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This Page Is Dedicated To
Herbert C. Crosby

Remains Identification announced 12/19/2006

 

 

In Memory of Herbert C. Crosby

 

Herbert Crosby

 

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Thanks to Joni's Patriotic Graphics.

 

  • Name: Herbert Charles Crosby
  • Rank/Branch: O3/US Army
  • Unit: 71st Aviation Company, 15th Aviation Battalion, 16th Aviation Group, 23rd Infantry Division (Americal), Chu Lai, South Vietnam
  • Date of Birth: 30 May 1947 (Ft. Wayne IN)
  • Home City of Record: South Georgia
  • Date of Loss: 10 January 1970
  • Country of Loss: South Vietnam
  • Loss Coordinates: 152927N 1081808E (BT239141)
  • Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
  • Category: 4
  • Acft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1C, "Firebirds"
  • Incident # 1547
  • Other Personnel in Incident: George A. Howes; Wayne C. Allen; Francis G. Graziosi (all missing)

 

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1991 from one
or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK with information from David Grieger, who served with Herbert Crosby.

 

REMARKS:
SYNOPSIS: On January 19, 1970, Capt. Herbert C. Crosby, pilot; WO George A. Howes, co-pilot; SP5 Wayne C. Allen, crew chief; and SP4 Francis G. Graziosi, door gunner; were flying a UH1C helicopter (serial #66-739) as the flight lead in a flight of three helicopters returning from Tien Phuoc to the unit base at Chu Lai, South Vietnam.

 

