HUMMEL, JOHN FLOYD
Rank / Branch:
CW3, U.S. ARMY
FIRST CAVALRY DIVISI
Date of Birth:
164204N 1063359E (XD670470)
HOSTILE, CRASH HELIC
BODY NOT RETURNED
Awards & Decorations:
See Alphabetical list
list by County
JOHN FLOYD HUMMEL, CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER CLASS 3, U.S. ARMY, BARSTOW, WARD COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Army Aviator Wings, Two Bronze Stars, Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense Medal, Republic of Vietnam Service Medal and Vietnam Campaign Medal.
John Floyd Hummell was born August 10, 1948, the only child of Vera Belle Brown and Oliver Floyd Hummel. He was born in Pecos, Texas, the family was living in Barstow, Texas which is eight miles east of Pecos and just across the Pecos River. Johnny attended the Barstow schools, graduating in 1966 from Barstow High School. While at Barstow, he played football, basketball, tennis and was his class treasurer for 4 years. He then attended Texas Western University, which is now the University of Texas El Paso, for two years.
Barstow High School, 1966
He enlisted in the Army in the spring of 1969, completed basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana, then began his rotary wing flight training at Fort Wolters, near Mineral Wells, Texas. He then moved to Fort Rucker, Alabama for Huey Training and commissioning as a Warrant Officer and then he transferred Stewart-Hunter for Cobra Training. He completed his training May 1970 and then started his tour in Vietnam, June 26, 1970. He served in the Mekong Delta for eight months, took emergency leave to see his mother who was in ill health in January 1971 and returned to Vietnam in February, 1971 and rejoined his outfit at Quang Tri.
Johnny was officially reported as missing March 6, 1971. The aircraft, piloted by CWO Hummel radioed that they were enroute back to their base camp when contact was lost. The gunship had been on a reconnaissance mission over Laos.
UPDATE: On October 11, 1994, the family received notice from the casualty Operations Center, Department of the Army, that CW3 John F. Hummel was deceased. Death is presumed to have occurred on November 13, 1978. Remains not recovered. After reevaluation of the incident, CW3 Hummel's casualty status is changed from Non-Battle, Deceased, to Hostile, Deceased, K.I.A.
Memorial Marker-Barstow Cemetery, Tx
Name: John Floyd Hummel
Rank/Branch: W1/US Army
Unit: Troop B, 7th Squadron, 1st Cavalry, 164th Aviation Group
Date of Birth: 10 August 1948 (Pecos TX)
Home City of Record: Barstow TX
Date of Loss: 06 March 1971
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 164204N 1063359E (XD670470)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel In Incident: William P. Milliner (missing)
SYNOPSIS: On March 6, 1971, WO John F. Hummel, pilot, and WO William P. Milliner, co-pilot, were flying an AH1G Cobra helicopter gunship (serial #67-15464) as the wingman in a flight of two helicopters returning from a combat support mission over Laos. While in route, the weather turned hazy. At about 2000 hours, the wingman notified his troop's forward operation at Khe Sanh, South Vietnam, that both gunships were planning to use a ground control approach (GCA). That was the last radio contact with WO Hummel's aircraft.
The lead gunship contacted the Khe Sanh GCA and was told to climb to 5000 feet and make a left 360 degree turn to a heading of 020 degrees. The wingman was still with the lead aircraft at this time, but no radio contact could be established with him.
Shortly after, the GCA control informed the lead aircraft to turn to a heading of 070 degrees at 4000 feet. After a descending turn was initiated, WO Hummel's aircraft passed over the top of the lead aircraft. This separation occurred in the clear, and then the flight leader entered the cloud layer so no further visual sighting of WO Hummel's aircraft occurred. The lead aircraft landed safely.
Search and rescue efforts were begun for Hummel and Milliner, but had negative results. Hummel and Milliner were listed Missing in Action.
John's parents are now deceased and are buried in the Barstow Cemetery. His mother died in Odessa at the Medical Center Hospital, February 15, 1973, two years after John was listed as missing. His father passed away in Pecos in April 1983. His aunt, Charline Pry of Pecos, took up the case as the lead family member in resolving John's case. Over the past 40 years, efforts to resolve the case have gone forward with little movement. In April 2004, Mrs. Pry received documents from the Department of Defense which indicates that the last information on John's case occurred in the spring of 2001. This information was contained in a list of documents which outlined that a Vietnamese man was in possession of of John's military ID card, his MAC-V Currency Control Card and a Bank Americard, (Bank of Midland, Texas) and also had a long bone fragment (John was tall and was around 6 feet 2. The bone fragment had been examined with negative results in 1989. Allegedly the remains from John were being ransomed. In 2000-2001, attempts were made to locate 4 Vietnamese individuals who may have knowledge but also met with negative results. One of the individuals was allegedly living in the U.S., one in Canada and the other two still in Vietnam. Allegedly John's remains had been moved and buried in an area of Saigon, (Ho Chin Minh City) in an area which was grown up and not identified.
Charles Pry passed away December 30, 2007. Pior to her death in 2005, she indicated that she was positive that John was deceased, but held out hope that his remains could be located and returned home for burial next to his parents.