UPLINGER, BARTON JOHN
Name: Barton John Uplinger
Branch/Rank: United States Marine Corps /O3
Unit:
Date of Birth: 02 September 1942
Home City of Record: CAMARILLO CA
Date of Loss: 19 February 1968
Country of Loss: North Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 0 0
Status (in 1973): Body Recovered
Category: 5
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: CH53A
Missions:
Other Personnel in Incident:
Refno:
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews and CACCF = Combined Action
Combat Casualty File. Updated 2003 - with information provided through
Alan H. Barbour, Historian, History and Records Division, USMC/Vietnam
Helicopter Assoc. www.popasmoke.com
REMARKS: REMAINS RETURNED 02/19/68
CRASH/NON-AIRCREW/3 YRS UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS
Remains were buried with group in St. Louis. Kept on lists until 1982.
==================================
INCIDENT DATE 680219 HMH-463 CH-53A 153278+
[CREW]
Deetz, Bill Wayne CAPT Pilot HMH-463, MAG-16, 1st MAW, 3rd MAF 680219
Ehnis, Kenneth Paul SGT Crew HMH-463, MAG-16, 1st MAW, 3rd MAF 680219
Johnson III, Benjamin F LCPL Crew HMH-463, MAG-16, 1st MAW, 3rd MAF 680219
Tessier, Lucien Charles CAPT Pilot HMH-463, MAG-16, 1st MAW, 3rd MAF 680219
Torre, Francis San Nicolas SGT Crew HMH-463, MAG-16, 1st MAW, 3rd MAF 680219
[MEDEVAC CREW]
Bridges Jr., Robert Jan HM2(USN) Corpsman-Medevac Crew 3rd MEDBN, 3rd
MARDIV, 3rd MAF 680219
Mc Cullough, Sylvester TSGT(USAF) Medic-Medevac Crew 680219
[MEDEVAC]
Tyner, Robert Emmett PFC(USARMY) Pass-Medevac A/1stBn/12thCav/1stCavDiv
680219
[PASSENGER]
Uplinger, Barton John CAPT Pass VMO-6, MAG-36, 1st MAW, 3rd MAF 680219
BRIDGES ROBERT JAN JR: 5485760 : USNR : HM2 : E5 : HM2 : 25 : MITCHELL : SD
: 19680219 : Air Loss Crash Sea/medevac crew : died while missing - body
recovered : North Vietnam [corrected to Quang Nam, SVN] : 06 : 19430105 :
Cauc : Roman Catholic/married : 40E : 018 : interred at the Jefferson
Barracks National Cemetery, St Louis, MO : Plot: 81 0 308-310, bur.
09/10/1968
DEETZ BILL WAYNE : 091814 : USMC : CAPT : O3 : 7564 H-53: 26 : NORTHFIELD :
MN : 19680219 : Air Loss Crash Sea : Crew : body recovered : North Vietnam
[corrected to Quang Nam, SVN] : 06 : 19411208 : Cauc : Protestant/married :
40E : 019 : interred at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St Louis,
MO : 81 0 308-310, bur. 09/10/1968
EHNIS KENNETH PAUL : 1993132 : USMC : SGT : E5 : 6321 : 25 : ROMULUS : MI :
19680219 : Air Loss Crash Sea : Crew : body recovered : North Vietnam
[corrected to Quang Nam, SVN] : 06 : 19421106 : Cauc : Protestant/married :
40E : 019 : interred at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St Louis,
MO : Plot : 81 0 308-310, bur. 09/10/1968
JOHNSON BENJAMIN F III : 2185143 : USMC : LCPL : E3 : 6321 : 19 : SAN
ANTONIO : TX : 19680219 : Air Loss Crash Sea : Crew : body recovered : North
Vietnam  [corrected to Quang Nam, SVN] : 02 : 19480821 : Cauc :
Protestant/married : 40E : 023 : interred at the Jefferson Barracks National
Cemetery, St Louis, MO : Plot : 81 0 308-310, bur. 09/10/1968
MC CULLOUGH SYLVESTER : 12330670 : USAF : TSGT : E6 : Medical Corps : 35 :
NEW YORK : NY : 19680219 : Non-hostile, other causes/Air loss - sea/Helo -
medevac crew : died while missing - body later recovered : Offshore -
Military Region 1 [corrected to Quang Nam, SVN] : 19330128 : Negro : Baptist
: Married : 40E : 026 : interred at the Jefferson Barracks National
Cemetery, St Louis, MO : Plot : 81 0 308-310, bur. 09/10/1968
TESSIER LUCIEN CHARLES : 092299 : USMCR : CAPT : O3 : 7564 H-53: 24 :
MANCHESTER : NH : 19680219 : Air Loss Crash Sea : Crew : body recovered :
North Vietnam  [corrected to Quang Nam, SVN] : 04 : 19431223 : Cauc : Roman
Catholic/single : 40E : 032 : interred at the Jefferson Barracks National
Cemetery, St Louis, MO : Plot : 81 0 308-310, bur. 09/10/1968
TORRE FRANCIS SAN NICOLAS : 2127294 : USMC : SGT : E5 : 6341 : 21 : MANGILAO
: GU : 19680219 : Air Loss Crash Sea : Crew : body recovered : North Vietnam
[corrected to Quang Nam, SVN] : 03 : 19461014 : Cauc : Roman Catholic/single
: 40E : 033 : interred at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St
Louis, MO : Plot : 81 0 308-310, bur. 09/10/1968
TYNER ROBERT EMMETT : 53702312 : USArmy(draftee) : PFC : E3 : 11B10
