Michael Lautzenheiser

Specialist Five
Army of the United States
15 September 1951 - 26 October 1971
Muncie, Indiana
Panel 02W Line 051



Army Aircrew

Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Michael Lautzenheiser

8 Nov 2004

No, I never met Michael, but that doesn't stop the fact that my heart goes out to him and his family. I'm only 23 years old and I just received his bracelet two weeks ago, but I never take it off. I feel a connection to this man who went to fight for us and lost his life. I also think about he was three years younger then I when he lost his life. I do hope his family was proud of what he did for us and all the others who fought for us.

Thank You All

Micha Price

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 26 October 1971, a CH-47B helicopter (tail number 66-19143) of the 68th Assault Support Helicopter Company was tasked with a resupply mission originating from Camp Holloway in Pleiku. After several stops, the helicopter arrived at Tuy Hoa at 1115, departing at 1350 hours with an expected arrival at Cam Ranh Bay at 1420. There were ten men aboard the aircraft at that point, 5 crewmen and 5 passengers.

The helicopter (call sign WARRIOR 143) was sighted by another CH-47 near Nha Trang, headed south into bad weather; it did not arrive at Cam Ranh Bay. Search and Rescue was initiated at 1555 hours. Between 27 Oct 27 and 01 Nov, debris identified as being from WARRIOR 143 washed ashore on Hon Tre island, just offshore from Nha Trang. The condition of the debris recovered indicated that the aircraft had struck the water at high speed.

SAR efforts did recover the remains of four men. Underwater search efforts in October 1974, based on a reported sighting of the aircraft wreckage, were not successful.

The dead were

  • Aircrew, 68th ASHC
    • CWO Leonard G. Maquiling, pilot, Honolulu, HI (recovered)
    • WO Albert R. Trudeau, copilot, Milwaukee, WI (BNR)
    • SP5 Michael Lautzenheiser, flight engineer, Muncie, IN (BNR)
    • SP4 Mickey E. Eveland, crew chief, Los Angeles, CA (BNR)
    • PFC Thomas F. Green, gunner, Ramona, CA (BNR)

  • Passengers:
    • 1SG James C. Skinner, Ashland, ME, 238th Avn Co (recovered)
    • SSG Rufus P. Falkner, Duluth, GA, HHT, 7/17th Cavalry (recovered)
    • SGT Edward L. Himes, Columbia, TN, HHT, 7/17th Cavalry (recovered)
    • SP5 Robert A. Nickol, Bethlehem, PA, HHT, 7/17th Cavalry (BNR)
    • SSG Sanford I. Finger, New York, NY, Army HQ Area Cmd, Saigon (BNR)

The patch at the top of this page reflects the 68th ASHC's heritage. Until April 1971, the unit was Company C, 228th Aviation Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division. When the 1st Cav left Vietnam, C/228 was redesignated as the 68th ASHC and remained in Vietnam for another year.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 12/01/2010