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  • Wall Name:DAVID GIBSON
  • Date of Birth:8/16/1948
  • Date of Casualty:5/18/1968
  • Home of Record:POMARIA
  • County of Record:NEWBERRY COUNTY
  • State:SC
  • Branch of Service:ARMY
  • Rank:SP4
  • Panel/Row:62E, 18
  • Casualty Province:BINH DUONG


  • Date of Birth:1/4/1948
  • Date of Casualty:5/18/1968
  • Home of Record:TROY
  • County of Record:RENSSELAER COUNTY
  • State:NY
  • Branch of Service:ARMY
  • Rank:SP4
  • Panel/Row:62E, 18
  • Casualty Province:BIEN HOA


is honored on Panel 62E, Row 22 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Leave a Remembrance


  • Remembering An American Hero

    Posted on 8/3/16 - by Curt Carter
    Dear Major Tommy Emerson Gist, sir

    As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

    May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

    With respect, Sir

    Curt Carter
  • Have rembered him for 45+ years

    Posted on 7/18/16 - by Glenda F
    As a high schooler, sending off for a copper bracelet to honor an MIA/POW seemed about the only thing I could do. I still have that copper bracelet. I did not know him, but he has always been remembered.
  • MIA bracelet I have had since 1970

    Posted on 5/30/16 - by Katrina Briles
    I have had a POW / MIA bracelet in honor of Capt. Tommy Gist since 1970. My Mom ordered it from somewhere back then. I am 59 years old and just ran across the bracelet. I would like to send it to you in honor of Capt. Tommy Gist. I live in Throckmorton, Texas. My name is Katrina Cook Briles. If you would like to have this bracelet I would be more than happy to mail it to you. I know it would mean a great deal to you. I wore it everyday until war ended. Just let me know if you are interested and send your mailing address and I will get it to you! I just pulled up this website and got emotional looking at the picture of Capt. Tommy Gist. I will be thinking you him on this Memorial Day!
  • An Honored Remembrance!!!

    Posted on 5/25/16 - by
    I was in Jr High when I received my bracelet with Capt. Tommy E. Gist on it. I wore that bracelet proudly and prayed for ur safe return. My bracelet eventually broke, but I have never forgotten u!!! One of my dreams was to meet u in person, to thank u for ur service to our country and for fighting for our freedom!!! When the Weekend Wounded Warriors celebrations started, I always thought how awesome it would be to see u at one of our events!!! I still pray for u and I know that we will meet someday!!!
  • I Remember

    Posted on 3/4/15 - by Monica
    I received a POW bracelet with his name on it. I remember scrolling through the names in the paper every week praying he would come home! Prayed for him and his family for many, many years. Was thrilled to see a pic. Such a good looking man as I knew he would be!
  • Your friend has never forgotten you!

    Posted on 9/23/14 - by Rose Szkodny
    Anthony (Tony) Fusco has never forgotten his friend Tommy and asked that we remember him at our Vigil this evening during our POW MIA service at Sayreville VFW Post 4699 in New Jersey. Tony, a former Sayreville resident, and Tommy were comrades and Tony remembers vividly Tommy's demise. We will continue to honor and pray for Tommy as he will never be forgotten.
  • We Remember

    Posted on 3/9/14 - by robert Sage
    Tommy has a memorial stone at Highland Cemetery, Durant, Bryan County, OK.
  • I Still Remember

    Posted on 1/7/14 - by Linda W.
    I was attending High School in England when I received my bracelet with Capt. Tommy Gist's name on it. I am so glad I found this site as I can now, after all these years, put a face to his name. I was able to get a rubbing of his name back in 1996 while the Moving Wall was in the town where I currently live. He will forever be in my thoughts!
  • A Strange experience

    Posted on 11/7/13 - by Tommy R. Dolph
    I attended a meeting in suppoert of the Viet Nam M.I.A. cause in the mid 1980s. I had an opportunity to make a donation and to receive an MIA bracelet. The bracelets were chosen at random and mailed to donors. When mine arrived a week or so later I was confronted with some rather peculiar coincidences: Major Gist and I have the same first name, "Tommy". He is from Oklahoma, so am I. His birthday is October 29th, so is mine.

