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  • Wall Name:JAMES A GRAHAM
  • Date of Birth:8/25/1940
  • Date of Casualty:6/3/1967
  • Home of Record:FROSTBURG
  • County of Record:ALLEGANY COUNTY
  • State:MD
  • Branch of Service:MARINE CORPS
  • Rank:CAPT
  • Panel/Row:21E, 46
  • Casualty Province:QUANG TIN


  • Date of Birth:10/9/1946
  • Date of Casualty:6/3/1967
  • Home of Record:SAN ANTONIO
  • County of Record:BEXAR COUNTY
  • State:TX
  • Branch of Service:MARINE CORPS
  • Rank:LCPL
  • Panel/Row:21E, 46
  • Casualty Province:QUANG TIN


is honored on Panel 21E, Row 46 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Leave a Remembrance


  • I will never forget you.

    Posted on 7/24/16 - by Debbie Ellis
    You are remembered everyday on my website.
  • For Carole

    Posted on 5/30/16 - by Ellen Coughlin Benedetto Wolfhawk46@aol.comm
    Carol I would still like to give you my original bracelet but when you last write me you did not include a way to do so ( email or address,)
    I cherish those connections we made via letters when I was in HS and college all those years ago. I thought about Stephen quite a bit today. I have a different perspective on loss as an adult than when i as a youth
    Ellen ( Coughlin) Benedetto
  • Heartfelt Gratitude on this Memorial Day

    Posted on 5/30/16 - by Carole Hanson Hickerson
    There are no words to thank each one of you that have now and in the past worn my husband, Steve's POW bracelet or remembered him, prayed for him or just thought about him on this Memorial Day,, 2016. As his wife, you will always be a special part of my life. Thank you and God bless you and God bless the USA!
  • Heartfelt Gratitude on this Memorial Day

    Posted on 5/30/16 - by Carole Hanson Hickerson
    There are no words to thank each one of you that have now and in the past worn my husband, Steve's POW bracelet or remembered him, prayed for him or just thought about him on this Memorial Day,, 2016. As his wife, you will always be a special part of my life. Thank you and God bless you and God bless the USA!
  • Heartfelt Gratitude on this Memorial Day

    Posted on 5/30/16 - by Carole Hanson Hickerson
    There are no words to thank each one of you that have now and in the past worn my husband, Steve's POW bracelet or remembered him, prayed for him or just thought about him on this Memorial Day,, 2016. As his wife, you will always be a special part of my life. Thank you and God bless you and God bless the USA!
  • For Captain Steven Hanson

    Posted on 5/30/16 - by Colleen Cole-Bowron
    Have had your bracelet for years. Thank you for your service. You will always be a Hero to me. May you rest in peace. Love & prayers to your family. It is only fitting to honor you on this Memorial Day.
  • Capt. Stephen Hanson, never forget

    Posted on 5/29/16
    I have had the bracelet with your name since I was 13. At the time we wore the bracelets of POWs and MIAs, hoping for all hope you would come home. We now know you were lost in Laos. I have honored you every time I visit The Wall, as a young girl and grown woman, a stranger, but whose life you touched and helped shape. While I never knew you, a piece of you, through that bracelet, has inspired me every day to do things I never thought I could do. For many years now, l also serve our country, and each day a piece of what I do is in honor of your service and sacrifice. Your name, your service, who you were, and all you may have been, lives on, in my service. Freedom isn't free. You and your family's sacrifice is not in vain. You will never be forgotten, and I honor you and your service in all I do.
  • Many thanks for your love and prayers for Steve!

