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In Memory Of Our Poets

Stephen "Steve" T. Deichelmann (1944-1971) - Class Of 1962

It has been reported that Steve died serving his country as an Air Force pilot during the Vietnam era. His brother Sam was declared missing in action in 1968. Sam's name is listed on the Viet Nam Memorial but Steve's is not. We have not validated Steve's death but have been told that he was involved in a mid-air collision. Their Dad made General just before Steve died.

Updated 2018-03-14:

From: Steve Wibaldie
For Class  Year: 1962

Steve is not listed on the Vietnam Memorial because he did not die in Vietnam. On 27 September 1971 Steve Deichelmann and Mark W Rogers were killed in a mid-air collision on the Nellis Range near Delamar, NV.

Steve was flying front seat in F4E 68-0492 and during a [four versus two] training mission collided with F4E 67-0318. Both pilots were killed and both back seaters survived.

I have the safety board report for the mishap and have found both crash sites. I think a lot of people mistakenly believe he was killed in Vietnam because he had previously been in Vietnam and it was during the Vietnam era.

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07/14/11 10:35 AM #1    

Warren Putnam Hudson (1962)

Steve served in USAF.

11/07/11 07:19 PM #2    

Martha Steiner (Miller) (1962)

 Sadly, Steve was killed in a mid-air collision over Vietnam in 1971. He may have been searching for his brother Sam who was reported MIA in Vietnam a few years earlier while flying in a USAF covert operation over Laos. Steve is buried at Arlington National Cemetery with his dad, a USAF Major General, and his mom. There's a memorial marker at Arlington for Sam. Below is a website with more about Steve and a link for Sam with a long narrative of what happened to him. Such a shame! 

04/21/15 08:13 PM #3    

David Bagwell (1964)

Steve was an officer in my Lanier High ROTC unit. Clearly loved it. RIP Steve, who gave his all. . 

04/22/15 07:59 AM #4    

Ted Daniel (Col, Usaf Ret) (1962)

Steve was killed in a mid-air collision in Vietnam flying an F-4C. He is buried in Arlington Cemetery. Tragic loss. He would have been a Flag Officer like his father.



04/23/15 06:46 AM #5    

Michele Ann Ashurst (Bloom) (1962)

Steve and his family lived on Rosemont Drive, just down the street from my family. His parents were friends of my father and step-mother during the years when they lost both sons in Viet Nam. It was a terrible tragedy--so very sad.He died after I had moved to Denver but I remember him well from Lanier.


04/23/15 03:10 PM #6    

Cecelia Annette Morris (Murphree) (1962)

I am thrilled to learn that Steve was not forgotten and that he has, indeed, been honored for his service.  Steve was a good friend to me at Lanier.  We were Algera II "buddies"... well... he helped me to understand it.  Such a special guy.

04/23/15 04:38 PM #7    

Elaine Dauphin (1962)

Steve died in a mid-air collision while in a training exercise at an AF Base out west in the U.S.  He flew many missions in Vietnam looking for Sam but Steve survived those. He is buried in Arlinton Cemetery in DC.  I think of him and what a handsome,  smart and witty person he was.

09/29/17 01:56 PM #8    

David Bagwell (1964)

Today I went looking for Steve’s name on the Viet Nam Memorial Wall, but did not find it. Had to check my Sidney Lanier History site to learn why not. At Nellis AFB in Southern Nevada there is a street named for him, “Deichelmann Loop”. Web site for naming streets and stuff at Nellis AFB says he was killed in an F-4 Phantom. I presume the crash or collision must have been somewhere around there, but cannot find anything more.

10/03/17 12:25 PM #9    

Elaine Dauphin (1962)

Newspaper account in 1971 stated that Steve was killed in a mid air collision during a training exercise in the US, not in a battle in Vietnam. Though he fought in Vietnam he didn't die there hence no name on the Wall.

10/05/17 10:15 PM #10    

Dr. Peter S. Selikoff (1962)

That is what I had read also but with so many posting he had died in 'Nam I was beginning to wonder. When I visited the Wall in DC I saw his brother's name and that of a good friend from college but I didn't see Steve's. I do expect his name would have been on the Wall if he had died over there.



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