REXFORD J DE WISPELAERE
VIEW ALL PHOTOS (2)
HONORED ON PANEL 16W, LINE 116 OF THE WALL

REXFORD JOHN DE WISPELAERE

WALL NAME

REXFORD J DE WISPELAERE

PANEL / LINE

16W/116

DATE OF BIRTH

09/09/1945

CASUALTY PROVINCE

LZ

DATE OF CASUALTY

11/24/1969

HOME OF RECORD

PENFIELD

COUNTY OF RECORD

Monroe County

STATE

NY

BRANCH OF SERVICE

AIR FORCE

RANK

SMS

Book a time
Contact Details

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR REXFORD JOHN DE WISPELAERE
POSTED ON 11.11.2015
POSTED BY: Shirley Brawley

POW-MIA Bracelet

I wore a POW MIA bracelet with Rexford's name on it for many years during the Vietnam war. I grew up in Virginia near Langley AFB, Norfolk Naval Base and Fort Monroe. The war was a constant presence in our lives as children--friends' dads stationed in Vietnam, camouflaged planes flying overhead, and a neighbor who was a prisoner of war. My bracelet was a small way to show support during this terrible time and I have saved it ever since. Several years ago I did a rubbing of Rexford's name from the Vietnam Memorial Wall in D.C. I took my bracelet out today to wear for Veteran's Day, which prompted me to look online for more information. I would be honored to send my bracelet to a member of Rexford's family.
read more read less
POSTED ON 10.23.2015
POSTED BY: Amy Swart

Thank you Sir

When I was 15 I applied for a bracelet of a soldier and was given yours to wear. I wore it faithfully and often wondered about you. My bracelet says Laos. 11-24-69. I am now 65 and would love to get this bracelet to a family member. Thank you so for your service and qfor the ultimate sacrifice.
Amy Swart
read more read less
POSTED ON 6.4.2014

Final Mission of SGT Rexford J. DeWispelaere

On November 24, 1969, a C-130A departed Ubon Airfield, Thailand on an operational mission over Laos. The crew aboard the aircraft included navigator MAJ Michael D. Balamoti, CAPT Earl C. Brown, CAPT Richard O. Ganley, co-pilot 1LT Peter R. Matthes, and SGTs Donald L. Wright, Larry I. Grewell, Charles R. Fellenz, and Rexford J. DeWispelaere. While on the mission, near Ban Bac, Savannakhet Province, Laos, the C-130 was observed to be struck by several rounds of 37mm anti-aircraft fire, burst into flames, crash to the ground, and explode on impact. All the crew was declared Missing in Action, but due to enemy presence in the area, it was strongly felt that the enemy could account for them. It was not determined whether the crew died or survived the crash of the aircraft. The crew of the C-130 were among nearly 600 Americans who were lost in Laos. When Dr. Henry Kissinger negotiated President Nixon's Peace Agreements in Paris in 1973, ending American involvement in the Vietnam War, the Americans lost in Laos were forgotten. Kissinger did not negotiate for them, even though several were known to be prisoners of war, and some 125 of them were known to have survived their loss incidents. Furthermore, the Pathet Lao stated on several occasions that they held "tens of tens" of American prisoners. The nearly 600 Americans lost in Laos were never negotiated for, and not one American held in Laos was released at the end of the war. In 1995, twenty-six years and four days after their plane crashed, the eight airmen were laid to rest beside an oak tree in Arlington National Cemetery. The men were buried with full military honors. A single, flag-covered casket holding their remains was pulled slowly on a caisson by six white horses. It was followed by members of the United States Air Force Honor Guard, marching somberly, and a procession of family and friends in three buses. [Narrative taken from pownetwork.org; image from wikipedia.org]
read more read less
POSTED ON 11.1.2013
POSTED BY: Curt Carter [email protected]

Remembering An American Hero

Dear SMS Rexford John De Wispelaere, 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
read more read less
POSTED ON 5.9.2011
POSTED BY: William A. Tkacs, Chief Master Sergeant, USAF (Ret.)

Not A Day Goes By That I Don't Remember

When we were assigned to the 317th RTU at Lockborne Air Force Base, OH...the challange was on. Who would graduate first and head on out. I lost and you headed to Naha Air Base, Okinawa. Ed Jackson and I soon followed. Then we volunteered for the Blind Bat Mission flying the unfriendly skys over Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and further north when necessary. I was there when your plane went down and I was there to bring you home on a repatriation mission. I was there when they brought you home as your flag drapped casket was taken from the plane. At the next Blind Bat Reunion, I will ensure you are remembered for the sacrafice you made. I had hoped since you were in the rear of the plane that you and Larry Grewell got out. As a fellow loadmaster and friend... you are missed. Rest In Peace my friend!
read more read less