    Posted on 3/5/16 - by Carole Hanson Hickerson
    To those of you that have responded to me in regards to the loss of Steve....thank you so very much! Finding this website meant a lot to me! If you have worn a bracelet of Steve's over the years and want to return it to our family, this is my address: 2941 Laola Place, Honolulu, HI 96813. I truly appreciate your letters, your comments and you love and prayers for Steve over the years. I worked very hard for Steve and all our POWs and MIAs., but I have been most fortunate to find another life, a wonderful husband, himself for a POW for over 5 years, and 2 more beautiful children. Thank you so much to those of you that have returned Steve's bracelet, but I also understand those of you that want to keep it. God bless you all and God bless America!
  • To Carole

    Posted on 3/5/16
    I have a bracelet. A rogue anesthesiologist broke it off my wrist after my doctor said to cover it for surgery when I lost my first child in 1977 via a car accident.
    They are forever together in my mind. If you want it for your family, how to send it?
  • Story of the Mission Hanson went missing on

    Posted on 3/1/16 - by Debra Newbold
    I'm editing a story on the Oscar-8 mission that Stephen was on when he was reported missing. I've seen these VERY RECENT posts and am floored. Was just checking for the correct spelling of Stephen's name on the Internet when I came across these messages, even from his wife. God Bless you all.The story I'm working on is for the upcoming June 2016 issue of Vietnam magazine. It's about the Special Forces unit that went into Laos and needed an emergency extraction, which is when Stephen Hanson piloted one of the Marine CH-46s to attempt the extraction, under fire. The story is authored by Maggie Ruth, who had the bracelet of Billy Ray Laney, another reported MIA from this mission on June 3, 1967.
  • Bracelet

    Posted on 2/22/16 - by
    I have a bracelet for Capt. Stephen Hanson 6/3/67. I inherited this from a friend who passed away. I wonder if I can send this bracelet to the family. Please let me know. Thank you!
  • Thank you to SO MANY....

    Posted on 2/10/16 - by Carole Hanson Hickerson
    This was the first time that this web site popped up on my computer. I didn't know it existed. I am Carole Hanson Hickerson...Steve's wife. I was in tears as I read all your stories of wearing, praying and caring for Steve. I worked long and hard to bring all our POWs and MIAs home. We were not one of the lucky families, but we did have the closure for Steve when his remains came home in 2000. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. I was lucky enough to fine another fine American, a POW himself for 5 years, and we are now very happily married. I can't tell you how much all your words recorded here mean to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I will treasure anything that you pass on to me. With much appreciation, Carole
  • All These Years.....

    Posted on 2/10/16 - by Ellen Coughlin Benedetto
    I got my POW bracelet engraved with Stephen Hansons name on a HS trip to NYC with classmates in 1972. I wore it for many years and still have it tucked away. I corresponded with his with throughout my college years and beyond, after her remarriage. For some reason I always felt inexplicably connected to Stephen. I have always been somewhat of an empath. I valued the relationship developed through those letters and the updates on little Todd. I particularly remember a touching card Carole sent out with a dove image and a story about how she'd shown up after Stephens disappearance as a symbol that her was still with them
    I was accompanying My youngest daughter and her 6th grade class on a trip to Washington in the 90's I made a concerted effort prior to the trip to locate Carole again by sending her a letter through various Veterans organizations . I wanted to know if she'd like to have my original bracelet otherwise I was going to leave it at the Wall. I had not yet received her reply before the trip so I ended up not leaving it at the wall but I did look for and find a new bracelet with his name on it.
    When we returned I had a letter from Carole saying she'd like to have the original unfortunately there was no return address and since I had sent my letter out through an agency i had no way to contact her again to follow up.
    I'm leaving my email address here in the event of possible contact :
  • I still have Capt. Stephen Hanson's Bracelet

    Posted on 1/19/16 - by Colleen Cole-Bowron
    I have had his bracelet since 1968, I was 17 & do not remember how I got it. I wore it for years. I was against the War because of all of our young men dying. I am so glad his remains were found & his family found some comfort. I ended up marrying a Vietnam Vet, we had 24 wonderful years together. He had PTSD & then got prostate cancer that went to his bones due to Agent Orange.He died on 12/29/12, he was my Hero as is Capt. Hanson. I will keep his bracelet forever as a reminder of two brave soldiers that died for their country. Love & prayers to his family.
  • Still have the bracelet

    Posted on 11/16/15 - by Kathleen Pfeiffer
    I've had the bracelet with his name since the late 1960's Prayers for him and his family always.
  • Stephen P. Hanson

