VISCONTI, FRANCIS EDWARD
Name: Francis Edward Visconti Rank/Branch: O3/US Marine Corps Unit: HMM 362, MAG 36 Date of Birth: 16 November 1934 Home City of Record: Syracuse NY Date of Loss: 22 November 1965 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 151605N 1085022E (BT720060) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 2 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: UH34D Refno: 0195
Other Personnel In Incident: Thomas E. Douglas; Richard A. Miller; Victor J. Pirker (all missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 October 1990 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 2002 with information and corrections provided by Mrs. Jan Visconti.
SYNOPSIS: On November 22, 1965, Capt. Francis E. Visconti was the pilot of a UH34D helicopter "wing" on then Capt Sandy Gidonese (deceased) in sections of 2 helicopters each on the 3rd hop that night on a combat mission in South Vietnam. Bad weather forced Visconti's aircraft out to sea about halfway between Chu Lai and Dan Nang, (Quang Ngai province} and he was separated from the rest of the group.
Also onboard the aircraft were Capt. Richard A. Miller, Cpl. Thomas E. Douglas, and Cpl. Victor J. Pirker, all from the same unit. The helicopter went down and all four Marines were classified Missing in Action. The casualty is listed as battle related, which means the aircraft was probably hit by enemy fire. The U.S. believes that the Vietnamese could account for the four men.
There has been no word of any of the crew of that ill-fated chopper since that day. The Vietnamese have denied any knowledge of them.
Evidence mounts that Americans are still alive in Southeast Asia. There have been hundreds of eye-witnesses who have said they personally saw them. It is not known whether any of the crew of the UH34 helicopter survived and are among those said to be alive and still held prisoner, but someone's brother, son, husband, or father is alive. We owe them our very best effort to bring them home.
Richard A. Miller and Francis E. Visconti were promoted to the rank of Major, Thomas E. Douglas and Victor J. Pirker to the rank of Staff Sergeant during the period they were maintained missing.
National Alliance of Families For The Return of America's Missing Servicemen World War II - Korea - Cold War - Vietnam - Gulf War
Dolores Alfond - 425-881-1499 Lynn O'Shea --- 718-846-4350 Web Site http://www.nationalalliance.org email -- firstname.lastname@example.org
July 13, 2002 Bits N Pieces
If We Hadn't Seen It With Our Own Eyes - we could not possibly convey our shock at the event witnessed when Lynn O'Shea accompanied POW/MIA family member J.V. Visconti, wife of Major Francis Visconti, to review Major Visconti's Marine Corps casualty files at the Doubletree Hotel. Rather then try to describe the event ourselves, we will simply post the following letter, sent by Ms. Visconti, to Michael P. Wardlaw, the head of Navy Casualty.
Re: Major Francis Edward Visconti, U.S. Marine Corps, POW/MIA, 22 November 1965, (incident USMC file review, 20 June 2002, Doubletree Hotel, Crystal City, Virginia, National League of Families Meetings)
Dear Mr. Wardlaw;
As the wife of Major Francis Edward Visconti, a U.S. Marine Corps POW/MIA since 22 November 1965, I have endured the deceit and deceptions of the USMC for over 36 years. However, nothing could have prepared me for the blatant deception and attempt to withhold information from me, by Ms. Ann Hammers, assistant head of the USMC Casualty Office. The event I am about to describe, occurred on 20 June 2002, between 1030 - 1100 hours, at the Doubletree Hotel, in Arlington VA. We were seated in a room designated for Marine Casualty File Review, during the recent government briefings on POW/MIA matters relating to Vietnam War losses. The purpose of my presence there, was to once again, review my husbands casualty file.
I am forever grateful that I was accompanied to this file review by two friends, Lynn O' Shea and Rick Will Sr., one of whom witnessed the event I am about to describe. Without a witness, I am sure, I would be discredited, and labeled one of the crazy POW/MIA family members who believe various agencies within the government have, in the past, and continue to this day, to withhold POW/MIA related information, from family members.
When we arrived, I was the only U.S. Marine Corps POW/MIA family member present. The usual social amenities and introductions were done and we were seated at one of the round tables, provided for family members, to review their cases. I was presented a CD and informed that it contained all the pre-loss records, such as fitness reports and medical records etc. Mr. Bob Wagner, acting head, U.S. Marine Corps Casualty, offered some brief instruction on how to use the CD with a lap top computer, even though I was acquainted with computer functions.
In the meantime, Ms. Hammers brought 5 dark colored manila folders to the table, each an inch or two thick. The files were labeled 1 to 5 with file number 5 being on top. Ms. Hammers opened file number 5 and proceeded to tell us that these files represented post loss documentation. When she opened file number 5, it was noticed that two documents, one a single sheet, the other, a two page stapled document, were laying loose in the folder.
As we spoke, Ms. Hammers appeared to be idly thumbing through the documents. However, her actions were not as innocent as they appeared. With a document in each hand, Ms. Hammers arms soon dropped to her sides and quickly disappeared behind her back. When one hand reappeared, ONLY ONE document (the single page) was returned to the file. The other document (two pages) remained behind her back.
The following behavior, exhibited by Ms. Ann Hammers, was done to conceal information. Ms. Hammers excused herself, very carefully keeping the stapled two page document in her hand, hidden behind her back, making sure it was blocked from our view. Fortunately for me, she was not quite careful enough.
