The Wall of Faces

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JOEL RAY BIRCH


is honored on Panel 1W, Line 97 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Leave a Remembrance

REMEMBRANCES

  • Remembered

    Posted on 3/18/17 - by Lucy Conte Micik bennysgift@gmail.com
    DEAR CAPTAIN JOEL BIRCH,
    THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AS AN ELECTRONIC WARFARE OFFICER. IT HAS BEEN FAR TOO LONG FOR ALL OF YOU TO HAVE BEEN GONE. WE APPRECIATE ALL YOU HAVE DONE, AND YOUR SACRIFICE. WATCH OVER THE U.S.A., IT STILL NEEDS YOUR COURAGE.. GOD BLESS YOU. MAY THE ANGELS BE AT YOUR SIDE. REST IN PEACE. MANY OF US HAVE BEGUN OUR JOURNEY TO EASTER. YOU ARE ALL IN OUR PRAYERS.
    MORE
  • Final Mission of CAPT Joel R. Birch

    Posted on 2/1/15 - by wkillian@smjuhsd.org
    An AC-130A gunship, "Spectre 17", flown by CAPT Harry R. Lagerwall, departed Ubon Airbase, Thailand on an interdiction mission to interrupt enemy cargo movements along the Ho Chi Minh Trail on December 21, 1972. The crew onboard numbered 16, including MSGT Rollie K. Reaid, CAPT George D. MacDonald, SMS John Q. Winningham, MAJ Francis A. Walsh Jr., CMS James R. Fuller, SMS Robert T. Elliott, MAJ Robert L. Liles Jr., LTC Harry R. Lagerwall, COL Paul O. Meder, LTC Thomas T. Hart III, CAPT Stanley N. Kroboth, MSGT Charles F. Fenter, CAPT Joel R. Birch, Richard Williams, and Carl E. Stevens. During the flight to the target, the aircraft was hit by ground fire and after 10 minutes of level flight, the fuel exploded. Two of the crew, Williams and Stevens, bailed out safely and were subsequently rescued hours later. The partial body of Joel Birch (an arm) was later recovered some distance away from the crash site. Heat-sensitive equipment which would pinpoint the location of human beings in the jungles was used to search for the rest of the crew with no success. It was assumed that the missing crewmen were either dead or were no longer in the area. According to intelligence reports, several piles of bloody bandages and 5 deployed parachutes were seen and photographed at the crash site. Also, later requests through the Freedom of Information Act revealed a photo of what appeared to be the initials "TH" stomped in the tall elephant grass near the crash site. In the early 1980's a delegation comprised in part of several POW/MIA family members visited the site of the aircraft crash in Laos. Mrs. Anne Hart found material on the ground in the area which she believed to be bone fragment. She photographed the material and turned it over to the U.S. Government. In February, 1985, a joint excavation of the crash site was done by the U.S. and Laos from which a large number of small bone fragments were found. Analysis by the U.S. Army's Central Identification Laboratory (CIL) in Hawaii reported the positive identification of all 13 missing crewmembers. [Taken from pownetwork.org]
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  • Remembering An American Hero

    Posted on 12/15/13 - by Curt Carter ccarter02@earthlink.net
    Dear Captain Joel Ray Birch, 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
    MORE
  • Remembered

    Posted on 7/13/11
    Rest in peace with the warriors.
    MORE
  • If I should die...remembrances for CAPT. Joel Ray BIRCH, USAF...who made the ultimate sacrifice!!!!!

    Posted on 5/25/11 - 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.
    MORE
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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.