GILLESPIE, JOHN FRANCIS Remains Returned 12/2007
Name: John Francis Gillespie Branch/Rank: United States Navy/E3 Unit:8FD AMP Date of Birth: Home City of Record:Australia Date of Loss:17 April 1971 Country of Loss: Nouth Vietnam Loss Coordinates: Status (in 1973): MIA/BB Category: Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1D 3170244 Missions: Refno: 1741 Other Personnel in Incident: See below
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK with information provided by Bruce S. and from data from U.S. Government agency sources. Edited 2007.
I am an Australian Vietnam Veteran and while reading through your site I came across the name of a friend of mine:
JOHN FRANCIS GILLESPIE Dated 17th APR 71
John Gillespie was a medic on a RAAF helicopter which was shot down over the Long Hai hills in the Australian Army area of operations in Phuoc Tuy province.
The chopper was hit and l/cpl Gillespie was hit in the chest and when the aircraft went down he was trapped in the wreckage. The other crew members were unable to free him from the wreckage and his body was totally destroyed.
The name is the same and the date is the same so I would presume the man on your list is the Australian John Francis Gillespie. The Australian JFG is among only six Australians from that conflict listed as MIA and all have subsequently been changed to KIA.
I hope this will clear your records up. Great site by the way.
Cheers Bruce S
COURIER MAIL (AUS)
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Two buried at site of Vietnam action
December 5, 2005 - 11:58AM
....Retired Lieutenant Colonel Jim Bourke, who has headed a team seeking the graves of Lance Corporal Richard "Tiny" Parker, 24, and Private Peter Gillson, 20, said his team had interviewed a former Viet Cong soldier who participated in the action in which the two men died.....
http://www.awm.gov.au/database/roh.asp?surname=gillespie&conflict=VN Gillespie, J F Number: 3170244 Rank: Lance Corporal [L Cpl] Unit: 8 Fd AMB (RAAMC) Service: Army Conflict: Vietnam, 1962-1972 Date of Death: 17/04/1971 Place of Death: South Vietnam Cause of Death: Killed In Action Memorial Panel: 5 Cemetery or Memorial Details: Next Of Kin: Wife - Mrs C P Gillespie Notes: Source: AWM153 Roll of Honour cards, Vietnam
Townsville Bulletin (Australia) August 30, 2006
Hope to get vets home
THE bodies of two 1RAR soldiers killed in Vietnam more than 40 years ago could finally be coming home.
Jim Bourke, a former Ayr resident and the man charged with leading a recovery mission to find the men, is tipping a better-than-even chance their bodies will be found.....
December 18, 2007
Digger makes final journey
THIRTY-SIX years after he fell in combat in Vietnam , the body of Lance Corporal John Francis Gillespie was finally returned to Australia yesterday.
Arms wrapped around each other, Gillespie's widow Carmel Hendrie and daughter Fiona Pike paid a tearful tribute to the army medic at Hanoi International Airport last night before his casket was carried on to a waiting military plane for the journey to Melbourne......
Herald Sun (Australia)
December 18, 2007
A lost brother finally returns
CHRISTINE Gillespie journeyed back to her childhood's Catholic church in Huntingdale yesterday but her mind was much further away -- in Vietnam .
>From there her brother John yesterday began his final journey home, 36 years after being killed in combat.....