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MAJ. JIMMY D. SELLS.  (1969)
Native of Gold Hill, NC. Major Jimmy Dwayne Sells was a casualty of the Vietnam War. As a member of the Marine Corps, Maj Sells served our country until May 18th, 1969 in Thua Thien, South Vietnam. He was 35 years old and was married. It was reported that Jimmy died when his plane collided with another airplane in mid-air. His body was recovered. Jimmy was born on October 31st, 1933 in Gold Hill, North Carolina. MAJ Sells is on panel 24W, line 049 of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. He served our country for 14 years. Maj Sells, Marine Pilot: Major Jimmy D. Sells, United States Marine Corps pilot of a KC-130 tanker, was killed Sunday in a mid-air collision during a refueling operation over the South China sea near Vietnam. A F-48 aircraft ran into the tanker during the operation. The tanker plane was refueling two other Phantom planes when it was hit by the third plane. The two planes involved broke, into fire and plunged into the sea. Eight crewmen were lost. The bodies were not recovered. Memorial services will be held Friday at Norfolk, Va, where Major Sells had his last continental duty. Major Sells was the son of Mr and Mrs Albert H Sells of Rt 2, Gold Hill. He was married to the former Emily B. Milton of Albemarle, and they were the parents of a daughter, Ashley. In addition, he is survived by three brothers, George A. and Roger Sells, of Richfield, Randy B. Sells of the home; two sisters, Mrs. Brunson Salley of Charlotte and Mrs. Thomas Maiden of Albemarle. Major Sells attended Pfeiffer College before enrolling in the naval aviation arm. After completing pilot training, in 1955, he was commissioned a lieutenant in the Marine Corps. After service in many areas he was promoted to the rank of major in 1965 and in November of last year he assumed command of the headquarters squadron, Fleet Marine Force, Atlantic. On 18 May 1969 a Marine KC-130 was refueling two F-4B aircraft from VMFA-314 near Phu Bai, just south of the DMZ. As the three aircraft flew in formation, with the Phantoms plugged in and taking fuel, a third F-4B from VMFA-542 on an opposite track collided with the C-130's starboard wing near the #3 engine. The collision destroyed the VMFA-542 F-4, sheared the wing from the C-130, and inflicted damage to the VMFA-314 F-4 which was refueling from the starboard drogue. While one VMFA-314 aircraft was undamaged and recovered at Chu Lai without difficulty, the second VMFA-314 F-4's two crewmen were forced to abandon their aircraft but were rescued. All eight men aboard the C-130 and VMFA-542 F-4 were killed in the accident: VMGR-152, MAG-15 (KC-130F 149814) Major Jimmy D. Sells, Gold Hill, NC, pilot, was one of those killed. For more information: He was the Son of Mr and Mrs Albert H Sells, Route #2, Gold Hill, NC. He served with VMGR-152, Marine Air Group-15, 1st Marine Air Wing, 2rd Marine Amphibious Forces. He was awarded The Distinhuished Flying Cross, The Purple Heart Medal for his combat related wounds, the Vietnam Service Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal, The National Defense Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and The Air Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters. Burial: Salisbury National Cemetery Salisbury, Rowan County, North, Carolina, USA Plot: Sect E/102
Posted by Alan Stinar on December 2, 2010 Full Size|



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