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U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Thomas Edward Heideman, MSgt., USAF (KIA)June 08, 1933 – October 24, 1970
HEIDEMAN, THOMAS EDWARDRemains Identified 04/06/2001Announced 06/03/2002
Name: Thomas Edward HeidemanBranch/Rank: United States Air Force/E7Unit:Date of Birth: 08 June 1933Home City of Record: CHICAGO ILDate of Loss: 24 October 1970Country of Loss: LAOSLoss Coordinates: 173958 North 1054000 EastStatus (in 1973): Killed In Action/Body Not RecoveredCategory: 2Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: CH-3E 66-13287Missions:Other Personnel in Incident:Refno: 1670
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews and CACCF = Combined Action Combat Casualty File. Updated 2020.
Married, 5 childrenWife deceased, son deceased=============================
USAF Helicopter Crew Losses – Vietnam WarCompiled by Jim Henthorn, Former Sgt., 21 st SOS
Tail No: 66-13287 Model: CH-3E Date of Loss: 24 Oct 70 Unit: 21st SOS, 56th SOW Country of Loss: Laos Call Sign: Knife 33
Pilot: Craig B. Schiele (06W-19)Flight Engineer: Thomas E. Heideman (06W-19)
Notes: The helicopter was in a flight of two extracting indigenous personnel from a hill top LZ. The helicopter picked up 11 personnel and as the aircraft lifted off, it turned and fell into trees 200 meters from the LZ. A short time later, the other helicopter picked up 8 indigenous personnel who said the entire crew of the helicopter was dead; however, 20 minutes later, radio contact was made with the survivors and they, along with the body of the pilot were recovered.
No further information available at this time.
NEWS RELEASE from the United States Department of Defense
No. 281-02(703)697-5131(media)IMMEDIATE RELEASEJune 3, 2002(703)697-5737(public/industry)
VIETNAM WAR MIAS IDENTIFIED
The remains of two U.S. Air Force servicemen killed in action during the Vietnam War have been identified and are being returned home to their families. They are Master Sgt. Thomas E. Heideman and Capt. Craig B. Schiele, both of Chicago.
On Oct. 24, 1970, Heideman and Schiele were crewmembers of a CH-3E helicopter as the lead of a two-ship formation on a mission to extractfriendly forces from Laos. Shortly after takeoff, the helicopter crashed into nearby dense jungle. Eight Laotians and two American servicemen were rescued. A rescue mission was continued the next morning, but there was no evidence of survivors. The only body recovered from the crash site at that time was later identified as the pilot, Capt. Schiele, who was subsequently buried in Bartlesville, Okla.
On Dec. 14, 1994, a U.S. – Lao team, led by Joint Task Force-Full Accounting, conducted an investigation at the crash site in the Laotianprovince of Khammouan. Material from the recovered wreckage included aircraft debris and personal artifacts but no human remains.
In the spring of 1995, a second joint team excavated the crash site and recovered human remains and additional personal affects that were submitted to the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii (CILHI). Bycompiling eyewitness accounts and other physical evidence such as personal artifacts and the human remains, the forensic scientists at CILHI identified the remains as those of Schiele and Heideman.
A group burial with full military honors for these two servicemen will be conducted June 7 at Arlington National Cemetery.
NETWORK NOTE: – Schiele was NOT noted as a POW/MIA – but in the CACCF (Combined Action Combat Casualty File), he IS noted as BODY RECOVERED!
SCHIELE CRAIG BRIANMILITARY SERVICE AIR FORCECOUNTRY OF CASUALTY LAOSTYPE OF CASUALTY NON-HOSTILE DIED OF OTHER CAUSESREFERENCE NUMBER 9DATE RECORD PROCESSED OCT 70SOCIAL SECURITY / SERVICE NUMBER 297389146RANK CAPTPAY GRADE O3CASUALTY DATE 10/24/70HOME OF RECORD STEUBENVILLE, OHIOSERVICE OCCUPATION CODE *DATE OF BIRTH 08/09/43CAUSE AIRCRAFT LOSS/CRASH NOT AT SEAAIR / NO AIR HELICOPTER AIR CASUALTY – PILOTRACE CAUCASIANRELIGION PRESBYTERIANLENGTH OF SERVICE IN YEARS *MARTIAL STATUS MARRIEDSEX MALEUS CITIZEN YESPOSTHUMOUS PROMOTION NODATE TOUR IN SE ASIA BEGAN 01/10/70LAST RECORD LAST RECORDBODY RECOVERED YESAGE 27COMPONENT REGULARPROVINCE NO ENTRYCOMMENTS
S.C. family to attend dual funeral Associated Press
COLUMBIA – An S.C. family will bury the remains of a U.S. soldier killed in Vietnam that the Defense Department says are those of Air Force Master Sgt. Thomas Heideman….
MSGT THOMAS EDWARD HEIDEMAN
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On April 6, 2001, Joint Task Force-Full Accounting (JTF-FA, now DPAA) identified the remains of Master Sergeant Thomas Edward Heideman, missing from the Vietnam War.Master Sergeant Heideman joined the U.S. Air Force from Illinois and was a member of the 21st Special Operations Squadron. On October 24, 1970, he was a flight engineer aboard a CH-3E Sea King on a recovery mission to Laos. The Sea King crashed after taking off from its landing zone in Khammouan Province, Laos, and MSgt Heideman was killed in the incident. Search and rescue teams dispatched to the area failed to locate MSgt Heideman’s remains at the time. In 1995, a joint U.S. and Laotian search team recovered remains from the Sea King’s crash site that were eventually identified as those of MSgt Heideman.Master Sergeant Heideman is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.