a round-the-world non-stop flight, Col. Espenshied filed a flight plan to also go round-the-world non-stop, but do it going north-south, pole-to-pole. Dad said their squadron commander, who normally approved flight plans, didn't know what to do with such a flight request, so he passed it up to his commanding officer. It kept getting passed up the command chain, as no one wanted to approve the flight. Finally the flight was denied by non other than Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.

    My parents remained in touch with the Espenshieds after the B-47 program was cancelled, and with Mrs. Espenshied after Jack was shot down in Vietnam. My sister wore his POW bracelet for many years. The Drapers felt a sense of closure too when his remains were repatriated. I have taken my family to Washington DC on vacation, and have paused at the Vietnam War Memorial to show my children Jack's name, and hopefully instill to them that freedom isn't free. It comes at a dear price.

    I salute and thank you Col. Jack Espenshied, sir, for your service and ultimate sacrifice to defend the United States.

    My father is current battling through the last stages of dimentia from Alzheimer's disease. He has forgotten most of the names and events of his past. But he can still recall the name of Jack Espenshied.
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  • To John

    Posted on 1/30/16 - by Dave Michael/ Glenside, Pa davepa37@aol.com
    As a child i wore your POW/MIA bracelet. This past weekend I FINALLY made it to the Wall. I so wish that I still had the bracelet after all these years it seems to have been misplaced. I just want to say thank you for your service, and for giving the ultimate to protect our country. That's me kneeling at his name.
    MORE
  • Final Mission of MAJ John L. Espenshied

    Posted on 7/23/15 - by wkillian@smjuhsd.org
    MAJ John L. Espenshied was the observer aboard an O-2A Cessna observation aircraft on a flight over South Vietnam on October 21, 1969. CAPT Glenn R. Cook was the pilot of the aircraft. The O-2 was a stopgap replacement aircraft for the O-1 "Birddog" until the North American OV-10A arrived in Vietnam. The O-1, O-2 and OV-10 served as vehicles for forward air contollers (FAC) in Vietnam, as well as reconnaissance aircraft. The small aircraft would fly in rather low and mark targets for armed aircraft to follow with airstrikes. The O-1, O-2 and OV-10 were a sure signal to the Vietnamese that bombing would follow, and while they were greatly feared for a time, as time passed, the enemy became more and more aggressive in trying to knock the planes out before the impending strikes could be directed. All three aircraft lacked adequate armor to protect its passengers from heavy anti-aircraft fire. At a point where the Provinces of Tuyen Duc, Ninh Thuan and Khanh Hoa meet, the aircraft went down, and neither man was found. At the time, the U.S. judged that there could be no way of knowing whether the enemy found the crash, or whether they had been killed or survived. They were listed as Missing in Action. For four years, Espenshied's family waited to see if he had been captured, and would be released with other American POWs in 1973, but he was not. The Vietnamese, who had pledged earlier that year to release all POWs and account for as many as possible of the missing, denied any knowledge of Espenshied. In December, 1988, the Vietnamese discovered the body of John Espenshied and returned it to U.S. control. [Taken from pownetwork.org]
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The Wall of Faces

Brought to you by the organization that built The Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Virtual Memorial Wall is dedicated to honoring, remembering and sharing the legacies of all those who died in the Vietnam War. Here you can go beyond the names on The Wall to see the faces, share the stories and read the remembrances posted by friends, neighbors, classmates and family members.

All of these photos will be showcased in The Education Center at The Wall on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. To learn more about the effort to collect these photos and ensure their faces will never be forgotten, visit www.buildthecenter.org.