Charles Irvin Stanley
Chief Warrant Officer, United States Army
Charles Irvin Stanley was born on September
25, 1946 and joined the Armed
He served in the United States Army, 282nd Aviation Company, 212th Aviation Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Division, and attained the rank of Chief Warrant Officer 3.
Charles Irvin Stanley is listed as Missing in Action.
Also see the crew
Name: Charles Irvin Stanley
Other Personnel In Incident: Robert C. O'Hara;
Ronald D. Briggs; David E.
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15
June 1990 from one or more of
On February 6, 1969, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Charles I. Stanley, pilot; First Lieutenatn David E. Padgett, aircraft commander; Specialist 5 Robert C. O'Hara, crew chief; Private First Class Eugene F. Christiansen, door gunner; Lieutenant Colonel Donald E. Parsons, First Lieutenant Ronald D. Briggs, and Major Vu Vanh Phao, ARVN, all passengers, were aboard a UH1H (serial #67-17499) on a resupply mission in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam.
While in route from Landing Zone Vandergrift
to LZ Tornado, Lieutenant Padget contacted the LZ Tornado radio operator
at about 1100 hours and stated that
At that time, the radio operator at LZ Tornado could hear the helicopter northeast of his location, which sounded as if it were heading in a northerly direction. When the aircraft failed to return to LZ Vandergrift, a coordinated search and rescue operation was initiated and continued for seven consecutive days, finding nothing.
However, on the morning of February 7, Crown,
an airborne control aircraft,
The area in which the aircraft was estimated to go down has been dubbed "Antenna Valley" and is located west of Cam Lo and on the backside of Camp Carrol. The area was occupied by NVA regulars, and was never cleared. On-site search was not possible at that time.
On September 4, 1969, an ARVN source reported that in August he had seen Colonel Parsons, Major Phao, Lieutenant Briggs, and four other unidentified American POWs in a hospital in Laos. The U.S. Army determined that the four unidentified Americans could possibly be Christiansen, Stanley, Padgett and O'Hara.
On July 5, 1972, an NVA rallier reported seeing two caucasian POWs in the vicinity of a T-35 commo-liaison station on the 499th infiltration corridor in Laos. The two POWs were being taken to North Vietnam. This information was tentatively correlated to Lieutenant Padgett and Private Christiansen.
In September 1970, Colonel Parson's wife and
friends identified him in a North
In December 1979, an alleged "gun-runner", Sean O'Toolis reported that he had the fingerprints of Robert O'Hara, and that O'Hara was at that time being held south of Hanoi near Bong Song. O'Toolis' information was summarily dismissed by the U.S. Government and he was thoroughly discredited, thus it is not clear how much credence can be given to his information.
The reports relating to the crew of the UH1H that went down on February 6, 1969 are typical of the over 10,000 reports received by the U.S. Government relating to Americans prisoner, missing or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia. After reviewing "several million documents" and conducting "over 250,000 interviews" the USG has been unable to state categorically that Americans are still alive.
Many authorities, however, including a former Director of Defense Intelligence Agency, have reluctantly concluded that there are many Americans still held against their will in Southeast Asia.
Families who receive these reports are especially
tortured. With no means to prove or disprove them, the tormen is indescribable.
When they turn to their government, they are usually met with the "mindset
to debunk" described by one high official in Congressional hearings. When
they approach Vietnam, they are told the person they seek is unknown to
them. Yet the reports continue to flow in, month after month, year after
year. And year after year, families wait.
OFFICIAL STATUS: BRIGGS: DEAD, BODY NOT RECOVERED
RATIONALE FOR SELECTION:
All of these individuals were lost in one helicopter
incident. There are two correlated intelligence reports describing four
of them, and two of the individuals were identified by family and friends
in a North Vietnamese film. There have been no
REFNO: 1372 20 Apr 76
(U) CASE SUMMARY
1. On 6 February 1969 CW2 Charles I. Stanley, pilot, First Lieutenant David E. Padgett, aircraft commander, Lieutnant Colonel Donald E. Parsons, First Lieutenant Ronald D. Briggs, and Major Vu Vann Phao (ARVN), passengers, SP5 Robert C. O'Hara, crewchief, and Private First Lieutenant Eugene F. Christiansen, gunner, were aboard a UH1H helicopter, (#67-17499), on a resupply mission in South Vietnam.
At about 1100 hours, while enroute from Landing Zone ((LZ) Vandgrift to LZ Tornado, First Lieutenant Padgett contacted the LZ Tornado radio operator, and stated that due to poor weather conditions and poor visibility the flight was returning to LZ Vandgrift. At that time the radio operator at LZ Torando could hear the helicopter northeast of his location, which sounded as though it was heading- in a northerly direction. When the aircraft failed to return to LZ Vandgrift a coordinated search and rescue operation was initiated and continued for a period of seven consecutive days, finding nothing. However, on the morning, of 7 February, R-Crown, (an airborne control aircraft), reported receiving radio beeper signals several times from the - general vicinity of where Lieutenant Padgett's aircraft was last reported. The beeper signals were estimated to eminate from a point-- near grid coordinates (GC) YD 170 300. (The incident coordinates are listed in JCRC files as YD 182 212).
