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Remembering Idaho's Missing Vietnam War Heroes

Guest column submitted by U.S. Senator Mike Crapo

I commend those who work to ensure the service of all our nation's veterans is not forgotten.  At a recent rally, POW*MIA Awareness Corp. Director Hiedi Young shared biographies she prepared of eight Idahoans who went missing while serving in the Vietnam War and remain missing.  The biographies are a thoughtful reminder of the ongoing price of our freedom:

Lieutenant Roderick L. Mayer, United States Navy of Lewiston, has been missing since October 17, 1965, in North Vietnam.  Lt. Mayer was a pilot of a fighter jet that was shot down.  He and his co-pilot ejected from their aircraft.  Based on testimony of his co-pilot, it is believed that he "died of severe wounds from ejection."  Status:  "Presumptive Finding of Death, Body Not Recovered."

Ensign Hal T. Hollingsworth, United States Navy of Grace, has been missing since January 16, 1966, in South Vietnam.  Hollingsworth was the co-pilot of an aircraft that while airborne had mechanical difficulties and crashed at sea.  Status:  "Killed in Action, Body Not Recovered."

Staff Sergeant William B. Hunt, United States Army of Sandpoint, has been missing since November 4, 1966, in South Vietnam.  Hunt was lifted into battle to help evacuate wounded.  He voluntarily left the aircraft to help reinforce remaining troops on the ground.  The Viet Cong attacked the position the unit was maintaining and after 2 days of heavy fighting Hunt was gravely wounded.  Status:  "Presumptive Finding of Death, Body Not Recovered."

Captain Curtis R. Bohlscheid, United States Marine Corps of Pocatello, has been missing since June 11, 1967, in South Vietnam.  Bohlscheid was the pilot of a helicopter which crashed into a steep ravine on a mission to insert a seven-man Marine Force Recon team on the battlefield.  Status: "Killed in Action, Body Not Recovered"

First Lieutenant William E. Lemmons, United States Army of Pocatello, has been missing since June 18, 1967, in South Vietnam.  Lemmons was aboard a helicopter on a visual recon mission.  The helicopter was declared missing and after extensive searches no trace of the aircraft or its crew was found.  Status:  "Missing in Action." 

Captain Jon K. Bodahl, United States Air Force of Boise, has been missing since November 12, 1969, in Laos.  Bodahl was the pilot of an aircraft on a recovery mission that was shot down.  His aircraft was found during search and rescue operations, but there was no trace of him.  Status:  "Missing in Action."

Warrant Officer Jon M. Sparks, United States Army of Carey, has been missing since March 19, 1971, in Laos.  Sparks was the co-pilot of a helicopter covering a downed helicopter during a rescue effort.  The aircraft was shot down and due to heavy fire a search and rescue mission could not be conducted.  It is unknown what his fate was.  Status:  "Missing in Action" 

Captain Gregg N. Hollinger, United States Army of Paul, has been missing since December 14, 1971, in South Vietnam.  Hollinger was on an administrative mission aboard an aircraft that experienced an in-flight emergency and lost contact with ground control.  Extensive searches were conducted for the next three days, over water and the adjacent shore area, but no trace of the aircraft or personnel was ever found.  It was later determined the aircraft was lost at sea and the crew and passengers died.  Status:  "Killed in Action, Body Not Recovered."

The immense service of Vietnam Veterans and all service members is at the forefront of my thoughts as I work to ensure that they are appropriately honored and have access to services respectful of their dedication to our country. 

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