Bernard Herbert Plassmeyer

First Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps

VMA-311, 1ST MAW

From Freeburg, MO

05 May 1945 - 07 April 1976

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Bernard Herbert Plassmeyer is on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Panel 07W Line 057.


I didn't know Bernard H Plassmeyer.

His A-4E Skyhawk crashed on Sept 11, 1970.
My brother was a Marine, and my dad was a career Marine
My brother had a copper POW/MIA bracelet which he let me wear
because other kids were wearing them. I didn't really understand
the significance of the bracelet for a couple of years.
The man whose name is on the Bracelet, "Bernard H. Plassmeyer",
has been a part of my life ever since. I am currently wearing
my third edition of the bracelet, having returned the first
to my brother, and wearing out the second one - it broke in half
after so many years of wear.

Bernie had a son, who was born after he went down.
I don't know Bernie's son, but I feel sad for him
and say a little prayer for him often.

I celebrate May 5th in honor of Bernie's birthday,
and remember him on September 11th every year.
We should not forget he gave his life for us.


In February 1970, Plassmeyer was assigned to Marine Attack Squadron 311 (VMA-311). By September he had completed approximately 100 missions.

On September 11, 1970, Plassmeyer flew an A-4E on a support mission near the A Shau Valley, Thua Thien Province. It appeared that his aircraft was downed by hostile groundfire and crashed in the target area. There was no evidence of a parachute, and no beeper signal was heard. A later search located the wreckage and from its condition determined that Plassmeyer's aircraft had disintegrated upon impact. That same day, a forward air controller saw a parachute and torso harness in some nearby trees. Plassmeyer was initially declared missing in action.

On 7 April 1978 he was declared "dead/body not recovered" - a presumptive finding of death.

In March 1991, U.S. investigators in Vietnam located the crash site associated with this incident. They were unable to locate any witnesses to the shoot down and could not locate any remains. However, they did locate fragments of the aircraft's ejection seat and a face piece which indicated the pilot did not eject from the aircraft prior to impact.

As mentioned in the Memorial, his only child, a son, was born at the end of September 1970.

A memorial from one who wore his MIA bracelet,
Nancy Payton 

The database page for Bernard Herbert Plassmeyer

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           24 Sep 2001