    Posted on 10/4/15 - by Morrie w. Hanson
    I bought 2 bracelets in 1972 as I was getting ready to go in the Military after Graduation. The other bracelet was Captain Lynn Guenther from Mich. whom was found after 2 years and was returned also shot down in Laos. I still wear Stephens bracelet. It is in bad shape but still readable. The date 3 June is my step daughters Birthday, My brother in laws name is Stephen, My dad's middle name starts with a P and my last name is Hanson! I have prayed many times for his return and since I served during Vietnam and Iraq I prayed that nothing like this would happen to me and if it did that people would wear the bracelet for remembrance. I will continue to wear this bracelet till I'm unable. God Bless our Military.
  • Maj Stephen P. Hanson & John Wayne

    Posted on 3/22/15 - by John Wintersteen
    Lauren - I purchased Stephen's copper bracelet in 1998 at the Wall and it gave out after about 10 years. Got a sturdier one and in the meantime, one of Stephen's buddies alerted me to a website run by a lady who dedicated the site to John Wayne. In it, the action which took Stephen is described and she goes on to say that JOHN WAYNE wore that bracelet to his grave.

    The same buddy sent me the pic of Stephen in his hootch - the same photo on this site.

    If you need mine, or if you need that website, please let me know.
    Semper Fidelis, John
  • Remembering Stephen

    Posted on 9/1/14
    I, too,have had a bracelet which I wore for Stephen for many years. I was a military chaplain's wife and have prayed for Stephen many times over the years. I pray his family has found peace and comfort.
  • The Bracelet

    Posted on 8/10/14 - by James Reynolds Bertel
    I have a bracelet with Capt. Hanson's name on it. It belonged to my sister , Leslie Anne Bertel. She died suddenly last week and I discovered it among her belongings. I remember now she put this bracelet on during the latter part of the War.

    I am now wearing the bracelet and will keep it on until CAPT. Hanson is recovered. I am also a former Marine and served during the War.
  • Semper Fi

    Posted on 6/3/14 - by A US Marine, Vietnam
    Semper Fi Major
  • Our mission in Laos

    Posted on 6/2/14 - by John C. Jones
    I was also on that mission with Stephen. I was copilot with out Commanding Officer and was first into the Landing Zone to pick up troops. We turned to the left and was shot down. God allowed us to make it back to the LZ. Spephen and John Gardner saw what happened to us and they turned to the right. Stepnen, John and Timmothy Bodden were all killed. PFC Cius was captured and sent to Hanoi. He was repatriated at the end of the war. There was a third H-46 piloted by Jack McCraken. He went straight and made it back to Khe San. When I got back to our base I went to pick up my mail. The Postal Clerk showed me a letter from Stephen's wife that had the words "Please God" written on the back. I will never forget this crew.
  • Another story from a holder of a bracelet

    Posted on 5/24/14 - by Jane
    Lauren, I purchased my bracelet in 1969-70 as a 15 year old school girl. My dad was a WWII vet. In 1977 I was in a car accident and had a fractured femur. I was also 7 1/2 months pregnant with my first baby. Needing surgery on the leg, it was decided to do a spinal block. After my much fussing and tears over taking off my bracelet for surgery, the doctor and anesthesiologist agreed my bracelet could stay on and it would be properly covered prior to going into the OR. When I woke up the bracelet was gone. A nurse decided she wasn't going to cover it and in order to take it off my skinny little wrist she snapped it in half. I was devastated and cried tears of anger. Hours later, I lost the baby from her sustained injuries. I've kept my bracelet with the cards from the memorial of my little daughter. I don't know if your family wants a broken bracelet, but if you do, I will send it and you have the story of what happened to it. If you don't it will be lovingly cared for and kept as part of my family history.
  • Bracelet

    Posted on 5/14/14 - by Steve Gipson
    I also have had the bracelet for at least 40 years. It was given to me by my mom in Whittier, Cal. My mom either worked with or somehow knew Stephens mom.To this day I still ware it for the on June 3rd. I served for 14 years in the US Army, and I wore his bracelet just about eveyday, I even wore it during two combat tours during my military career and would be willing give it to the family as a sign of remembrance, duty, honor, country.
    Steve Gipson
  • A remembrance bracelet I wore since 1968

