Our Fallen Spooks


My brother, Richard "Dick" Brun was with the 6901st from June '61 through September '63.
He was assigned to "Machines" and programmed the IBM 1401 and 1410 systems behind the "grey door" in his section with some IBM'ers for IBM Federal Systems Division.

I am sorry to share that Dick passed away after a 6-month battle with a rare cancer on April 24, 2021
Remains Identified 02/2002
Name: William Clare Coltman
Rank/Branch: O4/US Air Force
Unit: 474 TFW 430th Tactical Fighter Squadron, pilot
Date of Birth: 24 February 1932
Home City of Record: Pittsburgh PA
Date of Loss: 29 September 1972
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 213551N 1045921E (VJ989881)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 4
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: F111A
PFOD: 1978
Other Personnel In Incident: Robert A. Brett, navigator, missing
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project  from one or more of the
following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with
POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W.
SYNOPSIS: The F111 was first used in Southeast Asia in March 1968 during
Operation Combat Lancer and flew nearly 3,000 missions during the war
despite frequent periods of grounding. From 1968 to 1973, the F111 was
grounded several months because of excess losses of aircraft. By 1969, there
had been 15 F111's downed by malfunction or enemy fire. The major
malfunctions involved engine problems and problems with the terrain
following radar (TFR) which reads the terrain ahead and flies over any
obstructions. Eight of the F111's downed during the war were flown by crews
that were captured or declared missing.
In September 1972 F111A's were returned to Southeast Asia after a long
grounding period. On September 29, 1972, the F111A flown by Maj. William C.
Coltman and commanded by 1Lt. Robert A. Brett, Jr. went out of radio contact
in North Vietnam on the Red River about 10 miles southwest of the city of
Yen Bai. When the aircraft failed to return from their mission, the two were
declared missing at the time of estimated fuel exhaustion.
A news release issued by North Vietnam claimed the downing of an F111 in the
same area near Yen Bai, but made no mention of the fate of the crew. A
second North Vietnamese news release, monitored by the BBC in Hong Kong,
claimed to have downed an F111 on September 28 and captured the crew. Brett
and Coltman were the only F111 aircrew operating in that area.
The National League of Families published a list in 1974 that indicated that
Robert A. Brett had survived the downing of his aircraft, and that the loss
location was in Laos, not North Vietnam.
The last missing F111A team to be shot down was Capt. Robert D. Sponeyberger
and 1Lt. William W. Wilson. Sponeyberger and Wilson were flying a typical
F111 tactical mission when they were hit - flying at supersonic speed only a
few hundred feet altitude. They were declared Missing in Action.
In 1973, however, Sponeyberger and Wilson were released by the North
Vietnamese, who had held them prisoner since the day their aircraft was shot
down. Their story revealed another possibility as to why so many F111's had
been lost. Air Force officials had suspected mechanical problems, but really
had no idea why the planes were lost because they fly singly and out of
radio contact. Capt. Sponeyberger and 1Lt. Wilson had ruled out mechanical
problems. "It seems logical that we were hit by small arms," Wilson said,
"By what you would classify as a 'Golden BB' - just a lucky shot."
Sponeyberger added that small arms at low level were the most feared weapons
by F111 pilots. The SAM-25 used in North Vietnam was ineffective at the low
altitudes flown by the F111, and anti-aircraft cannot sweep the sky fast
enough to keep up with the aircraft.
That a 91,000 pound aircraft flying at supersonic speeds could be knocked
out of the air by an ordinary bullet from a hand-held rifle or machine gun
is a David and Goliath-type story the Vietnamese must love to tell and
As reports continue to be received by the U.S.Government build a strong case
for belief that hundreds of these missing Americans are still alive and in
captivity, one must wonder if their retention provides yet another David and
Goliath story for Vietnamese propaganda. The F111 missions were hazardous
and the pilots who flew them brave and skilled. Fourteen Americans remain
missing from F111 aircrafts downed in Southeast Asia. If any of them are
among those said to be still missing, what must they be thinking of us?
1998 NOTE:
Captain Kimberly Coleman was 12 when her father was declared MIA. She is now
a labor and delivery nurse at Kessler Air Force Base in Mississippi. In 1978
a marker was placed over an empty grave in Arlington national cemetery in
Virginia. Kimberly, her older brother, William Jr.; and their mother, Gail,
still had no details on the pilot's death. In 1993 in the basement of a
Hanoi museum, an American historian found a strobe light, a flight manual
and a smoke flare from a plane that crashed on the same day and in the
approximate vicinity as her father's. The weather is holding up crash
site excavation, a search for remains and personal effects.
William Jr. graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1980 and flew F-111's at
Royal Air Force Base in Lakenheath in England. He was an engineer at Falcon
Air Force Base in Colorado before leaving active duty. He is a Major in the
USAF Reserves.
National League of Families 02/20/2002
AMERICANS ACCOUNTED FOR:  According to the Department of Defense, there are
now 1,942 Americans still missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.
The remains of air Force COL  William C. Coltman of PA, missing in Laos
since September 29, 1972,  were jointly recovered and repatriated on August
28, 2000. The remains of LtCol Lawrence G. Evert, USAF, from WY, missing
since November 8, 1967, were jointly recovered during successive field
operations beginning February 9, 2000.  The remains of Navy LT Gene R.
Gollahon of OH, missing in Vietnam since August 13, 1965, were jointly
recovered April 26, 2000.  The remains of Army Jon E. Swanson of CO and
S/SGT Larry G. Harrison of NC, both Killed-in-Action/Body-Not Recovered
February 26, 1971, were jointly recovered in Cambodia on July 1, 1992.  In
addition, one Air Force officer, previously missing in North Vietnam, was
accounted for through identification of remains recovered during several
field operations beginning in January, 1997. No public announcement has yet
been made, though it is hoped that will soon occur.  Of the total
unaccounted for, 1,464 are in Vietnam, 410 in Laos, 60 in Cambodia and 8 in
the territorial waters of the PRC.  Over 90% of all Vietnam War missing were
lost in Vietnam or areas under its wartime control
Las Vegas Review Journal
Thursday, April 04, 2002
Copyright  Las Vegas Review-Journal
Funeral gives closure to family of colonel who went missing in 1972
WASHINGTON -- "Wild Bill" Coltman made a name for himself at Nellis Air
Force Base in 1967 as one of the first to test the new F-111A tactical
fighter-bomber. A.....

