For his Family
A Hopkinsville woman has been informed that her husband was killed in Vietnam after receiving notification last September that he was missing in action.
Mrs. Charles S. Abel, a resident of Marietta Dr., received notification Sunday that Capt. Abel had died of wounds suffered in battle.
She is the former Miss Mary Anne Thomas of this city. The Abels have two children, Tonya Jill, 5, and Charles Scott, 2; daughter Gina Renee was stillborn.
The information received Sunday was the first word she had from the military authorities since the first notification last fall.
Abel will be returned here for burial with Fuqua-Hinton Funeral Home to be in charge. Final arrangements have as yet not been made.
Abel is a native of Modesto, Calif., where his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charles V. Abel, still live.
He was stationed at Ft. Campbell for about six years with the 101st Airborne Division before being sent to Vietnam. A career officer, he had been in the service for 11 years.
He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Mineral Wells, Tex.
Mrs. Abel hasn’t been informed of details concerning her husband’s death; however, he was a helicopter pilot and it is thought that he died as a result of a helicopter accident.
--Kentucky New Era, Monday, June 12, 1967, page 1
Charles' hometown was Hopkinsville, Kentucky. He joined the US Army in 1956 and began his Vietnam tour of duty on 15 Jun 1966 as a co-pilot on an UH-1B "Huey", tail #64-14088. Charles was married when he flew with the 68th AVN, called "The Top Tigers". He and his unit were called upon to supply a platoon and a heavy fire team to support a classified operation. Charles' helicopter was one of 2 gunships escorting five slicks when the landing zone was missed because of weather. His flight attempted to return to base but the aircraft became separated in heavy rain. His helicopter was seen, through a low ceiling with heavy rain and ground fog, slowing and settling into the jungle canopy. He died while missing but his body was recovered months later and returned to US soil on 10 Jun 1967.
Thank you for your service, and REST IN PEACE.
Remembering An American Hero
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
Crash Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1B tail number 64-14088
Crew members included CPT Charles S. Abel (KIA), WO1 Edwin R. Higgins (KIA), SP4 Kenneth R. Bertsch (KIA), and AN Roger D. Childers (KIA). Airman Childers was Navy personnel, training as a gunner with the 68th. The 'Top Tigers' were called upon to supply a platoon and a heavy fire team to support a classified operation. Was 1 of 2 gunships escorting 5 slicks with troops. Landing zone was missed because of weather. The flight attempted return to base when they became separated in heavy rain. Flight 088 seen slowing and entering trees with the aircraft settled thru tree. Conditions of low ceiling, heavy rain, ground fog, and poor visibility contributed to the accident. Aircraft and crew were initially reported as missing in action. [Taken from vhpa.org]