CARL L THORNTON
VIEW ALL PHOTOS (5)
HONORED ON PANEL 2W, LINE 80 OF THE WALL

CARL LEE THORNTON

WALL NAME

CARL L THORNTON

PANEL / LINE

2W/80

DATE OF BIRTH

02/21/1937

CASUALTY PROVINCE

THUA THIEN

DATE OF CASUALTY

11/28/1971

HOME OF RECORD

GAINESVILLE

COUNTY OF RECORD

Hall County

STATE

GA

BRANCH OF SERVICE

ARMY

RANK

SSGT

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR CARL LEE THORNTON
POSTED ON 2.21.2019
POSTED BY: Dennis Wriston

I'm proud of our Vietnam Veterans

Staff Sergeant Carl Lee Thornton, Served with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, United States Army Vietnam.
read more read less
POSTED ON 1.6.2018
POSTED BY: wkillian@smjuhsd.org

Final Mission of SSGT Carl L. Thorton

Final Mission of SSGT Carl L. Thorton
On November 28, 1971, a U.S. Army helicopter CH-47C (tail number 68-15866), call sign Playtex 866, from C Company, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, was conducting a troop lift from Da Nang to Phu Bai in bad weather when it crashed into the side of a mountain five miles west of Phu Loc in Thua Thien Province, RVN. Thirty-four U.S. personnel were killed in the crash. Two other non-U.S. passengers were also lost, for a total of 36 fatalities. C Company, 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, received the mission from the Battalion Operations Center at 1115 hours on November 28th to provide two aircraft for an administrative troop move from LZ 401 at Da Nang to Corregidor Pad at Camp Eagle near Phu Bai. At 1230 hours on Playtex 866 with a crew of five departed Liftmaster Heliport for LZ 401 at Da Nang to begin the mission. The original pick up time for the mission had been 1200 hours, but due to bad weather, the mission was put on a hold status. At approximately 1220 hours, the Battalion Flight Operations Officer, CPT Robbins, instructed C Company operations to launch their aircraft and attempt the mission. The weather at 1235 hours between Phu Bai and Da Nang was observed to be broken ceiling, visibility five miles in light rain and fog. The weather for Phu Bai had been forecast to be overcast in light rain, fog, and drizzle. With a load of 31 passengers, Playtex 866 departed for Corregidor at 1310 hours. At 1328 hours, Hue Approach Control received a call from Playtex 866 stating that he was declaring an emergency. Attempts by Hue Approach Control to reestablish contact were unsuccessful. The 159th Brigade Operations Center (BOC) notified the 101st Airborne Division of the emergency call from Playtex 866 at 1350 hours. At 1410 hours, a ramp check of local landing strips was initiated for the aircraft in the Phu Bai and Da Nang areas. Results of the ramp checks were negative. The 159th Aviation Battalion dispatched on OH-6 light observation helicopter at 1340 hours to begin searching for Playtex 866. At 1436 hours, the 196th Light Infantry Brigade at Da Nang dispatched two aircraft to begin a search, and at 1440 hours the 11th Combat Aviation Group was notified and put two aircraft on standby. At 1545 hours, Recovery Control Center at Monkey Mountain Facility, Da Nang, reported negative contact with the lost aircraft. The Coastal Surveillance Center at Da Nang was notified at 1600 and 1620 hours that South Vietnamese Regional Force and Popular Force units between the Hai Van Pass and Phu Bai were instructed to be on the lookout for Playtex 866. The destroyer USS Epperson (DD-170) was directed to proceed to the area of the downed aircraft at 1920 hours and assume search pattern. Two Vietnamese Navy junks and two Vietnamese Navy coastal craft also assisted in the search and rescue effort. Search and rescue efforts were hampered for the next four days by low visibility cloud cover, high winds, and rough seas. Early December 2, 1971, an OH-6 pilot from the 2nd Brigade Aviation section reported sighting wreckage that appeared to be the lost CH-47 aircraft. Search elements were notified to discontinue searching at 1200 hours, however, rescue operations continued to be hampered by bad weather. The elevation of the crash site was approximately 650 feet and throughout the search and rescue operation, the crash site was shrouded by clouds. At 1650 hours, D Company, 2/502nd, was airlifted from Camp Eagle to a position approximately 2500 meters east of the crash site. At 1030 hours, the accident investigation board with Graves Registration and explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) personnel proceeded to the vicinity of the crash site by vehicle and hooked up with D, 2/502 at 1300 hours. The rescue party cut their way through the mountainous jungle terrain and arrived at the crash site at 0830 hours on December 5th. The aircraft was completely demolished and there were no survivors. The aircraft was located in a creek bed approximately 650 feet up the side of Mom Kun Sac Mountain. The aircraft had hit a 50-degree slope with great impact, causing the fuel cells to rupture and a flash fire to occur. There were no survivors. The lost crewmen included pilots CW2 Jerald W. Carter and WO1 Joseph J. Savick Jr., crew chief SP4 Raymond A. Trujillo, gunner PFC Willie J. Oaks, and crewman SGT Michael A. Crawford. The lost U.S. passengers were CAPT Martin K. Niskanen, SSGT Daniel E. Nye, SP5 Roy K. Stewart, SP5 John E. Windfelder, SP4 James E. Palmer, SP4 Alphonza Mason, SP4 Joel S. Ivey Jr., SSGT Howard L. Colbaugh, SSGT Carl L. Thorton, SP4 William D. Thompson, SP4 Richard E. Garretson, PFC Robert L. Wynn, CPL Michael O. Maybee, SP4 Ronald K. Sweetland, SP4 Oscar Paulley Jr., SGT Terry G. Kugler, SP4 Archie T. Lucy, SP6 Will R. Dantzler, SP5 Bill R. Coffey, PFC Vincent Bernal, 1LT Robert J. Ladensack, SGT Robert D. Maynard, SP5 Ronald D. Carleton, PFC Steven J. McDonald, PFC Gary D. Wilson, PFC George P. Martin, SP4 Brinsley B. Ramos, SP4 Joseph A. Aubain, and PFC John H. Hare. [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org and vhpa.org]
read more read less
POSTED ON 4.20.2016
POSTED BY: Carl L. Thornton III

Never Forgotten

I never had the opportunity to meet you but I have always felt close to you. Your impact is still felt though your kids.
read more read less
POSTED ON 7.17.2014
POSTED BY: Robert Sage

We Remember

Carl is buried at Mount Zion Baptist Church Cemetery,Flowery Branch,Hall County, GA. BSM-OLC PH
read more read less
POSTED ON 11.2.2013
POSTED BY: Curt Carter ccarter02@earthlink.net

Remembering An American Hero

Dear SSGT Carl Lee Thornton, 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