Weldon, Robert P. (KIA)

Robert Paul Weldon, Sgt., USAF (KIA)
October 10, 1955 – May 13, 1975

Crash information on U.S. Air Force helicopter CH-53C tail number 68-10933

On May 13, 1975 at 2030 local time, 16 Sikorsky CH-53C’s took off from RTAFB Nakhon Phanom. One of the 16, Knife 13 CH-53 BuNo 68-10933, carried a crew of four and 18 USAF Security Police on board to assist in the recovery operation of the SS Mayaguez. A 22nd person in the role of a linguist accompanied them. Shortly after takeoff, Knife 13 fell out of formation and the helicopter disappeared from the airfield’s departure radar 40 miles west of the airfield, 330 miles NE of Bangkok on the Thai-Laotian border. The aircraft crashed and exploded on impact. All 22 aboard were killed in the crash. Other CH-53s landed nearby, but exploding ammunition and burning fuel hindered all rescue attempts. All 22 killed in the crash were awarded the Bronze Star posthumously. The 21st SOS aircrew consisted of CAPT James G. Kays, 1LT Laurence E. Froehlich, TSGT George E. McMullen III, and SGT Robert P. Weldon. The 56th Security Police Squadron included SGT Jimmy P. Black, SGT Bobby G. Collums, SSGT Gerald A. Coyle, SGT Thomas D. Dwyer, SGT Bob W. Ford, SGT Gerald W. Fritz, TSGT Jackie D. Glenn, SGT Darrell L. Hamlin, SGT Gregory L. Hankamer, SGT David A. Higgs, SSGT Faleagafula Ilaoa, SGT Michael D. Lane, SGT Dennis W. London, SGT Robert P. Mathias, SGT William R. McKelvey, AMN Edgar C. Moran II, SGT Tommy R. Nealis, and SGT Robert W. Ross. (*Malmstrom AFB MWD kennels were named in honor of SGT Gerald W. Fritz who lost his life in the crash) [Taken from vhpa.org and various websites]

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