MOREIDA, MANUEL JESUS Remains Identified, Burial 10/24/2002
Name: Manuel Jesus Moreida Rank/Branch: E4/US Army Unit: J Assault Helicopter Co. 17th Group, 1st Aviation Brigade Date of Birth: 15 October 1946 Home City of Record: Harlingen TX Date of Loss: 02 December 1967 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 125807N 1092417E Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 4 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1D Refno: 9333
Other Personnel In Incident: Wallace W. Leeper; Richard A. Crosby; Floyd W. Strange (all 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 2002.
SYNOPSIS: On December 2, 1967, WO Wallace Leeper, aircraft commander; WO Floyd W. Strange, co-pilot; SP4 Manuel J. Moreida, crewchief; and SP4 Richard A. Crosby, door gunner, were crewmembers aboard a UH1D helicopter (serial #6600811). The helicopter departed Phu Hiep airfield, Phu Kanh (formerly Phu Yen) Province, Vietnam, in marginal weather, to return Captain Woo Shik Pak, a Korean, to his unit which was located about 25 miles south along the coast.
When the aircraft did not return to Phu Hiep at the scheduled time, a communications and ramp check was initiated without success. Further unsuccessful search and rescue efforts were conducted along the coastal and mountain area from December 3-9. The aircraft was last seen as it departed Phu Hiep airfield and headed in a southeasterly direction along the coast. Subsequent information indicates that the aircraft crashed and burned in the mountains north of Vung Ro Bay.
On September 3, 1973, a source reported that 3 local villagers of Hoa Xuan village reported that they discovered a U.S. helicopter with 2 or 3 remains in uniform at the crash site. Other reports were received that possibly correlated with this incident, but were resolved to other cases.
No one knows for sure what happened to the crew of the UH1D that was lost on December 2, 1967. All but Strange are classified in categories that would indicate that the enemy probably does not know what happened to them. Strange, however, is in a category of strong suspicion that his fate is known by the enemy. While the Army currently carries them dead, body not recovered, their status in 1973 was Missing In Action. Because of these unusual discrepancies, it can be assumed that the whole story is not known.
With mounting evidence accumulating that indicates hundreds of Americans are still alive in Southeast Asia, one must wonder if Manuel Moreida is one of them. And if so, what must he be thinking of us?
================== 10/16/2002 From Larry Klein: Subject: 811 Flight Crew Service
I feel it is appropriate to update the Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc about the MIA-POW file referenced as number 0933. The remains of the crew of UH-1D 66-00811 assigned to the 48th Assault Helicopter Company will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery on October 24, 2002.
WO Wallace Leeper, WO Floyd W. Strange, Specialist Manuel J. Moreida, and Specialist Richard A. Crosby departed Phu Hiep on December 2, 1967 to return a Korean Captain Woo Shik Pak to his unit nearby. The aircraft did not return. Search and rescue efforts conducted along the coastal and mountain area from December 3-9 were unsuccessful. The missing aircraft and remains of the crew were finally found in 1993.
The scheduled events include a family visitation on the evening of October 23, 2002 from 7-9 pm at Murphy's Funeral Home. A joint service with full military honors begins at 11 o'clock am October 24, at Old Chapel. Family and friends will afterward walk behind the caisson(s) to the burial site. At the burial site there will be a final service with a volleyed rifle salute, the playing of Taps, folding of flags and a presentation of the flags to the families. A representative will attend on behalf of the Secretary of Defense and a mournful nation. A reception follows the ceremony, at Spates Hall.