    Posted on 3/23/14
    I have had a bracelet since 1968 the name is Capt Stephen Hanson 6-3-67 if any family member visits this site I sure would love to give it to his family If the family gets this please contact me.
  • Address

    Posted on 1/6/14 - by Lauren Hickerson
    Hi Shirley! I'm so glad you found the post--my address is still the same:

    Lauren Hickerson
    10245 Timber Trail Drive
    Dallas, TX 75229

    Thank you so much for being willing to part with your bracelet--it means a lot to our family!

  • Bracelet

    Posted on 1/4/14 - by Shirley Countryman Gordon
    Lauren, I was searching the web to find information on Capt Stephen Hanson. At the start of each new year, I take out his bracelet out to remember him and give thanks for his dedicated service. I think of him often.

    This year I searched the web to try and find information about him and discovered this site. Thank you for posting a picture of him.

    I am happy to return the bracelet to you and your family!

    The bracelet is in excellent condition - it would make me happy to know it had been given to one of his grandchildren.

    Because your address was posted over a year ago, I want to be sure the address is still current before mailing it.

    Please let me know the address you prefer and I will send the bracelet out to you.

  • Thank you Judy! We'll be on the lookout :)

    Posted on 1/3/14 - by Lauren Hickerson
  • Bracelet

    Posted on 1/3/14 - by Judy Janak. Humble, Texas
    Lauren....I will put my bracelet in the mail to you tomorrow! It is in good condition and I am so happy that I'm able to see it returned to the family, to continue honoring Stephen.
  • Y'all are amazing :)

    Posted on 1/3/14 - by Lauren Hickerson
    Sweet, lovely people....I have received 3 bracelets in the mail, but one is fragile and not wearable without some TLC, so I would LOVE to have the last two that were offered so that my other two children have one to wear. Both of my older boys put theirs on immediately and have not taken them off! The fragile one is sitting on my husband's desk at home nestled among other treasures he's been given by my kids over the makes me smile to see it sitting there, knowing how faithful you all were to his sweet Dad! I am willing to receive more bracelets or correspond with anyone who wore Steve's bracelet, I just wanted you all to know that my original goal is just about met--thank you!
  • Bracelet

    Posted on 12/27/13 - by Judy Janak, Humble, Texas
    This message is for Lauren...I just found my bracelet. If you have not received enough for your family, I will gladly send mine. I wore it faithfully throughout high school. I was happy to find information that his family had some closure. God bless.
  • Bracelet

    Posted on 12/25/13

    I bought the purchased the bracelet when I was 14 -- in the lobby of the Navy Exchange at the Naval Air Station -- Lakehurst , NJ in 1968. I remember the note in the small plastic that wanted us to return the bracelet to the family at the appropriate time.

    The bracelet is old, worn, and cracked. It sits on my mantle with a set of Eagle, Globe & Anchor collar devices from my first officer Dress Blues.

    The years and technology has made it easier to find the families and I am not very tech savvy and saw your mailing address -- I will sending you the bracelet in few days.

    Rich Steffens
    Major USMC (Ret)
  • Remembering An American Hero

    Posted on 11/29/13 - by Curt Carter
    Dear Major Stephen Paul Hanson, 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, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir

    Curt Carter
  • Thank you John!

