TSgt Paul E. Yonkie

 July 26, 1968, while a classified mission to transport two POW’s the aircraft in which TSgt Yonkie was a crew member came under fire from Communist guerillas forces while parked at Udorn Air Base, Thailand. Flight engineer TSgt Paul E. Yonkie died of his wounds on 1 September 1968, after being evacuated to Clark Air Base, Philippines. He was Military Airlift Command’s first casualty of the Vietnam War and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery on 10 September. A year later, the wing dedicated its new squadron operations building (building 54) to his memory.


Almost thirty years to the day after his death the Airlift Wing at Charleston AFB, SC, dedicated a C-141 to Paul Yonkie. They call it "The Spirit of TSgt Paul E. Yonkie".