    I remembered spending most of one day trying to enlist during the Viet Nam war. I tried the Air Force, the Marines and the Army. No one would take me because I was married and had a child. Trust me, the recruiters tried every "backdoor" trick they could think of to get me into uniform. Nothing worked. When I saw that MIA bracelet, it struck me that Major Gist must have been "The guy who served in my place". May God grant him Peace. He's on my permanent prayer list.
  • I Have Not Forgotten

    Posted on 8/17/13 - by Nancy B Yoesle
    I have worn a Capt. Tommy Gist MIA bracelet since 1972, when I purchased it as a college student in Vermont. I've often wondered if he'd been located and whether I'd get a chance to look for him on the "Wall" in D.C. Today, it came to me that I might be able to do an online search, and voila!, there he was. Now I have a face with the name, an am very thankful for that.
  • POW/MIA bracelet

    Posted on 7/26/13 - by Dina
    I had Captain Gist's name on my POW/MIA bracelet. I was around 11-12 years old when I got it but I have never forgotten his name. I had not seen a photo of him until now. My belated but sincere condolences to his family.
  • Remembrance

    Posted on 12/1/11 - by Stephen C. Uchniat
  • If I should die...remembrances for MAJ. Tommy Emerson GIST, USAF...who made the ultimate sacrifice!!

    Posted on 2/6/10

    If I should die, and leave you here awhile, be not like others, sore undone, who keep long vigils by the silent dust, and weep...for MY sake, turn again to life, and smile...Nerving thy heart, and trembling hand to do something to comfort other hearts than thine...Complete these dear, unfinished tasks of mine...and I, perchance, may therein comfort you.

  • If I should die...remembrances for MAJ. Tommy Emerson GIST, USAF...who made the ultimate sacrifice!!

    Posted on 1/27/10

    If I should die, and leave you here awhile, be not like others, sore undone, who keep long vigils by the silent dust, and weep...for MY sake, turn again to life, and smile...Nerving thy heart, and trembling hand to do something to comfort other hearts than thine...Complete these dear, unfinished tasks of mine...and I, perchance, may therein comfort you.

  • If I should die...remembrances for MAJ. Thomas Emerson GIST, USAF...who made the ultimate sacrifice!

    Posted on 1/27/10

    If I should die, and leave you here awhile, be not like others, sore undone, who keep long vigils by the silent dust, and weep...for MY sake, turn again to life, and smile...Nerving thy heart, and trembling hand to do something to comfort other hearts than thine...Complete these dear, unfinished tasks of mine...and I, perchance, may therein comfort you.

  • Uncle Tommy

    Posted on 9/30/07 - by Kelly R. York-Irwin
    Uncle Tommy,

    My husband visited the "Moving Wall" today in Oklahoma and he took a picture of your name. We miss you very much and hope and pray one day you will come home to us. You will always be in my heart.

    Posted on 12/26/05 - by CLAY MARSTON CMARSTON@INTERLOG.COM



    Personnel in Incident:


    ( Returnee )


    18 May 1994


    Copyright 1994 - The Associated Press


    AP Special Correspondent

    HANOI, Vietnam (AP) --

    Sara Gist-Bernasconi looked at her watch and remembered that chilling moment in time.

    At 4:00 p.m., 26 years ago Wednesday, her husband, United States Air Force Captain Tommy Emerson Gist, was shot down and declared as being Missing In Action over North Vietnam.

    At 4:00 p.m. on 18 May 1994, Mrs. Bernasconi stepped from a van and into a dilapidated, cramped, two-room home in Hanoi.

    She marked the solemn anniversary with a slight, gray-haired Vietnamese woman and her family over a bowl of noodles, the only thing they could afford.

    Mrs. Bernasconi, 52, sat down to dinner with Tran Thi Tien, 55, whose husband has been missing in action since 1970.

    They shared their sorrow in a home not far from where U.S. bombs fell and American airmen were downed.

