St. Louis County








POSTED ON 12.29.2019
POSTED BY: Patricia Scharf

A fond remembrance

It was November 1969. My husband and brother-in-law had returned from Viet Nam in 1968 and my brother-in-law was still in the Marine Corps stationed in North Carolina. One weekend my-brother-in-law came to Cincinnati to visit us. He brought Bob with him. I can still remember Bob holding my newborn son in his arms that night. He would never hold a son of his own. He went to Viet Nam shortly thereafter. I think of him often. We have seen his name on "The Wall".
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POSTED ON 5.29.2017
POSTED BY: AngelIa Kelley

Thank you

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You served with my dad in Vietnam and he speaks so fondly of you. If I had been a boy I was going to be named after you.
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POSTED ON 4.17.2015

Final Mission of CPL Robert J. Wiese

On February 16, 1970, a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter CH-46D (tail number 153954) from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 161 (HMM-161) en route to the USS Repose on an emergency blood-resupply mission, entered marginal weather and crashed into the side of a hill. First Lieutenants Alan C. DeCraene and Joel W. Sampsell, Corporals Jan D. Garringer and Robert J. Wiese, and LCPL Donald W. Morin were killed in the crash. Other details surrounding this incident include the following: At 00:39 on February 16, 1970 it was reported to the 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment that a marine CH-46, call sign “Cattle Call 08” was on an emergency resupply to a hospital ship. At 09:10 B Company, 2/17 found the downed aircraft and recovered 5 bodies. Other comments on incident: This crew was lost at night trying to deliver badly needed medical supplies from Marble Mountain to a unit north of us. At daylight myself, the aircraft maintenance officer and others were dispatched to the crash site to help with the investigation. The H-46 had impacted on top of a mountain in hostile territory with bad weather was a contributing cause. We also were assigned the task of going to Charlie Med at Danang to identify the crew. This was my first time to be inside a morgue of any kind. We had served together with this crew from Quang Tri to Phu Bai and had just moved to Marble Mountain. The loss of these fine Marines had a tremendous impact on HMM-161 at the time. I can remember their memorial service like it was yesterday. They are resting in peace. Semper Fi. (Submitted by Leland R. Gilton, Squadron Quality Control Chief); From MAG-16 Command Chronology February 17, 1970: While enroute to the USS REPOSE on an emergency blood resupply mission on the night of 16 February 1970, the aircraft crashed into the side of a hill while in inadvertent IFR flying conditions. The crash resulted in the death of all five crew members. Occurred 13.5 miles east/south east of Phu Bai, Thua Thien Province, RVN. Further comments on incident: 1LT Alan C. DeCraene had just returned from "R&R" at Chu Lai as the Med Evac bid. A call came for an emergency resupply of blood to the med center at Phu Bai. Al and the rest of the crew were tapped because we had just moved out of Phu Bai a few months before. The mission left after dark. Coming in off the water, the aircraft commenced a decent into Phu Bai. Apparently they had the lights from Phu Bai in sight and began a visual decent. Unfortunately, the aircraft impacted the mountain SE of Phu Bai. According to the accident/aircraft recovery team, they missed clearing the crest by only a few feet. Supposition was that they kept the lights to the field in sight, but neglected maintaining altitude enough for the entire aircraft to be clear of the mountain. LCPL Donald W. Morin was the crew chief and CPL Jan D. Garringer was the crew NATOPS evaluator. Al was a hard charger who would have gone far. 1LT Joel W. Sampsell was one helluva good kid. Terrible waste of good men. (Submitted by Robert H. Quinter Jr.) Further comments on incident: As the clerk for the Legal & Awards Office, I knew most everyone in our squadron. 1LT Joel Sampsell was my OIC [officer in charge], 1LT Alan DeCrane had worked with me on a couple aircraft incidents/investigations, CPL Jan Garringer was my roommate, LCPL Don Morin had been a roommate in the States going thru Helicopter Mechanics & Gunners Schools and CPL Robert Weise had just met me. I believe this was his first month in country and on flight status. That evening 1LT Sampsell came into our office with a 1LT Charles Sizer. He introduced him to me and said "Phil, show him the ropes of this office. You never know I might not be here tomorrow and Chuck might have to oversee this office. I just received some sounds from my sister in California so I'm going to the hootch to listen to them and prepare for medevac duty tonight.” He left and I showed Chuck around the office. After that on my way to my hootch I stopped and visited for some reason with Don Morin. He was playing cards as I sat and watched and talked with him for a few minutes. I then went to my hootch where I ran into Jan Garringer as I entered. We talked for some time before he said he had better get ready for Medevac duty. Jan was our top crew chief who was an all-around All-American guy. Tall, blonde hair, always a smile, he liked Elvis' music and was going to extend his duty six months after he took some leave to go home to his sister's wedding. Sometime after midnight (I believe, about 2:00 AM) one of the guys in our hootch who was on night duty in the flight shack came in awakening us and informing us we had a chopper missing. Later that morning we received word that they had crashed at the top of a mountain in bad weather. I saw the photographs later on and there wasn't much left. That evening, myself, the SMAJ, LTC Benny Mann (our CO), and the S-1 clerks got all of their records and personal items together and wrote letters to their families. This had a profound effect on the squadron as evidenced at the Memorial Service. Only God in His wisdom understands, we could only think such a waste of lives that meant a lot to us as well as their families in the States. (Submitted by Phillip L. Shorter, Squadron Legal & Awards Clerk) [Taken from]
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POSTED ON 2.16.2015
POSTED BY: A Marine, USMC, Vietnam

Semper Fi

Semper Fi, Corporal.
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POSTED ON 12.4.2014
POSTED BY: Sgt. B.J. Perrett, USMC, HMM-262 Flying Tigers, 69 -70

CPL Bob Wiese

Bob Wiese was a good friend who I met @ NAS Memphis, during BASHEL, USMC Basic Helo Mech School. Bob & several other Marines spent a long weekend break with my family in Brookhaven, MS, Fall 1968. I don't remember seeing him again until teaming up again in CA, staging battalion for RVN duty, Fall 69.

He was the first of our group of 15 helo combat aircrew to be KIA / WIA. We were stationed @ Phu Bai, Hue City, Dec. 69, & his crew was returning from a medevac mission, with the 1st MARDIV, Danang, in really bad IFR weather. His helo missed clearing the top of a mountain by about 30 feet. All aboard were killed.

Of the group of 15 combat aircrew (of which Bob was one), we had 7 KIA, 6 WIA, & only 2 went home without a scratch.

Flying combat aircrew in Marine Helicopters in RVN, 69 - 70,... was the "stuff of great war novels & a lifetime of nightmares. But, I wouldn't trade it for all the gold in Ft. Knox.
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