The CivSEA Project

The following tribute was compiled by the Northwest Veterans Newsletter.  The listings are current as of December 10, 2003 when they were imported from the Northwest Veterans Newsletter website at





Disclaimer: This list is subject to correction and addition as further information becomes known. We do not intend for this page to be a definitive work of any and all details for each particular individual's case.

Pam & Roger Young
The Northwest Veterans Newsletter


Revised 4 November 2000

[From The Northwest Veterans Newsletter]


1. Hannah E. Crews

(1969) Bien Hoa, October 2, 1969

2. Virginia E. Kirsch

(1970) Cu Chi, August 16, 1970

3. Lucinda J. Richter

(1971) Cam Ranh Bay, February 9, 1971


1. Regina "Reggie" Williams

(1964) Officer In Charge of Construction (OICC) - Dept. of the Navy - Died in Saigon of heart attack

2. Barbara Robbins

(1965) CIA-killed in bombing of American Embassy in Saigon on March 30, 1965

3. Marilyn L. Allan

(1967) U.S. Agency for Int'l Development (USAID) Nurse - Murdered at Nha Thrang by Capt. Larry Peters on August 16, 1967

4. Dr. Breen Ratterman

(1969) American Medical Assoc. - Died in Saigon from injuries sustained in a fall, October 2, 1969

5. Betty Gebhardt

(1971) CIA - Died in Saigon


1. Dorothy Reynolds Phillips

(1967) Died in plane crash, Qui Nhon

2. Rosalyn Muskat

(1968) Died in jeep accident at Long Binh, October 26, 1968


1. Georgette "Dickey" Chapelle

(1965) Killed by a mine on patrol with Marines outside Chu Lai, November 4, 1965

2. Philippa Schuyler

(1966) Killed in a helicopter crash into the ocean near Da Nang, May 9, 1967


1. Janie Makil
(infant child of missionaries)

(1963) Shot in an ambush while in the arms of her father, who was also killed, at Dalat, March 4, 1963. Janie was 5 months old. Her twin brother and mother survived the ambush.

2. Carolyn Griswald

(1968) Survived initial explosion but died later from wounds received from raid on Ban Me Thuot Leprosarium during Tet 1968

3. Mrs. Ruth Thompson

(1968) Killed during raid on Ban Me Thuot Leprosarium, February 1, 1968

4. Ruth Wilting

(1968) Killed during raid on Ban Me Thuot Leprosarium, February 1, 1968

5. Gloria Redlin

(1969) Shot at Pleiku working for Catholic Relief Services

Female POW/MIA's:

1. Dr. Eleanor Ardel Vietti -- (still an active case)


2. Betty Ann Olsen


3. Evelyn Anderson


4. Beatrice Kosin



Of note, all the ladies listed below perished in a plane crash near Tan Son Nhut Airfield on April 4, 1975 while attempting an emergency landing following take-off. Operation Babylift was an on-going effort to evacuate children from the orphanages before the fall of Saigon.

Little mention of these brave Americans appears in our history books.

I would like to thank Pam Young (U.S. Navy), Ann Kelsey (Army Special Services), and Jolynne Strang (American Red Cross) (A Circle of Sisters/A Circle of Friends), for their help setting the record straight.

Barbara Maier's husband reportedly witnessed the crash....

Sally Vinyard - who was the Chief Housing Officer in Saigon involved with Operation Babylift saw the fire from the crash from her office window.

I hope that my Brothers who perished in Southeast Asia have included them around the campfire. . . . . .

