This is dedicated to POW/MIA, W1 Barry Frank Fivelson

Name: Barry Frank Fivelson
Rank/Branch: W1/US Army
Unit: 159th Aviation Battalion, 101st Airborne Division
Date of Birth: 19 March 1950
Home City of Record: Evanston IL
Date of Loss: 15 February 1971
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 163836N 1062558E (XD528405)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 3
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: CH47C

Other Personnel In Incident: Donald E. Crone; Willis C. Crear;
John L. Powers; Marvin M. Leonard; James H. Taylor (all missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 1990
from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources,
correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews.


SYNOPSIS: Lam Son 719 was a large-scale offensive
against enemy communications lines which was conducted in that part of Laos adjacent
to the two northern provinces of South Vietnam. The South Vietnamese
would provide and command ground forces, while U.S. forces would furnish
airlift and supporting fire.

Phase I, renamed Operation Dewey Canyon II,
involved an armored attack by the U.S. from Vandegrift base camp toward Khe Sanh,
while the ARVN moved into position for the attack across the Laotian border.
Phase II began with an ARVN helicopter assault and armored brigade thrust along
Route 9 into Laos. ARVN ground troops were transported by American helicopters,
while U.S. Air Force provided cover strikes around the landing zones.

On February 15, 1971, during one of these maneuvers,
a CH47 helicopter was assigned the task of ferrying a load of gasoline
into Savannakhet Province, Laos. The crew of the aircraft consisted of
SP4 Donald E. Crone, crew chief; CWO Marvin M. Leonard, pilot; SP4 Willis C. Crear,
door gunner; SP4 John L. Powers, flight engineer; 2Lt. James H. Taylor, aircraft commander.
WO Barry F. Fivelson was a passenger onboard the aircraft.

During the mission, the aircraft was hit by enemy fire
and began to lose altitude. During the descent, the sling load apparently exploded,
causing the helicopter to explode, break into pieces, and crash.
Observers later said that the helicopter seemed disoriented and that it
had overflown the nearest friendly location by several miles and had descended in enemy-held
territory about 10 miles southeast of Sepone.

According to the U.S. Army, air searches conducted within minutes
of the crash revealed no sign of survivors. However,
according to information given to family members, the aerial search failed to find evidence of a crash.
A ground search was not possible because of hostile threat in the area.
(Note also that Defense Department data remarks indicates that a crash site was found
and that no survivors were observed from the air.)

The men aboard the CH47 were all classified Killed/Body Not Recovered.
The families maintain there is still a mystery surrounding
the crash of the aircraft, and they would like to know the whole truth.

Proof of the deaths of Powers, Fivelson, Taylor, Crear, Crone and Leonard was
never found.
No remains came home; none was released
from prison camp. They were not blown up, nor did they sink to the bottom of the ocean.
Someone knows what happened to them.
The personnel aboard the CH47 are among nearly 600 Americans lost in Laos.
The communist Lao stated on several occasions
that they held American prisoners, but as the U.S. did not recognize the Pathet Lao as
a legitimate government, we never negotiated with them for their release.
Consequently, not one man held in Laos was ever released.

Were it not for thousands of reports relating
to Americans still held captive in Southeast Asia today,
the families of the CH47 helicopter crew might be able to believe their men died with their aircraft.
But until proof exists that they died, or they are brought home alive, they will wonder and wait.

How long must they wait before we bring our men home?

Passing along timely information........time to remember.


Some veterans bear visible signs of their service: a missing limb, a jagged scar, a certain look in the eye.

Others may carry the evidence inside them: a pin holding a bone together, a piece of shrapnel in the leg - or perhaps another sort of inner steel: the soul's ally forged in the refinery of adversity.

Except in parades, however, the men and women who have kept America safe wear no badge or emblem.

You can't tell a vet just by looking.

What is a vet?

He is the cop on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.

He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th parallel.

She - or he - is the nurse who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing every night for two solid years in Da Nang.

He is the POW who went away one person and came back another -or didn't come back AT ALL.

He is the Quantico drill instructor who has never seen combat - but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs.

He is the parade - riding Legionnaire who pins on his ribbons and medals with a prosthetic hand.

He is the career quartermaster who watches the ribbons and medals pass him by.

He is the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb Of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.

He is the old guy bagging groceries at the supermarket - palsied now and aggravatingly slow - who helped liberate a Nazi death camp and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.

He is an ordinary and yet an extraordinary human being - a person who offered some of his life's most vital years in the service of his country, and who sacrificed his ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.

He is a soldier and a savior and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation ever known.

So remember, each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say Thank You. That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been awarded or were awarded.

Two little words that mean a lot, "THANK YOU".

Remember November 11th is Veterans Day

"It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, Who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier, Who salutes the flag, Who serves beneath the flag, And whose coffin is draped by the flag, Who allows the protestor to burn the flag."

Father Denis Edward O'Brien, USMC

This page has been visited times.

Thanks to Graphics by Doc

Thanks to Dennis' Eagle Graphics

Please take the time to contact your elected officials!!!!

The President & Vice President 
Members of The U.S. House of Representatives 
Members of The United States Senate 


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