Remains recovered - see below
From: "Thomas H. Payne" <bandit32@cox.net>
Subject: Jon E. Swanson
Date: Fri, 17 May 2002 14:53:13 -0500

I have put on the Internet a web site for Jon E. Swanson {photos of Medal of Honor presentation, funeral service....} at:  www.cox.net/~118ahc/JonESwanson.htm

Thought you would want to know.

Tom Payne

Name: Jon Edward Swanson
Rank/Branch: O3/US Army
Unit: Troop B, 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division
Date of Birth: 01 May 1942 (San Antonio TX)
Home City of Record: Denver CO [family states Boulder, CO - see below]
Date of Loss: 26 February 1971
Country of Loss: Cambodia
Loss Coordinates: 115938N 1055053E (WU923259)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: OH6A
Refno: 1709
Source: Compiled 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 in 2002.
Other Personnel in Incident: Larry G. Harrison (missing)
SYNOPSIS: Jon Swanson was the pilot of an OH6A with Larry Harrison as
observer on a visual reconnaissance mission, while providing close air
support to an ambushed ARVN convoy in Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia.
When the aircraft was flying at a low altitude marking enemy positions, it
came under fire from two machine guns and was seen to burst into flames and
crash. Another helicopter landed near the site, but was forced to take off
when it came under heavy enemy fire. Repeated attempts by both ARVN ground
troops and U.S. helicopters to reach the downed helicopter were thwarted by
enemy fire.
On February 27, U.S. helicopters returned to the area and saw what they
believed to be two remains near the crash site. As late as March 7, the
remains were observed near the crash site, but could not be recovered due to
enemy fire.
It was a common practice for communist troops to leave "bait" to lure other
aircraft hoping to rescue downed aircrews into a hostile area. Because of
the enemy presence in the area of the downed aircraft, it is possible that
the bodies of Swanson and Harrison were used in this manner. Regardless, the
U.S. Government believes that the enemy knows the fate of the two.
Fifteen years after the war ended, the Cambodian government let it be known
that they had the remains of nearly 100 Americans. Unfortunately, the U.S.
has no diplomatic relations with Cambodia and would not officially respond.
Although several U.S. Congressmen have attempted to recover the remains of
these Americans, the government of Cambodia clearly wishes an official
request from the U.S. Government, which it is unwilling to give.
It is not thought that Americans captured by the Cambodian communists were
allowed to survive, but were instead executed. As Vietnamese troops also
coursed through Cambodia, as in Laos, however, a significant number of these
downed pilots and crew might have been captured by the Vietnamese, thus
escaping the post-war holocost caused by the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia.
The governments of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam have been less than
forthcoming in response to reports that they still hold American prisoners.
The U.S. has been unwilling or unable to obtain the freedom of any living
prisoners since the war ended.
On December 28, 2001 Pres George Bush signed the Defense Authorization Act,
S1438, which included:
(a) WAIVER OF TIME LIMITATIONS- Notwithstanding the time limitations
specified in section 3744 of title 10, United States Code, or any other time
limitation with respect to the awarding of certain medals to persons who
served in the military service, the President may award the Medal of Honor
under section 3741 of that title to any of the persons named in subsections
(b), (c), and (d) for the acts of valor referred to in those respective
(b) HUMBERT R. VERSACE- Subsection (a) applies with respect to Humbert R.
Versace, for conspicuous acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of
his life and beyond the call of duty between October 29, 1963, and September
26, 1965, while interned as a prisoner of war by the Vietnamese
Communist National Liberation Front (Viet Cong) in the Republic of Vietnam.
(c) JON E. SWANSON- Subsection (a) applies with respect to Jon E. Swanson,
for conspicuous acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life
and beyond the call of duty on February 26, 1971, while piloting a Scout
helicopter on a close-support reconnaissance mission in support of the Army
of the Republic of Vietnam Task Force 333 in the Kingdom of Cambodia.
