Interactive: The Flight of Spooky 21

May 25, 2013 

It is unclear exactly what conditions the six-man crew encountered that caused their mission on Dec. 24, 1965, to end in a crash in southeastern Laos. Decades later, a small amount of their physical remains were found.




South Vietnam
Laos
Thailand
N.
Vietnam
Demilitarized zone
Da Nang
Hue
Quang Tri
Ban Buong
Sections of the Ho Chi Minh Trail
Thailand
Cambodia
Laos
N. Vietnam
S.
Vietnam
Select an image to the right for more information on each of Spooky 21's crew members.
Arlington National Cemetery
Site of the crew's grave
Back to map
Larry C. Thornton
Munitions
Age: 33
Hometown: Idaho Falls, Idaho
Rank at time of death: Technical sergeant
Posthumous rank: Chief master sergeant
Arden K. Hassenger
Munitions
Age: 32
Hometown: Lebanon, Ore.
Rank at time of death: Staff sergeant
Posthumous rank: Chief master sergeant
Dennis L. Eilers
Co-pilot
Age: 27
Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Rank at time of death: First Lieutenant
Posthumous rank: Lieutenant colonel
Derrell B. Jeffords
Pilot
Age: 40
Hometown: Florence, S.C.
Rank at time of death: Major
Posthumous rank: Colonel
William K. Colwell
Munitions
Age: 44
Hometown: Glen Cove, N.Y.
Rank at time of death: Technical sergeant
Posthumous rank: Chief master sergeant
Joseph Christiano
Navigator
Age: 43
Hometown: Rochester, N.Y.
Rank at time of death: Major
Posthumous rank: Colonel
Washington,
D.C.
Md.
Va.
Sources: U.S Dept. of Defense, Arlington National Cemetery, MCT Photo Service, McClatchy Washington Bureau
© MCT 2013
Graphic: Robert Dorrell, Judy Treible, Matt Schofield Danny Dougherty

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