    " It's good that you come to visit Vietnam and you traveled a long distance," Mrs. Tien told Mrs. Bernasconi through an interpreter.

    " Today is the anniversary of the shoot-down of my husband," Mrs. Bernasconi said. " How old were you when you met your husband ?"

    " I was married in 1960 in my brother's house in Hanoi. I was 20. My husband went to the South in 1965. I was pregnant when my husband left."

    " I have two sons about the same age as your sons."

    " Your husband's remains found ?"

    " No."

    " The same with my husband," Mrs. Tien continued. " I only know he died in the South. We want to go find his remains but because of our economic difficulties we cannot go. Your husband died in Dong Hoi ?"

    " I don't know. He's missing."

    " Too many losses for the families. We've suffered too many losses."

    " Do you feel anger ?"

    " We feel very sorry and we miss him."

    " We live a world apart and share so many of the same feelings."

    Mrs. Bernasconi lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her second husband, retired USAF Colonel Louis Henry Bernasconi, a former Vietnam Prisoner Of War.

    She is on a week long visit to Vietnam with a delegation from the Vietnam Veterans of America, where she serves as co-chairwoman of the national POW-MIA Committee.

    One of Mrs. Tien's two sons reached into his wallet and presented Mrs. Bernasconi with a small sapphire stone.

    Her gift to them was some T-shirts inscribed Veterans Initiative.

    Earlier in the day, American veterans handed over battlefield souvenirs to the Vietnamese in an effort to help their families locate their own loved ones lost in the war.

    Vietnamese veterans said they, too, would launch a movement to help gather information for American families.

    U.S. officials say there are still 2,233 Americans missing in action from the war that ended in 1975.

    On the Vietnamese side, 300,000 soldiers are still unaccounted for.

    For Mrs. Bernasconi and the veterans, the visit was a step toward healing the anguish of Vietnam.

    As she left Mrs. Tien's home, she asked if she could have a photo taken with her and her two sons. Mrs. Bernasconi held Mrs. Tien's hand.

    " Thank you for having us," she said.

    ===== ===== ===== ===== ===== ===== ===== ===== =====


    Sara Gist-Bernasconi's first husband went Missing In Action in Vietnam.

    Her second was a Prisoner Of War.

    These days, she honors both and the sacrifice of others through her work at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial.

    By Ollie Reed Jr.

    Tribune Columnist

    30 May 2005

    Sara Gist-Bernasconi trails her hand lightly, reverently, along the wall listing the names of New Mexicans - mostly military but some civilians - who have been prisoners of war or designated as missing in action.

    There are 2,729 names engraved on tiles on a west-facing wall of the New Mexico Veterans Memorial amphitheater, POWs and MIAs from World War I through the war in Iraq.

    Most of the names - 2,622 - are from World War II.

    " From here to here," Gist-Bernasconi says, walking swiftly as her hand traces across the vast honor roll of World War II names.

    " When I first saw the World War II list, it knocked me out."

    Per capita, Gist-Bernasconi says, New Mexico had more residents serving in World War II than any other state, and, per capita, New Mexico had a higher casualty rate in that war than any other state.

    " This is what we are all about," she says of the Veterans Memorial. " To make people aware of the price of the freedoms we enjoy."

    Earlier today, the Veterans Memorial, 1100 Louisiana Blvd. S.E., was the site of Memorial Day ceremonies that included the dedication of " Battlescape," a new sculpture by Jesus Moroles, and the reopening of the memorial's visitors center, which has been closed for two years during an expansion.

    Gist-Bernasconi has been chairwoman of the New Mexico Veterans Memorial Board for more than four years and is one of the memorial's most dedicated volunteers.

    It's not unusual to find her putting in long hours seven days a week at the 25-acre site.

    Despite the amount of time she spends here, her eyes mist up as they sweep around the grounds, taking in the flags snapping in the rude, spring wind; the pink-tinged yellow roses in the Memorial Garden; the simple blocks of stone in the area dedicated to fallen friends.

    " This place has karma, heart and soul," she says as her gaze returns to the wall honoring POWs and MIAs.