    Posted on 11/7/13 - by Lauren Hickerson (wife of Todd Hanson Hickerson)
    John--we received your bracelet in the mail yesterday along with your sweet, sweet note--thank you so much! I've tried to upload a picture of Benji with the bracelet on, but the site says it may take a few days to be approved. I might just go ahead and print out a picture and send it in the mail to you--Benji was so proud to put your bracelet right on as soon as he opened it and my younger son of course wanted to know what all of the excitement was about. I so appreciate your care and concern for Steve and for his family over the years and am happy to say that while he isn't here physically to see them all.....he has a wonderful son and 4 amazing grandkids....all of whom look forward to meeting him "someday". Blessings to you, and many thanks, Lauren
  • Steve's MIA bracelet

    Posted on 11/4/13 - by JOHN O'NEIL
    Thank you Lauren for posting your address so quickly. I wasn't sure how the contact information worked.
    The bracelet is already on the way to you. I dropped it at the Post Office this afternoon and sent it to you Priority mail. You should receive it Wednesday.
    I was pleased to see that his Dog Tags were also found and that they were in your possession.
    I took a photo of the bracelet to remind me of Stephen and of all those who served so bravely. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
    Thank you once again.
    John O'Neil
  • Beautiful People....

    Posted on 11/4/13 - by Lauren Hickerson (wife of Todd Hanson Hickerson)
    I decided since I've already heard back from Steve Hanson and two others that I'd like to go ahead and put our address on the site. It is very touching to read your stories and I'd love to have anyone post what they'd like as far as when and where they got their bracelet, etc..Todd's mom Carole, and his step-dad Jim were in town this past weekend and I shared with them that we were hoping to hear back from someone on this site. She was very moved! I will also share any info you post with Steve's brother John. John was three years younger than Steve and the loss he suffered when Steve died was immeasurable. Having three sons of my own, ages 12, almost 15 and almost 18....I can only imagine how devastating it was and as a Mother, it breaks my heart for him. Johnnie has been wonderful to Todd, acting much as a Father figure himself and has told us stories about the antics he and Steve used to get into as young boys and best friends. Steve surely looks down and is thankful and proud for the way John has cared for all of us. For now, I'll leave my address and say a very hearty THANK YOU to any and all who get back to me! I'm not especially tech-savvy, but will do my best to post a picture of Todd, who is a ringer for his Dad, and also my kids with their "new" bracelets!!! Much love, respect and thanks to you all, you are all very kind....Lauren


    Lauren Hickerson
    10245 Timber Trail Drive
    Dallas, TX 75229

    PS....You might be interested to know (I thought it was AMAZING) that Steve's dog tags were actually found at the crash site and we now have those in our possession--they are a treasure to Todd, knowing that they actually were held in Steve's hands and were worn on his body--isn't that something???
  • Stephen Hanson

    Posted on 11/4/13 - by John O'Neil
    This message is for Lauren Hickerson. In doing a search on the internet for information regarding Capt. Stephen Hanson I came across this wonderful site and your posting requesting bracelets for Stephen's Grandchildren. I would be greatly honored to send you the bracelet that I recently acquired from the estate of another Vietnam/Laos HERO helicopter pilot whom I was told wore Stephen's bracelet. It was my intention when I purchased this bracelet of finding family members who would pass on this bracelet to their loved ones so that they indeed would continue to wear the bracelet and always remember the sacrifice that this Brave Soldier made. Please contact me at the email address shown and I will send this to you immediately.
  • Stephen Paul Hanson

    Posted on 10/30/13 - by Sharon Gullen
    This message is for Lauren Hickerson, I would be honored to present to one of your children their Grandpa Hanson's bracelet. It has always been treasured ove r the years and I have a printers drawer and I have had the bracelet in view in my office every day since I got it in the 60's. Until I found this site in October, this year I had no idea if his remains were ever found but worried about it often. I will be taking a picture of the printers drawer and send it too. That way I will still have it in a way. I am now 70 years old and lost my husband recently and do surely know how every little part of his life means so much to me. Sending the bracelet your way would be the right thing to do. I worked for Continental Airlines during the 60's in air freight and we saw human remains flown in way to often and I said a prayer everytime one came in
  • For Dennis or anyone who has one of Steve's MIA bracelets

