PLASSMEYER, BERNARD HERBERT
|Name: Bernard Herbert Plassmeyer
Rank/Branch: O2/US Marine Corps
Unit: Marine Attack Squadron 311
Date of Birth: 05 May 1945
Home City of Record: Freeburg MO
Date of Loss: 11 September 1970
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 145228N 1084623E
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel in Incident: None missing
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project March 1991 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.
SYNOPSIS: Bernard H. Plassmeyer was born May 5, 1945, the fourth son of Mr.
and Mrs. Paul Plassmeyer of Westphalia, Missouri. Bernie attended St. Joseph
grade school, Fatima High School, and graduated from Parks College of
Aeronautical Technology of St. Louis University in 1966.
In early 1967, Bernie joined the Marine Corps, receiving his commission as a
Marine officer in June 1967, and the wings of a Naval Aviator March 21,
1969. He was selected to receive the Orville Wright Achievement Award for
outstanding performance as a Marine Corps aviator on August 29, 1969.
In February 1970, Plassmeyer went to Vietnam and was assigned to Marine
Attack Squadron 311. He had completed approximately 100 missions with
VMA-311 at Chu Lai and Da Nang when his A4E Skyhawk crashed during a support
mission near the Laos/Vietnam border on September 11, 1970. He was
classified Missing In Action until 1976, when he was declared dead for lack
of evidence to the contrary.
Bernie Plassmeyer went missing 16 days before the birth of his only son. His
family would like to know where he is, and what happened to him. Like nearly
2500 other Americans, he remains missing in Southeast Asia.
Were it not for thousands of reports of Americans still alive in captivity
in Southeast Asia, it would be a simple matter to build a memorial and lay
these missing men to rest. But as long as one man, whomever he may be,
remains alive and in captivity, every family will wonder. And Bernie
Plassmeyer's fate will remain uncertain.
South Vietnam Bernard H. Plassmeyer
On September 11, 1970, Plassmeyer was the pilot of an A-4E on a
support mission near the A Shau Valley, Thua Thien Province. It
appeared that his aircraft was downed by hostile groundfire and
crashed in the target area. There was no evidence of a parachute,
and no beeper signal was heard. A later search located the
wreckage and from its condition determined that Plassmeyer's
aircraft had disintegrated upon impact. That same day, a forward
air controller saw a parachute and torso harness in some nearby
trees. There appeared to be blood on the harness. Plassmeyer was
initially declared missing in action.
Returning U.S. POWs had no information on his precise fate, and he
was later declared dead/body not recovered based on a presumptive
finding of death.
In March 1991, U.S. investigators in Vietnam located the crash site
associated with this incident. They were unable to locate any
witnesses to the shoot down and could not locate any remains.
However, they did locate fragments of the aircraft's ejection seat
and a face piece which indicated the pilot did not eject from the
aircraft prior to impact.
Westphalia native among 50 Marines honored on monument
He was among 50 members of The
Basic School’s Class 6-67 — the sixth graduating class of 1967 — to
have their names etched on a monument. Plassmeyer was the class honor graduate out of nearly 500 in his class.
Plassmeyer’s brother, Norb Plassmeyer, was one of those attending the
monument dedication as a guest of the
Marine organizers. Norb Plassmeyer, who has lived on the home farm at Westphalia since returning there in 1971
after a brief career in the aerospace industry, is a lobbyist in Jefferson City.....
The Jefferson Barracks POW-MIA Museum
Board Member, Norb Plassmeyer has authored Missouri Senate Concurrent
Resolution No. 42 asking the Missouri Senate and House of Representatives to call upon the Missouri members of the U.S. Senate to
support and contribute to the passage of U.S. Senate Bill 120 calling for the declassifying of files pertaining to POWs and MIAs, some
50 years or more old, allowing for a more complete and expedited resolution of those service members still unaccounted for.
A copy of the resolution as it appeared in the Journal of the Missouri Senate (Feb. 6, 2018) is attached below.