Roger Young,


Barbara Adams  

Vera Hollibaugh

Clara Bayot  

  Dorothy Howard

Nova Bell  

Barbara Kauvulia

Arleta Bertwell  

Barbara Maier

Helen Blackburn  

Rebecca Martin

Ann Bottorff  

Sara Martini

Celeste Brown  

Martha Middlebrook

Vivienne Clark  

Katherine Moore

Juanita Creel  

Marta Moschkin

Mary Ann Crouch  

Marion P. Polgrean

Dorothy M. Curtiss  

June Poulton

Twila Donelson  

Joan K. Pray

Helen Drye  

Sayonna K. Randall

Theresa Drye  

Anne Reynolds

Mary Lyn Eichen  

Margorie Snow

Elizabeth Fugino  

Laurie Stark

Ruthanne Gasper  

Barbara Stout

Beverly Herbert Doris  

Jean Watkins

Penelope Hindman  

Sharon Wesley

SPECIAL NOTE: Capt. Mary Therese Klinker, USAF Flight Nurse also perished during the crash. Her name appears on the 'Wall' in Washington, D.C., Panel 1W, Line 122. Capt. Klinker served with the 10th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, Travis AFB, and was temporarily assigned to Clark AFB in the Philippines at the time of the fatal crash.

Also MSGT Denning Cicero Johnson, USAF, perished in that same flight. His name appears on the 'Wall' in Washington, D.C., Panel 1W, Line 121. We thank Denise, his daughter, for providing us Denning's name. God Bless you and the family Denise...

If others have additional information on those military personnel who perished in this flight, please e-mail me, Roger Young, at


The plane, a C-5A 'Galaxy', was carrying 243 children, 44 escorts, 16 crewmen and 2 flight nurses. These numbers vary according to which news articles you read as totals vary between 305 to 319 on-board. Eight members of the Air Force crew perished in the crash. The plane was enroute to Travis AFB in California.

Most of those who perished were in the lowest of three levels in what was then the largest aircraft in the world. A survivor of the crash stated: "Some of us got out through a chute from the top of the plane, but the children (and escorts) at the bottom of the plane didn't have a chance."

Air Force Sgt. Jim Hadley, a medical technician from Sacramento, California, recalled later that oxygen masks dropped down automatically, but the children were sitting two to a seat and there weren't enough masks to go around. "We had to keep moving them from kid to kid."

In a early report the U.S. embassy indicated possibly 100 of the children and 10 to 15 adults survived, including the pilot. At least 50 of the children were in the lower cargo level of the plane.

The Galaxy had taken-off from Tan Son Nhut airbase and had reached an altitude of approximately 23,000 feet and was approximately 40 miles from Saigon when it's rear clamshell cargo doors blew off crippling its flight controls.

In what was described as a "massive explosive decompression" near Vung Tau, the pilot lost control of his flaps, elevators & rudder. The pilot, with only the use of his throttles and ailerons, was able to turn the giant plane back towards Tan Son Nhut.

At 5,000 feet Capt. Dennis Traynor, determined that he was unable to reach the runway safely with the crippled plane and set it down approximately 2 miles north of the airport to avoid crashing in a heavily-populated area where it broke into three pieces and exploded. The fact that many did survive such a crash was indeed a result of his flying ability. A Pentagon spokesman at the time commented on Capt. Traynor's efforts to bring the aircraft in safely as "a remarkable demonstration of flying skill."

Victor Ubach, a Pan American World Airways pilot who was flying behind and above the crippled Air Force plane said the C-5A pilots "had done one heck of a job" to avoid a worse disaster.

South Vietnamese sources said three militiamen on the ground were killed when the airplane fell.

At first it was thought the crash may have been attributed to sabotage but later ruled-out by the USAF. The crash investigation was headed by Maj. Gen. Warner E. Newby. The flight-recorder was recovered by a Navy diver on 7 Apr 1975 from the bottom of the South China Sea. A Pentagon spokesman said the plane had undergone minor repairs to its radio and windshield in the Philippines before flying to Saigon but added that had nothing to do with the crash.

At the time the USAF had taken delivery of 81 Galaxy's. Wing problems had plagued this immense cargo plane but were not considered a factor in this incident. In spite of it's wing problems this was only the second crash of a C-5A after over 190,000 combined flying hours by the USAF but the first crash resulting in loss-of-life. Two other C-5A's were previously destroyed in a fire while on the ground. Representative Les Aspin and Senator William Proxmire immediately urged the Air Force to ground the remaining 77 C-5A's, pointing to the continuing problem of weak wings.

