|Birth: ||Dec. 22, 1942|
|Death: ||Dec. 22, 1972, Vietnam|
US Air Force Maj Thomas Waring Bennett Jr, Vietnam Veteran, Native of Macon, Georgia. He was a Marine LCpl and later became a Major in the US Air Force.
Major Thomas Waring Bennett Jr, was a casualty of the Vietnam War. As a member of the Air Force, MAJ Bennett served our country until December 22, 1972 when his plane was shot down over North Vietnam. He was 30 years old and was not married. Thomas was added to the MIA list on his 30th birthday after his plane crashed. His body was not recovered. Thomas was born on December 22nd, 1942 in Macon, Georgia. MAJ Bennett is on panel 01W, line 103 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C.
He was full-time Air Force after graduating from Mississippi Southern and then leaving Columbia Theological Seminary.
For additional information on this Veteran: http://www.pownetwork.org/bios/b/b195.htm
Buddy Bennett and I were classmates in high school and college. He represents the very best that this nation has ever produced. Buddy Bennett didn't give his life for his country, his life was wrested from him, forcibly and violently, by overwhelming power. I don't know where we get men like Buddy. And sometimes I wonder whether this nation is worthy of men like him. Rest in eternal peace, Buddy. Arlen Coyle
Lest their heroics, be forgotten: On December 22, 1972, Capt Pilot Peter J. Giroux, Capt Co-Pilot Thomas W. Bennett, LtCol Navigator Gerald W. Alley, Capt Bombardier Peter P. Camerota, 1Lt Joseph B. Copack Jr, MSgt Tail Gunner Louis E. LeBlanc, comprised the crew of a B52D call sign "Scarlet 03," that departed, Utapao Airbase, Thailand, on a night strike mission over Hanoi. When the B52D was approximately 50 miles northwest of Hanoi and 2 minutes from its bomb release point, the Stratofortress, was hit by a Surface to Air Missile(SAM). Approximately 3 minutes after bombs away and roughly 45 miles after target the aircraft's condition rapidly deteriorated and the crew began the bail out process. In the darkness none of the other aircraft crews saw the Scarlet 03 aircrew bail out of their damaged Stratofortress. However shortly there after other aircraft were monitored several emergency beeper signals emanating from the location of the down crew. Over the next 4 days other aircraft over-flying the area heard calls on guard frequency. Because of the location of the loss, no search and rescue(SAR) operation was possible and at this same time, all 6 crewmen were listed missing in Action. Later when it was determined that Peter Giroux, Peter Camerota and Louis LeBlanc had in fact been captured by communist forces their status was upgraded to Prisoner of War. All 3 men returned to U.S. control during Operation Homecoming. On December 15, 1988, the North Vietnamese returned remains purported to be those, of LtCol Alley and 1Lt Joseph Copack without comment. Both men's remains were positively identified on June 23, 1989. Captain Thomas Bennett was never accounted for. Roy Spencer, Vietnam, Veteran-Air Force, Pilot.
I have worn the bracelet of Thomas Waring "Buddy" Bennett Jr. now for well over a year. I don't think I need to explain to anyone who may be reading this just what the bracelet or the man's name that is on the bracelet means to me. If you are here reading memorials that means in some way a soldier has touched your life. While I never had the opportunity to meet Mr. Bennett or anyone in his family the sacrifice he made for me and so many others goes beyond my imagination. "There is no greater love then to lay down one's life for a friend." Buddy, I thank you for the sacrifice you made, I thank all of the other men and women that have paid the high price, and continue to pay the high price for freedom. I know my thank you isn't much. But to you, Buddy, I say thanks, and may God bring you home one day. Tracy Schultz
On 22 Dec 1972, during the "Christmas bombing" of North Vietnam, B-52D tail number 55-0061 was being flown by a crew from the 22nd Bomb Wing, attached to the 307th Strategic Wing at UTapao RTAFB, Thailand, and was targeted against the Bac Mai military storage area near Hanoi. Just short of the target, 55-0061 was attacked by a MiG and was separated from the other aircraft in its cell. While the Mig's missiles failed to hit the B-52, a surface-to-air SA-2 missile did hit in the central fuselage area. With both wings on fire and the pilot semiconscious, the copilot directed the crew to bail out. All six exited the aircraft:
Capt Giroux and MSgt LeBlanc were captured at once, while Capt Camerota successfully evaded for 12 days before surrendering to the North Vietnamese. These three came home three months later, but the returning POWs knew nothing of the other three. The remains of 1Lt Copack and Major Alley were repatriated on 15 Dec 1988, with positive identification announced on 27 June 1989. Captain Bennett was carried as Missing in Action until a Presumptive Finding of Death was approved on 09 Oct 1980; his remains have not been repatriated.
He served with the 22nd Bomber Wing(TDY), 307th Strategic Wing(Thailand), Strategic Air Command.
He was awarded The Air Medal with Multiple Oak Leaf Clusters, The Purple Heart Medal for his combat related wounds, The Vietnam Service Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal, The National Defense Service Medal and The Good Conduct Medal.
Thomas Waring Bennett (1916 - 2001)
Louise Moultrie Bowen Bennett (1917 - 2011)
US MARINE CORPS
US AIR FORCE
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MIA - B52
WE LOVE YOU SON
MAJOR, US AIR FORCE
Natchez National Cemetery
Plot: MA, 0, 6
Maintained by: Tom Reece
Originally Created by: US Veterans Affairs Offi...
Record added: Feb 25, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 355868