picture

Photo furnished by Gary Singer

(Note: Records differs as to the aircraft type on this incident. Some records show the aircraft type this crew was flying as UH1H, and some show it as a UH1C. Herbert Crosby flew Charlie models every day from at least July 1969 to January 1970. The serial number, #66-739 correlates to a C model, the first two numbers indicating that the aircraft had been made in 1966, and the H model only had come out a few months before this time. Although C models were gunships, and usually flew more or less independently, while this aircraft was flying in tight formation as flight lead, which would correlate with the H model, it has been confirmed that the ship on which this crew was flying was definitely a Charlie model.)
At 1300 hours, the three helicopters departed Tien Phuoc. Five to ten minutes later, due to instrument flight rules, Capt. Crosby directed the flight to change to a different flight heading. When the helicopters changed frequencies to contact Chu Lai ground control approach, radio contact was lost with Capt. Crosby and was not regained.
The other two aircraft reached Chu Lai heliport, and at 1400 hours, serach efforts were begun for the missing aircraft, although the crew was not found.
According to a 1974 National League of Families report, George Howes survived the crash of this helicopter. The report further maintains that the loss occurred in Laos, although the coordinates place it some 40-odd miles from that country.
A North Vietnamese prisoner released later reported that he had seen Howes in captivity the same month the helicopter went down. A second sighting by a villager in Phuoc Chouc (or Phouc Chau) village reported Howes and two other POWs stopped for water at his house in February, 1970, en route to Laos. Whether these reports also relate to Allen, Crosby and Graziosi, is unknown.
When the last American troops left Southeast Asia in 1975, some 2500 Americans were unaccounted for. Reports received by the U.S.Government since that time build a strong case for belief that hundreds of these "unaccounted for" Americans are still alive and in captivity.
"Unaccounted for" is a term that should apply to numbers, not men. We, as a nation, owe these men our best effort to find them and bring them home. Until the fates of the men like the UH1C crew are known, their families will wonder if they are dead or alive .. and why they were deserted.
NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
No. 1294-06 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 19, 2006
Soldiers Missing In Action From Vietnam War are Identified
 The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced
 today that the remains of three U.S. servicemen, missing in action from the
 Vietnam War, have been identified and returned to their families for burial
 with full military honors.
 They are Capt. Herbert C. Crosby, of Donalsonville, Ga.; Sgt. 1st Class
 Wayne C. Allen, of Tewksbury, Mass.; and Sgt. 1st Class Francis G.
 Graziosi, of Rochester, N.Y.; all U.S. Army.Burial dates and locations are
 being set by their families.
 Representatives from the Army met with the next-of-kin of these men to
 explain the recovery and identification process, and to coordinate
 interment with military honors on behalf of the Secretary of the Army.
 On Jan. 10, 1970, these men were returning to their base at Chu Lai, South
 Vietnam aboard a UH-1C Huey helicopter. Due to bad weather, their
 helicopter went down over Quang Nam Province.A search was initiated for the
 crew, but no sign of the helicopter or crew was spotted.
 In 1989, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) gave to U.S.
 specialists 25 boxes containing the remains of the U.S. servicemen related
 to this incident.Later that year, additional remains and Crosby's
 identification tag were obtained from a Vietnamese refugee.
 Between 1993 and 1999, joint U.S./S.R.V. teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA
 Accounting Command (JPAC), conducted three investigations in Ho Chi Minh
 City and two investigations in Quang Nam-Da Nang Province (formerly Quang
 Nam Province).A Vietnamese informant in Ho Chi Minh City told the team he
 knew where the remains of as many as nine American servicemen were
 buried.He agreed to lead the team to the burial site.In 1994, the team
 excavated the site and recovered a metal box and several bags containing
 human remains, including those of these three soldiers.
 Among other forensic identification tools and circumstantial evidence,
 scientists from JPAC and the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory
 also used mitochondrial DNA and dental comparisons in the identification of
 the remains.
 For additional information on the Defense Department's mission to account
 for missing Americans, visit the DPMO Web site athttp://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/
 or call (703) 699-1169.
-------------------------------
Mystery of POW-MIA bracelet solved
BY HOWARD WILKINSON | HWILKINSON@ENQUIRER.COM
Capt. Herbert C. Brown.
The name was a mystery to Terri Stamm of Springfield Township for more than