By 8 Apr, Operation Baby Lift had resumed with the arrival of 56 orphans to the U.S. At the time of the crash over 18,000 orphans were being processed for evacuation from South Vietnam for adoption in the U.S. and other countries. Over 25,000 orphans were in South Vietnam in April of 1975.

We compiled these facts from AP & UPI articles that appeared in the Seattle Times, Seattle P-I and New York Times from 4 April to 8 April of 1975.

Roger Young - Vietnam Veteran
Pam Young - Vietnam-Era Veteran

Vietnam's Babies Rescue Remembered

© The Associated Press

By TINI TRAN [2 Apr 00]

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam (AP) - In the waning days of the Vietnam War, enormous cargo planes lumbered into the sky over Saigon carrying tiny, precious loads.

Along the walls inside the planes, seat belts held hundreds of frightened toddlers and older children. Down the center, secured with long straps, were rows of cardboard boxes, each holding two or three babies.

More than 2,000 Vietnamese orphans were evacuated from Saigon, now renamed Ho Chi Minh City, during those final days in April 1975 in a U.S. campaign dubbed ``Operation Babylift.''

It included a deadly crash that stunned even those already numbed by the war's horrors.

This week, some of those airlifted to new homes and adoptive families a quarter-century ago are coming back to Vietnam for the first time on a memorial tour led by one of the evacuation's organizers.

``It's a dream come true to be going back with the babies,'' said Sister Mary Nelle Gage, a former administrator with a volunteer agency that processed adoption papers for many of the children. ``We just gave every ounce of energy to get those kids to survive and leave that country. And now they're all going back.''

Gage, who now lives in Colorado, hopes the two-week trip will help the orphans, now in their mid-20s and early 30s, come to terms with their past. Many ended up being adopted by American families.

The orphans often didn't have official birth records because some were children of American GIs and Vietnamese women, considered a shameful union by Vietnamese society, she said. Many grew up wondering about their past and the reasons for their abandonment.

``They know this is their flesh-and-blood beginning. They want to see where they are from and experience being in that environment,'' she said.

The group of 38 includes 15 orphans as well as their adoptive families. Three are survivors of the ill-fated cargo jet crash on April 4, 1975, that killed 144 adults and children, including 76 babies.

On that morning, a giant C-5A cargo jet - making one of the first evacuation flights - cruised down the runway of Saigon's Tan Son Nhut Airport loaded with more than 300 children and their caretakers.

A few minutes after takeoff, an explosion blew out the doors. The pilots were able to turn the plane back toward the airport and crash-landed a few miles from the runway.

One of the most tragic images to emerge from the chaos of the war was the sight of tiny white body bags being unloaded from rescue helicopters as frantic personnel sought to help the 170-plus survivors.

The returnees are planning a special memorial service Tuesday at the crash site. Some of the Vietnamese childcare workers who cared for the orphans at the time are expected to attend.

Gage has led two other groups of orphans and their adoptive parents back to Vietnam in 1996 and 1997. But this year - the 25th anniversary of the end of the war - has a particular resonance, she said.

The trip will focus on providing the returnees and their parents with a sense of connection with the past, with visits planned to local orphanages and birthplaces of the orphans.

For the first-time returnees, cultural lessons on Vietnam are part of the itinerary, with tours of Ho Chi Minh City and a trip to the Mekong Delta and its floating markets.

Starting in the south, the tour will wind its way up to Danang and Hue before concluding in Hanoi at the end of next week with a meeting with U.S. Ambassador Pete Peterson.

AP-NY-04-02-00 1235EDT
Copyright 2000 The Associated Press.

Northwest Life: Monday, April 08, 2002
A reassuring presence: AmeriCorps volunteer
finds her voice helping crime victims

By Sherry Stripling
Seattle Times staff reporter

Midway through a day that's already full, AmeriCorps volunteer Sara Nelson dashes to the courthouse the minute she gets word that a verdict has been reached in a Seattle murder trial.

Nelson will attempt to comfort family members, knowing that people often postpone their grief until just this kind of moment.

