Charles E Suprenant, Jr

First Lieutenant
United States Air Force
08 September 1946 - 02 April 1970
Tampa, FL
Panel 12W Line 085


United States Air Force
Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Charles E Suprenant, Jr

Veterans' Day 2000

Buddy was a good friend and fellow classmate of the Class of '68 at the Citadel. We remembered each of our fallen classmates at our 30th re-union at the Citadel in 1998. All will be remembered as friends and classmates.

When Buddy graduated from pilot training in 1969, he returned to Tampa for a short leave before leaving for Viet Nam. At the time I was an aircraft maintenance officer stationed at MacDill AFB in Tampa. Buddy called me when he arrived in town. He rode up to my BOQ on a Norton 750 motorcycle. He had ridden it from Texas . . . without a windshield! He told me that you could always tell a happy motorcylist because he had "bugs in his teeth!" That was Buddy!

When I ride my Harley, I always think of Buddy and what he told me about "bugs in his teeth"! Well Buddy, I ride each year in Rolling Thunder in Washington, DC, each May in tribute to you, Barry Allmond, John Bradman, Carl Peterson, Bob Woodhouse, Chris Clearwaters and Johnny Fuller. Our lives are all much the better for having known and loved you. Rest in peace, dear friends. You will always be remembered.

Jim Chappelear
8412 Forest Creek Rd, Waldorf MD 20603
Class of 1968
The Citadel

Barry Allmond John Bradman Chris Clearwaters
Johnny Fuller Carl Peterson Buddy Suprenant
Bob Woodhouse

A Note from The Virtual Wall

The C-7A Caribou started life as an Army light transport suitable for short fields, but when the Army and Air Force agreed to hand the mission over to the Air Force the aircraft went with the mission. Six Army Aviation Companies were using the Caribou in Vietnam, so the Air Force set up six squadrons - each one equipped with the ex-Army aircraft and operating areas.

On 01 Apr 1970 a strong NVA force invested the small Special Forces camp at Dak Seang, some 35 miles niles northwest of Kontum, cutting the primitive roads which allowed resupply and setting up antiaircraft fire coverage of the likely air supply routes. Three C-7 airdrops were made on the afternoon of 01 April, with one aircraft taking minor hits.

On the morning of 02 Apr, two C-7s of the 537th Tactical Airlift Squadron at Pleiku went in again. The first aircraft made a successful drop but reported ground fire. The second C-7 (tail number 61-2406) made its drop but was hit while climbing through 400 feet. The pilot took a southerly heading, possibly for Dak To, but the aircraft burst into flames and crashed about five miles south of Dak Seang, killing all three crewmen:

  • 1st Lt Steve W. Train, pilot
  • 1st Lt Charles E. Suprenant, copilot
  • MSgt Dale E. Christensen, loadmaster
The airdrops continued despite the intense antiaircraft fire. Two more C-7s were shot down, another from the 537th TAS on 04 Apr and one from the 457th TAS on 06 Apr with the loss of six more aircrewmen - but their efforts permitted the defenders to withstand the attack and the NVA withdrew after a ten-day siege.

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