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Info Sheet - John Paul Barsch - KIA

Killed in Action 27 December 1967

johnJohn was the Door Gunner on gunship 468. He and fellow crewmembers Mark Schmidt, Howard Anderson and Roger Hensen were all killed on a mission when an M79 grenade round or some other projectile hit their rotor blades causing the low level aircraft to crash and explode almost instantly.

Rank: Specialist Four, MOS: 11B20: Infantrymanserving as a gunship helcopter door gunner.

Start Tour: 10/26/1967
Incident Date: 12/27/1967
Casualty Date: 12/27/1967
Age at Loss: 24
Location: Hau Nghia Province, South Vietnam
Remains: Body recovered
Casualty Type: Hostile, died outright
Casualty Reason: Helicopter - Crew
Casualty Detail: Air loss or crash over land

sonHis son Mark Jerome from New London, NH - July 26, 1999 :

I LOVE YOU DAD and miss you dearly. Dad this is the first time im writing you ever. I'm having a hard time here and don't no what to say. I do miss you. I'm not sure why you and mom didn't get married or what happend. She will not talk to me about it. I'm sure you were watching over me in Beruit when I got hit. The doctors never thought i would live but I'm sure you helped me when I took the bullets in the chest and leg. After the bombing I didnt want to live. I saw too much as a sniper. Its hard dad, I need you, but I no what hell is like and im glad you didnt have to live it. You missed too much of me growing up and I'm sure you were looking over me. But I needed you. No day goes by that I don't think of you. My life is hell but I keep living because of your death. I can't beleive the only way I can find things about you is on the internet. I hope some day I will no. I talked to grand pa and he remembered me but was too hurt. I didn't even no that I had 2 brothers. Uncle Tommy will not talk with me and now I no why. He's a Marine Vietnam vet and he said sorry son you been gone to long out of our lives. Get that dad. So what do I do. I do remember you and when you came home for good, I saw your name on the wall and it hurt so bad I can't retire. I love and miss you. Rest in peace dad Posted

Fellow Centaur crewman Leo Rice from Ashland, KY - April 12, 2000

Proud to have served with you.
How can a day pass with out thinking of Dec 27 just 2 days after christmas when the terrible sound of you 4 heros being shot down; you Anderson, Henson, Schmidt. Their is not a day that I dont think of that day when I cut the seat belts off and helped carry your bodys out of the wreckage. I know you never suffer but you had only been in country 2 months. Rest in peace my brother
Wednesday, April 12, 2000

His son Mark Jerome from New London, NH - Aug 10, 2001:

I miss, my dad.
with tears, I am typing this, dad i miss you and love you, deeply. I wish you were here. I fought for this country, as you did, and live with the fear. I know, you are looking over me. In Beruit, 1983, when I was wounded, I know you were there, to help me through it. You have 3, grand kids, now, I wish you could see and hold. I talk to them for you and of you. they are proud as I am, of you and all vets that fought for this country. Ii love yah dad. I'm putting this photo up of me, for you dad; it's me in Beruit 1983.

His son Allan Albright from Gouldsboro, PA - Aug 31, 2007:

I was only 3, years old, when you died. Mom remarried and it wasn't til, many years later, that I was told, of you. Out of respect, for her feelings, I never asked, to many questions. Over the years, I've wondered, about you. What you were like and how our lives would have been had you survived, were some thoughts. Reading, the other messages left here, makes me glad to know, there are others, who still remember and think of you, also. I just wanted to say, hello and to thank you, for the sacrifice, you made. Your son Allan

These comments from our 13 March 2013 Website Update involve John Barsch (Bruce Powell):

In it I discuss the photo that is on Mark Schmidt's page as the third TextPhoto:
"Please become an investigator while you are viewing things; photos included.468
Look closely at all the historic photos for clues that can help us date them. I just added a TextPhoto to Mark Schmidt's page that Dale Dow got from Lee Burgess. This photo shows Mark Schmidt and Rick Williams in front of a gunship. Use this as an example of how a photo might be initially evaluated. Can you add to or make corrections? Here is my assessment:

1. Mark's helmet and gear is still in the aircraft on the left side; position of the PIC (Pilot in Command). This must have been before Rick had made a PIC.

2. Rick arrived in November 67, Mark was killed 27 December 67. That places the photo mid to late Nov 67 through Dec 67. That might also confirm the PIC/CoPilot guess. Rick probably hadn't been their long enough to be a PIC. Mark was probably giving Rick his PIC training.

3. What was that piece of plywood being leaning against the tail boom used for? Maybe for when crawling into the hell hole?

4. Patch on the pilots door and one on the tail boom may allow a crew member to identify the aircraft number. Do those patches have a story?

5. Is that white bird crap on the right side nose of the aircraft, or something on the film? If it is a damaged photo we can fix it. I sure don't remember having a bird problem.

6. Mark liked to fly 468 (65-09468) and considered it his aircraft. I always assigned it to him when I could. Jim Henson was the Crew Chief. Peter McMillian, the gunner, rotated in October and was replaced by John Barsch (best I can tell from my notes as section leader). All of them and the pilot Howard Anderson were killed on 27 December, west of Cu Chi by ground fire. Best guess is that this is a photo of 468 and the guy in the background behind Mark is probably the door gunner (right side) John Barsch.

Look at each photo in this manner. Be a CSI (Centaur Scene Investigator) for us."