This is 27-year-old Nelson's calling. Because a civic-minded Oregon couple adopted her from Vietnam through Operation Baby Lift in 1975, Nelson has always known that reaching out to people is the right thing to do.

But do it professionally? Spend her life making the hard calls to victims fresh with despair, or listening to a child tell the horror of sexual abuse? The answer is yes. But Nelson didn't know that before this year of national service with AmeriCorps.

"This position gives me experience I wouldn't have been prepared for or even considered without AmeriCorps," says Nelson, who has a soothing self-assurance that adds warmth to the impersonal world victims often face while seeking justice.

When Nelson leaves this yearlong job as a victim advocate's aide for the Seattle Police Department — for which she's paid a whopping $808 a month as an AmeriCorps member — she hopes to begin work on a master of social work degree at the University of Washington.

The older she gets, she says, the more she understands and appreciates how her parents devoted themselves to community service, inspiring her to do the same. Her folks gave time to school, church, sports teams and community activities. They planted trees, took in foster kids "and just helped out in general."

After being airlifted with thousands of other orphans at the end of the Vietnam War, Nelson grew up in Umatilla in northeast Oregon, population 3,000. Against this small-town backdrop, it was easy for her to see what her parents gained from pitching in.

"Everybody knew my parents and would say 'Hi,' " says Nelson. "You feel more connected to your community, and you can see the difference in the way people treat each other."

Nelson's family never steered away from what was difficult. Her grandmother moved in with them in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's disease and lived there until she died. Nelson helped with her care.

"She was a very proud, amazing woman," says Nelson, who lists her grandmother as her top role model, nudging out her parents, Darwin and Ellen, by a fraction.

Five years ago, Nelson's father became a quadriplegic after a car accident. Her mother, who still works full time, has devoted herself to his care.

"My parents have been through a lot," says Nelson. "They're the ones who give me strength." Maybe because she was so satisfied with her upbringing, Nelson has little need to seek out her roots. She hopes to return to Vietnam in five years with her mother to see if they can find her orphanage, primarily so she can tell her own kids someday.

After graduating from the University of Puget Sound, Nelson began to follow her parents' lead. First she volunteered with AIDS groups while working in office jobs, and then she applied for national service.

But she worried about the Peace Corps. How would she do living so far from family and friends? To test herself, she moved to Phoenix. Within the year, her father's health declined, and she knew she didn't want to stray far.

That made AmeriCorps perfect. Since fall, she's been one of 42 AmeriCorps members in King County's "JustServe" program. It's the kind of public-safety push President Bush had in mind when he talked of boosting the 50,000-member AmeriCorps by 25 percent next year.

Even though one of her experiences has been learning to be poor, Nelson has been very happy with the program. "I love working with people," says Nelson. That kind of passion makes AmeriCorps a good bargain, says Cameron Murdock, volunteer coordinator and advocate with the SPD's Crime Survivor Services.

"Sara is surrounded by people who are invested in making Seattle a better place to live," Murdock says. "Giving back to the community was certainly a part of who she was before she came to AmeriCorps, but I think she's found reinforcement here."

Some AmeriCorps volunteers have discovered working with victims is absolutely not what they want to do, Murdock says. Others have used this particular experience to launch themselves into law or social services, which is his hope for Sara because of her ability to work with people of all ages or cultural backgrounds.

"She's very confident in her skills, and she should be," Murdock says. "She's compassionate, she's patient and she's a good listener."

Sometimes, Nelson is the first person to call a victim of crime to say help is available. She sits with people when verdicts are read or counsels them on what to expect before they take the witness stand.

She is not afraid to speak up if she feels anyone along the way has forgotten the victim's rights. "It has been amazing to just be with people and help them through something that is very scary to them," Nelson says. "I know now this is work I'm cut out to do."

Sherry Stripling can be reached at or 206-464-2520.

Copyright © 2002 The Seattle Times Company

1993 D.C. Dedication

On November 10th, 1993 - one day prior to the Women's Memorial being dedicated in D.C. - the "A Circle of Sisters * A Circle of Friends" conducted a Memorial Service at Washington D.C. at the Wall honoring all the civilian women who served and died in Southeast Asia during United States Involvement. This was the first time the civilian women were honored publicly in our nation's capitol. The plaque is presently in the possession of the Smithsonian Institute on loan from the Museum Collection for The Wall.