2. On 4 September 1969 an ARVN source reported
that in August he had seen
3. On 5 July 1972 an NVA rallier reported seeing
two Caucasian POW's in the
4. Colonel Parsons' spouse and friends identified him in a North Vietnamese film of a Protestant Service in September 1970. CW2 Stanley's mother made a tentative identification of her son in the same film.
5. During the existence of JCRC, the limited information available precluded any efforts toward the resolution of this case. These individuals' names and identifying data were turned over to the Four-Party Joint Military Team with a request for any information available. No response was forthcoming. Lieutenant Briggs and Colonel Parsons are currently carried in the presumptive status of Dead, Body Not Reecovered. CW2 Stanley, lLT Padgett, PFC Christiansen and SP5 O'Hara are currently carried in the status of Missing.
Remains of Ohio casualty in Vietnam identified
The remains of an Ohio soldier and two other U.S. servicemen missing since the Vietnam War have been identified, the Pentagon said Thursday.
Chief Warrant Officer Charles Stanley of Cleveland
disappeared Feb. 6, 1969,
Stanley and Sgt. 1st Class Eugene F. Christiansen of Barstow, Calif., were part of the crew on a flight that radioed that it was returning to base due to poor weather. Stanley was 23 at the time.
The flight never returned and no wreckage was
found in the immediate search.
Stanley's remains were identified through comparison
of DNA genetic material
The identification was made at the Army Central
Identification Laboratory in
The remains of Christiansen and a passenger,
Lieutenant Colonel Donald Eugene Parsons of Sparta, Illinois, also were
identified. The remains of three others remain
Stanley was born in Cleveland and attended
suburban Mayfield High School and
The Pentagon said the remains would be returned to the families.
Stanley's brother, Ron Stanley, said Thursday night that a funeral service is planned for September 6, 2002, at Arlington National Cemetery. No other memorial service is planned.
"There is a certain sense of relief. We can
finally get some closure after 33 years," he said.
25 June 2006:
Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place for those who have died defending freedom.
Ron Stanley has not returned to Arlington National Cemetery to view the grave where his brother, Charles, was buried nearly four years ago.
But he is comforted by the notion that Charles, a helicopter pilot and chief warrant officer in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, is right where he would want to be.
"He was a soldier, and that's what he would have wanted," said Stanley, 50, who lives in Highland Heights.
"It's a place for America's heroes."
Located just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., the 600-acre cemetery is the final resting place of heroes from every battle the United States has fought from the Revolutionary War right up through the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is also the site where American Presidents John F. Kennedy and William Howard Taft were buried, as well as home to the Tomb of the Unknowns. In all, more than 300,000 people have been buried at Arlington, according to the cemetery.
U.S. Marine Sergeant Mark T. Smykowski of Mentor joined this prestigious list of heroes Tuesday when he was given full military burial honors at the historic cemetery.
"I think there's a certain kinship among those who have lost somebody in battle," Stanley said of seeing another buried at Arlington.
"I feel a tremendous amount of empathy for those people. I know exactly what it did to my family. I certainly have a sense of the potential of what it has done to their family."
Determining just how many people from Northeast Ohio are buried at Arlington is a difficult process.
The cemetery does not track data by state or region, and Lake County Veterans Service Commission Director Jonathan R. Warmeling is not aware of any local sources that would have such information.
With records that date back to 1864, the cemetery has embarked on a plan to modernize Arlington's system of maintaining more-accessible records of who is buried at the cemetery.
The locations of grave markers are tracked so family and friends can visit specific graves, said Lori Calvillo, public affairs officer at Arlington.
Ron Stanley admits that Arlington's distance
from Northeast Ohio presents a challenge in visiting the grave site.
His remains were not officially identified until 2000.
"I do take a lot of comfort that he's in Arlington," Stanley said. "We felt his sacrifice warranted that level of a service. There's a certain level of honor associated with being buried at Arlington."
Korean War veteran and Geneva Township resident Melvin E. Deems said the cemetery represents a constant reminder to the American public of the price of freedom.
"All gave some, and some gave all," said Deems, an airman first class in the U.S. Air Force and quartermaster at Geneva Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6846.
"They're not going to be forgotten."
Each November, Deems and the other members of Vin Saki Pup Tent No. 68 travel to Arlington to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. A pup tent is an honor group of veterans who become part of the group by invitation only, Deems said.
"It's a fun organization, but it's a very serious thing that they do," Deems said.
The group goes to Veterans Administration hospitals, nursing homes - "wherever a veteran is," Deems said, to offer support to fellow brothers in military service.
Lately, the post has been saying goodbye to many of those brothers, he said.
"It seems like almost every other day, we're going over and burying people," Deems said.
Deems has not presided over a burial at Arlington.
"It would be an honor, but the big honor to
me would be to have a color guard lay you to rest," Deems said.
"Iraq and Afghanistan really haven't raised the numbers, but the World War II veterans have," Calvillo said.
Ronald Stanley, brother of Chief Warrant Officer Charles Stanley of Cleveland, Ohio, accepts
a U.S. flag that had draped the casket of Charles Stanley, from Lieutenant Colonel
James May, right, during funeral services at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington,
Virginia, Friday, September 6, 2002. Stanley disappeared February 6, 1969, while flying aboard a
helicopter on an emergency supply mission in Vietnam.
Posted: 8 September 2002 Updated: 13 November 2002 Updated: 23 November 2003 Updated: 28 August 2005 Updated: 11 February 2006
Updated: 25 June 2006