Killed U.S. Troops, Names & Dates

In the words of the VFW – “Americans have lost their lives in some 85 wars and assorted military actions in the past 234 years. Most of the casualties occurred in a dozen or so major wars. But that does not lessen the sacrifice of those killed in the numerous and mostly forgotten minor expeditions in the far-flung corners of the globe. Whenever any American in uniform is killed by hostile enemy action it is meaningful, and that loss must be remembered and forever recognized.” (VFW Magazine, June 2009 p.21)


The Defense Casualty Analysis System (DCAS), part of the National Archives, is the official U.S. record of military deaths.  DCAS reports that 46 American military members died in Honduras between January 1, 1981 and February 1, 1992 (the dates of the overall Central America War).  Research by USContraWar establishes that at least 70 U.S. military members were killed during the Central America War in Honduras or who were based in Honduras.  Eight are missing from the DCAS database from the January 22, 1985 plane crash.  Others were discovered and added to the list below.  Twenty-two American military members are listed in DCAS as being killed in El Salvador during the war.  Of these twenty-two, as many as twelve were actually based in Honduras operating under combat or combat support missions in El Salvador.  In 1996, President Clinton designated El Salvador (1981-1992) a combat area issuing some 5,000 combat medals to those troops.  Honduras is currently not recognized as a combat or combat support operation or even an official military operation.  The Pentagon and U.S. Army maintain that Honduras was safe for ‘training and war games’ and was a noncombat area.  U.S. military members who were deployed to Honduras during the war period do not have these deployments listed in their official military records.


JULY 19, 1983 – DAVID BAEZ SF OPERATOR ALLEGEDLY KILLED BY DELTA FORCE MEMBER ERIC HANEY (Baez’ status is questionable: current or former SF member, traitor, maybe CIA)

3/7th SFG PANAMA – FEBRUARY 2, 1984 – CAPT. GILLIAM NELSON, MSGT JOHN SANTORA & SGT RAYMOND DICKEY KILLED (PFC Bob Larsen 101st ABN killed)(SGT Charles Evans & SGT Bernard Sparrow of 3/7th SFG wounded; SGT Norman Taitano of 2/7th SFG wounded) 4 KILLED 6 WOUNDED TOTAL – HELO CRASH


2/75th RANGERS – DECEMBER 16, 1984 – CAPT. W. DREW HARRINGTON (mortar fire incident)


2/7th SFG – JUNE 18, 1986 – SSG TIM HUDGENS – KILLED BY HONDURAN ESCAPED PRISONER (ruled justified homicide with a knife, SGT Chris Bresko 2/7th SFG was wounded in leg)


National Guard Update magazine 1984 – 1987 investigation results:

The below snapshot of the CA War – Honduras

New finding from ON GUARD magazine, Vol. II, Issue 2, No. 6, 1987.  Tells the story of a mother wanting answers regarding her sons mysterious death in Honduras.  Ms. Eva Lee demanded answers regarding her son Craig Lee’s apparent drowning accident on August 7, 1987 in Honduras.  The article details other deaths of U.S. military in and around Honduras before mid 1987. Alleged operations into Nicaragua, page 10.

ON GUARD magazine June 1987 cover 1

ON GUARD magazine June 1987 page 10
DCAS database list follows:

Hondo killed 1a

AFEM's compared
Compare related Campaign & Expeditionary OPS

USContraWar research establishes the January 22, 1985 plane crash killed all 21 U.S. troops on board. Only 13 are reported in the Defense Casualty Analysis System’s website.  These figures should be changed to reflect the actual numbers in honor of the families and the killed.

Here are the names of all 21:

Jan. 22, 1985 crash victims names
Includes names of 8 not listed in DCAS

Below is the complete list of known U.S. military members killed in or from Honduras compiled by USContraWar:

USContraWar Hondo Killed 1

USContraWar Hondo killed 2

Hondo killed 3a

Hondo killed 4b

LTC David Pickett, CWO4 Daniel Scott and SP4 Earnest Dawson who were killed by communists guerrillas near Lolotique, El Salvador on the return leg of a round-trip flight from Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras to San Salvador, El Salvador when they were shot down.  Scott was killed while piloting the helicopter.  LTC Pickett and then PFC Dawson survived the crash, were captured by the enemy and later executed as wounded Prisoners of War.  LTC Pickett and SP4 Dawson were posthumously awarded the POW Medal in 2003.