    Posted on 10/30/13 - by Lauren Hickerson (wife of Todd Hanson Hickerson)
    This message is for Dennis, if he checks back into the sight, or for anyone who happens to read this message and has a similar story to Dennis'. My name is Lauren Hickerson and I am married to Todd (Hanson) Hickerson, Steve's son. Todd was only 10 months old when Steve was shot down and never had the privilege to meet his sweet father. We recently received some old family photos and I was showing them to our son Benji (one of 3 boys....also has a sister), showing him pictures of Steve and his brother John, etc...He ended up googling around and finding this sight and we were both so touched by the memorials left here and by the faithfulness of the dear people who wore (and still wear!) his name. His remains were found in 1999 and we did in fact have a beautiful ceremony at Arlington Ceremony....not the ending anyone hopes for , but a measure of closure nonetheless. While were were there, we did purchase one MIA bracelet that was being sold on The Mall and we informed them that his remains had been recovered and that we were there for the burial. My goal is to have one bracelet for each of my children so that they never forget the sacrifice that their Grandpa made, even though they haven't met him yet. The email for Dennis bounced back to me, so I'm hoping that he'll check back in to the sight at some point and see my message. If anyone else has a bracelet that they'd like to send to me, I'd sure love to have 4 to pass on to each of my kids. Thank you for your faithfulness to this family that I've come to know and love these past 25 years--the effects of Steve's death reach far and wide and it is comforting to know that for so many years, his wife and baby were being loved and prayed for by people who would probably never even meet them--thank you, thank you, thank means more than you know. Sincerely, Lauren
  • Stephen Paul Hanson

    Posted on 10/11/13 - by Sharon Gullen
    I have cherished my POW/MIA bracelet for this HERO for many years. In the 60's my airline Continental Airlines, all began wearing the bracelets every day and mine was Stephen Paul Hanson. Many times I have prayed for him and his family. I will treasure my bracelet until I die.
  • My copper bracelet was stolen

    Posted on 9/10/13 - by Elaine B.
    But I'm glad he was finally found. Only recently I discovered that he was from my home town. RIP Stephen Hanson. And thank you for your sacrifice.

  • POW/MIA Bracelet

    Posted on 9/9/13 - by Liesl Hale
    my mother and I have worn your bracelet seems like my whole life. Yesterday I found out that your remains were identified. I still can't take off the bracelet. I honor your service to our country.
  • Rest in Peace, Never Forgotten

    Posted on 6/27/13 - by Beth Hughes Osterund
    I still wear your bracelet to this day, it had been with me for nearly 40 years and I intend to wear this for ever. God Bless you and your family.
  • Final Mission of U.S. Marine Corps helicopter CH-46A tail number 150955