30 years, staring up at her from the POW-MIA bracelet she bought for $3
decades ago to honor those Americans left behind in Vietnam.
Who was he? Where was he from? What did he look like? Was there a family
somewhere praying for his return?
 Now, those questions have been answered.
And the bracelet Stamm wore proudly for all those years now rests on the arm
of the one woman who could answer those questions - Capt. Brown's mother,
88-year-old Jane Crosby Wesley of Titusville, Fla.
How those questions were finally answered is, to Stamm, nothing short of a
miracle.
"It seems almost impossible, after all these years," said Stamm. "But I was
in the right place at the right time."
On Dec. 21, Stamm flew to Florida to visit her daughter, who lives in New
Port Richey. At her daughter's home, she picked up a copy of the St.
Petersburg Times and saw a 2-inch news brief - a Defense Department
announcement that the Army captain and two of his fellow soldiers had been
identified and returned to the U.S., nearly 37 years after their Huey
helicopter went down in bad weather over Quang Nam Province.
Brown, the story said, had been identified by one tooth and ID tags.
"I knew the name immediately," Stamm said. "I almost froze."
Stamm called the newspaper to tell them of the bracelet that was, at that
point, sitting in her dresser drawer back home in Springfield Township. A
few days later, she received a call from Crosby's sister, Mary Lou Wade.
Stamm said she would retrieve the bracelet and make sure it was sent to
Titusville.
When Stamm returned home in January, she told friends at St. John Neumann
Church in Springfield Township what had happened in Florida. Father Steve
Kolde, the parish priest, told her he was planning a trip to Titusville to
visit his parents and would be glad to deliver the bracelet to the soldier's
mother.
Sunday, Kolde gave the bracelet to Wesley.
"I never expected this," the soldier's mother said. "I can't believe someone
would keep it that long."
She put it on her wrist immediately and said she would wear it every day.
Two others have contacted Crosby's family saying they would like to give
them their bracelets bearing Crosby's name.
Stamm said that, over the years, she had often thought about whether Capt.
Crosby had a mother somewhere, broken-hearted over her son's disappearance.
"If it were my son, after all those years, I know how I would feel,"' Stamm
said. "So I kept that bracelet to honor that soldier and his family."
Stamm said she bought the bracelet sometime in the early 1970s, at a time
when the unpopular war in Vietnam was winding down.
"I remember those soldiers from Vietnam coming home and they were degraded
by so many people - maligned and spit upon," Stamm said. "I saw the bracelet
as a way of honoring them."
Wade, Crosby's younger sister by eight years who also lives in Titusville,
said she felt blessed to make contact with one of the people with her
brother's bracelet.
"I hope this gives other families the sense of hope that they would get
closure," she said. "Other POWs, their parents are now dead and it's left to
siblings and cousins. It's so lucky (our mother) is alive to know this."
In November, military officials used one tooth and identification tags to
confirm Crosby's death. He is among more than 850 servicemen the military
has identified since the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, according to the
U.S. Defense Department's POW/MIA office. Nearly 1,800 are still missing in
Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and China.
==================================
Two ends meet to close circle
First came the official word. A stranger heard it, too, and passed along a
lasting memento.
By THOMAS LAKE
Published January 27, 2007
----------------------------------------------------------
Jane Wesley looks at a photo of her son, Capt. Herbert Crosby. His remains
were identified decades after he died in Vietnam.
Audio slideshow: The return of a POW-MIA bracelet
 [Times photo: Julia Kumari Drapkin]
TITUSVILLE, Jan. 21
In the end they identified just one tooth. It belonged to the old woman's
son. Now she sits on a brown wraparound couch in her living room, telling
stories to a priest. On her wrist is a metal crescent with this inscription:
CAPT. HERBERT CROSBY
1-10-70
"Mary Lou," the old woman says. "Did you make any coffee?"
She once had another bracelet that bore Herbie's name, but she lost it in a
fire. This one will take its place. It will keep him close to her, she says.
It will mean he is not really dead.
One hour earlier
The metal crescent sits in a blue box on the front seat of a Toyota Avalon
headed south on Oakhill Drive. A Catholic priest is driving. He is round and
bespectacled, fond of watching birds, and he must finish this errand before
his afternoon appointment with the Chicago Bears.
He stops at a salmon-pink house and walks to the front, blue box in hand.
The door opens.
"Hello," a woman says. "You must be Father Steve."
The woman is Mary Lou Wade. She is the sister of the late Capt. Herbert
Crosby. Their mother shuffles in, gripping a walker. Jane Wesley is 88. Her
