|Birth: ||Jan. 30, 1941|
North Dakota, USA
|Death: ||Sep. 14, 1966, Vietnam|
In loving memory of... 1LT. HAROLD EUGENE KNUDSEN, JR.
*** Harold is buried at United States Air Force Academy Cemetery, Colorado Springs, CO.
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!
HAROLD EUGENE KNUDSEN, JR. - Air Force - 1LT - O2
Date of Birth Jan 30, 1941
From: PARADISE, CA
Service: United States Air Force
Grade at loss: O2
Rank: First Lieutenant
MOS: 1115: Pilot
Length Service: 03
Unit: 389TH TAC FTR SQDN, 366TH TAC FTR WING, 7TH AF
Casualty Date: 09/14/1966
Age at Loss: 25
Location: Ninh Thuan Province, South Vietnam
Remains: Body recovered
Casualty Type: Hostile, died outright
Casualty Reason: Fixed Wing - Pilot
Casualty Detail: Air loss or crash over land
Marital Status: Single - Mr & Mrs Harold E Knudsen (parents)
***** I was serving as an F-4 crew chief on the day Lt. Knudsen went down at Phan Rang. I saw his aircraft bank shortly after takeoff and it went behind a hill and then a boom and a large cloud of black smoke rising. The pilot got out but Lt. Knudsen did not.
We lost a good man that day.
David W. Helmke 389th T.F.S.
Member of the 389th T.F.S.
***** "I was stationed with Gene at Phan Rang AB, RVN when he was killed. Gene was crewed with Capt John Crietzberg, the 389th TFS Life Support Officer. Gene and John were flying together when their aircraft took off, and during the normal turning flight rejoin that we did on every flight, the aircraft appeared to overshoot the lead aircraft, roll inverted, and shortly after, crashed south of the runway at Phan Rang. John Crietzberg was picked up by helicopter, but Gene did not survive the crash.
Gene was our friend and comrade."
Rudd, William (Will), Col USAF(Ret)
1LT - O2 - Air Force - Regular
Length of service 3 years
Casualty was on Sep 14, 1966
In NINH THUAN, SOUTH VIETNAM
HOSTILE, FIXED WING - PILOT
AIR LOSS, CRASH ON LAND
Body was recovered
Graduation - 1963
KIA Date - 9/14/1966
Squadron - CS 18
Home Town - Paradise
Home State - CA
High School - Paradise High School
High School Activities Football, Baseball, Basketball, Track, Wrestling, English Award, Bank of America Math-Science Award
Academy Experiences - Dean's List, Flight Commander, Ski Club, Pep Band, Choir, Baseball manager
Academic Degree Major - B.S. - USAFA
Active Duty Assignments - Pilot Training, F-4C Pilot
KIA Conflict - Vietnam
Combat Information - F-4C, 389TFS, 366TFW, Phan Rang RVN Had flown approximately 150 combat missions
Killed In Action Mission - F-4C crashed in Ninh Thuan Province SVN due to flight control failure
Next of Kin - Mr & Mrs Harold E Knudsen (parents)
Burial Site - USAFA
Aeronautical Speciality Rating - Pilot
Notable Decoration Awards - PH, AM
Panel 10E - Line 95
1Lt Knudsen, Harold Eugene Jr 14 September 1966
F-4C 64-0657 389 TFS, 366 TFW, USAF, Phan Rang
1Lt Howard Eugene Knudsen (KIA) 1 crew, name unknown (survived)
1st Lieutenant Harold E. Knudsen, Jr., was killed on 14 September 1966 while on a strike mission in South Vietnam.
The F-4C aircraft he was piloting crashed shortly after takeoff from Phan Rang AB.
His aircraft was joining their formation when a flight control malfunction caused the aircraft to roll inverted.
When attempts to right the aircraft failed, both crew members tried to eject.
Knudsen was unsuccessful and was killed instantaneously when the aircraft crashed.
KNUDSEN, Harold E., Jr.
Class of 1963
- killed on 14 September 1966 as an F-4C pilot when the plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Phan Rang AB, Vietnam en route to a strike mission in South Vietnam
- member of the 389th TFW at the time
- a flight control malfunction caused the aircraft to roll inverted and he could neither right the aircraft nor eject
- had been in Vietnam for six months, completing about 150 combat missions
- earned 1 AM for outstanding airmanship and courage in hazardous conditions and a medal for meritorious achievement for his participation in sustained aerial flight as a combat crew member
- as a cadet, served as flight academic officer and flight commander and made the Dean's List twice
- buried at the USAFA Cemetery and name is on the USAFA War Memorial
Bullets compiled by Heather Beer, Association of Graduates intern, Summer 2005.
1st Lt. Harold Eugene Knudsen Jr.
Jan. 30, 1941 - Sept. 14, 1966
In the six months he served in Vietnam, Harold Knudsen flew 140 missions in his Phantom F4-C fighter. He had earned seven air medals and was headed for a promotion to captain.
On Sept. 14, 1966, however, his jet crashed while he was flying an air strike near Phan Rang.
According to his wishes, Knudsen was buried at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, from where he had graduated in June 1963.
Four years earlier, in 1959, Knudsen graduated from Paradise High School. He was president and a life member of the California Scholarship Federation, played football, ran track and played in the school band.
Not only was Knudsen active in school, he was also a member of the Paradise Order of Demolay and an Eagle scout.
Knudsen, who was born in North Dakota, moved with his family to Paradise in 1955.
Chico News & Review, May 26, 1988
Sources National Archives
Chico News & Review
Note: 1st Lt.
United States Air Force Academy Cemetery
El Paso County
Plot: 003 E 067
Maintained by: Eddieb
Originally Created by: HEE
Record added: Feb 14, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 17930765