Marshall Landis Tapp

United States Air Force
22 September 1926 - 18 January 1978
Los Angeles, California
Panel 07E Line 063

USAF Pilot

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Marshall Landis Tapp

11 Dec 2006


The photo is circa 1945 while he was in training.

From a cousin,
Maurice V. Merritt-Smith
2110 Hartford Avenue, New Bern, NC 28562

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 15 May 1966 an AC-47 gunship, call sign SPOOKY 10 (tail number 43-49546), departed Ubon RTAFB, Thailand, on an armed reconnaissance flight in central Laos. The aircraft's crew consisted of
  • Major George W. Jensen, pilot;
  • Capt Marshall Tapp, co-pilot;
  • 1stLt George Thompson, navigator;
  • SSgt James Preston, loadmaster;
  • Sgt James Williams, flight engineer;
  • A2C Kenneth McKenney, aerial gunner;
  • SSgt William Madison, aerial gunner;
  • Major Lavern Reilly, 377th Cbt Spt Group, observer; and
  • two unidentified South Vietnamese aircrewman.
At 1745 hours SPOOKY 10 established radio contact with the airborne command and control aircraft giving their status and position. The pilot transmitted again at 2100 hours, stating situation normal, but giving no position. There was no further radio contact with the aircraft and it did not return to base as scheduled.

An aerial search began at first light on 16 May and continued throughout the day. No signs of SPOOKY 10 or its crew were located. The 8 Americans and the 2 ARVN aboard Spooky 10 were listed Missing in Action on termination of formal search efforts.

On 7 June an intercepted Pathet Lao radio broadcast described an American C-47 aircraft shot down over Laos on 15 May by a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft artillery unit, PAVN Group 559. The report indicated all 10 crewmen were killed.

In 1994 a retired member of the People's Army of North Vietnam (PAVN) related personal knowledge of a May 1966 crash of an American C-47 in Laos that killed 10 crewman. This information was substantiated by a review of PAVN Group 559 records. This led to site surveys and excavations which located wreckage and crew-related items associated with SPOOKY 10. A limited quantity of fragmented human remains were recovered from the crash site, but only one positive identification could be made - Major Jensen.

Further excavations at the crash site led to the recovery of additional human remains, and in November 1999 DoD announced that DNA analysis had identified remains from each of the US crewmen. On Monday, May 15, 2000, a burial service with full military honors was conducted at Arlington National Cemetery for the eight Air Force and two Vietnamese crew members of "Spooky 10".

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 11 Dec 2006
Last updated 08/10/2009