(d) BEN L. SALOMON- Subsection (a) applies with respect to Ben L. Salomon,
for conspicuous acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life
and beyond the call of duty on July 7, 1944, while defending the soldiers
under his care as the Surgeon, 2d Battalion, 105th Infantry Regiment, 27th
Infantry Division against an overwhelming enemy force at Saipan, Marianas
This is the text PROPOSED by the Department of Defense, Office of the General
Counsel, Oct 2, 2001 when they asked the legislation be introduced:
On February 26, 1971, Captain Jon E. Swanson was flying an OH-3A aircraft on
a close support reconnaissance mission in support of Army of the Republic of
Vietnam (ARVNM) Task Force 333 in the Kingdom of Cambodia. Two well equiped
enemy regiments were known to be in the area, and Captain Swanson's mission
was to pinpoint precise enemy positions. To accomplish this mission, he was
required to fly at treetop level at a slow airspeed, thus making his
aircraft a very vunerable target. The advancing ARVN unit came under heavy
automatic weapons fire from the enemy bunkers in a treeline approximately
100 meters to their front. Captain Swanson, completely exposing himself to
enemy anti-aircraft fire, immediately engaged the enemy bunkers with
concussion grenades and machine gun fire.
After destroying five bunkers and successfully evading ground-to-air fire,
he discovered a .51 caliber machine gun position. He had expendedd his heavy
ordnance on the bunkers and did not have sufficient explosives to destroy
the positions. Consequently, he marked the position with a smoke grenade and
directed a Cobra gunship attack on the position. Upon completion of the
attack, he again returned to the area to assess the battle damage. Captain
Swanson found the weapon still intact and an enemy soldier crawling over to
man it. He immediately engaged the individual and killed him. His aircraft
was then taken under fire by a second .51 caliber machine gun position.
Although his aircraft had sustained several hits, Captain Swanson engaged
the position with his aircraft weapons, marked the target, and directed a
second Cobra gunship attack. He volunteered to continue the mission despite
the fact that he was critically low on ammunition and his aircraft was
crippled from the hits it sustained. While approaching the target area,
Captain Swanson was taken under fire by yet another .51 caliber position. In
an effort to mark the position with smoke, he again flew into the objective
area. Although his aircraft was taking heavy fire, he continued to fly to
the .51 caliber position. It was at this point that his aircraft exploded in
the air and crashed to the ground. Captain Swanson's courageous actions
resulted in at least eight enemy killed and the destruction of three enemy
anti-aircraft positions, which would have been responsible for the
destruction of many more helicopters and crews.
The acts of then-Captain Jon E. Swanson clearly distinguish him
conspicuously by gallantry and intredity at the risk of his life above and
beyond the call of duty, as required by section 3741 of title 10, United
States Code, tomerit this legislation and the award of the Nation's highest
military honor.
Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2002 19:25:19 -0800
From: Dewey Fambry <wolf380@swbell.net>
I am looking for the address of CPT Jon Swanson, who was submitted for the
MOH along with CPT Humbert Versace.
CPT Swanson was a member of D Troop 3/5th Cav shortly before he transfered
to the 9th Cav and became a MIA
The 3/5th wish to honor on of our former members and invite his family to
the Army reunion to be held at Ft Knox Ky. in June 2002.
Thank You for your help
Dewey Fambry
Retired 1SGT A Troop 3/5th Cav
From: "Doug Hallas" <hallas_d@hotmail.com>
Cc: awalkerjr@kpmg.com
Subject: Jon Swanson home of record
Date: Thu, 07 Feb 2002 18:12:29 +0000
I received an email from a member of Jon Swanson's family, asking that I
change Jon's home of record on the Black Knights webpage honoring this true 
American Hero, from Denver Co, to Boulder, CO, which I have done. He also 
asked me to contact all of you to see if you might change your records as 
well. I am including the email I received, below.
