Name: John Norman Huntley
Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
Unit: 57th Aviation Company, 17th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade
Date of Birth: 01 March 1951 (Spencer MA)
Home City of Record: Portland ME
Date of Loss: 27 September 1969
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 144351N 1073316E (YB458318)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1H
Refno: 1493
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 2020.


SYNOPSIS: PFC John N. Huntley was the door gunner aboard a UH1H helicopter
from the 57th Aviation Company, 17th Aviation Group on an extraction mission
in Laos. The helicopter was to extract a Special Forces Long Range
Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) in Attopeu Province.

As the helicopter was lifting from the extraction zone with four men
attached by McGuire rigs, they were receiving heavy volumes of enemy fire.
When the helicopter reached an altitude of 400 feet, gunfire hit the engine
and the helicopter began falling. The pilots were able to slow the descent
somewhat by autorotation, but survivors of the incident reported that after
the helicopter was hit, it bounced, twisted and came to rest burning on its
right side.

The crew members lost consciousness and regain consciousness just as the
pilot and copilot were dragging the apparently lifeless body of Huntley from
beneath the helicopter. While they were doing this, they were knocked down
by the explosion of the helicopter and had to stop their attempts to rescue
the door gunner.

Because of intense enemy activity, no further attempts were made to recover
Huntley, and it was assumed that his body was consumed by the blazing
aircraft. He was listed as Killed, Body not Recovered, with a strong
probability that the enemy knows his fate.

Huntley is one of nearly 600 Americans lost in Laos. Although his case seems
clear, others cannot be resolved so easily. Many of the pilots and men on
the ground lost in Laos were alive the last time they were seen. Some were
in radio contact with would-be rescuers. A few were photographed in

Although the Pathet Lao stated publicly that they held "tens of tens" of
American prisoners, the U.S. refused to negotiate with a "government" they
did not officially recognize. Consequently, no American held in Laos was
ever released.

Although the young door gunner lost on September 27, 1969 is apparently
never going to come home, one can imagine him eagerly providing covering
fire in an attempt to bring his comrades to freedom.


From - Thu Jul 16 15:32:55 1998
Subject: POW: Request

We have been asked by the sister of JOHN N. HUNTLEY, SANDRA (HUNTLEY) GALLANT,
to see if there is someone that was with JOHN at the time of the crash of his chopper SEPT 27 1969,
in or over LAOS.

She would like to speak with anyone who may have known her brother. She was a young girl
when Casualty came to speak with her mother and Sandra is unable to remember what was said. 
If there someone that remembers JOHN HUNTLEY, his sister would like to speak with them.

Please get in contact with Michael L. Williams at 

Thank you.





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On September 26, 1969, a UH-1H Iroquois (tail number 68-15558, call sign "Gladiator 558") with four crew members took off on an extraction mission for a long range reconnaissance patrol team in Laos. As the aircraft departed the extraction zone in the vicinity of (GC) YB 458 318, with four patrol members attached by rope and rigs, it came under heavy enemy fire, descended, crashed, and burned. The crew chief was able to get the pilot and copilot to safety; however, his attempts to retrieve the body of the door gunner failed due to continuing enemy fire. No further attempts were made to recover the remains of the gunner and he remains unaccounted for.

Private First Class John Norman Huntley entered the U.S. Army from Maine and was a member of the 57th Aviation Company, 17th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade. He was the was the door gunner aboard this Iroquois when it crashed, and he was killed in the incident. His remains could not be recovered. Today, Private First Class Huntley 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 Active Pursuit.

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.

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