Below is the press release from the "A Circle of Sisters * A Circle of Friends" as it read on November 8th, 1993:

*** 1993 PRESS RELEASE ***

On November 10, 1993 at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. a memorial ceremony will be held to honor the more than 20,000 civilian women who served in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. This event is being planned by "A Circle of Sisters * A Circle of Friends," which is a coalition of civilian women who served with various civilian groups in Vietnam, such as DOD, DAO, DIA, American Red Cross, USO, IVS, Army Special Services, State Department, USAID, CIA, The Alliance, and many other humanitarian organizations. This memorial ceremony is in conjunction with the dedication on Veteran's Day of the Vietnam Women's Memorial honoring the American woman's patriotic service to her country during the Vietnam War.

While much has been written of the heroism of the military women who served during the Vietnam Era, virtually nothing is known about the heroism, commitment and sacrifice of the 20,000 civilian women who served in Vietnam. Like their military counterparts, many of these women were wounded or killed in Vietnam. Eight military nurses died in Vietnam and are remembered on The Wall in Washington, D.C. There are 55 [Note: now 59] American civilian women who died in Vietnam in the line of duty and to date none of their sacrifices have been acknowledged. These women served in various capacities: Red Cross, Special Services, USO, civilian nurses, journalists, etc. [missionaries], and 5 [Note: now 4] of which are civilian women listed as POW/MIA.

This ceremony by civilian women honoring civilian women who died in Vietnam will take place at 6:00 p.m. on November 10th at The Wall with the consent of the Vietnam Women's Memorial Project, the Friends of The Wall, The U.S. Park Service and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. After the ceremony is concluded, a permanent plaque which has been engraved with the names of these civilian women will be given to the Museum Collection for The Wall.



Pam Wise [Young]
Vietnam Era Veteran (USN 1970-74)
Staff CINCPAC Joint Command
Operation Homecoming (JIB)

[Copies of the press release were sent out on November 8th, 1993. Please Note: Bracketed numbers in the main text of the above press release have been updated to reflect current information on the women as they become available.]

Some books worth reading on our women:

"In The Combat Zone," Kathryn Marshall, A composite of 20 plus stories of women, both civilian and military who served in Vietnam.

"A Piece of My Heart," Keith Walker, Stories of 26 civilian and military women who served in Vietnam.

"Forever Sad the Heart," Patricia Walsh (or Wolsh), She was a USAID nurse in Danang. The story is hers, but it is found under 'Fiction' in the library.

"No Time For Tombstones Life and Death in the Vietnamese Jungle," by James & Marti Hefley, Harrisburg, PA: Christian Publications, Inc. (much material on Betty Olsen).

"On The Other Side: 23 Days With The Viet Cong," by Kate Webb, NY: Quadrangle Books, l972 (Webb recounts her period of captivity in southeastern Cambodia).

"We Came To Help," by Monika Schwinn & Bernhard Diehl, NY: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, l976 (recounts the ordeal of five West Germans, three of them women, who were captured by the VC in l969, with the two survivors (l man, l woman) released in l973). The sender of this information states:

Additional names of women who served in Southeast

Asia sent to me that we shouldn't forget:

KATHY WAYNE: Australian entertainer, died in South Vietnam.

BARBARA BLACK: Australian nurse, died 1971.

RENATE KUHNEN: West German nurse, captured during Tet l968, released more than a year later near Kontum in the Highlands.

KATE WEBB: New Zealander, UPI bureau chief in Phnom Penh, captured by NVA in Cambodia in l97l and released several weeks later.


These three additional West German nurses, all of whom worked for the Aid Service of Malta and were captured - along with two of their male counterparts - in April l969. Kerber and Kortmann, along w/one of the men, Georg Bartsch, died while in captivity, while Schwinn and the other male, Bernhard Diehl, were released in North Vietnam in early l973.

