Maj. Eugene Pabst

Verona Residence: 32 Oak Lane


Air Medal

Air Medal

Purple Heart

Purple Heart

device_olc_bronzeAir Medal with Oak Leaf Clustersdevice_olc_bronzedevice_olc_bronzedevice_olc_bronze

Plaque Honoring Eugene Pabst  which hangs in the Verona  Community Center

Plaque Honoring Eugene Pabst
which hangs in the Verona
Community Center

Eugene M. Pabst, “Gene”, was born to Marion and Fred Pabst of Pompton Lakes, NJ on October 13, 1942 in Verona, NJ.  His father, Fred was a New Jersey State Trooper.  His mother, Marion Gaffney Pabst was a homemaker.  Gene was their only child.

Gene graduated from St. Brendan’s Grammar School in June 1956.  He then went to Fordham Preparatory School where he became involved in track and cross-country for four years, serving as Outdoor Captain for two.  During this time the team established themselves as “the one to beat”, bringing home trophy after trophy, topping it with the
Catholic High School Athletic Association award for two years straight.

In September 1960, Gene entered Fordham University and the Air Force ROTC program.  During his four years at Fordham, he continued to show and improve his abilities both in track and in the classroom.  Gene also ranked at the top of his Air Force ROTC class and was a member of the Arnold Air Society.  He was a cadet non-commissioned officer in
charge of the Air Force Drill Team and was a member of the rifle team as well.  He served as class Vice President in his junior year.  In June 1964, he graduated from Fordham with a degree in economics and a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the US Air Force.  Pabst
received the Thomas Paradine Award, the coveted Silver Saber, for the Most Outstanding Air Science Student for 1963-1964 at Fordham University.

Pabst received and completed his pilot training at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, TX.  He was assigned to the 497th Tactical Fighter Squadron at McDill Air Force Base in Florida.  He was then ordered to go to North Vietnam on July 15, 1966.  He attained the
rank of Major (MAJ).

Pabst was listed as missing in action on October 7, 1966 when his aircraft went down. He was later presumed dead in 1973.

The awards Major Pabst received include the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters, Distinguished Flying Cross, and Purple Heart.

Synopsis (from the POW Network) as to the circumstances behind being listed as MIA:

Pabst was the co-pilot of an F-4C aircraft on a nighttime strike mission on October 7th, 1966 when his aircraft failed to recover from its dive during an attack.  The wingman seeing a fireball and a fan shaped oil fire.  An aircraft, number two in a flight of two, had successfully completed a rocket pass when number one observed a bright flash in
the water.  No parachutes were seen and no beepers heard.  No evidence of the plane nor Pabst was ever found.  Since his remains have not been recovered and returned, he is listed by the Department of Defense as unaccounted for in Southeast Asia.

Photo and text courtesy of the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans

Home Of Record: VERONA
County: Essex
Status: Missing In Action
Rank: MAJ
Branch Of Service: Air Force
Country Of Incident: NVN
Date of Casualty: October 7, 1966
Date of Birth: October 13, 1942


3 thoughts on “Maj. Eugene Pabst

  1. My name is Eileen Henchy Romer – I met Marion many years ago when working, I believe it was, in the Wall Street firm Carter Walker – 45 Wall St – She was a wonderful lady, very pleasant and much fun to be in her company. Marion was so very proud of Eugene. I also had the pleasure of meeting Eugene when Marion brought him up to the office not long before he was sent to Vietnam. I have thought of both many times over the years as I have a brother and now husband who also served in Vietnam. Marion and Eugene will always be in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you.

  2. So many brave men (really mostly just young boys) were lost in Vietnam. I am retired NYPD and USCGR and when my reserve unit was activated in 2003 I had the honor to attend a burial at Arlington National Ceremony. The remains of LT. Jack Rittichier were being buried with honors after being recovered in Vietnam. It was a time I will never forget.
    Coast Guard helicopter pilot, Lt. Jack C. Rittichier was a highly decorated Coast Guard helicopter pilot who gave his life in Vietnam in 1968 while trying to save a downed Marine Corps pilot. The only Coast Guardsman missing in action at the war’s end, Rittichier’s remains were discovered in 2002 and repatriated in 2003.

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