Conflict Period:
Vietnam War 1
Marine Corps 1
Major 2
03 Jul 1933 2
11 Jun 1967 2

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Personal Details

Full Name:
John Sanders Oldham 2
03 Jul 1933 2
Male 2
11 Jun 1967 2
Cause: Air Loss, Crash - Land 2
Age at Death: 33 2
Body Recovered: Not recovered 2
Casualty Date: 11 Jun 1967 2
Casualty Type: Hostile, Died 2
Hometown: Tinnie, NM 2
Marital Status: Married 2

Vietnam War 1

Marine Corps 1
Major 2
Air Wing:
1st MAW 2
Enlistment Type:
Regular 2
O4 2
Major Command:
Marine Corps 2
Pilot H M M CH-46 (USMC) 2
HMM-265 2
Years Served:
16 2
Protestant - No Denominational Preference 2
Race or Ethnicity:
Caucasian 2
Memorial Wall Location:
Line: 91 2
Panel: 21E 2

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These 11 Marines were all KIA June 11, 1967 in differing reports either by hostile fire or by mechanical falure of the CH64A helicopter they were in. All 11 names are adjacent to one another on the wall as they are chronilogically arranged according to their deaths. Most of the familys have had contact over the subsequent years and kindred freindships have formed between surviving brothers, spouses, children and comrades. Recovery of the crash site has not offically been completed although as of now (2008) two of the marines - Jim Moshier and James Widener - have been returned for burial with honors to their familys. A professional documentary of the events surrounding this crash, still one of the largest single incidents of loss that has remained unresolved from the entire Vietnam conflict, is being finished and may be available for viewing as early as the fall of 2008. Bohlscheid, Curtis Richard Capt Pilot Gonzalez, Jose Jesus LCpl Gunner Hanratty, Thomas Michael PFC Crew Chief Oldham, John Sanders Maj Co-Pilot Chomel, Charles Dennis PFC Christie, Dennis Ray LCpl Foley III, John Joseph LCpl Havranek, Michael William LCpl Kooi, James Willard LCpl Moshier, Jim Edwin Cpl Widener, James Edward PFC Semper Fi - You will not be forgotten. submitted by Glenn Oldham, son of Major John S. Oldham; Co-pilot

I'm Free


Don't grieve for me for now I'm free, 
I'm following the path God laid for me. 
I took His hand when I heard Him call, 
I turned my back and left it all. 
I could not stay another day, 
To laugh, to love, to work or play. 
Tasks left undone must stay that way, 
I found that peace at the close of the day. 
If my parting has left a void, 
Then fill it with remembered joy. 
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss, 
Ah yes, these things I too will miss. 
But be not burdened with times of sorrow, 
For I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow. 
My life's been full. I've savored much, 
Good friends, good times and loved ones' 
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief 
Don't lengthen it now with undue grief. 
Lift up your hearts and share with me. 
God wanted me now. He set me free! 

Last Known Activity

Last Known Activity
Notes from The Virtual Wall

On 11 June 1967 a reconnaissance team from the 3rd Force Recon Company was scheduled for insertion into position on the southern border of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) four kilometers north of Hill 208 and 900 meters west of Hill 174, both well known NVA positions. The insertion force consisted of two CH-46As from HMM-265 and two UH-1E gunships from VMO-2. The lead CH-46A (BuNo 150270) carried four crewmen and seven men of the recon team:

From HMM-265:
Captain Curtis Richard Bohlscheid, Aircraft Commander
Major John Sanders Oldham, Copilot
L/Cpl Jose Jesus Gonzalez, Gunner
PFC Thomas Michael Hanratty, Crew Chief

From 3rd Recon Company:
Cpl Jim Edwin Moshier
L/Cpl Dennis Ray Christie
L/Cpl John Joseph Foley
L/Cpl Michael William Havranek
L/Cpl James Willard Kooi
PFC Charles Dennis Chomel
PFC James Edward Widener

Hank Trimble, pilot of one of the VMO-2 gunship escorts, recalls that three insertion attempts were made. The first and second attempts were aborted due to enemy activity and fire in the intended landing zones, but the third LZ was clear. As the CH-46 approached the LZ it "transitioned to landing speed, in almost slow motion his nose rose, then rose more sharply, then climbed toward the vertical. Then the aircraft rolled inverted, split S, and dived down and exploded." Trimble's recollection is that there was no evident enemy action and that the likely cause was mechanical failure. The crash was not survivable.

The enemy presence in the area prohibited recovery of the bodies at the time, and as of 25 Jan 2003 their remains have not been repatriated.

Major Oldham has a memorial in Tinnie Cemetery, Tinnie, Lincoln County, New Mexico

Thank you Major for your service to this great nation and to our Corps....


Standing here in front of the Wall
silently reading your name
solemnly I thank you one and all
Each of you different, yet the same

The list seems forever endless
but I remember your faces
you made the supreme sacrifice, I confess
as I walk slowly with measured paces

Each one of you answered the call
willingly or not, you gave your lives
Rest easy, my Brothers - heroes all
The Nation still survives

"War drew us from our homeland

In the sunlit springtime of our youth.

Those who did not come back alive remain

 in perpetual springtime -- forever young --

And a part of them is with us always."

--- Author Unknown ---

 God Bless  You                  ike

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