HANSEN, LESTER ALAN Name: Lester Alan Hansen Rank/Branch: W2/US Army Unit: 170th Aviation Company, 17th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade Date of Birth: 01 July 1942 (Durango CO) Home City of Record: Pueblo CO Date of Loss: 13 August 1969 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 141512N 1074200E (YA912773) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1C Refno: 1481 Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) Source: Compiled from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK in 1998. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: CW2 Hansen was the pilot of a UH1C on a reconnaissance team insertion mission on August 13 1969. The team was to be inserted at a LZ in southern Kontum Province, South Vietnam at a point where the Sang Sung River turns sharply to the east. As the helicopter approached the landing zone in the lead position, it was struck with small arms fire and crashed. Another helicopter in the flight immediately responded and began extracting the crew. Small arms fire caused the rescue helicopter to take off early, and CW2 Hansen was not able to get aboard. However, he did grab the skid, but as the aircraft gained altitude, CW2 Hanson was unable to maintain his grip and fell about 100-500 feet. Extensive air and ground searches were conducted for the next 4 days without revealing any trace of CW2 Hansen. He was listed Missing In Action. Hansen's family knew there was a possibility that he had survived to be captured, and waited for the war to end. When the war ended, and 591 Americans were released from communist prison camps, Lester A. Hansen was not among them. He was one of roughly 3000 Americans who were not accounted for. Twenty years after he fell from the helicopter skids, the number of missing has decreased due to the return of remains and resolution of cases, to under 2500. Hansen has never been found. While the "number" of men missing has decreased, an alarming increase in reports has escaped Vietnam of Americans still alive and captive there. Many authorities believe that there are hundreds of Americans still prisoner. Whether Lester A. Hansen is among them is unknown. What is certain, however, is that as long as there is even one American being held against his will, we owe him our best efforts to bring him home.