RIGGS, THOMAS FREDERICK Name: Thomas Frederick Riggs Rank/Branch: W2/US Army Unit: Company C, 227th Aviation Battalion, 11th Aviation Group, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) Date of Birth: 24 July 1946 (Wayne MI) Home City of Record: Farmington MI Loss Date: 11 June 1967 Country of Loss: South Vietnam - Over Water Loss Coordinates: 131800N 1094000E (CQ555705) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 5 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1D Refno: 0731 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. Other Personnel In Incident: Ralph E. Uhlmansiek; Quentin Beecher; James R. Nelson Dean E. Clinton (all missing) REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: The 227th Aviation Battalion (Assault Helicopter), 11th Aviation Group was organic to the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). From the end of October 1966 into February 1967, the 1st Cavalry Division battled clearing Binh Dinh Province in Operations THAYER II and PERSHING, the latter concentrated in the rich northern coastal plain as well as the Kim Son and Luoi Ci Valleys to the west. Throughout the rest of 1967 the division combated the North Vietnamese Army's 610th Division and Viet Cong Units in the II Corps Tactical Zone. There were over 7100 known enemy casualties in the two operations. On June 11, 1967, WO1 Thomas F. Riggs, pilot; WO Dean E. Clinton, co-pilot; SP5 James R. Nelson, crew chief; and passengers WO1 Quentin R. Beecher and SP4 Ralph E. Uhlmansiek; departed Landing Zone Uplift, Qui Nhon airfield in the southern coastal region of Binh Dinh Province, South Vietnam. The crew and passengers were aboard a UH1D helicopter (serial #63-12958), call sign "Bamboo Viper 47", on an operations mission in the province. At 1900 hours, Bamboo Viper 47 left the LZ at Qui Nhon. While en route, bad weather was encountered, and the pilot requested assistance in determining his position. Efforts by Tuy Hoa and Qui Nhon airfields, and airborne search and rescue control aircraft failed to locate the aircraft to guide it to the airfield. At 2057 hours, the pilot reported that he was out of fuel, and was willing to make a water landing. Search and rescue efforts started immediately, and continued until 13 June, but was unsuccessful in locating either the helicopter or its crew and passengers. All were declared Missing in Action, Category 5 (which indicates that it is not felt that remains can be recovered). There are nearly 2500 Americans who remain missing in Southeast Asia. Reports from refugee and intelligence sources continue to mount that indicate some of these men are alive, still held in captivity. Experts now believe that hundreds of Americans are still held. The case of the downed UH1D seems clear - The crew will probably never be found. But for many of the others who are missing, endings are not so easy to write. Many are alive and waiting for the country they proudly served to bring them home. As long as one American is alive in captivity in the jungles of Southeast Asia, the war is not over - our flag is still there.