Leroy Clude Schaneberg, Captain, USAF (KIA)
March 29, 1940 – June 30, 1970

On June 30, 1970, a crew from the 40th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron at Udorn Airfield, Thailand was dispatched to rescue a downed flight crew. Crew aboard the Sikorsky HH-53C “Super Jolly” helicopter included the pilot, Capt. Leroy C. Schaneberg, crew-members Maj. John W. Goeglein, Msgt. Paul L. Jenkins, SSgt. Marvin E. Bell, and SSgt. Michael F. Dean. The members of the 40th Air Rescue & Recovery Service were trained for both air and sea recovery, and the big “Super Jolly” was equipped to airlift both the crew and aircraft out of sticky situations. The downed and injured pilot was located in Savannakhet Province, Laos, about two kilometers south of Bang Tang. The HH-53C penetrated the area, known to be hostile, in an attempt to rescue the pilot, but was forced away by hostile ground fire. A second attempt was made, but the helicopter was hit by hostile fire, caught on fire, went out of control and crashed. The Air Force states it received evidence on July 4, 1970, that the crew was dead, but that evidence is not specifically described, and no remains identifiable as Bell, Dean, Goeglein, Schaneberg, or Jenkins have been recovered. Schaneberg received the Air Force Cross for extraordinary heroism as the aircraft commander on this rescue mission. On the same day, CAPT Williams S. Sanders was flying an OV-10A Bronco southeast of Khe Sanh at a point where Laos veers north to intrude on South Vietnam. His aircraft was shot down just inside Laos, not far from the location of the downed helicopter. The Bronco was generally used for marking targets, armed reconnaissance and forward air control, so the nature of CAPT Sanders’ mission and its precise relation to the mission of the Super Jolly from Udorn is unknown. The crew of the helicopter was numerically listed missing before the OV-10, so it is does not seem likely that the helicopter was assisting the observation aircraft, but as no other aircraft is missing on that day in that area, either the downed pilot was Sanders or the pilot was rescued by other means. [Narrative taken from pownetwork.org; image from wikipedia.org]

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