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Thank You for your Sacrifice!
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BARDEN, HOWARD LEROY
Name: Howard Leroy Barden
Rank/Branch: O3/US Air Force
Unit: 12th Air Commando Squadron
Date of Birth: 28 October 1933
Home City of Record: Cuyahoga Falls OH
Date of Loss: 31 January 1967
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 163407N 1061448E (XD331322)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Other Personnel in Incident: Lloyd F. Walker; Roy R. Kubley; Ronald K. Miyazaki;
Harvey Mulhauser (all missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 1990 from one or more of
the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with
POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews.
REMARKS: CRASH - SURV POSS BT NO SIGN - J
SYNOPSIS: The Fairchild C123 "Provider" was aircraft based on an all-metal
glider designed by Chase Aircraft and was the first transport to see Vietnam
service. The Provider, when it was in camouflage paint with mottled topside and
light bottomside, resembled an arched-back whale suspended from the bottom
versions was the UC123B of
Project Ranch Hand. Ranch Hand aircraft sprayed pesticides for malaria
prevention and herbicides, including Agent Orange, that destroyed both the
forest that concealed the Viet Cong and the rice and manioc plant that fed them.
Maj. Lloyd F. Walker was the pilot of a 12th Air Commando Squadron UC123B which
was sent on a defoliation mission on January 31, 1967. His crew that day
included Capt. Howard L. Barden, Capt. Roy R. Kubley, Capt. Harvey Mulhauser,
and Airman 1st Class Ronald K. Miyazaki, the flight mechanic.
The aircraft had leveled off and started spraying when it suddenly inverted and
crashed. Further investigation revealed that hostile fire struck the propeller
causing the crash. The crash occurred about 5 miles south-southwest of Sepone in
Savannakhet Province, Laos. All crewmembers were eventually determined to have
been killed in the crash of the aircraft.
The Ranch Hand crew is among nearly 600 Americans listed missing in Laos.
Although the Pathet Lao stated on several occasions they held "tens of tens" of
American prisoners, Laos was not included in the agreements ending American
involvement in the war, and the U.S. has not negotiated for the freedom of these
men since that day. Consequently, not one American held in Laos has ever been
In our haste to leave an unpopular war, it now appears we abandoned some of our
best men. In our haste to heal the wounds of this same war, will we sign their
death warrants? Or will we do what we can to bring them home?
Ronald K. Miyazaki was promoted to the rank of Sergeant prior to determination