Marvin Earl Bell

Staff Sergeant
United States Air Force
27 July 1943 - 30 June 1970
Blytheville, Arkansas
Panel 09W Line 102



USAF Aircrew

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Marvin Earl Bell

03 Nov 2005

Back in the early 1980's I purchased a POW/MIA bracelet with the name of SSgt Marvin Bell. I wore it for a very long time and then tucked it away for safekeeping, hoping one day his remains would be found. Then one day as I'm reading through the Air Force Times I read an article about the remains of a helicopter crew lost many years before being returned and buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Much to my relief Marvin's name is listed and to make matters better, the article included the name and hometown of his sister in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Immediately I called information and got the name of everyone in that city with that last name. On my third try I reached her. I told her who I was and that I wanted to send her his bracelet which I did. She informed me she had just gotten back from Washington DC for his burial. What great news this was because in two weeks I was taking my family to Washington DC on vacation.

I explained to my children, ages at the time were 11, 9 and 3, what the bracelet meant and we found his name on the Wall. To this day, my children, now grown, remember that day at Arlington National Cemetery where we all paid our respects and that visit to the Wall to find Marvin's name. It was a tearful event that never can be taken away from us.

Karen L. Warden
Fort Walton Beach, Florida

25 Apr 2006

Years ago, I purchased a POW/MIA bracelet with Staff Sergeant Bell's name on it. In fact I purchased it while at Lackland AFB, right after finishing boot camp. That was more than a decade ago, but I still wear it til this day and out of respect will wear it from now on in honor of a soldier who paid the greatest price, at such a young age.

Mark E. Dale
E-Mail will be forwarded by the

24 Jul 2006

Sergeant Bell was from a nearby town and the same county as me.

I wish to pay my respects to Sergeant Bell, who personifies the true American hero. My prayers go out to his family.

Rest in Peace, Brave Soldier.

From a friend,

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On 30 June 1970, Captain William S. Sanders, pilot, and SFC Albert E. Mosiello, observer, were conducting a visual reconnaissance mission in an OV-10A (hull number 68-3807, call sign "Nail 44"). Due to mission requirements for handheld photography NAIL 44 was flying below the usual minimum of 1500 feet. The aircraft was taken under fire and hit by a 37mm AAA shell in its left side adjacent to the pilot's position. With his pilot unresponsive and the OV-10 no longer airworthy, Mosiello ejected.

The OV-10 had gone down in heavily forested, rugged mountains about 3 miles west of the Lao/South Vietnamese border and 12 miles south of the demilitarized zone (DMZ).

A second FAC in the vicinity heard SFC Mosiello's emergency beeper and made radio contact with the downed observer. He then initiated Search and Rescue operations.

A HH-53C JOLLY GREEN helicopter (68-08283) from the 40th Air Rescue/Recovery Squadron (ARRS) at Udorn RTAFB, Thailand, was immediately dispatched to the area of loss. The HH-53 crew consisted of

As the aircraft hovered over SFC Mosiello's position, it was hit in the rotor head by a rocket propelled grenade. The rotor assembly separated from the fuselage, which rolled over and crashed in a fireball on the ground. No emergency beepers were heard emanating from the helicopter's crash site and the FAC could see no signs of survivors.

Although nightfall was approaching, a second effort was staged using a helicopter from Danang and A-1E SANDYs for fire suppression. SFC Mosiello was picked up. In his debriefing statement, SFC Mosiello stated a belief that Captain Sanders had been killed by the AAA hit and that he did not see Sanders eject or another parachute deploy.

Search efforts for Captain Sanders and the HH-53 crew continued through the next day, but no beepers were heard, no contact with the downed aircrew was made, and there were no visual sightings of survivors. SAR efforts were terminated and the six men were listed as Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.

In December 1992, a US/Lao team surveyed and excavated the HH-53 crash site. Human remains were recovered and on 7 March 1995 the US government identified the remains as those of the five HH-53 aircrewmen. Efforts to locate the OV-10 crash site were unsuccessful due to the terrain and dense jungle.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
one who wears his MIA bracelet,
Karen L. Warden
Fort Walton Beach, Florida

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 03 Nov 2005
Last updated 07/25/2006