The Wall of Faces

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JOHN THOMAS WALLACE


is honored on Panel 4W, Line 136 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Leave a Remembrance

REMEMBRANCES

  • Final Mission of 1LT John T. Wallace

    Posted on 2/12/17 - by wkillian@smjuhsd.org
    On April 19, 1971, a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter CH-46D (tail number 154839) from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 262 (HMM 262) suffered a transmission failure and crashed in about six to ten feet of surf about a half-mile north of Marble Mountain Air Facility in Quang Nam Province, RVN. The aircraft was flying at approximately 600-700 feet at 90-100 knots when the rotor blades meshed due to the mechanical failure. Two crewmen, LCPL Bruce D. Olson and CPL George J. Vangundy, were killed in the crash. The aircraft commander, 1LT John T. Wallace, was rescued but succumbed to his injuries the following day. There were rumors that the forward transmission oil line was not reattached after some maintenance had been done on the aircraft. This caused the forward transmission to seize and snapped the sync shaft to the rear transmission, allowing the rotor blades to mesh at high speed. There is a personal account of this incident by Paul M. Philpott, LTC USMCR (Ret.): I was flying in the lead aircraft of a section of CH-46's which had just departed MMAF to "check guns" prior to standing night medevac. Immediately after going feet wet (over water), our wingman (1LT Jack Wallace's crew) crashed just off China Beach due to a catastrophic transmission failure. Two crew members were KIA at the site. Jack survived the crash, but died the next day from his injuries. I believe Jack was the last "Flying Tiger" to die in country (RVN). [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org, popasmoke.com, and vvmf.org]
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  • Not forgotten

    Posted on 5/24/15 - by Gary Benson
    Jack and I were in HMM 364 together as squadron pilots.While I was serving as FAC for 3/1, the purple foxes were decommissioned and we were transferred to other squadrons and I believe Jack was with Chatterbox HMM 262. When my tour of duty with the grunts ended, I returned to Marble Mountain. I will never forget the evening Jack died. I was headed for the officer's mess when I heard the night medevac bird fly over the airfield. The crew was likely checking out the aircraft and headed for the medevac hootch to stand by for the night medevac mission. Suddenly I heard a clatter behind me and turned to see the rotor blades disintegrating and watched as the aircraft plummeted to the ground on or near the beach of the South China Sea. I couldn't see exactly where the aircraft hit. The forward transmission oil line was not reattached after maintenance from what I heard. The forward transmission seized and snapped the sync shaft to the rear transmission allowing the rotor blades to mesh at high speed. Some of the crew survived. Jack was a really likable, good guy. We were all so close to leaving country. Jack has not been forgotten by those of us who served with him.
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  • Semper Fi

    Posted on 4/20/15 - by A Marine, USMC, Vietnam
    Sempr Fi, Lt.
  • We remember

    Posted on 11/6/14 - by Robert Sage
    John is buried at Glen Eden Memorial Park, Livonia,MI. AM PH
  • Remembering an American Hero

    Posted on 4/20/13 - by ccarter02@earthlink.net

    Dear 1LT John Thomas Wallace, 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


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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.