CWO2 JEFFRY SCHWAB was killed on January 11, 1984 by Nicaraguan government troops after his helicopter was shot down, followed by additional small arms fire when he was fatally struck in the head by a round.  The Nicaraguan government claimed that they shot his helicopter down over Nicaraguan air space.  The U.S. Government claimed they were flying over Honduran air space when they were shot down.  Two other U.S. troops escaped, apparently without injuries.  This is the only listed Honduran based American military casualty the U.S. government has publicly acknowledged AS RELATED TO THE CONFLICT and the incident is listed as a terrorist act during peace time.  Nicaraguan troops were not terrorists.  Jeff Schwab’s Purple Heart reads “FOR WOUNDS RECEIVED IN ACTION IN HONDURAS ON 11 JANUARY 1984 WHICH RESULTED IN DEATH.”  Jeff saved the lives of his two passengers and has not been posthumously awarded a combat award for valor.

1987 6 13 Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 11.27.32 PM

On June 13, 1987 Military Policeman Randall Harris was shot and killed while patrolling the perimeter fence at Palmerola Air Base (Soto Cano).  The U.S. Government asserts he was killed by a Honduran soldier and is listed as a homicide.  Terrorists and guerrilla insurgent activity was rampant throughout Honduras during the war.  Randall Harris was never given any combat honors.  Two other U.S. troops (Roberts & Hudgens both in 1986) were killed in Honduras and are listed as homicide.  Two U.S. troops are listed as killed by homicide in El Salvador during the Central America War, but we now know they are LTC Pickett and SP4 Dawson who were both wounded POW’s who were executed.  Several others died in Honduras under mysterious circumstances including W. Drew Harrington, Craig Lee, Arthur Fusco and Michael Uyeda to mention a few.

U.S. troops murdered in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq or at Ft. Hood by ‘friendly’ forces or terrorists receive proper combat honors and recognition.

If Honduras and the overall Central America Campaign was properly designated an Imminent Danger Area and these incidents were properly designated as hostile acts, these troops and their families would receive proper combat honors and recognition.  Gold Stars would be honored upon the families.

Please see the Military and Terrorist Attacks in Honduras chronological list page of all currently known military and terrorist attacks in Honduras during the Central America War WHERE MANY MORE DOZENS WERE WOUNDED.

For example;

On July 17, 1988 nine service members in San Pedro Sula were attacked when a grenade was thrown at them and automatic weapons were fired at them resulting in six wounded.  These six were awarded the Purple Heart.

On February 18, 1989 in Comayagua an explosive devise was detonated against a bus carrying U.S. military.  Three U.S. troops were wounded by shrapnel and two Honduran passerby’s also wounded.  No Purple Hearts were awarded.

On July 13, 1989 in La Cieba, seven Military Policeman from the 549th MP Company in Panama were injured when a bomb was thrown at them while they were crossing a bridge.  The MP’s were based out of Palmerola or Soto Cano Air Base protecting engineers who were on a road building project called Fuertes Caminos.  No Purple Hearts were awarded.


September 1983, American Father James Carney of St. Louis mysteriously dies in Oloncho Department, Honduras two months after crossing the Nicaraguan border with leftist guerrillas led by Reyes Mata.

March 20, 1986 Canadian Minister Rev. William Arsenault is killed 30 kilometers east of Tegucigalpa, apparently by Contras, according to Most Rev. Luis Santos Villeda, bishop of Santa Rosa de Copan in western Honduras.

March 9, 1987 (11:30pm Monday) Honduran fighter jets shot down a C-47 (DC-3) cargo plane that came from Nicaragua around Cucuyagua (near Palmital), Honduras in the Copan Province killing American pilot Joseph Bernard Mason and three others (NYT March 11, 1987; UPI March 10, 1987; CIA-RDP90-00965R000402690006-8).

October 15, 1988 The Patriotic Morazanista Front (FPM) assassinated U.S. Businessman Leo Mills in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Americans Tom Lake (pilot), White and Brown (passengers); see below!

How can you help?

Please help all C.A. War Veterans and their families advocate for recognition as Veterans of this Low-Intensity Conflict by sending a letter to your U.S. Congress or Senate representative in support of our mission by asking Congress to issue an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal to all U.S. troops who served in Honduras from 1981 to 1992.  This will help the families of the killed and wounded and those veterans attempting to receive proper combat honors and recognition for their sacrifices during the decade that ended Soviet communism.

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Central America War (1979 – 1992)