Rest In Peace Brother





Birth:  Dec. 26, 1949
Benton Harbor
Berrien County
Michigan, USA

May 13, 1975, Thailand


In Loving Memory of ... 1Lt. Laurence Eugene Froehlich.
*** Laurence is buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Sodas, MI.Posted by: Robert Sage

You may be gone, no longer living on this earth; but you will live on - in the memories of your family and friends. There will always be a part of you living in me, your brother, sisters and those who knew you and loved you. You will live on because we remember you!

Age: 25
Date of Birth Dec 26, 1949
Place of Birth: Benton Harbor, Michigan.
Next of Kin: Wife: Jo Ann J. Froehlich. Father: Theodore E. Froehlich, Born 1914. Mother: Amanda Froehlich. Sister, Jane Froehlich, Born 1936.

***** USAFA remembers - This country owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Larry. He is a true American hero, the best of the "Class of 72" and a dear friend.
Rob Gocke, Col (Ret.), USAF
Class of 1972
Robert P. Gocke, Jr.

1LT - O2 - Air Force -
Casualty was on May 13, 1975
Person ID: 9721800
Graduation: 1972
KIA Date: 5/13/1975
Squadron: CS 08
High School: Benton Harbor HS, Benton Harbor, MI
High School Activities: Senior Class President, National Honor Society, Football, Basketball
Academy Experiences: Ski Club
Academic Degree Major: BS-Engineering Management - USAFA, MBA -Management-UCLA
Active Duty Assignments: Student, Graduate Management, UCLA, Helicopter Pilot Training, Pilot CH-53
KIA Conflict: Mayaquez
Combat Information: Pilot, CH-53 helicopter,21 SOS,Nakhon Phanom AB, Thailand
Killed In Action Mission:On 13 May 1975, 1st Lieutenant Froehlich was the copilot of a CH-53C helicopter which departed Nakhon Phanom AB, Thailand on a classified mission in support of the Mayaguez Incident. The aircraft crashed some 36 miles southwest of its departure point and burned. All five crewmembers and 18 Security Police passengers were killed.
Next of Kin: Jo Ann J. Froehlich, Wife, Theodore E. Froehlich, Father, Amanda Froehlich, Mother.
Aeronautical Speciality Rating: Pilot
Notable Decoration Awards: Air Medal

Body was recovered
Panel 01W - Line 126

Other Personnel In Incident:
1/Lt James G. KAYS, (pilot)
**** 1 Lt. Laurence E. FROEHLICH, (copilot)
TSgt Jackie D. GLENN, (passenger)
SSgt Gerald A. COYLE, (passenger)
SSgt Faleagafulu ILAOA, (passenger)
SSgt George E. McMULLEN, III, (flight mechanic)
Jimmy P. BLACK, (passenger)
Bobby G. COLLUMS, (passenger)
Thomas D. DWYER, (passenger)
Bob W. FORD, (passenger)
Gerald W. FRITZ, (passenger)
Darrell L. HAMLIN, (passenger)
Gregory L. HANKAMER, (passenger)
David A. HIGGS, (passenger)
Michael D. LANE, (passenger)
William R. McKELVEY, (passenger)
Paul J. RABER, (crew chief)
Robert W. ROSS, (passenger)
Dennis W. LONDON, (passenger)
Robert P. MATHIAS (passenger)
Tommy R. NEALIS, (passenger)
Robert P. WELDON, (flight mechanic)
Amn Edgar G Moran, II, (passenger)

Killed in an aircraft accident near Nakhon Phanom, Thailand, 23 men perished in the crash including the two pilots both Academy Graduates.

General Burns elected to remain at Nakhon Phanom. There he had secure communication with higher headquarters in Hawaii, an HF radio link to the command and control aircraft over Koh Tang, a UHF radio link to all the fighters, and the availability of his own staff.
All operable 40th Rescue HH-53Cs and Special Operations CH-¬53C helicopters were loaded and ordered to U-Tapao for staging. They carried a staff element, security policemen, an assortment of maintenance stands, tow bars, servicing equipment, ammunition, and spare parts.

As the night progressed, seven CH-53s launched toward U-Tapao along with five HH-53s.

One of the CH-53s, Knife-13, took off at 9:15 P.M. Thirty-six miles east of Nakhon Phanom, the rotor system failed and the helicopter nosed over, plummeting to a fiery impact.

Two of the special operations helicopters diverted and landed near the crash site. The inferno lit up the night sky.

All five crew members and eighteen security policemen died in the crash. The Mayaguez Incident had claimed its first twenty-three victims.

Helicopters from the 40th Rescue Squadron were scrambled to the tragic scene as well, at the insistence of the squadron commander, even though the special operations aircraft had long been on the ground there and reported no survivors.

During the search of the wreckage, all 23 remains were recovered.

Lt. Laurence E. Froehlich, Class of 1972, was killed in a CH-53 helicopter crash on 13 May 1975 approximately 36 miles southwest of Nakhon Phanom, Thailand. He is survived by his wife, Jo Ann, of 3495 Harman Rd., Sodus , MI 49126 and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Theodore E. Froehlich.
As a cadet, Lt. Froehlich majored in Engineering Mgt. He was on the Superintendent's List for three semesters and was active in the Ski Club.
Following graduation, Lt. Froehlich attended UCLA where he received his MBA in Management. He subsequently attended helicopter pilot training and was later assigned to Nakhon Phanom, Thailand.
FROEHLICH, Laurence E.
Class of 1972
First Lieutenant
- killed on 13 May 1975 as copilot of a CH-53 helicopter on a classified mission
- all 23 AF personnel killed in the crash
- helicopter lost from radar and radio contact and crash scene later found by another helicopter 36 miles southwest of Nakhon Phanom Airport
- as a cadet, made the Superintendent's Merit List
- 1972-3, earned his MBA in Management from UCLA
- earned the AM
- known for his quality of life, respect from others, energy, and enthusiasm
- name is on the Graduate Roll of Honor at the Cadet Chapel and the USAFA War Memorial
Bullets compiled by Heather Beer, Association of Graduates intern, Summer 2005.
Mount Pleasant Cemetery
Berrien County
Michigan, USA