JOHN T CORLE
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HONORED ON PANEL 4E, LINE 1 OF THE WALL

JOHN THOMAS CORLE

WALL NAME

JOHN T CORLE

PANEL / LINE

4E/1

DATE OF BIRTH

12/29/1941

CASUALTY PROVINCE

QUANG TIN

DATE OF CASUALTY

12/08/1965

HOME OF RECORD

PITCAIRN

COUNTY OF RECORD

Allegheny County

STATE

PA

BRANCH OF SERVICE

MARINE CORPS

RANK

CPL

STATUS

MIA

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR JOHN THOMAS CORLE
POSTED ON 10.8.2019
POSTED BY: Jeanne R

MIA bracelet

All these years I still think of you and have kept your bracelet close to my heart.
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POSTED ON 1.28.2018
POSTED BY: Lucy Micik

Thank You

Dear Cpl John Corle,
Thank you for your service as an ACFT Cryptographic System Technician. You are still MIA, PLEASE COME HOME.
It is so important for us all to acknowledge the sacrifices of those like you who answered our nation's call. Please watch over America, it stills needs your strength, courage and faithfulness. Rest in peace with the angels.
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POSTED ON 12.29.2016
POSTED BY: Dennis Wriston

I'm proud of our Vietnam Veterans

Corporal John Thomas Corle, Served with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364 (HMM-364), Marine Aircraft Group 36 (MAG-36), 1st Marine Aircraft Wing (1st MAW), Third Marine Amphibious Force.
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POSTED ON 7.17.2015
POSTED BY: wkillian@smjuhsd.org

