MacNamara, Edwin Joseph, MAJ

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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1542-Infantry Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Officer)
Primary Unit
1966-1966, Reconnaissance Team Nevada, Command & Control Central (CCC)
Service Years
1947 - 1966


Special Forces

One Overseas Service Bar

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
Jul 03, 1966
Non Hostile- Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Quang Tin (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
08E 127

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord

 Unofficial Badges 

Airborne US Air Force Honorable Discharge

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award
Parachutist (Basic)
Vietnam - Jump Wings

 Unit Assignments
US Air ForceBasic Airborne Course (BAC) Airborne SchoolSpecial Operations Command, Korea (Army Element)7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
Special Forces UnitsMACV Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG)5th Special Forces Group (A)Reconnaissance Team Nevada, Command & Control Central (CCC)
  1947-1951, US Air Force
  1954-1954, Basic Airborne Course (BAC) Airborne School
  1955-1956, 1542, Special Operations Command, Korea (Army Element)
  1960-1962, 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
  1962-1966, Special Forces Units
  1966-1966, MACV Studies and Observations Group (MACV-SOG)
  1966-1966, 5th Special Forces Group (A)
  1966-1966, Reconnaissance Team Nevada, Command & Control Central (CCC)
  1966-1966, Reconnaissance Team Nevada, Command & Control Central (CCC)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1966-1966 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Campaign (1965-66)
  1966-1966 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (1966-67)
 Colleges Attended 
Pennsylvania State University, University Park
  1951-1954, Pennsylvania State University, University Park
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Philadelphia Daily News
Oct 26, 87

The Frankford High School graduate went on to La Salle College, followed by four years in the Air Force, four years at Pennsylvania State University and then a career in the Army. The 37-year-old major joined the Special Forces in 1960. He served in Korea and Germany before going to Viet Nam. MacNamara died on July 3, 1966. He was survived by his wife, four sons, a daughter, his parents, a brother and three sisters.
On 3 July 1966, MSgt. Ralph J. Reno and SSgt. Donald Fawcett were assigned to Reconnaissance Team (RT) Nevada, MACV-SOG. The two Americans and their 10 Nung strikers were being transported from Kham Duc Forward Operating Base (FOB) located near the South Vietnamese/Lao border to Kontum on board a South Vietnamese UH34 Seahorse, call sign "Kingbee." Also onboard the helicopter was operations officer Capt. Edwin MacNamara.

When the Seahorse was flying over the extremely rugged jungle covered mountains approximately 16 miles southeast of Kham Duc and 57 miles north-northwest of Kontum, the aircraft hit severe air turbulence. The UH34's tail, which was designed to pivot for storage on aircraft carriers, had come loose, swung around and chewed the helicopter to pieces in midair. It fell over 1,500 feet in a tight spiral ejecting its passengers, crew and debris over a large area.

Over the next five days, an extensive ground and aerial search and rescue (SAR) operation was conducted. Search personnel were able to locate and recover the remains of Capt. MacNamara, SSgt. Fawcett and five Asians. The bodies of the Americans were transported to a military mortuary where they were positively identified, then returned to the men's families. The search personnel found no sign of MSgt. Reno or the remaining seven Asians. At the time the formal SAR was terminated, Ralph Reno was immediately listed Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.

03 Jul 66: CPT Edwin J McNamara, Tm Leader (One-Zero) and SSG Donald J Fawcett Team Radio Operator (One-Two) were KIA-RR.  MSG Ralph Joseph Reno, Team Assistant Team Leader (One-One), Fayetteville, NC, was MIA; Nine Vietnamese Soldiers (names and Ranks unknown) were KIA (These 12 men were assigned to FOB #2, OPS 35, KONTUM, SOG) and a CH-34 Vietnamese Helicopter crew consisting the VN Pilot, (Cpt [Dau Uy Nguyen Van Hoagn aka "Mustachio, "Co-pilot and Door Gunner-names and ranks unknown were also KIA.

The aircraft was returning from Kham Duc after a mission to Kontum, FOB 2 when it hit a severe air turbulence resulting in the aircraft "falling apart" loss of the rear tail rotor (the tail , designed to pivot for storage on aircraft carriers, had come loose, swung around and chewed the helicopter to pieces in mid air) causing the aircraft to rotate rapidly, falling some (1,500 ?) feet in a tight spiral, throwing individuals and debris over a large area. impacting the ground nose first. Remains of 2 Americans and 5 Vietnamese were recovered. MSG Reno and 4 Vietnamese soldiers remains were not found after a 5 day aerial and ground search.

[Filed by SF Waugh, William (Billy), SGM: on or about 02 Jul 66 SSG Donald Fawcett was en route to Kam Duc, SVN, with other Americans, aboard an H-34 rescue helicopter. Due to poor visibility and suspected ground fire, one of the H-34 helicopter clipped the blades of the chopper in which Fawcett,, were pax. All aboard were killed by the crash, and I am not certain if their bodies were ever rescued or not].

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