(Infantry) : 20 : JACKSONVILLE : FL : 19680219 : Non-hostile, other
causes/Air loss - land/Helo - pass : died while missing - body recovered :
South Vietnam  [corrected to Quang Nam, SVN] : 19470804 : Cauc : Baptist :
Single : 40E : 033 : interred at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery,
St Louis, MO : Plot : 81 0 308-310, bur. 09/10/1968
UPLINGER BARTON JOHN : 093496 : USMCR : CAPT : O3 : 7563 : 25 : CAMARILLO :
CA : 19680219 : Air Loss Crash Sea : Passenger : body recovered : North
Vietnam  [corrected to Quang Nam, SVN] : 03 : 19420902 : Cauc :
Protestant/married : 40E : 033 : interred at the Jefferson Barracks National
Cemetery, St Louis, MO : Plot : 81 0 308-310, bur. 09/10/1968
Comment on Incident:
According to the HMH-463 Squadron Command Chronologies for Feb and Apr 1968,
the crew was reported as MIA on 19 Feb 1968. The crew was reclassified as
DAI/BNR on 13 Mar 1968.
From the MAG-16 Command Chronology:
"At 1915H this aircraft was declared overdue and missing after being last
reported at 092 degrees/20 nautical miles from TACAN Channel #69 enroute to
MMAF on an IFR clearance. Search and rescue operations were instigated and
continued on a daily basis through the end of the month"
Command Chronology for MAG-36 - June 1968:
"On 16 June the wreckage of an aircraft believed to be a UH-34 was found by
the APD aircraft from HML-367.  On 19 June a zone was blown using 2,000 lb.
bombs to allow a recon team to reach the crash site.  On 20 June a recon
Team "Fudge Cake" was inserted into the crash site at ZC 201946 and the
aircraft was identified as CH-53A, BuNo 153270.  Two M-60 machine guns, one
.38 Cal. pistol, one engine starter, and the dog tags of TESSIER, L. C.
092299 were recovered by the team. The team was extracted at 1700. On 21
June the recon team "Fudge Cake" with two Graves Registration men and an
aviator member of this command were inserted into the crash site. A thorough
search for the remains was conducted. All remains that could be found were
brought out and turned over to Graves Registration for further disposition.
A report was submitted to MAG-16 concerning the investigation." Submitted by
John Lane, HMM-364, USMC researcher
Comment on Incident - The Virtual Wall Website:
In the Spring of 2003, The Virtual Wall obtained a current copy of the
Defense Department's official casualty records, which lists 130,573
peacetime and wartime deaths from the first casualty of the Korean War on 28
June 1950 through an Air Force lieutenant who died in an automobile accident
on 31 Dec 2002. The Department of Defense database lists nine men who died
in a Marine Corps helicopter crash on 19 Feb 1968 ... the seven men listed
above and two other passengers:
TSgt Sylvester McCullough, USAF, New York NY, USAF Medic
PFC Robert E Tyner, US Army, Jacksonville FL, A/1/12 Cav
The casualty database was obtained from Mr. Tom Campbell, WHS/DIOR, in late
April 2003. While it does not indicate the vehicle type, it (sometimes)
indicates the branch of service that was operating an aircraft involved in
an accident. The database identifies the reason for and location of loss as
follows:
Capt Tessier: HELICOPTER ACCIDENT -- CREW (MC) NVN
Capt Deetz: HELICOPTER ACCIDENT -- CREW (MC) NVN
Sgt Ehnis: HELICOPTER ACCIDENT -- CREW (MC) NVN
LCpl Johnson: HELICOPTER ACCIDENT -- CREW (MC) NVN
Sgt Torre: HELICOPTER ACCIDENT -- CREW (MC) NVN
Capt Uplinger: HELICOPTER ACCIDENT -- PASSENGER (MC) NVN
HM2 Bridges: HELICOPTER ACCIDENT -- CREW (MC) NVN
TSgt McCullough HELICOPTER ACCIDENT -- CREW (MC) OFFSHORE SVN
PFC Tyner HELICOPTER ACCIDENT -- PASSENGER (MC) SVN
CH-53A BuNo 153278 was the only USMC non-hostile helo loss on 19 Feb 68. It
thus appears that Tyner and McCullough were aboard BuNo 153278. Submitted by
Ken Davis, The Virtual Wall, see
http://www.virtualwall.org/dt/TynerRE01a.htm
Comment on Incident:
HM2 Robert Bridges is listed on the casualty record as died while missing
-crashed at sea. The other helo members are all listed as body recovered but
I am not sure that is right. The family of this missing Doc knows very
little. I was in hopes you have some further info on this loss incident such
as what squadron and what they were doing off the coast of NVN etc. Bridges
served in 3rd Recon but from what I gather was sent to another unit.
