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SSGT Marshall Frederick Kipina
Cenotaph

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SSGT Marshall Frederick Kipina

Birth
Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, USA
Death
14 Jul 1966 (aged 21)
Attapeu, Laos
Cenotaph
Calumet, Houghton County, Michigan, USA GPS-Latitude: 47.2520642, Longitude: -88.4856642
Memorial ID
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US Army Staff Sergeant Kipina was a member of the 131st Aviation Company (Aerial Surveillance), I Corps Aviation Battalion (PROV), 17th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade. At 2300L on 13 July 1966, CPT Robert G. Nopp (Pilot) and PFC Marshall F. Kipina (Technical Observer) took off from Phu Bai Army Airfield (at Hue) in OV-1C Mohawk # 61-2675 for a 2.5 hour Surveillance Mission. The crew was tasked to operate in a classified work area under call sign SPUD 23. Weather in the work area was moderate thunderstorms, heavy rain with poor visibility. When the aircraft failed to return to Phu Bai as scheduled at 0130L on 14 Jul, the Company Operations Specialist began seeking information on the overdue aircraft. He contacted Phu Bai Tower, Phu Bai Area Radar Control Center and requested information from Ground Control Intercept (GCI) Units. Phu Bai Area Radar Control advised that they last had contact with SPUD 23 shortly after take off at 2314L, approximately 50NM from Phu Bai. Radar and Radio contact were most likely lost due to mountainous terrain in the area. The Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) was contacted and at 0437L an OV-1 Mohawk was in the air searching for Nopp and Kipina. Other Aircraft including a USAF HC-130, A-1Es and HH-3Es searched along the Xe Kong River between coordinates XB740219 and YB009351. Search Aircraft sighted what appeared to be a decapitated body hanging in a parachute near coordinates XB740219 but were unable to recover it due to hostile forces in the area. This was later determined to be a dummy. In spite of a search using visual and electronic means, SPUD 23 was not located.
US Army Staff Sergeant Kipina was a member of the 131st Aviation Company (Aerial Surveillance), I Corps Aviation Battalion (PROV), 17th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade. At 2300L on 13 July 1966, CPT Robert G. Nopp (Pilot) and PFC Marshall F. Kipina (Technical Observer) took off from Phu Bai Army Airfield (at Hue) in OV-1C Mohawk # 61-2675 for a 2.5 hour Surveillance Mission. The crew was tasked to operate in a classified work area under call sign SPUD 23. Weather in the work area was moderate thunderstorms, heavy rain with poor visibility. When the aircraft failed to return to Phu Bai as scheduled at 0130L on 14 Jul, the Company Operations Specialist began seeking information on the overdue aircraft. He contacted Phu Bai Tower, Phu Bai Area Radar Control Center and requested information from Ground Control Intercept (GCI) Units. Phu Bai Area Radar Control advised that they last had contact with SPUD 23 shortly after take off at 2314L, approximately 50NM from Phu Bai. Radar and Radio contact were most likely lost due to mountainous terrain in the area. The Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) was contacted and at 0437L an OV-1 Mohawk was in the air searching for Nopp and Kipina. Other Aircraft including a USAF HC-130, A-1Es and HH-3Es searched along the Xe Kong River between coordinates XB740219 and YB009351. Search Aircraft sighted what appeared to be a decapitated body hanging in a parachute near coordinates XB740219 but were unable to recover it due to hostile forces in the area. This was later determined to be a dummy. In spite of a search using visual and electronic means, SPUD 23 was not located.

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