    Posted on 11/17/12 - by w

    There are two accounts of the mission: Account #1 - On June 3, 1967, CAPT Steven P. Hanson, pilot; 1LT John G. Gardner, co-pilot; SGT Timothy R. Bodden, crew chiefdoor gunner; LCPL Frank E. Cius, door gunner; SFC Billy R. Laney, SFC Ronald J. Dexter, SFC Charles F. Wilklow, and an unknown number of ARVN personnel, all passengers, were aboard a CH46A helicopter (serial #150955) on an extraction mission in Laos. The USMC aircraft picked up a U.S. Army Special Forces team attached to MACV-SOG, Command and Control, and the ARVN troops they were working with. Military Assistance Command Vietnam Studies and Observation Group (MACV-SOG) was a joint service high command unconventional warfare task force engaged in highly classified operations throughout Southeast Asia. The 5th Special Forces channeled personnel into MACV-SOG (not a Special Forces group) through Special Operations Augmentation (SOA) which provided their 'cover' while under secret orders to MACV-SOG. These teams performed deep penetration missions of strategic reconnaissance and interdiction which were called, depending on the time frame, 'Shining Brass' or 'Prairie Fire' missions. The aircraft received extensive automatic small arms fire upon takeoff from the Landing Zone, took numerous hits and crashed 350 meters from the LZ, located about 15 miles inside Laos west of the A Shau Valley. The helicopter did not burn on impact, and continued to receive fire. Three ARVN troops were able to return to the LZ where the troops remaining at the LZ were extracted the following day. The troops waiting at the LZ could not search because of the hostile threat in the area. Air searches located the survivors of the crash, but they could not be evacuated. The only America found to be in a position to be safely evacuated was SFC Wilklow. He gave the following account of what happened to the crew and passengers aboard the CH46: SFC Dexter appeared uninjured and left the wreckage with a large number of ARVN troops. Capt. Hanson was wounded and outside the helicopter, but stated that he had to return to get his carbine. The Marine Corps believes he died of the wounds he received when the aircraft was overrun, although Hanson's wife later identified her husband in a widely distributed Vietnamese propaganda photograph of a pilot being captured. When last seen, all the other Americans were still in the wreckage, and enemy troops (the U.S. Army says they were Viet Cong; the U.S. Marines say they were North Vietnamese Army - possibly a joint force of both) were tossing grenades toward the aircraft with no attempt to capture the personnel inside. Wilklow left the crash site, and noted that gunfire suddenly stopped. He continued to evade the enemy and was picked up 3 days later. When Mr. Ky, the Nung Commander was being evacuated by the last helicopter out, he noted several men (undoubtedly Dexter and the ARVN) in a large bomb crater firing red star clusters from a flare gun. Frank Cius was taken prisoner and released from Hanoi in 1973. He was one of the dozen or so captured by the Vietnamese and taken immediately to Hanoi claimed to be the 'Laos' prisoners. In reality, none of the dozen had been held in Laos. Ronald Dexter, according to Frank Cius, was captured, and died in captivity on July 29, 1967. John Gardner, according to the USMC, died on the ground after the crash of the aircraft due to intense enemy fire. Billy Laney was last seen lying wounded on the floor of the aircraft between a crewmember with a broken back and the door gunner with a head wound. NOTE: the USMC states that Bodden, crewchiefdoor gunner was shot in the back and never left the aircraft, but reports received by the National League of Families indicate that he was definitely alive after the aircraft crashed. The U.S. did not know Cius was captured until he was released, evidently believing he never exited the aircraft, and Wilklow had indicated that the Vietnamese were not trying to capture the occupants of the aircraft. Therefore, as door gunner, he must have been the 'door gunner with the head wound,' and Bodden the 'crewmember with a broken back.' Account #2 - The ARVN force mentioned in the synopsis report was a U.S. Special Forces lead Nung Hatchet Force company on a SOG PRAIRIE FIRE operation in Laos. Generally, a Hatchet Force operation was launched when SOG believed they could hurt the NVA without incurring high risks. Immediately after a nine aircraft B-52 Arc Light, a combined helicopter force of nine VNAF CH-34s and five USMC CH-46s inserted the Hatchet Force. Soon after the landing, it was surrounded by a large, well organized NVA force. The next morning, June 3rd, a large helicopter force left Khe Sanh to start the extraction. An A-1 was shot down during close air attacks. According to the SOG account, two USMC gunships were also shot down but the VHPA currently has no record of any UH-1Es taking damage on this day. Also according to the SOG account, the first helicopter, a VNAF CH-34, to attempt to land in the PZ was shot down, crashed and burst into flames. Next, a USMC CH-46 was able to get in and lift out some of the Hatchet Force company while taking some hits. Then an USAF F-4 was shot down and plowed into a hill-side. CPT Hansen's CH-46A was the second helicopter to land in the PZ. After it was shot down and crashed, only two Americans from this ship would survive. Special Forces SFC Wilklow was wounded during the shoot down. The NVA, seeing that he was virtually unable to move, used him as 'rescue bait' for four days. That night he managed to crawl and drag himself nearly two miles and miraculously found a rescue panel in one of his pockets that the NVA had not searched. He put out the panel and passed out. When he woke up, he was looking at SOG SSG Lester Pace who had come down on a McGuire Rig to get him. Eventually 58 American SOG soldiers would be MIAs in Laos and only SFC Wilklow was rescued. The other American to survive was the door gunner, LCpl. Frank E. Cius, who was captured by the NVA and successfully survived as a POW until 1973. [Taken from]