Submitted by George Neville, 3rdReconBn.
Comment on Incident:
Bart Uplinger had been one of my transition flight students [UH-1E] at Camp
Pendleton (VMO-5). He was a fine gentleman and a fine pilot. He was assigned
to VMO-6 upon arrival in-country. It is my understanding that he possibly
had another role on this mission, either simply as a passenger using the
flight for transportation or with INTELL. Submitted by Alan H. Barbour,
pilot, VMO-2, former flight instructor.
Comment on Incident:
REMARKS[Uplinger]: REMAINS RETURNED 02/19/68 Remains were buried with group
of nine at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St Louis, MO.
Comment on Incident:
We were told maybe three months after the incident that our roommate,
Benjamin F. Johnson, was found along with the rest of the crew from HMH-463
on this bird which crashed on the same hillside as the CH-53 from HMH-463
which was found on 680108 with my roommate Phillip Stanley Strand. Both were
found one half mile from each other. We were told that both had been
following a bogus TACAN signal in the fog, and both crashed on the same
hillside. Submitted by Michael Burnett, Cpl, HMH-463, Aircrew, 1968
Comment on Incident:
The crash site was located on Monkey Mountain on the north side of DaNang
Harbor in a position very near a previous H-53 crash (8 Jan 68). The
suggestion of an errant instrument vector (possibly errant land elevation
information) is reasonable, as two aircraft impacted in the same general
region at different times under instrument conditions. The possibility of
inadvertent flight into terrain is also a reasonable explanation.
"Meaconing" (A system of receiving radio beacon signals and rebroadcasting
them on the same frequency to confuse navigation) by the enemy was always a
possibility. The meaconing stations cause inaccurate bearings to be obtained
by aircraft or ground stations, but there is no firm evidence either way
with respect to the two crashes. Submitted by Alan H. Barbour, Historian,
USMC/Vietnam Helicopter Association
Comment on Incident:
The initial report from MAG-16 indicated that 9 men perished. "The aircraft
crashed and burned in the valley below. Nine medevacs within the aircraft
were killed. The entire crew and six of the medevacs survived the crash with
injuries."
Another report from Tyner Family sources indicates that they were told that
there were 13 men aboard the helicopter and that several were Vietnamese
soldiers. The following is what R.E. [Tyner]'s family told us that the
military told them concerning R.E. the day that the helicopter crashed:
"R.E. was wounded in the neck/shoulder area while fighting in Hue. He
was placed on a helicopter and was to be sent to a medical facility in
Da Nang for treatment of his wounds."
"There were 13 men onboard the helicopter and several were Vietnamese
soldiers. The flight time was supposed to take about 20 minutes from
where they took off to where they were supposed to land. The helicopter
had been in the air about 10 minutes when all contact with it was lost.
All were declared MIA. Sometime later the Tyner family was contacted
and told that the helicopter had been found and the men declared dead.
They were told that of the 13 men on board that only enough remains of
bodies were found to put in 3 coffins." Mrs. Johnson, friend of R E Tyner.
From the above, it appears that BuNo 153278 was on a medevac mission to/from
Hue when it went down. Given the "last position" data of 092/20NM
Channel 16 the CH-53 was nowhere near NVN waters - and the wreckage
certainly
wasn't. It appears that an error was made in the initial coding of the
casualty reports or at some point thereafter ... and that no corrections
were
made after the wreckage was located in June 1968. The medevac mission itself
is indicated by the presence of a Corpsman (HM2 Bridges from the 3rd Med Bn,
Danang); Mrs. Johnson's information; and the presence of a USAF medic, TSgt
McCullough. From "The Virtual Wall", Ken Davis