Ms. Hammers then returned to the rectangular table, in front of the room, whereupon she thumbed through a stack of papers several inches high, and BURIED THE DOCUMENT that she had just removed from my husbands casualty file, within the stack of papers.
I was stunned! Aside from the complete lack of respect shown for my husband, a United States Marine Corps Officer and Gentleman as well as an accomplished Vietnam War Helicopter Pilot, who served his country proudly, I have to question, does Ms. Hammers think I've become a stupid simpleton? I may be gaining in years and physically disabled, relegating me to the use of a wheelchair, but my faculties are and always have been, completely intact.
Ms. Hammers actions, were, at the very least, a sign of the complete contempt in which the U.S. Marine Corps Casualty Office holds POW/MIA family members. At most, her actions were criminal.
When Ms. Hammers re-joined us, at our table, I reminded her that I had previously requested three (3) complete copies of my husbands file, (a request she acknowledged by fax response) and asked her when I might be receiving them I then told her, (without making an issue of her deceptive maneuver) that I wanted a copy of the document that she had just removed from my husbands file and buried within the pile of papers on the front table.
She stammered a moment and mumbled something about having to check the document because of the Privacy Act, for any information that should be redacted. Realizing she had been caught red handed, she went back to the table, retrieved the document from its hiding place and returned to the table. She continued to go on about third party information. In the end, a Marine Sgt. present in the room, was sent to make a copy of the un-redacted document for me.
As it turned out, the document was inconsequential to the Major's loss incident, but important to me. However, that is not the point. The point, is the mindset to withhold information, the mindset to debunk exists to this day. The total disregard, in which all agencies, from the military branch casualty offices/officials, up to and including the Defense POW/MIA Office, hold our POW/MIAs and their families is clear to anyone forced to deal with those agencies. They continue to withhold information or evidence from POW/MIA family members. That is the mindset within the agencies charged with finding my husband and all our POW/MIAs.
The actions within these agencies, through my own 36 ® years experience with this issue, is truly a National disgrace comparable ONLY to the intentional pain of enemy terrorists, inflicted upon this Nation on "911."
Only God in heaven knows what other truly important information has been withheld from the Visconti family and the families of other POW/MIAs. How many other casualty officers, investigators and analysts are removing documents from the records? Maybe they are not as blatant as Ms. Hammers, doing it right under a family members nose, but, the above described scenario proves, that it is done and probably done on a routine basis.
In closing, the actions of Ms. Hammers, is a disgrace to my husband, Major Francis Edward Visconti, The United States Marine Corps, the men and women who are now serving this country at home and on the front lines of our nation.
I sincerely hope and expect, the appropriate action be taken, against this much too powerful person, Ann Hammers and her ilk, to protect our family and other Marine Corps POW/MIA families from her deceitful ways and actions in the future
Very truly yours,
J.V. Visconti wife of Major Francis Edward Visconti POW/MIA 22 November 1965 [End Letter]
As we said, if we hadn't seen it with our own eyes......
Mrs. Visconti copied this letter to the following individuals, President George Bush, Mr. Jerry Jennings, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs, Mr. Adrian Cronauer, Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for POW/MIA Affairs, Senator Bob Graham, Chairman, Senate Committee on Intelligence, Senator Bill Nelson, Senator Bob Smith, Brig General Stephen T. Johnson, U.S. Marine Corps, Director, Manpower Plans & Policy, Mr. Robert Wagner, Head United States Marine Corps Casualty, Ms. Dolores Alfond, Chairperson, National Alliance of Families, Ms. Ann Mills Griffiths, Executive Director, National League of Families.
We, at the National Alliance of Families are appalled by the action of Ms. Hammers and we endorse Ms. Visconti's request that the appropriate disciplinary action be taken against Ms. Hammers. It will be interesting to see if Ms. Visconti even get a response to her letter.
Perhaps we should be asking - Why does Ann Hammers still have a job?
As Ms. Visconti stated in her letter; "The total disregard, in which all agencies, from the military branch casualty offices/officials, up to and including the Defense POW/MIA Office, hold our POW/MIAs and their families is clear to anyone forced to deal with those agencies. They continue to withhold information or evidence from POW/MIA family members. That is the mindset within the agencies charged with finding my husband and all our POW/MIAs."
From: YoungBlood4Oil@aol.com Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2002 22:33:46 EST
If ANYONE wants to contace me, feel free to pass on my eamil address, but inform the person to put "POW/MIA related email" in the subject line...or I will delete an unfamiliar email...I'm sure u can understand.
Here's Frank's site in case u don't have it...Arlene Marine did a fantastic job on it.
http://www.angelfire.com/ny/nanamarine/hisheart.html His Heart Will Go On and On....
Once again God Bless...Semper Fi...SEMPER...jv
|Jan "JV" Visconti, wife of POW/MIA
Major Frank Visconti USMC passed away yesterday, April 5th, 2009.
Jan had been in ill health for the last several years. As
soon as more information is available, we will pass it on.
-- Lynn Lynn O'Shea Director of Research National Alliance of Families for the Return of America's Missing Servicemen World War II - Korea - Cold War - Vietnam - Gulf Wars