SSgt Gregory Lee Anderson

On January 28, 1970, an HH-53B Super Jolly Green Giant (tail number 14434, call sign Jolly Green 71) with a crew of six took off on a search and rescue mission in Laos. While in a holding pattern over the rescue area, the helicopter was struck by enemy fire, causing it to crash. Search and rescue efforts could not be conducted due to a strong enemy presence in the area. The remains of the helicopter’s pilot were returned to U.S. custody after the war; however, the rest of the crew is still unaccounted for.

Sergeant Gregory Lee Anderson, who joined the U.S. Air Force from Illinois, was a member of Detachment 9, 601st Photographic Flight. He was the aerial photographer aboard the HH-53B when it went down, and was lost with the aircraft. Attempts to recover or identify his remains have been unsuccessful. Subsequent to the incident, and while carried in the status of missing in action (MIA), the U.S. Air Force promoted Sergeant Anderson to the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSgt). Today, Staff Sergeant Anderson is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.