Remains Returned - ID Announced 22 August 1989

Name: Henry Mershon Spengler II
Rank/Branch: O3/US Army
Unit: Troop F, 79th Artillery, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division
Date of Birth: 26 October 1946 (Ft. Leavenworth KS)
Home City of Record: Alexandria VA
Date of Loss: 05 April 1972
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 114818N 1963610E (XU746054)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: AH1G
Refno: 1815

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 1998.

Other Personnel in Incident: Charles E. Windeler (remains returned)


SYNOPSIS: On April 5, 1972, Capt. Henry M. Spengler, pilot, and WO Charles
E. Windeler, aircraft commander, were flying as lead aircraft in an AH1G
helicopter (tail #67-15594) against an enemy force in the vicinity of Loc
Ninh in Vinh Long Province, South Vietnam.

As the helicopter was pulling off its second gun run, it was hit by enemy
anti-aircraft fire. The helicopter began to descend with flames billowing
from the exhaust area, and at about 300 feet above the ground, it appeared
that the tail boom began to bend and wobble, causing the aircraft to spin to
the left.

The gunship crashed, burst into flames, and exploded. Several members of the
flight saw the helicopter during the descent and crash, but saw no one
escape from the aircraft.

An aerial search was made by numerous aircraft, but no survivors were seen.
No ground search was attempted due to hostile fire. An electronic search
failed to locate any survivors.

Witnesses believed that Spengler and Windeler were killed in the crash of
their helicopter. Because no bodies were found, they were listed with honor
among the missing, prisoner, and unaccounted for from the Vietnam war.

For seventeen years, the Vietnamese denied knowledge of Spengler and
Windeler, although the crash of the aircraft was in enemy-held territory,
and it has always been thought that the Vietnamese knew what happened to the
two men. Then, in late August, 1989, the U.S. announced that the Vietnamese
had discovered and returned remains for both Spengler and Windeler.

Now, at least their families no longer wonder if they are among the hundreds
said to be still alive in captivity. They know their men are dead. However,
they may never know for sure how - or when - they died.