In closing, I would like to say that I hope the pressure is still being 
applied to the appropriate people who will ensure that Jon E. Swanson does 
in fact receive the Congressional Medal of Honor, which he so richly 
deserves. He earned it the hard way, losing his life to save others.
++++++++++++++++++++ Email Received ++++++++++++++++++
Feb 2002
Dear Sirs -
I am writing about the profile you've posted of Jon Swanson.  I am married 
to Jon's 2nd daughter Holly, who is, as you can imagine, very proud of her 
father and loves your site.
I have a question for you about the CMH -- it was authorized by
Congress...do you know how the President decides if he's going to award it? 
It appears to be up to him to act on it, but he is not instructed by
Congress that he has to do so.
Second, my wife's family is concerned that you had noted he's from Denver, 
CO.  He, his wife and his family owned a house and lived together in 
Boulder, CO.  To you and me, this might seem trivial as the cities are so 
close to one another...but I've been assured that there is quite a 
Thanks for your help -- and great web page!
Andrew Walker
National League of Families 02/20/2002
AMERICANS ACCOUNTED FOR:  According to the Department of Defense, there are
now 1,942 Americans still missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.
The remains of air Force COL  William C. Coltman of PA, missing in Laos
since September 29, 1972,  were jointly recovered and repatriated on August
28, 2000. The remains of LtCol Lawrence G. Evert, USAF, from WY, missing
since November 8, 1967, were jointly recovered during successive field
operations beginning February 9, 2000.  The remains of Navy LT Gene R.
Gollahon of OH, missing in Vietnam since August 13, 1965, were jointly
recovered April 26, 2000.  The remains of Army Jon E. Swanson of CO and
S/SGT Larry G. Harrison of NC, both Killed-in-Action/Body-Not Recovered
February 26, 1971, were jointly recovered in Cambodia on July 1, 1992.  In
addition, one Air Force officer, previously missing in North Vietnam, was
accounted for through identification of remains recovered during several
field operations beginning in January, 1997. No public announcement has yet
been made, though it is hoped that will soon occur.  Of the total
unaccounted for, 1,464 are in Vietnam, 410 in Laos, 60 in Cambodia and 8 in
the territorial waters of the PRC.  Over 90% of all Vietnam War missing were
lost in Vietnam or areas under its wartime control
 From: George Malleck [mailto:gsmalleck@comcast.net]
 Sent: Monday, April 22, 2002 15:42
 To: rosemary.carter@hood.army.mil
 Subject: FW: 1st Cav MIAs returned and to be Honored
 Importance: High
 Dear Colonel Carter,
 As discussed by phone, I understand that the following members of the 1st
 Cav will be buried in Arlington on May 3.  There will be a wake on May 2 at
 Murphy Funeral Home, Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA.  Captain Swanson will be
 awarded the Medal of Honor on May 1.
OIC for this event at Ft. Myer Casualty office is Captain Craig George at 
 (703) 696-3237
 Wake will be 1900-2100 Thursday, May 2, 2002
 Funeral at Ft. Myer Chapel on Friday (I believe 0900)
 Funeral Home is,
 Murphy Funeral Home
 4510 Wilson Blvd.
 Arlington, VA
 (703) 920-4800
 Please let me know if I can be of any service.
 Air Assault!
 With best regards,
 President, National Capital Area Chapter
 101st Airborne Division Association
 (703) 892-1679
 (703) 892-1136 (fax)
Coloradan's remains come home
Vietnam War claimed life of young helicopter pilot
By M.E. Sprengelmeyer, News Washington Correspondent
May 1, 2002
WASHINGTON -- Thirty-one years late, life is about to come full circle for a
Colorado soldier.
Just before he shipped out for his second tour of duty in the Vietnam War,
Army Capt. Jon E. Swanson, 28, took his wife, Sandee, and their two baby
daughters on a trip to Washington, D.C....