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Charles R Fellenz

War: Vietnam
Parent/Wife: Herbert/wife
City: Marshfield
Birth Date: 20-Oct-39
Death Date: 24-Nov-69
How Died: plane crash
Where Died: Laos
Where Buried: Arlington NC
Rank: CMS
Branch: Air Force

Kia=Killed in Action
Dow=Died of Wounds
Dod=Died of Disease
Mia=Missing in Action


Charles Richard Fellenz
An Air Force Legend

The Vietnam War is also known as America's longest war for it lasted from 1959 to 1975. It was a war to end communism, but in the end America failed and Vietnam became a communist country. Over 58,000 American's lost their lives in this battle for freedom and one of those lives belonged to Charles Richard Fellenz.

Fellenz was born on October 20, 1939 to Herbert and Annie Fellenz of Marshfield, Wisconsin. He later married and had two sons and a daughter. These children had no clue that they'd lose a father so soon in life. Fellenz died on November 24, 1969 at the age of 30 in the Vietnam War. At first he was reported as missing in action in 1973, but was later switched to killed in action when his remains were identified on October 23, 1995 after being found on November 15, 1993.

Fellenz was in the US Air Force and ranked as Chief Master Sergeant. His units were the 44th Tactical Airlift Sq., 374th Tactical Airlift Wing, and the Ubon Airfield, Thailand, where he met his fate. Fellenz was flying a flare operator on a C-130A aircraft, also known as Hercules, over Saravane, Laos in the Vietnam War. He, along with two other planes, departed from the Ubon Airfield, Thailand on November 24, 1969. In an extremely forested mountain area, the planes found themselves being attacked by anti- aircraft fire from the ground. Fellenz tried to avoid the attack by turning away, but unfortunately was hit, and his plane went down in flames. The pilots in the two other planes reported that they didn't see any parachutes and couldn't get radio or ground contact with any of the eight-crew members on Hercules after 30 minutes of flying around the area. All eight members, including Fellenz, perished in the crash; only a few bones and teeth could be found later in 1993.

Fellenz was buried next to an oak tree in Arlington National Cemetery, along with the other seven airmen in the plane crash. The eight airmen received full military honors and an AC-130 flew over as the casket was placed next to the burial site in memory of what they had done for their country. The plane was significant for it was similar to the C-130A that the eight airmen were in before the tragic crash.

Fellenz's family and friends, as well as the other seven members families and friends, were there to say their final farewells. Charles Richard Fellenz is honored on Panel 16W, Row 116 on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where he will never be forgotten by his country.

Written By: Diana Hileman
Marshfield Senior High


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