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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Hurlburt Field in Okaloosa County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

United States Navy VO-67

 
 
United States Navy VO-67 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 17, 2016
1. United States Navy VO-67 Marker
Inscription. After training at Eglin Air Force Base with USAF Special Operations Command units from Hurlburt Field, and later based at Nakhon Phanom, Thailand, this top secret Naval Aviation squadron made aviation history. Flying missions under the operational control of the 7th Air Force, VO-67 emplaced electronic sensors along the Ho Chi Minh Trail in Laos and Vietnam. The sensors were used to detect movement of enemy troops and supplies infiltrating South Vietnam. Flying highly modified and armed OP-2E Neptune aircraft, this twelve-aircraft squadron flew daylight missions at low altitudes, through intense anti-aircraft defenses. Tragically, three aircraft and twenty crew members were lost due to hostile ground fire. Operational from November 1967 to July 1968, VO-67 received commendations and awards for its contributions, which significantly reduced the flow of enemy personnel and supplies into South Vietnam. The squadron also provided concentrated aerial support for the Marine base at Khe Sanh, South Vietnam, during the 1968 Tet Offensive. This memorial is dedicated by squadron members, families and associates in memory of the 20 brave VO-67 airmen who gave their lives in the performance of their duty.
"You Are Not Forgotten"
"All Gave Some, Some Gave All"


Crew 2
CDR Delbert A. Olsen
LTJG Denis L. Anderson
LTJG Philip P. Stevens
LTJG Arthur C. Buck
PO2 Donald N. Thoresen
PO2 Michael L. Roberts
PO2 Kenneth H. Widon
PO3 Richard M. Mancini
PO3 Gale R. Snow

Crew 5
CDR Glenn M. Hayden
LT Curtis F. Thurman
LTJG James S. Kravitz
ENS James C. Wohn
PO1 Paul N. Donato
PO2 Chester L. Coons
PO3 Clayborn W. Ashby, Jr.
AN Frank A.Dawson
AN James E. Martin

Crew 7
CDR Paul L. Milius
PO2 John F. Hartzheim
 
Erected
United States Navy VO-67 Marker on south side of Hurlburt Chapel. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, November 17, 2016
2. United States Navy VO-67 Marker on south side of Hurlburt Chapel.
2003 by the VO-67 Association.
 
Location. 30° 24.928′ N, 86° 42.052′ W. Marker is in Hurlburt Field, Florida, in Okaloosa County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Independence Road and Cody Avenue. Touch for map. Located at the Hurlburt Field Memorial Air Park on the south side of the Hurlburt Chapel. Access to the base is restricted. Marker is at or near this postal address: 315 Independence Road, Hurlburt Field FL 32544, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. U-10A Super Courier (a few steps from this marker); O-2 Super Skymaster (a few steps from this marker); The Forward Air Controller (a few steps from this marker); O-1E Bird Dog (a few steps from this marker); Captain Hilliard A. Wilbanks (a few steps from this marker); Operation Provide Comfort (within shouting distance of this marker); Operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina (within shouting distance of this marker); Operation Restore Hope (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Hurlburt Field.
 
More about this marker. Under Crew 5, the listing for James C. Wohn is misspelled. His grave marker, the one for Crew 5 at Arlington Cemetery, the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C. and the VO-67 Association website shows his last name as "Wonn".
 
Regarding United States Navy VO-67. More about Crew 7 - On February 27, 1968, Commander Milius, aircraft commander, and the crew of his Crew 7 OP-2E aircraft were on an operational surveillance mission over Laos when the aircraft was hit in the radar well by a large explosive projectile, presumed a 37MM antiaircraft fire. One crew member (PO2 John F. Hartzheim) was mortally wounded by the initial blast and fire broke out in the aircraft. (his remains were identified on 19 February 1999). As it became clear
An OP-2E Neptune of VO-67 image. Click for full size.
Public Domain by RM Gillepsie., 1967
3. An OP-2E Neptune of VO-67
A U.S. Navy Lockheed OP-2E Neptune (BuNo. 131423) of observation squadron VO-67 on a mission over Laos in 1967/68. VO-67 was employed during the "Igloo White" program to drop sensors along the "Ho Chi Minh Trail" to detect movements of enemy troops during the Vietnam War.
that the aircraft could not be saved, Captain Milius took the controls from the pilot, Lt. Bernie Walsh, and gave the crew the order to bail out. Captain Milius continued to control the aircraft to enable his crew to escape. Of eight surviving crew members of the initial blast, all but Captain Milius were safely rescued on the ground by the 37th Air Rescue Recovery Squadron Jolly Green Giants.

Capt. Paul Milius still remains unaccounted for. He was the and the last to bail out of his burning aircraft in February 1968, allowing the remaining seven survivors to be rescued. Milius was initially in radio contact with rescue helos on the day of the crash. The next day, only his radio beacon was heard and the rescue mission had to be aborted due to heavy enemy gunfire. Source: GlobalSecurity.org
 
Also see . . .
1. Wikipedia article on the VO-67 aircraft. (Submitted on December 12, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
2. VO-67 Association article about the monument dedication. (Submitted on December 12, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
3. VP Navy Organization history of VO-67. (Submitted on December 12, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
4. Wikipedia article on "Operation Igloo White". (Submitted on December 12, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. Air & SpaceMilitaryWar, Vietnam
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 12, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 12, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 165 times since then and 61 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 12, 2016, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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