    There are 48 names on the section devoted to the Vietnam War.

    Sara Gist-Bernasconi is the widow of one of those - Tommy Emerson Gist - and the wife of another - Louis Henry Bernasconi.

    She knows about sacrifice.

    The day was 18 May 1968, 37 years ago, but Gist-Bernasconi remembers it vividly.

    It was a Sunday morning, and she was at her home on Georgia Street Southeast, just a few blocks west of where the Veterans Memorial is now.

    She was getting her sons, Michael, 7, and Mark, 4, ready for church when she saw the military staff car outside.

    The young Air Force officer who came to the door said her husband, Captain Tommy Emerson Gist, a navigator on an RF4C PHANTOM reconnaissance fighter, had been shot down over North Vietnam and was missing.

    Missing ? She could understand dead. She could understand hurt ? But she couldn't quite grasp missing.

    " I remember thinking, ' Why don't they send someone to find him ?'" she says.

    Gist is still missing, although he has been legally declared dead.

    His widow has gone to Vietnam twice - in 1989 and again in 1994 - hoping to find a trace of him or news of him or at least some peace.

    Tommy and Sara were high-school sweethearts in Pryor, Okla., a small town that had Fourth of July parades when they were growing up there.

    " He gave me his class ring when I was 15 years old," Gist-Bernasconi says." He went off to college, and I never dated anyone else after that."

    She says Gist was a great father.

    " He was one of the first dads to go into a delivery room," she says. " That's not unusual now, but it was back then. He was the one to go with ( Michael's or Mark's ) class to the zoo."

    All these years later, she still wears Gist's MIA bracelet.

    Louis Bernasconi and Tommy Gist were friends.

    The two flew together and trained together at Kirtland Air Force Base.

    In 1972, before going to Vietnam for his third tour of duty there, Bernasconi asked Sara if he could list her as the person to contact if anything happened to him. She said sure.

    In December 1972, the B-52 on which then Lieutenant Colonel Bernasconi was serving as radar-navigator, was shot down over North Vietnam during a bombing raid.

    Bernasconi and the rest of the crew survived. He was taken prisoner but released by the North Vietnamese 90 days later.

    Sara and Louis were married in 1975.

    In her visit to Vietnam in 1994, Gist-Bernasconi found Louis' helmet in an exhibit at the War Museum in Hanoi.

    She was not permitted to take it home with her.

    She has never found anything linked to Tommy Gist.

    During that 1994 journey to Vietnam, however, she found a measure of peace during a visit with a Hanoi woman whose husband, a North Vietnamese Army captain, was reported missing and presumed dead in 1970.

    Gist-Bernasconi asked the Vietnamese woman whether she was angry at the United States.

    The woman said she was not angry, only sad.

    " It was so clear to me at the time that governments make decisions that make us enemies, but people are the same the world over," Gist-Bernasconi says. " They love. They miss. They hurt."

    Gist-Bernasconi has been active in the MIA movement since shortly after Tommy Gist was shot down.

    To this day, she finds it impossible to turn down requests to speak about the issue.

    " I do not wish being an MIA wife on anybody," she says. " But the experience really binds you. I've made incredible friends through the shared grief, agony and the searching for answers. It has enriched my life, and I have found strengths I didn't know I had. So, outside of losing my husband, it has not been a negative experience."

    She devotes so much of her time to the Veterans Memorial for the same reason, making something positive grow out of loss.

    " I did not want to be a bitter, angry old lady," she says. " I want to honor what Tom did and make it mean something, make people feel not so cavalier about their freedoms.

    " As an MIA wife, I have been to services all over the country, and there is no place like our Veterans Memorial. It's a place of respect, serenity and reflecting on the sacrifices of young men and women."


    The New Mexico Veterans Memorial is looking for letters to and from veterans away from home in time of war and peace to include it its new " WORD FROM HOME " exhibit.

    Letters will be accepted through 11 November, and selected letters will be engraved on two walls at the memorial site.

    The letters will be anonymous but should include rank, branch of service, relation, date and, if relevant, war.