More HERE http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/wccoltman.htm



  I don't know if you have received this information from the family yet.

Richard Bonneau, 6901st, 1962-64, died last November (2009) 

  Dale Cox

Oh, Kathy. I am so sorry to hear this, Richard was one of the nicest, smartest men I ever knew. November 9 was my birthday, which makes it even sadder. I wish you and the family all my very best. I will make sure that all the guys know, and will have him listed on the 6901 web site. God Bless.

On Dec 8, 2009, at 9:00 AM, Kathy Peters wrote:

Jon, my father passed away Nov 9 very peacefully.  He had a hard time after the surgery and he is with Mom and both sons now.  He wrote a note asking me to contact you to ask if you could let the USAFSS know of his death.  Please do, for him.  Thank You Jon, Kathy

A/2c Daniel Francis Nordby Naegeli

My father, Daniel Francis Nordby Naegeli (please note corrections from A/2c Daniel Francis Norby. Naegeli as listed on website - there's a "d" missing in Nordby) unfortunately passed away at the age of 70, in July of 2008.  I am SURE he would have absolutely LOVED this website as his fondest memories were of his time in Germany.  I am sad he missed seeing the old photos and swapped stories, but honestly, he's probably in a beer hall in Zweibrucken right now, if that's allowed in his current station.

My father loved speaking German and Russian and I wish I knew more about his time there, maybe from those who served with him.  I do know a few things.  I know there was at least one time when a fellow member was placed, bunk and all, outside on a cold and maybe snowy evening.  I have heard endless stories about the wonders of M-80s in commodes.
Anyway, I'm at marknaegeli@gmail.com and I'd love to hear stories and see photos.  I'll be checking back in now and again, and I thank you for this site.  Dad would have loved it, but now I will instead.

Mark Naegeli

Anyway, I'm at marknaegeli@gmail.com and I'd love to hear stories and see photos.  I'll be checking back in now and again, and I thank you for this site.  Dad would have loved it, but now I will instead.



Jim Hinton
Zweibrucken 1963-1964

Jim Hinton died of lung cancer on July 30 2008 in Monterey, California.
He was a Professor of English at the California State University, 
Monterey for many  years, from which he retired not too long ago.
He was a 202 stationed first at Clark AFB in the Philippines and then 
the 6901st in 1963-64, where he worked in the SACLO shop.