hearing and memory are fading.
People like to talk about closure, about healing through knowing the
horrible truth. She preferred hope.
Father Steve offers up the bracelet, a tarnished metal cuff perhaps half an
inch wide.
"Mary Lou," the mother says, "put that on my arm."
Cincinnati, Jan. 12
In the two-bedroom condominium where she lives alone, a 71-year-old retired
real estate agent named Terri Stamm writes a letter and drops it in the
mail.
Dear Mrs. Wade,
It was an honor to speak with you. I offer my condolence and best wishes to
you and your family. I am having the bracelet personally delivered by the
priest from my church - Fr. Steve Kolde. It so happens that he will be in
Titusville on the 20th to visit his parents who are living not two miles
from you. Unbelievable.
He will in all likelihood see you on Sunday the 21st. With your permission -
and if at all possible - I should like to attend Capt. Crosby's funeral at
Arlington.
I am still in awe of how this has all come together. May you all find
comfort in God's peace.
Cincinnati, Jan. 7
Terri returns from the airport and opens her dresser to look for the
bracelet. It is not there.
Her mind races through the possibilities. I didn't throw it out, she thinks.
I didn't give it away. I didn't sell it.
She searches until 1:15 a.m., collapses into bed, gets up at 3, searches
some more. She appeals to God. She appeals to her dead friend Ann. She falls
asleep again at 3:30 and gets back up around 7, and at 7:30 she looks in a
compartment of the cedar chest at the end of her bed and there it is.
New Port Richey, Dec. 22, 2006
Terri calls the St. Petersburg Times from her daughter's house, where she's
spending Christmas. She tells her story to an editor and the next day a
reporter calls. They talk for a while and then hang up. He finds Mary Lou
Wade's number, calls to tell her the news, asks her to call Terri. Mary Lou
does.
Terri pledges to mail the bracelet when she returns to Ohio.
New Port Richey, Dec. 20, 2006
Terri flies in from Ohio to visit her daughter. She arrives one day ahead of
schedule, thus saving $30 on air fare.
The next morning, though no one has asked for weekday delivery, a carrier
drops off the St. Petersburg Times.
As solstice dark falls outside, the woman who might not have been there
picks up the paper that might not have been there and begins to read.
She skims Page 5B, a series of state news briefs beside a sprawling ad for
LAST MINUTE SAVINGS at the Sears Appliance Outlet. Then she sees his name.
The remains of an Army captain missing nearly 37 years have been found in
South Vietnam, his family in Titusville learned.
A helicopter carrying Capt. Herbert Charles Crosby and two other servicemen
went down in bad weather in January 1970. Their remains were identified
through DNA testing, the Defense Department reported.
Crosby. His name was engraved in the POW/MIA bracelet she bought in 1971.
She had kept it more than 35 years.
"Oh my God," she says.
Thomas Lake can be reached at tlake@sptimes.com or 1-800-333-7505, ext.
6245.
--------------------------------
December 31, 2006
Dear Rattlers and Firebirds,
I'm the younger sister of Capt. Herbert (Herby) Crosby. I've been reading
and enjoying your web site for days now. I was contacted by Ron Seabolt
recently and was so elated by the wealth of information he gave me. I have
since been referring the web site to everyone I talk with from media to
friends and family. It's truly a great site, with huge significance to me
and our family.
Ron put me in touch with a couple people who knew and/or flew with Herby
while in Vietnam. I had a wonderful conversation with Col. Broome (Whiz)
recently and was so happy to talk with someone who knew Herby then. Col.
Broome agreed to officiate the services at Arlington National Cemetery in
May for us. We feel so honored to have him do this ? means so much to us and
I kknow Herby would have wanted him also. Thank you Whiz.
The specific date has not been set yet, and we may not get official word
until March 2007. We have requested Friday, May 25th, then, if that's not
available, Friday, May 18th, and third choice May 11th. As soon as I receive
word of the date and verify times I'll notify Ron Seabolt in order to spread
the news. Our family will be very honored to have any and all of you attend.
It is so very touching to know that you all care. What a family of friends
you are! We have family and friends who are also coming which will be a
great tribute to Herby and I'm sure they will also be delighted to me with
you.
We chose May for a couple reasons. Herby was born on traditional Memorial
Day (May 30, 1947) and when a young boy always thought that the flags and
parades were for him on his birthday. My father died on observed Memorial
Day in 1991 (May 27th). Our family has always been patriotic, with having my
father a World War II vet, and with Herby an Army pilot. We'd like to honor
him as close to Memorial Day as possible. Our mother is 88 so traveling in
the warmer months would be better for her also. She lives with me and my
husband in Titusville.
