Name: CPT Paul Leroy Graffe
Status: Body Not Recovered from an incident on 10/03/1969 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Declared dead on 01/16/1974.
Age at death: 23.1
Date of Birth: 08/19/1946
Home City: Shelton, WA
Service: FA branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 225 AVN
Prior Unit: 281 AHC 66
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 65-19W
Service: FA branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 17W-034
Short Summary: Flew helicopters first tour.
Aircraft: OV-1C tail number 61-02679
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 1980 = 19 Fixed Wing Aviator (Unit Commander)
Primary cause: SVN-BNR
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: unknown or not reported
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: pilot
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 10/29/1968
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - pilot
The initial status of this person was: non-hostile missing - bonified
Length of service: *
Location: Kontum Province II Corps.
Military grid coordinates of event: ZB109533

Additional information about this casualty:
CPT Graffe died at age 27 while piloting OV-1 Mohawk SN 61-02679 for the 225th Aviation Company on a surveillance mission out of Phu Hiep, RVN, on 3 October, 1969, crashed at the 7,000 ft. level of a mountain peak north of Kontum, in inclement weather. Capt. Graffe was accompanied by his observer, PFC Kenneth L. Cunningham. Both crew members are still listed as MIA. The aircraft, call sign, Phantom Hawk 01, departed Phu Hiep during the early evening hours on a mission to gather intelligence in Military Region II in the Dak To-Dak Pek area which was believed to be heavily infested with enemy forces. The last radio contact with the crew had been made by another OV-l crew who said that Graffe had advised them that he was extending his mission for 30 minutes before returning to base. The aircraft was located on October 5th. Search teams could not reach the area on the 5th and 6th of October due to extremely bad weather. A search aircraft and crew reached the area on the 7th. However, because of enemy activity and evidence that the wreckage had been moved about since the last aerial sighting, the search was aborted. Capt. Graffe had served a previous tour in RVN in 1966 with the 281st AHC when he was a Warrant Officer. During his tour with the 225th OV-1 CO he received a direct commission to first lieutenant on July 18, 1969. He was promoted to Captain posthumously. His date of birth is August 19, 1946. His home of record is Shelton, WA. For further details from the 225th Aviation Company's daily log go to The Virtual Wall web site and follow the instructions to CPT Paul Leroy Graffe. Capt. Graffe is listed on Panel 17W, Row 34 on the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall. [Our own James Hyatt remembers serving with Paul at Ft. Rucker where they were both helicopter IP's. prior to Paul's orders to OV-1 transition. Fred Phillips also contributed to this memorial.]

Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died while missing
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Religion: Baptist - other groups
The following information secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: officer
This record was last updated on 01/13/2008

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Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021

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