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MARY THERESE KLINKER
 

Daviana  Pérez
To the Family of Captain Mary Klinker: I visited Washington DC with my school last week and one of our memorial visits was to the Vietnam Wall. Before going though, I was researching a person to etch their name when I came across her story and was immediately intrigued by her bravery. Thank you for her service, and I hope that her legacy will live on through the ages. Sincerely, Daviana Perez
May 21, 2014


Thomas  Clark
ushistoryman@yahoo.com
Researcher
8400 Wicker Avenue St .John IN 46373 USA
We need your help! Since 1986, the students of Lake Central High School in Northwest Indiana have been researching the men and women from the state of Indiana who gave their lives in the Vietnam War. We are the researchers for the World War II, Korean War, and Vietnam War Memorials located in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. Of the 1,621 Vietnam casualties, we have located 1400+ families as of the date of this entry. We are seeking any and all help in locating the family or his friends. If you have any information that may help us, please contact us at the following: Lake Central High School, Tom Clark, History Dept., 8400 Wicker Ave., St. John, Indiana 46373 or email us at: ushistoryman@yahoo.com Monday, May 6, 2013
May 6, 2013


charlie  hackett
friendfamilyrock@yahoo.com
no LA 70119
You are my hero!You were a wonderful person and your spirit will live on.
Apr 23, 2013


Mary  Greiner
txgirl49@gmail.com
Admirer
I wore your name today
Thank you for your sacrifice on behalf of our military and those Vietnamese orphans. My mom was an Army nurse also. I wore your name today to the Vietnam Veteran's Welcome Home Parade at Fort Hood TX. It was a grand, though much delayed, tribute to our service members. I wanted you to be there, and know you are not forgotten.
May 21, 2012


Stephanie  Klinker-Jones
stephanie_army@yahoo.com
second cousin
101 White Street Ft. Huachuca AZ 85613 USA
I have grown up hearing stories of Mary. She was a cousin of my Father's. I am working on a wall piece for my family, and and getting at least basic details of the soldier's whose names are on the piece of wall I am constructing, and in doing so, found all the comments that are such a tribute to Mary, and everything that she did and was attempting to do. It is so very heart warming. I thank you all for remembering her in such a beautiful way.
Oct 27, 2011


Steve  Williams
Happy Birthday
Wishing you a Happy Birthday May you find rest in the arms of God!
Oct 3, 2010


Stephanie  T.
ranastas@pinecrest.edu
I felt a connection with you because my mom is a nurse, however not a flight nurse. You are honered in my heart and in many others. Thank you so much for serving our country. It is people like you who drive people to work hard and to fight. RIP Stephanie T.
Apr 15, 2010


John  Fitzgerald
None
Boston MA USA
Captain Klinker...I've read a brief account of your exceptionaly brave and selfless service as an Air Force nurse and your tragic death,along with so many others,in the Operation Babylift crash.This mission,in my opinion,is one of the proudest of so many proud moments of our nation's Armed Forces and you gave your very life in order to complete it.May God always keep you in the palm of His hand.
Aug 23, 2009


♥ Jackie  Taylor
With Honor and Respect Memorial Website
http://www.geocities.com/vietnamwa

You were one of the brave that answered the call. You honored us by your service and sacrifice. We now honor You each time we stand and sing the words, ♫ THE LAND OF THE FREE AND THE HOME OF THE BRAVE♫ . Thank you for your bravery, courage and dedication to our Country and freedom. Rest In Peace and Honor.
Apr 2, 2009


Raymond  Johnson, Jr.
In Memory
Capt Mary Klinker was a flight nurse assigned to the 22nd Aircraft Squadron at Clark Air Base in the Philippines in 1974. As Saigon fell, President Gerald Ford ordered an airlift of all in-country orphans, many of whom had American fathers, to the United States for asylum and adoption. The 22nd, with its motto of 'Anything, Anywhere, Anytime,' was given the task of bringing those children from Vietnam to the Philippines. Klinker volunteered for the humanitarian effort, which became known as Operation Babylift. Evacuating hundreds of orphans would prove difficult in many ways. At one makeshift orphanage in a two-story French colonial villa, nurse LeAnn Thiemann recalled a 'sea of babies' across the floor, lying on mats crying, cooing, playing, and sleeping. The Vietnamese caregivers prepared the little ones for their journey by dressing them in 'lace, ruffled panties, patent leather shoes,' Thieman said. After leaving the orphanages, each group of babies was then transported to Tan Son Nhut Air Base for evacuation. The aircraft selected for this mission were C-5A Galaxy cargo planes, big enough to drive a truck into and stable enough to fly about 25 cardboard boxes holding two or three babies apiece. Thieman, who worked on the flight that followed Klinker’s, recounts the apprehension that she and her colleagues felt: 'We took our seats for the takeoff, and the true terror began. Would we be shot down? Would we even get off the ground?' At 3 p.m. on April 3, 1975, the initial mission flight took off with Capt. Dennis 'Bud' Traynor at the controls, a crew of 16, seven attendants including Klinker, and 145 orphans. At 4:13, the lower rear fuselage was torn apart, and Traynor 'had to invent a technique for managing a seemingly unmanageable aircraft,' according to John L. Frisbee of Air Force Magazine. In the ensuing crash, the 27-year-old Klinker, from Lafayette, Ind., became the last nurse and the only member of the Air Force Nurse Corps to be killed in Vietnam. She received the Airman's Medal and a Meritorious Service Medal and is listed on Panel O1W Row 122 of The Vietnam Veteran's Memorial.
Apr 2, 2009

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