“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Salina in Saline County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

Dennis Gerard Pugh

Panel 12 W Line 22

Dennis Gerard Pugh Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 30, 2012
1. Dennis Gerard Pugh Marker
Difficult to photograph entire marker due to glare

Major Dennis Gerard Pugh was born on February 10, 1944 in Hutchinson, Kansas. He attended grade school at New Cambria, KS and high school in Salina, KS, where he graduated in 1962. He attended Boy's State in Wichita and went to the University of Kansas for one year before being appointed to the United States Air Force Academy at Colorado Springs.

Pugh graduated from the Academy in 1967 and attended UCLA where he completed his master's degree in qualitative analysis-mathematical methods. From UCLA, Pugh went to Mather Air Force Base in Sacramento where he took navigator's training. He attended Combat Crew Training and Survival schools before he went overseas.

On September 15, 1969, Pugh was sent to Ubon, Thailand, to fly F4's, something he had always dreamed of doing. While flying as weapons/systems officer on a Forward Air Controller mission on March 19, 1970 with Captain Richard A. Rash, Pugh, aboard an F-4D on a combat mission over the Ho Chi Minh Trail in the Khammouane Province, Laos, received hostile ground fire and ejected from their aircraft in an area approximately 15 kilometers south of Mu Gia Pass. He and his pilot ejected

Photo of Dennis Gerard Pugh image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 30, 2012
2. Photo of Dennis Gerard Pugh
safely from the aircraft. Rash was injured, but Pugh was in good shape.

Airborne search and rescue forces established contact with both of them on the ground but were unable to recover them due to darkness. The next day SAR forces reestablished contact with Pugh who reported that hostile forces were within ten meters of his position. He requested the SAR forces place ordnance on his position and he then held down the transmit key on his radio. Then excited Asian voices were heard followed by 15 or 20 shots being fired followed by silence. Ordnance was placed on his position as he requested and there was no further contact from him.

Rash was rescued on March 21st and reported hearing the sound of small arms fire from Pugh's location after which he lost radio contact with him. Further efforts to locate Pugh were unsuccessful and he was declared missing in action.

Returning U.S. POW's had no information on the eventual fate of Pugh. He was later declared killed in action, body not recovered, based on a presumptive finding of death.

In 1984, U.S. intelligence received information from a source describing the shoot down of an aircraft in which one pilot was rescued and one was taken prisoner. This report was believed to possibly correlate to this loss incident although Rash and the SAR pilots believed Pugh had died.

There has been no future word of Major Dennis Pugh.

Dennis Gerard Pugh Memorial image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 30, 2012
3. Dennis Gerard Pugh Memorial
His family has worked to obtain more information on him since he went missing. As there is increasing evidence that Americans are alive in Southeast Asia, Pugh's family wonders if he is still alive.

Pugh was posthumously promoted to Major.

(This information was received from the P.O.W. NETWORK)

"Moving Wall" - Panel 12W

This panel is from the original "Moving Wall" and lists approximately 1,300 names from about 54 days of combat. The panel was acquired by Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 809. It was donated to St. Johns Military School at the request of the Pugh family.

"The Moving Wall" is the half-size replica of the Washington, DC Vietnam Veterans Memorial and has been touring the country since 1984. The "Moving Wall" was originally built by Vietnam Combat Veterans Ltd. members John Devitt, Norris Shears, and Gerry Haver.

When the Wall comes to a town, it brings people out from all over. It's about remembering 58,000 people who died in service to their country.
Erected by Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 809 and the Pugh Family.
Location. 38° 51.779′ N, 97° 36.589′ W. Marker is in Salina, Kansas, in Saline County. Memorial is near the entrance to the Vanier Academic Center, on the St. John's Military School. Touch for map

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. Marker is at or near this postal address: 110 West Otis Avenue, Salina KS 67401, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. St. John's Military School Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Barnabus Hospital Portico Columns (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Old Mule-Skinner (about 300 feet away); Lt. Col. Paul H. Kellogg, USMC (about 400 feet away); Colonel Keith G. Duckers (about 400 feet away); Col., The Rev'd R.L. Clem (about 400 feet away); Col. James B. Irwin (about 400 feet away); Memorial Hall (approx. 1.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Salina.
Also see . . .
1. Dennis Gerard Pugh at The Wall. (Submitted on February 2, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. St. John's Military School, Salina KS. (Submitted on February 2, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Topics. This marker is included in these topic lists: Patriots & PatriotismWar, Vietnam
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 2, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 303 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 2, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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