Eugene Paul Shumbris
11 Nov 2006
Eugene was my best friend during OCS at Fort Eustis and I saw him again in-country at his home base there in Vietnam.
Officer Candidate Eugene P. Shumbris
I actually stayed with him the night before his flight went down. In fact I was supposed to be on that flight but had to take a call from my office, 1st Logistical Command in Long Binh. I was planning to take the next flight out to join him. I often think of Gene and wish I had seen his baby that he never got to see and say my regrets to his wife. I'm sure I was introduced to his wife at our OCS graduation program and dance at Fort Eustis, Virgina.
If anyone reading this has any information that would help me locate the family please contact me.
In loving and respectful memory to my departed comrade.From a friend and fellow officer,
Alan D Miller
128 Rocky Branch Circle, Macon, N C 27551
Email address unknown
Below appears to be photo of Eugene after basic training but before Officer Candidate School as he wears his marksman medals, shows no gold braid or officer insignia on his service cap and no other rank insignia on his sleeves.
Appears to be photo of his commissioning as a 2nd Lieutenant or promotion to 1st Lieutenant as you can see the officer's hand on the right side of the photo holding a single bar between the thumb and finger.
On 09 Dec 1969 a UH-1H (tail number 68-16220) of A Company, 123rd Aviation Battalion, was flying a routine shuttle mission for the 23rd Division (AMERICAL) Support Command. The aircraft departed the Americal Division headquarters helipad about 0730 and proceeded to Minh Long. At Minh Long, all passengers debarked and three passengers were boarded. The aircraft departed Minh Long enroute to Ba To with a crew of four and three passengers. Although a light rain was falling, the flight crew believed they could reach Ba To under visual flight conditions by remaining in a valley.
However, as the copilot climbed to pass over a saddle at grid coordinates BS507468 they entered clouds. The pilot took control of the aircraft, began a 500-feet-per-minute climb, and began a left turn to an easterly heading. As the aircraft approached a 090 degree heading, still in the clouds, a mountainside was seen through the chin bubble. The pilot attempted an emergency climb but wasn't able to crest the hill. The aircraft hit skids-first and broke up, with the cabin section travelling some 140 feet before coming to a halt and burning. The pilot survived with injuries, but the other six men were killed in the crash:
CPT Eugene P. Shumbris was listed as missing on 9 December 1969 and changed to deah on 13 December 1969. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. At the time of his death, he was survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Edmund Shumbris, Bayside, New York, and a brother and sister. In addition, he was survived by his wife, Edith E. Shumbris, Hampton, Virginia.
CPT Shumbris was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
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