SHAFER, PHILIP RAYMOND
Name: Philip Raymond Shafer
Rank/Branch: E4/US Army
Unit: 478th Aviation Company (Heavy Helicopter), 11th Aviation Group, 1st
Date of Birth: 13 May 1949
Home City of Record: Grand Junction CO
Date of Loss: 19 April 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 162127N 1070642E (YD255095)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel In Incident: Arthur J. Lord; Charles W. Millard; Michael R.
Werdehoff (missing on CH54, coordinates YD255095-LZ Tiger); Jesus A.
Gonzales, Douglas R. Blodgett, William R. Dennis; (missing from CH47A,
coordinates YD290105, pilot and co-pilot survived); Michael J. Wallace,
Anthony F. Housh; (missing from CH47, coordinates YD291087-LZ Tiger; pilot,
co-pilot and gunner survived)
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.
REMARKS: CHOPPER CAUGHT FIRE - CRASHED
SYNOPSIS: On April 19, 1968 three Army helicopters were shot down in the A
Shau Valley of South Vietnam. All three were making supply runs to Landing
Zone Tiger in Quang Tri Province. Five men survived the three crashes, and
nine men remain missing.
The CH47A on which Douglas Blodgett was a crewman, William Dennis was flight
engineer, and Jesus Gonzales was crewchief was resupplying ammunition at the
LZ when it received small arms fire from the ground and crashed. The pilot
and co-pilot were able to crawl away, but the rest of the crew was never
found. They were declared Missing In Action.
The CH47 on which Anthony Housh was flight engineer and Michael Wallace was
crewchief was hit by 50 calibre and 37 mm ground fire on its approach to the
LZ. Housh and Wallace jumped from the aircraft from an altitude of 50-100
feet above the jungle canopy. The others were rescued. No trace of Housh and
Wallace was ever found. They were declared Missing In Action.
The CH54 "Flying Crane" on which Arthur Lord was aircraft commander, Charles
Millard pilot, Arthur J. Lord co-pilot, Michael Werdehoff flight engineer,
and Philip Shafer crewchief was carrying a bulldozer into the recently
re-secured LZ Tiger when the aircraft was hit and crashed. All the crew were
classified Missing In Action.
Thorough searches for the 3 helicopters were not immediately possible
because of the enemy situation. A refugee later reported that he had found
the wreckage of two U.S. helicopters, one with 3 sets of skeletal remains,
in Quang Tri Province. The U.S. Army believes this could correlate with any
of the three helicopters lost on April 19, 1968, but no firm evidence has
been secured that would reveal the fate of the nine missing servicemen.
Some 250,000 interviews and "millions of documents" have been analyzed
relating to Americans who may still be alive, captive, in Southeast Asia.
Many experts believe there are hundreds of men still alive, waiting for
their country to rescue them. Whether any of the nine missing from near LZ
Tiger is among them is unknown, but it is clearly past time for us to bring
our men home.