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  • Date of Birth:8/1/1938
  • Date of Casualty:4/4/1975
  • Home of Record:DUNN
  • County of Record:HARNETT COUNTY
  • State:NC
  • Branch of Service:AIR FORCE
  • Rank:MSGT
  • Panel/Line: 1W, 121
  • Casualty Province:BIEN HOA


  • Date of Birth:10/22/1952
  • Date of Casualty:4/4/1975
  • Home of Record:WOODLAND HILLS
  • County of Record:LOS ANGELES COUNTY
  • State:CA
  • Branch of Service:AIR FORCE
  • Rank:SSGT
  • Panel/Line: 1W, 121
  • Casualty Province:BIEN HOA


  • Remembering Mary Klinker

    Posted on 4/4/17 - by David Botticelli
    Thank you so much for your service and sacrifice in Vietnam, Captain Klinker! You're only the second lady that I've seen on The Wall. Rest assured, you will NEVER be forgotten!

    Posted on 4/4/17 - by KENNETH L. MCNUTT
    IT IS GOOD TO HONOR A REAL HERO. I am not related only in the fact that we are brothers and sisters in the overall life of helping eachother.
  • You Are Not Forgotten

    Posted on 6/19/16 - by Frank Foran
    Cpt. Klinker, ma'am,
    I never met you personally, but you were my Sister. You are a hero to me and to the rest of those who care deeply for our country. You are not forgotten. May you be resting in Heaven. Thank you for your sacrifice Brave Nurse.
  • You Are Not Forgotten

    Posted on 6/19/16 - by Cathy Moore
    Captain Mary Therese Klinker, Please know that after these years, you are not forgotten, and that your sacrifice is appreciated. I pray that you may know this and that you rest in peace.
    From a fellow nurse
  • Final Mission of CAPT Mary T. Klinker

    Posted on 3/12/16 - by
    At 4:03 PM on April 3, 1975, a U.S. Air Force C-5A Galaxy military transport aircraft, serial number 68-218, of the 60th Military Airlift Wing lifted off the runway at Tan Son Nhut Air Base near Saigon, bound for Clark Air Base in the Philippines. As the initial mission in "Operation Babylift", the C-5 carried Vietnamese orphans enroute the United States. The aircraft commander was CAPT Dennis Traynor, the co-pilot CAPT Tilford Harp, and there was a crew of 15 others, including a 10-person medical team. The C-5's troop compartment contained 145 orphans and seven attendants, most of them civilian volunteers being evacuated from Vietnam. The cargo compartment held 102 orphans and 47 others. Twelve minutes after takeoff, while the aircraft was passing through 23,000 feet, the rear loading ramp's locks failed, leading to explosive decompression and massive structural damage to the aircraft as the pressure door, most of the rear loading ramp, and the center cargo door departed the airframe. Control cables to the rudder and elevators were severed, leaving only one aileron and wing spoilers operating, and two of the four hydraulic systems were out. Using engine power changes, the functional aileron, and the wing spoilers, Traynor and Harp managed to regain marginal control of the aircraft and turned back toward Tan Son Nhut. The aircraft had to be maintained between 250 and 260 knots, with a considerable lag between power adjustments and aircraft response. Traynor anticipated that the minimum landing speed would be somewhere in the range of 250 knots. As the C-5 passed through 4,000 feet while turning to the final approach heading, it became apparent that they could not make the runway. Traynor applied full power to hold the nose up while Harp attempted to maintain a wings-level attitude. Just off the ground, Traynor reduced power to idle and the C-5 touched down in a rice paddy, skidded about 1,000 feet before becoming airborne again, hit a dike, and broke into four parts. The cargo compartment was completely destroyed, killing 141 of the 149 orphans and attendants. Only three of 152 in the troop compartment perished. Five of the flight crew, three of the medical team, and three other servicemen lost their lives, but 175 of the 328 aboard survived. The eleven military personnel who died in or of injuries received in the crash were LTC William S. Willis, CAPT Mary T. Klinker, CAPT Edgar R. Melton, MSGT Joe Castro, MSGT Denning C. Johnson, MSGT Wendle L. Payne, TSGT Felizardo C. Aguillon, TSGT William M. Parker, SSGT Donald T. Dionne, SSGT Kenneth E. Nance, and SSGT Michael G Paget. [Taken from]
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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