Civilian Men

The following is a list Pam provided of the civilian men that she is aware of who perished\captured in Southeast Asia: This is NOT a definitive list, and subject to changes, additions or corrections!

Rev. Archie E. Mitchell

5/30/62 - POW/MIA (SVN) - (taken with Dr. Eleanor Vietti)

Daniel A. Gerber

5/30/62 - POW/MIA (SVN) - (taken with Dr. Eleanor Vietti)

Michael Benge

1/28/68 - POW (SVN) - (See bio on Betty Ann Olsen. Was released in 1973 in Operation Homecoming)

Henry Blood

2/1/68 - POW/MIA (SVN) - (taken with Betty Ann Olsen & Michael Benge; both Olsen and Blood died in captivity enroute to North Vietnam along the Ho Chi Min Trail; Benge was released in 1973 during Operation Homecoming.)

Rev. Griswald

2/1/68 KIA (SVN)

Rev. Robert Zeimer

2/1/68 KIA (SVN)

Rev. Thompson

2/1/68 KIA (SVN)

Charles Duke, Jr.

5/30/70 - POW/MIA (Pleiku)

Kit Mark

5/30/70 - POW/MIA (Pleiku)

Francois Sully

2/22/71 - Newsweek correspondent. (See related: Cambodia)

John Paul Vann

6/9/72 - Died in helicopter crash near Ro Uay in II Corps. Vann was, at the time, the director of the Second Regional Assistance Group in Military Region II in central South Vietnam. Being former military, he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. (See related: Cambodia).

Lloyd Oppel (a Canadian)

10/27/72 - POW (Laos) - (taken with Beatrice Kosin and Evelyn Anderson; was released in 1973 during Operation Homecoming.)

Samuel Mattix

10/27/72 - POW (Laos) - (taken with Beatrice Kosin and Evelyn Anderson; was released in 1973 during Operation Homecoming.)

In addition in a recent article entitled "The Unaccounted Casualties" by Roger Soiset, he lists some more civilians who still remain unaccounted for or have had their remains returned:

Eugene Debruin, Air America pilot


Jack Erskine, Geotronics employee,


James Simpson, Decca Navigation employee


Sean Flynn, journalist


Charles Dean, journalist


James W. Clark, tourist


David L. Scott, tourist


John Pierce, oil driller


If you (or anyone out there) have any more names of the civilians, please share them with Pam and I.



Added 13 May 1998

Eleanor Grace Alexander

Panel 31E

Line 8

Pamela Donovan

Panel 53W

Line 43

Carol Ann E. Drazba

Panel 5E

Line 46

Annie Ruth Graham

Panel 48W

Line 12

Elizabeth Ann Jones

Panel 5E

Line 47

Mary Therese Klinker

Panel 1W

Line 122

Sharon Ann Lane

Panel 23W

Line 112

Hedwig D. Orlowski

Panel 31E

Line 15


The following was submitted by Mike Benge and added on 21 July 1998.

IVS Dedication

This book is dedicated to the eleven IVS volunteers who died during or shortly after their terms of service. The information here is taken from their IVS applications with the help of Thomas Russell (IVS Laos, 1966-1968).

Frederick D. Cheydleur (1946-1967) was a Quaker and a pacifist. He was involved with Fellowship House and Tolstoy Farm before coming to Laos. His favorite reading was Coming of Age in Samoa, The Mind as Nature, The Hot Air Machine and Popular Mechanics. On his application, he wrote, "I want to face the problems that face the world, and I want personal harmony with that spark of good that is in each of us."

On March 25, 1967, Fred and his Lao assistant Chantai were assassinated.

Martin J. Clish (1939-1967) was a member of the International Farm Youth Exchange in India and an agriculture graduate of Bethany Lutheran Junior College and the University of Wisconsin. He was the first IVS volunteer in Cambodia, and he served in Laos as the Associate Chief-of-Party. His favorite books were Goals for Young Americans and A Nation of Sheep. He wrote, "Understanding is the basis on which we can build world peace and security."

In 1967, Martin died when his plane was shot down over Laos.