Walter D. O'Connor 

Zweibrucken 1959-1962
Oroville, Washington



Edward E. Leger

Here is one of my good friends Edward E. Leger. He  passed away yesterday, he was in the 6901st from 1958 1961,  I went to High school with him, and although he was in a different section at the 01st, I believe he was running the IBM section.  He lived in San Marcos Calif.   Could you place his picture and name on our Memorial section.  






 Also  M/Sgt. William C. Black  1961 -1964  He supposed to have been the Mess Sergeant there.  





William Anderson   

          Died of Cancer in November 2002. A good friend and true. 

Despite the fact that he was known as "Anderson, Example R." as in "we're going to make an example of you airman". He went on to become a Prison Warden in the Vermont Penal System and just before he died they named a new prison building after him. .  Pappy Jewens, Sunny Zwei, Coma 41 and SAWD-AD, 59-63


              COL  William Clare Coltman  



                    Former  Captain OIC, OPN-AW 6901st Special Communications Group

                                                  While on Mission Aug 23, 1978 over NORTH Vietnam VIETNAM
                                                                    F111  Pilot  Body was  recovered 2002
                                                               Vietnam Memorial wall   Panel 01W - - Line 76



          Rick Hand

            6901st May 1964 - May 1967

        Passed Away April 2000





SSGT. Phillip C. Noland 


     11/21/1951 - 6/1965-68
        6901st  5/62 - 1/64. 

SO G-15/6901stSCG/1963 (Good Conduct Medal w/2 Bronze Loops).    Other numerous awards and  citations. Diagnosed by USAFSS as Paranoid/Schizophrenic while giving service in excellence during two years at 6901stSCG - May 1962 through Jan. 1964. Retired as S/SGT while holding a temporary T/SGT. He was Capt. Dodi Aspell's Unit Supv. at Karamursel 1960-1961. Remained member of the AF until 1968.  12 years of serving intelligence Community, USAFSS.  Hit by a NY City Taxi 1986.  Buried in the National Cemetery, Bourne, Cape Cod, MA

Fred M. Stassen

Fred M. Stassen

Fred M. Stassen

Fred M. Stassen age 64 of Menomonie, died Friday, November 19, 2004, at his home in the Township of Menomonie after a long illness.

Fred was born December 26, 1939 in Hinsdale, Ill. He was the son of Fred and Martha (Trout) Robinson. Fred graduated from LaGrange High School in Illinois and attended college at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, Calif.

Fred married Alayne Goode on October 10, 1964. After marriage, they lived in Los Angeles and Chicago, prior to moving to Menomonie in 1973. Fred was an accomplished photographer and award-winning filmmaker, winning the Chicago Film Festival Award in 1980.

Fred loved the outdoors and spending time with his family and friends. He was a passionate environmentalist.

Fred is survived by his wife, Alayne; a son, Eric (Sara) Stassen of Charlottesville, Va.; a daughter, Michelle (John) Reed of Chippewa Falls; and his mother, Martha Sampson of Elmwood.

Fred was fluent in German, Spanish, and Russian, and was an avid photographer. He met his wife Alayne, an RCAF nurse stationed across town, while at the 01st. Following their marriage, he graduated in Photography from the Los Angeles Art Center.

Those who had the good fortune to know Fred recall him never having set foot on base except to 1) shower and shave, 2) work and 3) wolf down the haute cuisine served up by the chow hall sadists. He always kept an apartment, and usually donned dark glasses, a trench coat, and multiple 35mm SLR cameras and lenses hung over his shoulder. The spook outfit and hardware were, he explained, the best ways to meet girls. Local Germans sized him up as a CIA agent, and Fred gave them no reason to think otherwise. In fact, he relished the accusation.





SSGT Robert W. Chambers 

Died of  cancer about ten years ago


A1c Vic Mazzareli

Analyst/reporter, SAWD-2 Killed in a car accident in 1966.


Msgt. Russ Ransom

NCOIC, OPN-AW (formerly SAWD-2) Heart attack, San Antonio, TX


Msgt Thurman Miller

 1st Sgt, 6901st SCG.  Died in VA Hospital in Big Springs, TX 3 or so years ago. 


Lt. Joe Hamel

SACLO (SAC Liaison Officer), SAWD-2.