Lane, James Everett, SP 5

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Last Rank
Specialist 5
Last Service Branch
Transportation Corps
Last Primary MOS
67S-Single-Engine Tandem-Rotor Helicopter Mechanic
Last MOS Group
Transportation Corps (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1962-1962, 67S, MAAG Vietnam (MAAGV)
Service Years
1950 - 1962

Specialist 5

Four Service Stripes

Three Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
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Casualty Info
Home Town
Odessa, TX
Last Address
Odessa, TX

Casualty Date
Jul 15, 1962
Hostile, Died
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Kontum (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Sunset Memorial Gardens - Odessa, Texas
Wall/Plot Coordinates
01E 011/Ascension G, Row 139, Grave 1

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans MemorialThe National Gold Star Family Registry
  1982, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified]7 - Assoc. Page
  2010, The National Gold Star Family Registry

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Aviation Badge (Basic)
Parachutist (Basic)

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1950, Basic Training (Fort Benning, GA)
  1957, Basic Training (Fort Bliss, TX)
 Unit Assignments
Airborne School1st Battalion, 188th Infantry Regiment (Airborne)1st Battalion, 17th Infantry 7th Infantry Division
US Army Pacific (USARPAC)/US Army Alaska (USARAK)140th Transportation Battalion (TMT)MAAG Vietnam (MAAGV)45th Transportation Battalion (Transport Aircraft) /8th Transportation Company
  1950-1950, 4745, Airborne School
  1950-1953, 1st Battalion, 188th Infantry Regiment (Airborne)
  1953-1953, 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry
  1953-1953, 7th Infantry Division
  1957-1958, 334th Transportation Group
  1958-1961, US Army Pacific (USARPAC)/US Army Alaska (USARAK)
  1961-1961, 140th Transportation Battalion (TMT)
  1962-1962, 67S, MAAG Vietnam (MAAGV)
  1962-1962, 67S, 45th Transportation Battalion (Transport Aircraft) /8th Transportation Company
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1953-1953 Korean War/Third Korean Winter (1952-53)/Battle of Pork Chop Hill
  1961-1962 Multiple JUSMAAGV Operations 1959-1963
  1962-1962 Vietnam War/Advisory Campaign (1962-65)
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Jun 15, 2017, General Photos3
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
“The First American helicopter crew was lost during a reconnaissance mission in Vietnam on July 15, 1962.

On board the Ch-21C (tail number 56-02084) of the 8th Transportation Company were a crew of four (pilot; co-pilot; crew chief and door gunner); three passengers, a LTC who was the Senior American Advisor to the 22nd ARVN Infantry Division and two Senior ARVN officers.

Those identified were:
LTC Anthony Tencza, American Advisor
Major Bob Corniel, Co-pilot
CWO Joseph Goldberg, Pilot-Aircraft Commander
SP5 Harold Guthrie-Crew Chief
Sp5 James E. Lane-Door Gunner
2 unnamed ARVN officers

Visibility was poor and the Shawnee had maneuvered through low clouds and was over unsecured enemy territory in mountainous terrain when, near the village of Dak Rode, the helicopter came under hostile fire. Specialist Lane returned fire at the enemy, concealed in the mist. The enemy continued to fire upon the helicopter until it crashed into the trees.

According to Max Wilson, the pilot who was following in another Shawnee, “ I saw it go down, but low on fuel and ammo, there was nothing we could do.”

Later, one survivor, Major Corniel, was found floating down a jungle river approximately five miles from the crash site. The other survivor, one of the ARVN officers was found nearby. Among the dead at or near the site of the crash were LTC Tenazca, CWO Goldberg, SP5 Guthrie, SP5 Lane and the other ARVN officer.

Special Lane was primarily a helicopter mechanic but he had volunteered to fly as the door gunner on this mission. "
Also from MSG Bowe's book, Major Corniel stated that after the aircraft went down, there were three survivors.  The other two was a Vietnamese officer and SP5 James Lane.  Major Corniel stated he was knocked unconscious and when he came around, SP5 Lane was attending him and also trying to pull the dead from the helicopter.  He stated Specialist Lane had a compound fracture of his leg, however, Specialist Lane was doing everything he could do with limited mobility.   Very shortly, the V.C. began to fire on the aircraft and they could see the V.C. moving in their direction.   They decided that they needed to move away from the area and they bunched together and moved as quickly as they could.  Major Corniel stated they moved for an hour or so and came to a river. 

At this point, they got into the water and let the current take them down stream and during this time they lost contact with the Vietnamese officer.  He stated Specialist Lane, then began to go in and out of unconsciousness and they got out of the river into an area, where Major Corniel could see that Specialist Lane was in really bad shape.  He and Specialist Lane agreed that he could go no further and they decided that Major Corniel would continue down stream hopefully to find help. 