Chandler Scott Edwards (1945-1969) was a graduate of East Tennessee State University, and he served in Laos. His favorite books were The Ugly American, The Prophet and Freedom¦s Death. He said, "I prefer to relate to people and be with them for their possible aid but not with a dictatorial leadership role."

On April 24, 1969, Chandler and his two Lao assistants were killed in an ambush.

David L. Gitelson (1942-1968) studied soils at the University of California and was a medical specialist in the army. His favorite reading was Six Plays (by Odets), Six Plays of the South,(by Green), and I. F. Stone¦s Weekly. During his IVS service in Viet Nam, he was known as my ngeo (the poor American).

In 1968, David was taken prisoner and shot.

Peter M. Hunting (1941-1965) was a graduate of Government Studies at Wesleyan University, and he served as IVS Regional Leader in Viet Nam. His favorite books were India: The Most Dangerous Decade, Syntactic Structure, and Winnie the Pooh. He wanted " serve my country through IVS, not he military."

Peter was killed in an ambush in 1965.

Dennis L. Mummert (1945-1966) was an agriculture graduate of the University of Illinois, and he served in Laos. His favorite books were Black Like Me and The Other America. He wrote, "To me, the search for world peace is not through a gun barrel . . ."

On August 5, 1966, Dennis, Arthur Stillman and two Lao veterinarians were killed in an ambush while traveling from Vientiane to Paksane.

Michael Murphy (1944-1966) was an Electrical Engineering graduate of Catholic University and a member of the National Honor Society. He served with IVS in Laos. His favorite reading was Growing Up Absurd, The Psychology of Loving, Commonweal and Commentary. He wrote, "...there is a job to be done, and I am personally bound to act."

Michael drowned while crossing the Mekong River.

Alexander D. Shimkin (1944-1972) graduated from Indiana University in History and Government, and he worked in hospitals and on rice projects before serving with IVS in Laos. His favorite readings was Faulkner, Dreiser, political science and American history. He resigned from IVS after eleven months because the villagers in his area were being used to clear minefields. He wrote "I have no right to be exempt from making sacrifices overseas."

On July 14, 1972, Alexander was killed by a grenade in Quang Tri City, Viet Nam.

Max Sinkler (1940-1966) was an agriculture graduate of the University of Illinois and Oklahoma State in Plant Pathology. His favorite reading was U.S. Foreign Policy and How to Win Friends and Influence People. He wrote, "I would like to see these countries develop democratic societies because there is a danger in authoritarianism."

Max died when his jeep was hit by an army truck.

Richard M. Sisk (1939-1967) was a graduate of Paul Smith Junior College and the Louisiana Polytechnical Institute, and he served IVS in Viet Nam. His favorite reading was Tree Growth and Forest Science Magazine. He wrote, "I owe a debt to our way of life, and I want to pay for it by working through IVS."

In 1967, Richard was killed in Phan Rang.

Arthur D. Stillman (1942-1966) received his B.A. from Harvard and his M.A. from Yale in Southeast Asian Studies. He spent two years in Thailand with the Peace Corps, and he served as a Peace Corps Training Officer. He was the IVS Associate Chief of Party in Laos. His favorite reading was Elements of Social Organization, National Geographic and the Journal of Asian Studies. He wrote, "I want to serve my country without having to harm other human beings."

On August 5, 1966, Arthur, Dennis Mummert and two Lao veterinarians were killed in an ambush while driving from Vientiane to Paksane.


The following was submitted by Mike Benge and added on 26 August 1998.


The following are names which are not on the "Wall" -- USAID/KIAs. There may be a couple of duplicates, one lady and the IVS personnel.

Regards, MikeB

Three AID Foreign Service officers captured in the 1968 Tet offensive were among the 555 prisoners on the prisoner-of-war (POW) list released by North Vietnam on January 27.

Michael D. Benge, 38; Norman J. Brook-Utecht, 49. Two State Department Foreign Service officers detailed to AID men employed by the International Voluntary Service under an AID contract. Philip W. Manhard, 52, and Douglas K. Ramsey , 39. Marc Cayer, 29, and Gary Daves, 30, are the two IVS volunteers. Everett D. Reese was AID also.