    Those who are interested should send a copy of the original letter - with a typed transcript, if possible - to:

    New Mexico Veterans Memorial
    P.O. Box 8389
    Albuquerque, NM 87198-8389

    A self-addressed, stamped envelope should be included with submissions for those who want an original letter returned.

    For information: Call 256-2042.

    ===== ===== ===== ===== ===== ===== ===== ===== =====



    served with the



    based at



    Personnel in Incident:







    ( all released POWs )

    Frustrated by problems in negotiating a peace settlement, and pressured by a Congress and public wanting an immediate end to American involvement in Vietnam, President Nixon ordered the most concentrated air offensive of the war - known as Linebacker II - in December 1972.

    During the offensive, sometimes called the " Christmas bombings," 40,000 tons of bombs were dropped, primarily over the area between Hanoi and Haiphong.

    White House Press Secretary Ronald Ziegler said that the bombing would end only when all U.S. POWs were released and an internationally recognized cease-fire was in force.

    Linebacker II flights generally arrived over Hanoi in tight cells of three aircraft to maximize the mutual support benefits of their ECM equipment and flew straight and level to stabilize the bombing computers and ensure that all bombs fell on the military targets and not in civilian areas.

    The pilots of the early missions reported that " wall-to-wall SAMS " surrounded Hanoi as they neared its outskirts.

    The Christmas Bombings, despite press accounts to the contrary, were of the most precise the world had seen.

    Pilots involved in the immense series of strikes generally agree that the strikes against anti-aircraft and strategic targets was so successful that the U.S., had it desired, " could have taken the entire country of Vietnam by inserting an average Boy Scout troop in Hanoi and marching them southward."

    To achieve this precision bombing, the Pentagon deemed it necessary to stick to a regular flight path.

    For many missions, the predictable B52 strikes were anticipated and prepared for by the North Vietnamese.

    Later, however, flight paths were altered and attrition all but eliminated any hostile threat from the ground.

    Still, aircraft were shot down near the end of the campaign.

    On 22 December 1972, a B52 was shot down near Hanoi.

    Its crew included

    LTCOL John Harry Yuill

    LTCOL Louis Henry Bernasconi

    LTCOL William Walter Conlee

    CAPTAIN David Ian Drummond

    1st Lieutenant William Thomas Mayall


    Technical Sergeant Gary Lee Morgan.

    This crew was exceptionally fortunate--they were all captured by the North Vietnamese.

    The captured crew was held in Hanoi until 29 March 1973, at which time they were released in Operation Homecoming.

    The U.S. did not know all of them had been captured.

    Linebacker II involved 155 Boeing B52 Stratofortress bombers stationed at Anderson AFB, Guam ( 72nd Strategic Wing ) and another 50 B52s stationed at Utapoa Airbase, Thailand ( 307th Strategic Wing ), an enormous number of bombers with over one thousand men flying the missions.

    However, the bombings were not conducted without high loss of aircraft and personnel.

    During the month of December 1972, 61 crewmembers onboard ten B52 aircraft were shot down and were captured or declared missing.

    ( The B52 carried a crew of six men; however, one B52 lost carried an extra crewman.)

    Of these 61, 33 men were released in 1973.

    The others remained as being Missing In Action at the end of the war.

    Over half of these survived to eject safely.

    SOURCE: WE CAME HOME copyright 1977

    Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor

    P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602

    Text is reproduced as found in the original publication ( including date and spelling errors ).

    UPDATE - 09/95 by -- --


    Lieutenant Colonel - United States Air Force -

    Shot Down: 22 December 1972

    Released: 29 March 1973

    A happy Californian returned home 26 pounds lighter from his ordeal in the prison camps.

    Lt. Col. Bernasconi was shot down on 22 December 1972 during a raid over North Vietnam.

    When his B-52 bomber was hit, shrapnel cut a tendon in his leg.

    Just before Christmas his family received notification that he was missing in action.

    Then within hours of the notification a reclassification was made to POW as he was paraded with his fellow crewmen in Hanoi for publicity.

    The photographs were distributed via the wire services throughout the United States.

