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Maj Holly Gene Bell
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Birth: Jan. 5, 1937
Jefferson County
Texas, USA
Death: Jan. 28, 1970, Vietnam

In Memory of…..Maj Holly Gene Bell.
*** Memorial Headstone - Ft Sam Houston National Cemetery *
San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas - Plot: Sect MA Site 38
*** Memorial Headstone - Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu
Honolulu County, Hawaii.

You may be gone, no longer living on this earth; but you will live on - in the memories of your family and friends. There will always be a part of you living in those who knew you. You will live on because we remember you!

HOLLY GENE BELL - Air Force - MAJ - O4
Age: 33
Race: Caucasian
Date of Birth Jan 5, 1937
Marital Status: Married - Shayla A. Bell, Son, Stephen R. Bell and Daughter, Holly C. Bell, all from La Fayette,LA. Parents: Father, Holly Herbert Bell born in Chambers, Texas on June 6, 1908 and Died April 20, 1949 and Mother, Raye Francis Baker Bell born 1911 in Arkansas. Older Sister, Jerry Elaine Bell born in Beaumont, Texas on October 29, 1934..
* Paternal GrandParents, William Ellis Bell-FAG #31015484 and Bessie Mae Boales Bell-FAG #31012713.

***** We served together, Det 1 40 ARRSq,
Capt Bell, you will never be forgotten. We served together, Det 1 40th ARRSq, Udorn RTAFB, Thailand. You were one of the best!!
David L. Pettingell
SMSgt (ret) 40 ARRS ('68-'70)

***** You'll always be remembered Holly. I.ll never forget the hours you spent planning which crops would make you the most money on your 40 acres. We both laughed when you learned NONE would pay the most. A SQ mate from Goose Bay.
Richard Tinucci

***** I knew him in 1967-68 at phan rang ab rvn. at that time he was flying crash rescue helicopters HH 43's. I was an aircraft maint officer and worked with him with his resue birds and took a couple of rides with him. --HE was a real officer and gentleman.

MAJ - O4 - Air Force - Reserve
Length of service 14 years
His tour began on Apr 16, 1969
Casualty was on Jan 28, 1970
Hostile, died while missing, HELICOPTER - PILOT

Body was recovered
Panel 14W - Line 73

Other Personnel in Incident: Gregory L. Anderson; Leonard C. Leeser; William D. Pruett; William C. Shinn; William C. Sutton (missing). On F105G aircraft: Richard J. Mallon; Robert J. Panek (remains returned)

On January 28, 1970, Capt. Richard J. Mallon, pilot; and Capt. Robert J. Panek, electronics warfare officer, were sent as escort to a reconnaissance aircraft on a mission in North Vietnam. Their F105 aircraft was a G model, which was an adaptation of the F105F used in the Wild Weasel

During the period of 1965-1972, the F105 performed on many diversified missions in Southeast Asia, including SAM attack, bombing, and as in the case of the mission of Mallon and Panek, armed escort/diversion.

Mallon and Panek's aircraft was shot down during the mission, and they both successfully ejected and landed safely in an enemy controlled area about 20 miles northeast of the Mu Gia Pass on the mountainous border of North Vietnam and Laos.

A helicopter was immediately dispatched to pick up the two downed airmen.

When the aircraft was about 50 miles northwest of the location of the F105 crash,it was hit by a MIG and exploded. The helicopter was flown by pilot Major Holly G. Bell, and carried crewmen Capt. Leonard C. Leeser, SMSgt.
William D. Pruett; SSgt. William C. Shinn; MSgt. William C. Sutton; and passenger Sgt. Gregory L. Anderson.

A short beeper signal was heard from the helicopter, indicating that at least one person aboard may have exited the aircraft.

All six aboard were listed as Killed/Body Not Recovered.

It was thought that in the cases of Bell and Anderson that the enemy would not likely have knowledge of their fates, but that the Vietnamese could probably account for the other four men. (A determination that was probably made from the relative crew positions and their proximity to the area of the MIG hit and the likelihood of their having escaped obliteration by the explosion.)

Mallon and Panek, meanwhile, were in an area heavily infiltrated with the enemy, and it was known that there were enemy troops in the vicinity. It was thought very probable that the two were captured or killed by the enemy, but never known for certain, as they did not appear in the Hanoi prison system to be held with those American POWs who were released. The Vietnamese denied any knowledge of any of the eight men missing that day.

Some time later, family members were told by a squadron mate that his information was that Panek and Mallon had both ejected safely. Mallon had landed on a road near the Mu Gia Pass and was captured almost immediately. Panek landed in nearby trees and his parachute was seen 30 minutes later, being pulled from the trees.

Both men were seen in a clearing within the hour, being surrounded, stripped to their shorts, and holding their hands in the air. Neither Mallon nor Panek were ever classified Prisoner of War, however, but were maintained in Missing in Action Status.

In December 1988, the Vietnamese returned a number of remains they stated were those of American servicemen to U.S. control. The remains of Mallon, Panek, and the helicopter pilot, Holly G. Bell were subsequently positively identified by the U.S. Casualty Identification Laboratory in Hawaii (CILHI).

For the Panek, Mallon and Bell families, the long wait is over. They are no longer haunted by a never-ceasing flow of reports concerning Americans alive in Southeast Asia.

Richard J. Mallon was buried in Willamette National Cemetery.


Family links: 
  Holly Hebert Bell (1908 - 1949)
Arlington National Cemetery *
Arlington County
Virginia, USA
Plot: Section 60 Grave 5387
*Cenotaph [?]
Maintained by: Eddieb
Originally Created by: US Veterans Affairs Offi...
Record added: Feb 25, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 350390
Maj Holly Gene Bell
Added by: Eddieb
Maj Holly Gene Bell
Added by: A Horan
Maj Holly Gene Bell
Added by: LKat
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 Added: Dec. 5, 2014
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