Name: CW2 Kenneth Edward Messinger
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 05/04/1968 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Died 1 days later on 05/05/1968.
Age at death: 27.4
Date of Birth: 12/01/1940
Home City: Wantagh, NY
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 336 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 67-4
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 55E-023
Short Summary: Wounded by a mortar in his hootch during a mortar attack and died of head injuries the next day.
Service number: W2216514
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 062B = Helicopter Pilot, Utility and Light Cargo Single Rotor
Primary cause: Ground Casualty
Compliment cause: artillery or mortar
Started Tour: 06/01/1967
"Official" listing: ground casualty
Length of service: 08
Location: Kien Hoa Province IV Corps.

Additional information about this casualty:
CW2 Kenneth E. Messenger was killed in action on 5/5/68. His listing in the 2000 VHPA Directory reads - "CW2 Messenger, Kenneth E. KIA 5/5/68, 55-023 AR 336AHC Class: 67-4 Cause: Ground casualty How Died: Ground casualty." Ken was an A/C in UH-1Ds and was the unit SIP for the 336th AHC at Soc Trang, IV Corps. He was hit in his hootch during a night mortar attack. He was evacuated to but died the next day due to head injuries. As I recall he was about 3 weeks from going home. Ken was also the unit Intelligence Officer. I had the pleasure of working with him in Flt Ops as well as flying with him. He had been a Navy enlisted man, had a CFI rating and taught flying in New York, upstate I think. He had joined the Army to fly helicopters. He was a very well respected aviator. The 336th AHC May 1968 Report stated "on the 4th, when at 0200 the airfield came under fairly heavy mortar attack. Twenty-two rounds struck the airfield, resulting in the death of CW2 Ken Messenger. CW2 Messenger was killed as the first rounds struck. The 336th lost a valuable instructor, intelligence officer and professional aviator. T-bird 5, Warrior 13, and Warrior 707 were all damaged by the incoming rounds." John C. Turnbull, VHPA Member

Web site(s) refering to this casualty:>

Reason: artillery or rocket
Casualty type: Hostile - died of wounds
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Religion: Protestant - no denominational preference
The following information secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: warrant officer
This record was last updated on 05/05/2001

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Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023

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