Padgett, David Eugene, MAJ

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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1981-Rotary Wing Aviation Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Aviation (Officer)
Primary Unit
1968-1969, 1981, 282nd Aviation Company (AHC), 212th Aviation Battalion
Service Years
1967 - 1969



 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SGT Dave Stutesman to remember Padgett, David Eugene, MAJ.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
Feb 06, 1969
Non Hostile- Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Quang Tri (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
33W 073

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 Ribbon Bar

Aviator Badge (Basic)

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1967, Aviation Officer Basic Course (Fort Rucker, AL)
 Unit Assignments
1st Aviation Brigade16th Aviation Group212th Aviation Battalion282nd Aviation Company (AHC), 212th Aviation Battalion
  1968-1969, 1981, 1st Aviation Brigade
  1968-1969, 1981, 16th Aviation Group
  1968-1969, 1981, 212th Aviation Battalion
  1968-1969, 1981, 282nd Aviation Company (AHC), 212th Aviation Battalion
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase IV Campaign (1968)
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase V Campaign (1968)
  1968-1969 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VI Campaign (1968-69)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
282nd Aviation Company, 212th Aviation Battalion, 16th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade .

On February 6, 1969, the crew of a UH-1H Huey helicopter (serial #67-17499), were on an emergency resupply mission in South Vietnam. While enroute from a landing zone in the Quang Tri province, the crew radioed that the flight was returning due to poor weather conditions and reduced visibility. When the flight did not return, a search and rescue mission was initiated, but was unsuccessful in locating the missing aircraft.

The flight included three passengers.


1st Lt. David E. Padgett, aircraft commander, (MIA/KIA)
CW1 Charles I. Stanley, pilot (MIA/KIA/Remains Identified)
SP5 Robert C. O'Hara, crew chief, (MIA/KIA)
PFC Eugene F. Christiansen, door gunner, (MIA/KIA/Remains identified)

Lt. Col. Donald E. Parsons, MACV Advisory Team 4, (MIA/KIA/BR)
1st Lt. Ronald D. Briggs, MACV Advisory Team 4, (MIA/KIA/BNR)
Maj. Vu Vanh Phao, Army of the Republic of Vietnam, (MIA/KIA/BNR)

The American passengers were both assigned to Advisory Team 4 and Major Vu commanded the ARVN 1st Infantry Division that Lt. Col. Parsons and 1st Lt. Briggs were assigned to advise.

On 6 February 1969, the crew of a UH-1H (serial #67-17499) was conducting a standard resupply mission in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam.

At approximately 1100 hours, 1st Lt. Padgett contacted the ground control center at their destination while enroute from Firebase Vandergrift to landing zone (LZ) Tornado. He stated that due to poor weather conditions and equally poor visibility, the flight was returning to Firebase Vandergrift.

The ground control radio operator at LZ Tornado told 1st Lt. Padgett he could hear the helicopter in the distance to the northeast of his location and that it sounded as if the Huey was heading in a northerly direction. When the aircraft failed to return to Firebase Vandergrift, a radio check of all airfields in the region that it might have diverted to in an emergency were contacted, but none could provide information about the missing helicopter.

A coordinated extensive search and rescue (SAR) operation was immediately initiated. Search aircraft continuously crisscrossed the jungle covered mountains and valleys between the last known location of the Huey and Firebase Vandergrift for seven consecutive days.

On the morning of 7 February, the day after the Huey disappeared, the onsite airborne command and control aircraft, call sign "Crown," reported receiving multiple emergency beeper signals several times from the general area south of "Firebase Vandergrift" in the vicinity where Lt. Padgett's aircraft was thought to be lost. At the time the formal search effort was terminated, Donald Parsons, Robert O'Hara, Charles Stanley, David Padgett, Eugene Christiansen and Ronald Briggs were listed Missing in Action.

The area where the signals emanated from was located in the jungle covered mountains approximately 10 miles east of the South Vietnamese/Lao border, 19 miles southeast of Khe Sanh, 24 miles south of" Firebase Vandergrift", 32 miles west of Hue City and 37 miles south of the demilitarized zone (DMZ). A secondary road running generally north/south through the mountains was located roughly 1 mile west of the emergency signals and the mountain top rose up the same distance to the east. None of the SAR personnel were able to identify the source of the signals. Likewise, the cause of the Huey's loss could not be determined.

The seven men were classed as Missing in Action. As time passed, Presumptive Findings of Death were approved for the six Americans (Padgett on 15 Oct 1979). In the mid-90s, the aircraft wreckage was located and the site excavated. Human remains found during the site search were repatriated on 27 August 1996. Tentative identification of the six Americans was completed in the Oct/Dec 2000 time frame.

PFC Eugene F. Christiansen's remains were buried at the Eagle Point National Cemetery in Eagle Point, Oregon, on 25 June 2002.

The remains of the other six men were buried with full honors at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday, 08 November 2002.

Vietnam Wall Panel coords 33W 073

Service #   314446505

Start of Tour: 02/27/1968


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