Final Mission of CPL John T. Corle

Final Mission of CPL John T. Corle
On the morning of December 8, 1965, CPL John T. Corle was assigned as gunner on a logistical mission which by all of its attributes should have been a non-event. CPL Corle's aircraft was one of three which were assigned to fly a logistical mission from Ky Ha to Da Nang, 47 miles up the coast, and return. The crew of the aircraft were CAPT Jim Givan, pilot; 2LT William T. "Tee" Holmes, Jr., copilot; and SGT Gerald V. Glenn, crew chief. It was 2LT Holmes' first flight in Vietnam and this "milk run" type mission was the standard way to get new pilots familiar with maps, radio frequencies and flight procedures before flying on real combat missions. It was a miserable day with rain and fog which dictated that the flight of three UH-34's would do a little "scud running" and zip right up the coastline. They would have to fly low over the seacoast to stay under the clouds. But they reasoned they could remain far enough out over the ocean to avoid possible ground fire. Of the flight of three, CPL Corle's aircraft was tail-end-charlie, took off from Ky Ha, flew over the steep cliff at the seashore, and then rotored northward toward Da Nang. The weather quickly turned rotten. A gale was brewing, and the wind swept in from the open sea at about 35 knots. Visibility fell to a couple of miles in rain, and there was a hard overcast about 500 feet above the surface of the ocean. Yet, except for the lousy weather, the flight to Da Nang was uneventful. The three helicopters landed at the depot at Da Nang, shut down their engines, and the crew chiefs, gunners and 2LT Holmes started loading the supplies. These items consisted of about 80 cases of beer, plus helicopter spare parts and a variety of helicopter maintenance equipment. Then they fired up their radial engines, engaged their rotors and took off for Ky Ha. As the flight progressed out over the South China Sea the weather really turned sour. Forward visibility had decreased to about a mile in rain and fog, and the cloud layer constituting a ceiling had dropped to about 200 feet above the sea. Still, the three helicopters managed to stay VFR as they skimmed along above the waves. The crew felt no cause for alarm. Nothing could go wrong, they reasoned. On CPL Corle's aircraft the crew kept up a sarcastic running chatter over the ICS system about the "beautiful" weather. The TACAN (a bearing and distance navigation radio) picked up mileage and heading to Chu Lai. By the pilot's calculations they were somewhere near Tam Ky, and in roughly eight minutes they would be back on the ground at Ky Ha. But unfortunately he was wrong, the FM radio rasped, "Takin' fire from the beach!" Exactly where the fatal round struck the helicopter, no one knows. The UH-34's engine suddenly died. No warning, no cough, no sputter, it just quit. The abrupt and unexpected silence seemed almost deafening. CAPT Givan keyed the FM radio, "MAYDAY! MAYDAY!" A UH-34 without engine power glides only slightly better than a falling anvil. And with only 200 feet of altitude, CAPT Givan had just a few precious seconds until impact with the water down below. Down collective! Full right rudder! Harness locked! Jam the cockpit escape hatches open! Here comes the water - Flare! - Flare! - Flare! The UH-34 hit the water hard, rolled inverted, and began sinking toward the bottom of the sea. Under water in the upside-down cockpit, the pilots remembered their dilbert-dunker training from flight school at Pensacola. They yanked radio cords loose from their flight helmets, unlatched lap and shoulder harness, squeezed through the escape hatches and followed the air bubbles to the surface. The pilots saw the waves were about eight feet high, the wind whipped stinging salt spray across their faces and each time they topped a wave they could see and hear enemy firing at them from a tree line on the beach. Fortunately the other two UH-34's, (one piloted by 1LT Kenneth L. Gross and his copilot 1LT Lenny Melancon; the other commanded by CAPT Dick Gleason) had heard CAPT Givan's "MAYDAY." They circled back, their gunners firing at the enemy muzzle flashes on the beach. The Marines in the water did not know which threat was the greatest. If they started waving their arms, they would attract more enemy fire from the beach. But if they did not wave, their squadron mates might not see them. LT Holmes would explain some years later that it became an easy choice, "I waved and splashed like a maniac!" As the two UH-34's bored in, their crew chiefs kicked out case after case of beer to lighten the load for the rescue. LT Gross sighted the survivors in the water and with verbal assistance from his crew chief, SSGT Christman, was able to hoist CAPT Givan and LT Holmes into his aircraft. The hoist went down a third time for SGT Glenn. Once SGT Glenn was in the "horse collar" and ready to be lifted, the hoist malfunctioned and would not retract. Disregarding the enemy fire LT Gross' gunner, CPL Cone, crawled out onto the main gear to assist SGT Glenn. Again with verbal instructions from SSGT Christman the helicopter was lowered within inches of the rolling waves. CPL Cone wound his legs around the main strut and laid back inverted holding on to SGT Glenn as the helicopter was air taxied toward the beach. Upon reaching the beach SSGT Christman manned CPL Cone's machine gun to set a covering field of fire while CPL Cone assisted the beleaguered SGT Glenn into the aircraft. The rescued crew advised LT Gross that they were still missing one of their crew. The two helicopters repeatedly circled and searched in vain for they never found the missing gunner, and due to a low fuel state had to return to Ky Ha. LT Holmes believes that CPL Corle did make it out of the aircraft: “I think I was probably the last person to exit the helicopter after it entered the water because I struggled for some time before I realized I had not released my seat belt and shoulder harness. I was going to the bottom with the aircraft. When I finally got out it was a long way to the surface and it seemed an eternity to get there. Once at the surface, though we were scattered over some distance and the high waves made it difficult to see anyone except when they crested a wave while I was also riding the crest, I do remember counting heads and I am sure that I saw all three of the other crew members. We were not close enough to communicate with one another, nor could I determine anyone else's condition, but I am almost positive that all four of us were on the surface. After that first sighting, I did not see any of the other crew members until I saw CAPT Givan being raised on the hoist of one of the rescue helicopters." CPL Corle was never found and he was declared Killed In Action/Body Not Recovered. [Taken from hmm-364.org]
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POSTED ON 5.30.2015
POSTED BY: Peter A. Vas Dias

Cpl. John T. Corle, USMC

Cpl. John T. Corle, USMC
My name is Peter Vas Dias. I am originally from Kempton, PA a small town in Berks County but now reside in Slatington, just 15 or so miles away in northern Lehigh County.
I served four years active duty in the USMC. I myself just missed Gulf I. My father served in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot and flew with Lt. Holmes, whom I believe was the co-pilot or pilot on the chopper that Cpl. Corle was lost on. I got the picture from Johns (Stepson?). He saw a post on line and sent it to me. He said that when John was lost his wife later remarried and told him about John.
I have been extremely humbled and honored to keep Johns memory alive by wearing his POW/MIA bracelet for years now! The writing is almost worn off, and it's been peppered with weld spatter from my occupation as a Welder & Fabricator but it is among my most cherished possessions! I hope to oneday talk to or even visit Johns family and find out more about him, maybe get some more pictures of him, to find out what he was like, why he joined the USMC. I have family in Portage and Ebensburg, PA Cambria County which isn't that far from his home. Maybe someday soon...
Again, I am extremely proud to be able to honor John and his memory in this small way. I hope to see him return and pay him the Honor he is rightly due! If any of his family sees this, please feel free to contact me if you wish.
Semper Fidelis John!
- Pete Vas Dias, Slatington, PA
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