This website is dedicated to all veterans and active duty of the United States Air Force, Air Force Reserve, and Air National Guard helicopter groundcrew and aircrew, and the helicopters they flew and maintained.
Update: 29 Jan 23
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U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
John Reginald Shoneck, SSgt., USAF (KIA)July 27, 1932 – October 18, 1966
At 11:01 AM on October 18, 1966, a HU-16 Albatross (serial #51-7145) departed Da Nang Airbase, Republic of Vietnam, to rescue a downed pilot in the Gulf of Tonkin off the coast of North Vietnam. The crew of the aircraft consisted of rescue commander and pilot Maj. Ralph H. Angstadt, co-pilot 1st Lt. John H.S. Long, flight mechanics SSgt. John R. Shoneck and TSgt. Robert L. Hill, radio operator SSgt. Lawrence Clark, and navigator Capt. Inzar W. Rackley, Jr. Also onboard the aircraft was A2C Steven H. Adams, a parajumper/frogman and a member of an elite pararescue team (“PJs”). The aircraft headed to the pilot’s location, which was approximately 80 miles off the China coast in the northern sector of the Gulf of Tonkin. Two A-1E Skyhawks escorting the rescue aircraft remained on station until the mission was completed, then the Skyhawks returned to the base. The last contact with the HU-16 was at 5:45 p.m., and at that time, there was no indication of any trouble. The Albatross was returning to base, and last contact was approximately 35 miles off the coast of North Vietnam. All contact was lost with the amphibious aircraft in marginal weather conditions, and although an extensive search for the aircraft was conducted, there were no sightings of the crew or the aircraft. Even though the HU-16 was believed lost over water, the men on board were not declared killed, but Missing in Action. The crew of the UH-16 received promotions during the period they were maintained Missing in Action: Angstadt and Rackley were promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel; Long to the rank of Captain; Clark and Hill to the rank of Chief Master Sergeant; Shoneck to the rank of Senior Master Sergeant; and Adams to the rank of Master Sergeant. [Taken from pownetwork.org]
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