We never gave up hope, and you didn't either. We also will never give up
hope for the remaining families awaiting word about their loved one.
We have been contacted by people who wore one of the POW/MIA bracelets with
his name on it who want to return it to us. There are so many out-reach
things going on which is wonderful.
We're in the process of starting a scholarship fund (The Cpt. Herbert C.
Crosby Scholarship) at Embry-Riddle Aeronautics University in Daytona Beach,
Florida, in his honor. I meet with the scholarship committee next week to
set criteria, etc. Will let you all know more about this later.
I am so looking forward to meeting any and all of you who attend at
Arlington, or to talk with you on the phone. You are welcome to contact me
at < mlwade@cfl.rr.com >
Our family has been truly blessed and we would like to wish you all a very
Happy New Year. We thank you for your support, your service to our country
and our freedom. You are all honored and respected by us. God Bless!
Mary Lou Wade
==========================
Cincinatti Enquirer
Last Updated: 6:50 pm | Saturday, May 26, 2007
Long wait ends in Arlington
She kept POW/MIA bracelet 35 years, now he's at rest
BY MALIA RULON | MRULON@ENQUIRER.COM
ARLINGTON, Va. - For Terri Stamm, watching Army Capt. Herbert Crosby buried
Friday with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery was the
improbable ending to an even more improbable journey.
More than 35 years ago, the Springfield Township woman, a young mother at
the time, sent away for a metal POW/MIA bracelet imprinted with the name of
a soldier missing in action in Vietnam.
"When I think back to that moment and then fast-forward 30-some years and
here I am in the midst of his family. I just can't believe it," Stamm said.
For decades, Stamm kept that bracelet, always wondering what happened to the
young man whose name she knew so well.
Then last year, while visiting her daughter in St. Petersburg, Fla., Stamm
read a newspaper article about Crosby's remains being identified.
"When I saw that name, it just jumped out at me," Stamm said.
She contacted his family in Titusville, Fla., and returned the bracelet to
Crosby's mother, Jane Crosby Wesley.
Since Stamm's story ran in The Enquirer and other newspapers, the Crosby
family has received six other bracelets - including two that were presented
to Crosby's mother and sister after the funeral on Friday.
"I didn't know so many people cared," Crosby's mother said. "I thought it
was just our family. But ever since this came out, I've gotten letters and
calls from all across the United States."
On Friday, Crosby's family members and Stamm gathered at the Old Post Chapel
at Fort Myer for a morning service in his honor.
 Look at photos of Friday's ceremony
The date for the funeral had been selected because it is both the eve of
Memorial Day weekend and also of Crosby's birthday, May 30, the traditional
Memorial Day. Crosby had joked as a child that the flag was lowered each
year to honor his birthday.
"The flag will always fly at half-staff not only in honor of his birthday,
but also in honor of his sacrifice," said Army Chaplain Col. William "Whiz"
Broome, who served with Crosby in Vietnam.
Broome described Crosby as a "popular young man" who loved boating and the
Beatles. His Huey helicopter, carrying three others, went down in bad
weather over Quang Nam Province in South Vietnam on Jan. 10, 1970. He was 22
years old.
Last November, military officials used bone shards, a tooth and an
identification tag that were found in 25 boxes of remains turned over by the
Vietnamese government in 1989 to confirm Crosby's death.
After the service, dozens of cars and motorcycles snaked across the
cemetery, following his six-horse caisson to the burial site, a grassy plot
within view of the Washington Monument.
Three Black Hawk helicopters flew overhead, across the blue, cloudless sky,
as eight soldiers held an American flag over the casket.
"Herby would have enjoyed that fly-by," Broome said. Crosby, an Army pilot,
had flown helicopters known by the radio call sign "Firebird."
A seven-member firing squad performed a three-shot volley and a bugler
played taps. Then, as a military band played "America the Beautiful," the
soldiers folded the flag, which was given to Crosby's mother.
On her wrist, two metal bracelets - one from Stamm - jingled.
"As I sat there, I thought of everything that had brought me to that
moment," Stamm said after the funeral.
With four boys too young to serve, Stamm yearned for a way to show her
support for the families whose sons weren't too young to fight and die for
their country.
"The story really isn't about me. It's about the Crosbys," Stamm said. "It's
important for the families to know that there are people, lots of us, out
there who care about them."

 

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"All Biographical and loss information on POWs provided by Operation Just Cause have been supplied by Chuck and Mary Schantag of POWNET. Please check with POWNET regularly for updates."

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