Name: Marshall Irvin Pauley
Rank/Branch: Chief Master Sergeant/US Air Force 
Unit: 4th Air Commando Squadron 
DaNang Airfield, South Vietnam 

Date of Birth: 17 October 1941
Home of Record: Milton, WV
Date of Loss: 13 March 1966
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 154000N 1073000E (YC550450) 
Click coordinates to view maps

Status in 1973: Missing In Action
Category: 4
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: AC47D "Puff the Magic Dragon"
Other Personnel in Incident: Howard W. Henninger, Robert E. Pasekoff, Gerald E. Olson, Edwin E. Morgan, Dean A. Duvall, and Gene E. Davis (missing)


SYNOPSIS:   The Douglas AC47D, nicknamed "Puff the Magic Dragon" or "Spooky," was a nocturnal savior to American, South Vietnamese and Royal Lao troops at besieged outposts deep in Viet Cong and Pathet Lao-held territory. The C47D had a row of 7.62mm miniguns mounted along the left side of its fuselage and could fly overhead in a pylon turn bringing torrents of extremely accurate and precise gunfire raining down on the enemy.

On 9 March 1966, Capt. Howard W. Henninger, pilot; Capt. Robert E Pasekoff, co-pilot; Capt. Gerald E. Olson, navigator; TSgt. Edwin E. Morgan, loadmaster; SSgt. Gene E. Davis, flight mechanic; then SSgt. Marshall I. Pauley, aerial gunner and Sgt. Dean A Duvall, aerial gunner; comprised the crew of an AC47D gunship, call sign "Spooky 73." They departed DaNang Airfield at 0300 hours on an armed reconnaissance mission along Route 92 that ran through the dense jungle covered mountains of Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam.

The mission was scheduled to last 3 hours. Weather conditions were good. It was a moonlit night with scattered to broken clouds, smoke and haze. Approximately 22 minutes after Spooky 73 took off, Capt. Henninger established radio contact with a standard communications check. At that time there was no indication of any trouble with the aircraft.

When Spooky 73 failed to return to base as scheduled, a ramp check of all bases that the AC47D could have diverted to was made. At 0800 hours the aircraft was declared overdue and initial search and rescue (SAR) operations initiated. At 0740 hours on 14 March 1966, full SAR operations using 2 AIE and 1 HE16B aircraft combed the dense jungle covered mountains along Route 92 and their briefed flight path of Spooky 73. This search effort was terminated at 1430 hours with no findings or sightings of the missing aircraft or its crew observed.

The last known location of Capt. Henninger's aircraft and crew placed them over rugged mountains covered in triple canopy jungle. At that time Spooky 73 was on a heading of 250 degrees; approximately 9 miles south of the South Vietnamese/Lao border, 33 miles southeast of Kham Duc and 58 miles west-southwest of DaNang, Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam.

SAR operations continued on 15 March with two sorties of SAR aircraft dispatched to the area of the downed gunship. Beeper signals were heard by rescue personnel, however, the beeper signals were not of code and too short in duration to pinpoint their location. Likewise, there was no way to determine which crewmen were attempting transmission. All search efforts were terminated at 1730 hours with negative results. At the time these efforts were terminated, Howard Henninger, Dean Duvall, Marshall Pauley, Robert Pasekoff, Gerald Olson, Edwin Morgan and Gene Davis were immediately listed Missing in Action.

In April 1969, a CIA intelligence report, which was generated by DaNang Regional Intelligence, compiled a very detailed description of the Viet Cong's Huong Thuy District (South Vietnam) committee headquarters, along with details of a communist prison camp. This camp was located approximately 20 miles south of Hue/Phu Bai and 40 miles northwest of DaNang. The document included maps of the facility as well as information on many of the communist staff, including names, backgrounds and jobs performed.

Also included in this document was a list of 22 American POWs by name who were positively identified from pre-capture photographs. An additional list of 32 Americans tentatively identified was also attached. The source stated that following the 1968 Tet offensive, prisoners were transferred from this camp to either North Vietnam or to an agricultural camp at an unknown location near the South Vietnam/Lao border. Gerald Olson was named as one of the possibly identified POWs. There was no indication if any of the other crewmen were also incarcerated in this camp. None of the families of those listed as positively or possibly identified Prisoners of War were ever told of this report until it was declassified in 1985 - some 17 years later.

Since the end of the Vietnam War well over 21,000 reports of American prisoners, missing and otherwise unaccounted for have been received by our government. Many of these reports document LIVE America Prisoners of War remaining captive throughout Southeast Asia TODAY.

Military men in Vietnam were called upon to fight in many dangerous circumstances, and they were prepared to be wounded, killed or captured.  It probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country they so proudly served.