JOHN D THOMAS
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HONORED ON PANEL 40W, LINE 16 OF THE WALL

JOHN DERRAL THOMAS

WALL NAME

JOHN D THOMAS

PANEL / LINE

40W/16

DATE OF BIRTH

05/02/1932

CASUALTY PROVINCE

DARLAC

DATE OF CASUALTY

10/21/1968

HOME OF RECORD

LESTER

COUNTY OF RECORD

Raleigh County

STATE

WV

BRANCH OF SERVICE

AIR FORCE

RANK

TSGT

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR JOHN DERRAL THOMAS
POSTED ON 4.16.2017

Final Mission of TSGT John D. Thomas

On October 21, 1968, a USAF Douglas C-47D (#45-0934) transport plane belonging to the 460th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Tan Son Nhut Air Base was flying military personnel from Saigon to Hong Kong for R&R with a stop at Da Nang. While enroute the pilot declared an emergency, stating that the port engine had failed and that the propeller would not feather. He requested and received vectors for an emergency landing at Ban Me Thuot Airfield, but instead hit a mountainside at the 2300-foot level approximately 19 miles southwest of Ban Me Thuot in Darlac Province, RVN. A total of 23 fatalities (some news services reported 24) resulted in the crash, including a listed 11 crewmen and 10 passengers, plus two civilians. A medical helicopter spotted the wreckage three hours after the crash. More helicopters were dispatched to the scene to remove the dead. The lost C-47D crew members included pilot LTC Howard E. Van Vliet, co-pilot LTC Council L. Royal, navigators MAJ Gerald E. Burgener and MAJ Basil L. Ciriello, flight attendant TSGT Donald W. Bruck, flight engineer TSGT John D. Thomas, flight mechanic TSGT Billy R. Morris, and crewmen (unassigned positions) MSGT William P. Bowman, SSGT Eugene W. Hendricks, LTC Robert B. Richardson, and MAJ Gerald D. Ziehe. The passengers included (USAF) TSGT Arthur L. Brewer, LTC Ray E. Codding, SSGT Karl E. Kelley Jr., SSGT Bernard F. Kissell Jr., SGT Russell E. Nihill, LTC Alden W. O’Brien, SGT Ruben E. Reyes, and CAPT Gayland O. Scott; (USA) SP5 Bruce M. Miley and SFC Klaus D. R. Ruhland. [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org, aviation-safety.net, togetherweserved.com, and “C-47 Crash! 24 Killed.” Chicago Tribune, October 22, 1968]
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POSTED ON 6.3.2016
POSTED BY: Dennis Wriston

I'm proud of our Vietnam Veterans

Technical Sergeant John Derral Thomas, Served with the 6250th Support Squadron, 6250th Combat Support Group, 7th Air force. Montani Semper Liberi !
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POSTED ON 10.7.2013
POSTED BY: Curt Carter

Remembering An American Hero

Dear TSGT John Derral Thomas, 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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POSTED ON 5.15.2005
POSTED BY: Robert Sage

We Remember

John is buried at Saint Stanislaus Catholic Cem, Modesto , CA.
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POSTED ON 10.21.2003
POSTED BY: Amanda Kinney

Never Forgotten

Dear Soldier,
I am doing a Project in my APB and Consumer class and we have to write remembrances for as many Vietnam Veterans as we want. You fought in this war and gave your Supreme Sacrifice. I admire everyone that didn’t or did have the choice to fight in this war. I want to let you know that you are in my thoughts and will never be forgotten.

God Bless You,
Amanda Kinney
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