    Upon arrival he said " On behalf of our group returning today we want to thank you sincerely for this wonderful, wonderful greeting on this beautiful Sunday here at Travis Air Force Base in California."

    His mother said, " He's awfully thin but he will be okay."

    His stepfather commented " He's great, God bless him, he's great. He's got a little limp but he looks so much better than he did over there (on television). He's in high spirits. I don't know what the problem is with his foot, but he's in a lot better condition than we thought he would be."

    Before joining the Air Force he went to Napa College in Napa California where he played football and was college student body president.

    He then went to Fresno State University.

    Later he entered the Air Force Reserve Officers Training Corps.

    With many years invested in the United States Air Force he intends to remain in the service of his country.

    November 1996 -

    Louis Henry Bernasconi retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel.

    He and his wife Sara reside in New Mexico.

    ===== ===== ===== ===== ===== ===== ===== ===== =====


    Lieutenant Colonel - United States Air Force -

    Shot Down: 18 May 1968

    Released: 14 March 1973

    A native of San Francisco, Lt. Col. Uyeyama considers his hometown to be Leonia, New Jersey, where he attended elementary and high school.

    He graduated from Brown University with the Class of 1957 and entered active duty in the Air Force in February, 1958.

    Following graduation from pilot training in 1959, Lt. Col. Uyeyama flew with four major Air Commands: Strategic Air Command, Air Training Command, Air Defense Command and Tactical Air Command.

    In October1967 he was deployed with the 14th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron from Bergstrom AFB to Udorn, Thailand.

    Altogether, he flew 101 missions.

    Terry and his wife Kay have three daughters: Jody Lynn, age 12; Wendy Lea, age 8; Sherry Jaye, age 7; all born in Texas.

    He plans to continue his flying career.

    The returning POWs have stressed repeatedly how their devotion to and faith in God, Country and Family had played such an important role in their Odyssey of survival.

    These concepts were, indeed, the core of my survival.

    However, being a relative newcomer to this group, I also gathered great inspiration and perserverance from the strength and vitality shown by the men who had accrued unbelievable seniority in captivity and who had endured greater, prolonged suffering.

    I was proud to be among them - to be a member of an everlasting brotherhood steeled by the common rigors of survival and perseverance from Communist inhumanity and bound by the loyalty we had for each other.

    But the greatest pride comes from the by-products of all those years of suffering and waiting - the dignity and honor adorning each of my colleagues as they deplaned at Clark Air Base and their heartrending expletives which brought out the best in our Country.

    National patriotism and pride were resurrected.

    It wasn't old-fashioned to express these emotions after all.

    The vociferous minority ebbed silently to the background, and the majority found that it still had a heart and soul.

    I felt this pride most deeply, when, after addressing a high school assembly, the students came up to the stage to tell me unabashedly, " I'm proud to be an American."

    December 1996

    Terry Jun Uyeyama retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel.

    He lives in Texas.

  • Not Forgotten

    Posted on 2/15/03 - by Candace Lokey
    I have not forgotten you. I chair the Adoption Committee for The National League of Families of Prisoners of War and Missing in Action in Southeast Asia. We will always remember the 1,889 Americans still unaccounted for in Southeast Asia and the thousands of others that lost their lives. We will not stop our efforts until all of you are home where you belong.

    We need to reach the next generation so that they will carry on when our generation is no longer able. To do so, we are attempting to locate photographs of all the missing. If you are reading this remembrance and have a photo and/or memory of this missing American that you would like to share for our project, please contact me at:

    Candace Lokey
    PO Box 206
    Freeport, PA 16229

    If you are not familiar with our organization, please visit our web site at :
  • Tommy E. Gist , You are not forgotten...

    Posted on 2/18/02 - by Kathleen Van Dusen
    I visited the Wall on February 15th, 2002. As I walked along, searching for your name, I saw those who were alive reflecting off the names of the dead. It reminded me that you gave your life for mine, your freedom for mine. I wore your bracelet when I was in junior high school. I wore it until it broke...and I cried when I found your name on the wall.

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