He [Reese?] was the first of 42 men on assignment for AID to be killed on Vietnam and Laos. The last fatality was Randolph Kaiser, killed in a Viet Cong ambush July 28. Three of the men died while they were prisoners of war. They included Joseph W. Grainger, Gustav C. Hertz and Thomas E. Ragsdale.


Clyde F. Summers, contract VC ambush.


W.L. Jacobsen, contract, VC ambush.


John B. Cone, contract, VC ambush.
Joseph W. Grainger, killed after escape attempts from Viet Cong.
Peter H. Hunting, International Voluntary Services (IVS) volunteer, VC ambush.
Justin B. Mahoney, contract, plane crash due to enemy fire.
John L. Oyer, contract, killed in same plane crash with Mr. Mahoney.
Jerry Allen Rose, contract, plane crash due to sabotage.
Rodrigo Santa Anna, contract, shot during hostile fire.
Jack J. Wells, killed in plane crash with Messrs. Mahoney and Oyer.


Norman L. Clowers, VC ambush.


Fredrick Cheydleur, IVS, killed during Viet Cong attack.
Robert K. Franzblau, shot during heroic action while evacuating South Vietnamese refugees.
Donald V. Freeman, PASA, shot during hostile fire.
Gustav C. Hertz, died of malaria contracted during imprisonment.
Dwight H. Owen, VC ambush.
Carrol H. Pender, killed by landmine explosion.
Don M. Sjostrom, killed during Viet Cong attack on refugee camp.


Fredrick J. Abramson, VC ambush.
Robert W. Brown Jr., PASA shot during hostile fire.
Albert Farkas, died from pulmonary embolism following sniper fire.
David L. Gitelson, IVS, shot and killed same day he was taken prisoner by Viet Cong.
Thomas M. Gompertz, killed in Tet offensive on
Robert W. Hubbard, PASA, presumed killed while trying to escape Viet Cong.
Kermit J. Krause, killed in Tet offensive Hue.
Robert R. Little, killed in Tet offensive.
Hugh C. Lobit, killed in sniper fire while acting as escort for U.S. news correspondent.
Jeffrey S. Lundstedt, killed in Tet offensive on Hue.
John T. McCarthy, died from gunshot wounds.
Michael Murphy, VC ambush.
Richard A. Schenk, killed by landmine explosion.


Chandler Edwards, IVS, killed in Viet Cong rocket attack.
George B. Gaines, found dead from bullet wounds in back.
Robert D. Handy, contract, VC ambush.
Dennis L. Mummert, IVS, killed in Viet Cong rocket attack.
Thomas E. Ragsdale, PASA, body found in shallow grave, presumably killed by Viet Cong.
Arthur Stillman, IVS, killed in Viet Cong rocket attack.


Joseph B. Smith, killed by landmine explosion.


Rudolph Kaiser, VC ambush.
John Paul Vann, killed in plane [helicopter] crash.


To all the women and men who served in Southeast Asia and supported us in Vietnam, both military and civilian, I salute you! Thanks again to my wife, Pam, Ann Kelsey, Jolynne Strang and Mike Benge for providing me this information.

Roger Young, "Bear"
A Troop, 3/17 Air Cav
Scout Platoon Crew Chief
RVN '69 - '70

Roger and Pam Young are involved in the POW issue, are VVA Members at Large and support the "fullest possible accounting" of those Brothers and Sisters, both military and civilian, who have not yet returned home. The above is a combination of their collective effort in dedication to the civilian women who served and perished in Southeast Asia. Roger and Pam wish to thank all of those who have also shared information for this special dedication....

Pam is a Vietnam-Era veteran who served with Admiral McCain at CINCPAC and worked actively on "Operation Homecoming."


Page URL:

Originally Posted: 14 Sep 96

Revised: 13 May 98 -- 4 Jun 98 -- 21 Jul 98 -- 2 Apr 00 -- 4 Nov 00 - 10 April 02

The Northwest Veterans Newsletter --

E-mail: or

Home ]