  • From one Steve Hanson to another

    Posted on 9/17/12 - by Steven W Hanson ( SSGT) USAF veteran

    While stationed at Lackland AFB in the early 70's, I worked as a Medic at Wilford Hall Medical Center.I had a chance to purchase a POWMIA silver bracelet and chose Capt Stephen P. Hanson from those available because I was also a Steven Hanson. I wore this bracelet for the 6 years I was in the USAF but thought I had lost it during a messy divorce and assumed it would never be found. It wasn't until Sept 2nd 2012 when I happened to find it looking for something else buried under some papers in a box packed away in a closet.I was relieved I had not lost it and put it back on my wrist.On Sept 14 I was told by a co-worker that the Moving Vietnam wall was here in Eau Claire,Wisconsin at the Field of Honor until the 17th. My wife and myself went to see the wall and we searched for Capt Hanson's name hoping not to find it meaning he had returned home. Sadly we located it and I had my wife take a picture of me standing next to his name. While there I was told of a website where I could find out information about Capt Hanson(Now a Major)and the details of his military experience.After doing much research I found out that his helicopter had crashed and he was shot and went missing in 1967. He remained missing until his remains were found in 1999 and he was buried in Arlington Cemetery in 2000. Since he no longer is missing I am planning on sending my bracelet to his wife and son and I have ordered a KIA memorial bracelet that I will wear in his memory. If anyone knows of his wife's address please email it to me. It would be a big help in returning my MIA bracelet.

  • If I should die...remembrances for MAJ. Stephen Paul HANSON, USMC...who made the ultimate sacrifice!

    Posted on 2/12/11 - by
    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.
  • Remembered

    Posted on 12/16/10
    Capt. Steve Hanson rests in his bunk at Ky Ha. This is one of the last known photos of him before he was shot down on 3 June, 1967. Rest in peace with the warriors. (Photo Credit: MGySgt George Curtis)
  • Thank you & Welcome Home Major

    Posted on 7/25/03 - by Donald Lytle
    Although we never met personally, I want to thank you Stephen Paul Hanson, for your courageous and valiant service, years of faithfully contributing, and your most holy sacrifice given to this great country of ours!

    Your Spirit is alive--and strong, therefore Sir, you shall never be forgotten, nor has your death been in vain!

    Again, thank you Major S.P. Hanson, for a job well done!


  • Never will I ever forget

    Posted on 5/27/03 - by Jaime Medina
    I still have his Braclet, now in gold plating
    Capt. Stephen Hanson in the heart of this Brooklyn
  • In Honored Remembrance Of Major Stephen Paul Hanson

    Posted on 10/12/02 - by Michael Robert Patterson
    Major Hanson was identified at returned home in 2000. He is now at rest in Arlington National Cemetery.
  • Still In Our Hearts

    Posted on 9/23/01 - by Linda Deterding
    I also wore Capt. Stephen Hanson's (my bracelet says Capt.)bracelet for several years. It's taped because it broke from wearing it for so long. The traveling wall is now in Memphis, TN. I will go tomorrow, place a rose at the foot of panel 21E and pay my respects to Capt. Hanson. I kept his bracelet all these years hoping to be able to meet him in person one day. May God rest his soul.

  • Fear not for ye died for naught

    Posted on 2/10/01 - by Kathleen Evans-Martin
    I wore your bracelet for several years when I was ten years old, prayed for you and thought I might marry you when you came home. Thank you for your brave and gallant effort from a little ranch girl in Southern Wyoming.
  • Remembering STEPHEN HANSON

    Posted on 12/4/99 - by Dennis Schul
    Hello, My name is Dennis Schul living in Brea CA. And I have worn Stephen Hansons MIA silver metal bracelet since the sixtys and finally searched out his name. It was sad to see that he is still MIA, but nice to find a little more info on this brave soldier. If any relative of his would like this bracelet for their own, I would send it to them in respect for his family and his bravery. I've worn it proudly for years hoping to one day send it to Stephen himself. When the traveling wall comes near Brea someday, I'll give my respects to Panel 21E Row 46, Maj.(Capt. on the bracelet) Stephen Paul Hanson of the US Marine Corps. MIA 6-3-67. Dennis Schul 714 529 6016

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