HOWARD E VAN VLIET - LTC
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- October 04, 1928
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- October 21, 1968
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- Air Force
- South Vietnam
Howard Elmer Van Vliet was born on October 4, 1928. His home of record is Clifton, NJ. Howard graduated from Clifton High School where his classmates nicknamed him "Harpo". After high school, Howard attended the Newark College of Engineering for two years before entering the US Air Force around the time that the Korean War began.
Van Vliet flew an F-84 fighter and his actions earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross. In the years between Korea and Vietnam, Van Vliet earned a degree from Florida State University and performed military duties in France and Germany. He attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel (LTC).
In April 1968, he started his Vietnam tour. On October 21, 1968, a few weeks after he celebrated his 40th birthday, LTC Van Vliet and 23 other servicemen died when their C-47 transport plane crashed shortly after takeoff. Scheduled to fly from Saigon to Hong Kong, the plane developed mechanical trouble and the flight was aborted. In an attempt to make an emergency landing, the C-47 went out of control and all aboard were killed.
Van Vliet left behind a wife and three daughters, his mother, a brother and a sister.
Information from The Viet Nam Remembrance Committee & Clifton War Veterans Monument Committee and NJVVMF.
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