Name: Gary Lewis Columbo
Branch/Rank: United States Marine Corps/E4
Unit: HMM 164 MAG 16
Date of Birth: 06 September 1946
Home City of Record:  YAKIMA WA
Date of Loss: 06 March 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 165258 North  1071458 East
Status (in 1973): Killed In Action/Body Not Recovered
Category: 5
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: CH46A #151943
Other Personnel in Incident:
Refno: 1076

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 - see source below.  2020




Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 20:21:04 -0500
From: Jerry Ostapowicz <>
USMC?Vietnam Helicopter Pilots
Subject: comments on Colombo, Gary Lewis, HMM-164

INCIDENT DATE 680306 HMM-164 CH-46A 151943+

Colombo, Gary Lewis CPL CrewChief HMM-164 680306

COLOMBO GARY LEWIS : 2197556 : USMCR : CPL : E4 : 6320 : 21 : YAKIMA : WA :
19680306 : Air Loss Crash Sea : CrewChief : body NOT recovered : Offshore -
region unknown : 02 : 19460906 : Cauc : RomanCatholic/single : 43E : 016

Comments on Incident:
Cpl Gary Colombo was Crew Chief on a CH-46A maintenance test hop from the
decks of the USS Valley Forge while serving with HMM-164. The aircraft
experienced dual engine failure and ditched in the South China Sea. Gary was
the only crewmember lost. Major Dick Sousa was the HAC.

Submitted by Bill Weaver, Squadron Aircraft Maintenance Officer




Return to Service Member Profiles


Corporal (Cpl) Gary Lewis Colombo entered the U.S. Marine Corps from Washington and served with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 164, Marine Air Group 15. On March 6, 1968, he was the crew chief aboard a CH-46A Sea Knight (bureau number 151943) on a maintenance engineering flight when it suffered engine failure, was forced to land in the sea, and sank (vicinity of 48Q YD 396 678). Three of the four crew members were rescued. Cpl Colombo was last seen attempting to exit the helicopter via the starboard hatch just before it sank. He is still unaccounted for. Today, Corporal Colombo is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Non-recoverable.

If you are a family member of this serviceman, DPAA can provide you with additional information and analysis of your case. Please contact your casualty office representative.

Service member profile discrepancy? Please help us ensure the accuracy of each profile by submitting documentation about a service member profile.