Michael Henry Shanley, Jr

Sergeant First Class
Army of the United States
12 September 1945 - 24 August 1978
La Mesa, California
Panel 15W Line 020




Air Medal, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Michael Henry Shanley, Jr

30 May 2000


by his cousin,
Tim McLaughlin

and on 11 Feb 2001
by his family's friend and neighbor
Wilma Koussonmbus

13 December 2001

Michael, your brothers in the 129th AHC think of you often. Please rest in peace.

02 Dec 2002

Michael, today in 1969, you and several crew members of UH-1B 64-13959 crashed. You are considered KIA/MIA/POW - in our eyes you are very much alive and with us. We will never forget you, as a brother of the 129th AHC, and as a friend.

From a friend of the 129th AHC,
03 May 2002

I was proud to serve the Shanley family as family support officer in 1972-73.
They never gave up hope.
I am glad that I had the chance to meet them.

Ronald D. Van Dyck
LTC, FA, USAR (Ret.)

29 Apr 2003

I wore Michael's bracelet for the 7 years I was in the Army. I picked him because like me he was from California. After I was home I put it away and went about my life. Recently, while learning to surf the internet, I found the information that his remains were recovered. It was hard to decide how to feel. Good - he is home, sad that he died.

Chad Hamilton

16 Apr 2004

I was a high school student and had asked for a bracelet to wear. I was sent one with Michael Shanley's name on it. I wrote Michael's mother. Her response was extremely nice. My best friend had also sent for a bracelet and had written the mother, but the mother was very sad and stated not to write, that her son was dead. For our age it was hard. I still have my bracelet.

A few years ago the replica of the Wall came to Nashville TN. We had moved here from San Jose California several years before. My husband and I went to see it. It was a very moving experience for both of us. Not long after we visited the replica, I found a site that I could respond to and heard from someone, but did not reply. I sure wish I had.

A friend of mine lost her husband in Iraq last September, Kevin Morehead. I know that because Michael knew who I was, he was there for Kevin. Michael, you will never be forgotten!

Love always,
Kim Schott

Notes from The Virtual Wall

At about 8:30 PM on 02 Dec 1969, two UH-1B HUEY gunships of the 129th Aviation Company (later redesignated the 129th Assault Helicopter Company) departed LZ English to provide fire support for a long range reconnaissance patrol (LRRP) that had radioed for help.

The second, or wingman, helicopter (UH-1B hull number 64-13959) was crewed by

The gunships joined with a third UH-1 equipped for flare drops. The flare ship then led the flight to the target area where attempts were made to contact the LRRP. CW2 Vanden Eykel radioed that he had made a turn to avoid crashing into a mountain - but immediately thereafter contact with him was lost. When neither aircraft nor crew could be located, the four crewmen were placed in "Missing in Action" status.

The Secretary of the Army approved Presumptive Findings of Death for the four men -

  • CW2 Martin Vanden Eykel on 16 April 1979;
  • CW2 William C. Dunlap on 20 February 1979;
  • SP5 Michael H. Shanley on 24 August 1978; and
  • SP5 William D. Sanderlin on 31 March 1976.
Their status was changed on those dates from Missing in Action to Died while Missing, Body not Recovered.

On 23 January 1989, the Vietnamese government turned over human remains to US control. On 22 February 1990, the Department of Defense announced that the remains of CW2 Vanden Eykel, CW2 Dunlap, SP5 Shanley, and SP5 Sanderlin had been identified.

They are remembered by their brothers in the
129th Assault Helicopter Company

Master Sergeant Kevin N. Morehead

mentioned above by Mrs. Kim Schott, was killed in action in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, on 12 Sep 2003. He and Sergeant First Class William M. Bennett, who died in the same incident, were assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group. MSgt Morehead had previously served in Afganistan. He is survived by his wife Theresa and daughter Taylor Morehead.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009