James Edward PleimanAirman First Class
33RD ARRS, 13TH AF
United States Air Force
15 January 1944 - 14 March 1966
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The database page for James Edward Pleiman
A1C Pleiman received posthumous awards of the Silver Star with one oak leaf cluster, the Air Medal, and the Purple Heart.
Please visit my
A memorial from his niece.
"Of every one hundred men (in battle),
You were the first, my Friend, so young and full of life.
From a very good friend,
Notes from The Virtual Wall
On 01 Nov 1965, an Albatross crewed by
A bit over 4 months later, on 14 March 1966, the same crew was manning CROWN BRAVO in HU-1B tail number 51-0071 when an F-4C (tail number 64-0740) of the 480th Tac Fighter Squadron was hit by AAA fire while conducting an armed reconnaissance mission south of Than Hoa. The F-4C crew, Major James M. Peerson and Captain Lynwood C. Bryant, managed to get over water before ejecting in the vicinity of a small island chain just offshore North Vietnam, almost equidistant from Than Hoa to the north and Vinh to the south. The HU-16 and Navy SAR forces were activated with Peerson and Bryant about a mile offshore.
The UH-16 was first on station, supported by fixed-wing aircraft. When Westenbarger landed, the Albatross drew artillery and mortar fire from emplacements ashore as well as small-arms fire from sampans headed out to capture the downed F-4 crewmen. As the UH-16 crew, with A1c Pleiman in the water, attempted to assist Major Peerson aboard, the HU-16 was hit by an artillery shell and exploded in flames, leaving eight men in the water. A Navy SH-3 helicopter from HS-4 was able to pick up Major Peerson before being forced from the area with combat damage. A second SH-3 (also HS-4), operating under cover of supporting fixed-wing aircraft, picked up Bryant, Westenbarger, Hall, and Jackson, and a Navy UH-2 from HC-2 later picked up Captain Price. The rescued HU-16 crewmen stated that A1c Hilton was killed before the Albatross was abandoned and that A1c Pleiman was floating face-down in the water afterwards. Neither Hilton nor Pleiman were recovered.
Both Hilton and Pleiman were classed as Killed in Action/Body not Recovered. On 15 Dec 1988 the Vietnamese turned over remains which, on 13 Apr 1989, were publicly identified as those of A1c James E. Pleiman. A1c Robert L. Hilton has not come home.
Additional information is available on-line from two narrative descriptions of the event:
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 03/07/2011