When Major Corniel was found floating down river and when they could get back to the area, Specialist Lane had died from his injuries. In 1963, Lane Hanger at Camp Goldberg in Qui Nhon, Vietnam named for Specialist Lane. In 1967, Lane Barracks at Fort Eustis, Virginia was also named for Specialist Lane, as well in 1969, Lane Hall (a parachute maintenance building) at Fort Rucker, Alabama was named for Specialist Lane. Specialist Lane was awarded a posthumous Distinguished Flying Cross and his second Purple Heart for the actions that resulted in his death. Specialist James E. Everett was was buried with full military honors at the Sunset Memorial Garden's Cemetery in Odessa, Texas on August 4, 1962.   James was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for Valor and his second Purple Heart. 

Specialist Lane was survived by his wife, Jo Ann Lane and his three children, Pam, Cynthia and James Jr. He was also survived by his mother, Hazel Mozelle Lane of Odessa, his father E. E. Lane of Anchorage, Alaska and his two half brothers, Jackie and Don Lane. His wife and children were residing in Orlando, Florida in 1972.  His mother passed away in 1974 and she now rests next to him.
James was the first Permian Basin Resident to be killed in Vietnam.

James was born in Mosheim, Bosque County, Texas northwest of Waco.  He was the only child born to the marriage of Hazel  Mozelle Thompson and Everett Lane.  His parent's divorced and James moved with his mother to Odessa in 1946, where she  opened "Mo's Bar."  It was a place that catered to the  oilfield labor following World War II.   James attended Odessa Junior and Senior High School. 

He became fascinated with the helicopter when Lyndon Baines Johnson came to Odessa in the summer of 1948 campaigning for the Texas Senate Seat and was using a helicopter to fly him around.  James began to research this machine and was enamored with it.   
He dropped out of Odessa High School before his senior year to join the U.S. Army at age 17.  He enlisted in July 25, 1950.   He did his basic infantry and airborne training at Fort Benning, Georgia. He was assigned to Company G, 188th Airborne Infantry Regiment at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.  While assigned to this unit, he sustained a fractured ankle while on a training jump and the injury disqualified him from service with the airborne unit. 
He departed for Korea and served with an infantry company from April 22, 1953 until November 18, 1953. He was wounded in action June 4, 1953, receiving the Combat Infantryman's Badge, his first Purple Heart, the Bronze Star for Valor and was awarded the Silver Star for carrying a wounded soldier out of a hostile area near Porkchop Ridge.  He and two other soldiers were attempting to pull a severely wounded soldier out of the hostile fire.  They had been cut off and in the process, night fell upon them.  After attempting to avoid the enemy and having no light, they attempted to maneuver through the darkness and throw the carnage.  When the other two soldiers, became exhausted,  James continued on his own through the darkness, enemy fire and despite wounds he had sustained, he was able to get help to return to save the wounded soldier and to get relief for the other two soldiers.  He was wounded by shell fragments during his plight . He was discharged under honorable conditions December 10, 1953 at Fort Bliss, Texas.

He returned home and married Jo Ann Stanfield of Odessa.  His oldest daughter, Pamela Denise was born in Odessa in 1956.  After being a civilian for almost three years, James worked as a roughneck, truck driver, and painter in/around Odessa. He didn't feel that he fit in as a civilian and re-enlisted in the Army March 6, 1957 in Odessa.

He completed basic training at Fort Bliss and was considered to be the old man.  He had more combat decorations and was older than all of his cadre, but he graduated as the outstanding trainee with soldiers six to eight years younger.  He, then attended courses at the Transportation School, Fort Eustis, Virginia which included Aircraft Comp Repairman, Airframe Repairman and Tandem Rotary Helicopter Repairman.

James was then assigned duties as a Senior Helicopter Mechanic for the 334th Transportation Detachment at Fort Riley, Kansas.  His second daughter, Cynthia  was born while he was stationed at Fort Riley.  James re-enlisted for his own vacancy at a rank of Sp3 to be promoted to Sp4 June 14, 1958. He, then transferred with his unit to Alaska on August 28, 1958 to May 7, 1961, where his son, James Everett Lane, Jr was born.  He was then assigned duties as a Helicopter Mechanic with the 140th Transportation Detachment at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.  The unit was to be deployed to Vietnam and as such, all of the helicopters were flown cross country to San Francisco to be put on ships for the trip to South Vietnam.  James and his group, took off from Fort Bragg and the trip took eight days.  They would fly about 250 miles per day.  As the group flew over the southwest, one of their stops was to be in Carlsbad, New Mexico.  James' mother drove five hours at night to see James.  It was the last time she saw him alive.   After the unit arrived on the West Coast, his unit deployed to Vietnam on November 21, 1961.

From an article from TimeLine Indochina written by MSG Ray Bowes, U.S. Army retired in his book:  Vietnam Military Lore

“The First American helicopter crew was lost during a reconnaissance mission in Vietnam on July 15, 1962.
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