CIA Memorial Wall
The Memorial Wall is located in the Original Headquarters Building lobby on the north wall. There are 129 stars carved into the white Alabama marble wall, each one representing an employee who died in the line of service. Paramilitary officers of the CIA's Special Activities Division compose the majority of those memorialized.
A black Moroccan goatskin-bound book, called the "Book of Honor," sits in a steel frame beneath the stars, its "slender case jutting out from the wall just below the field of stars," and is "framed in stainless steel and topped by an inch-thick plate of glass." Inside it shows the stars, arranged by year of death and, when possible, lists the names of employees who died in CIA service alongside them. The identities of the unnamed stars remain secret, even in death. In 1997, there were 70 stars, 29 of which had names. There were 79 stars in 2002, 83 in 2004, 90 in 2009, 107 in 2013, 111 in 2014, 125 in 2017, and 129 in 2018. Of the 129 entries in the book, 91 contain names, while 38 do not. These 38 are represented only by a gold star followed by a blank space.
The Wall bears the inscription IN HONOR OF THOSE MEMBERS OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY in gold block letters. The Wall is flanked by the flag of the United States on the left and a flag bearing the CIA seal on the right.
Adding new stars
When new names are added to the Book of Honor, stone carver Tim Johnston of the Carving and Restoration Team in Manassas, Virginia adds a new star to the Wall if that person's star is not already present. Johnston learned the process of creating the stars from the original sculptor of the Wall, Harold Vogel, who created the first 31 stars and the Memorial Wall inscription when the Wall was created in July 1974. Although the wall was "first conceived as a small plaque to recognize those from the CIA who died in Southeast Asia, the idea quickly grew to a memorial for Agency employees who died in the line of duty." The process used by Johnston to add a new star is as follows:
Johnston creates a star by first tracing the new star on the wall using a template. Each star measures 2¼ inches tall by 2¼ inches wide and half an inch deep; all the stars are six inches apart from each other, as are all the rows. Johnston uses both a pneumatic air hammer and a chisel to carve out the traced pattern. After he finishes carving the star, he cleans the dust and sprays the star black, which as the star ages, fades to gray.
The Honor and Merit Awards Board (HMAB) recommends approval of candidates to be listed on the wall to the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA states that "[i]nclusion on the Memorial Wall is awarded posthumously to employees who lose their lives while serving their country in the field of intelligence. Death may occur in the foreign field or in the United States. Death must be of an inspirational or heroic character while in the performance of duty; or as the result of an act of terrorism while in the performance of duty; or as an act of premeditated violence targeted against an employee, motivated solely by that employee's Agency affiliation; or in the performance of duty while serving in areas of hostilities or other exceptionally hazardous conditions where the death is a direct result of such hostilities or hazards." After approval by the director, the Office of Protocol arranges for a new star to be placed on the Wall.
People honored on the Memorial Wall
- Douglas Mackiernan – The first CIA employee to be killed in the line of duty and the first star on the wall. Mackiernan had worked for the State Department in China since 1947. When the People's Republic of China was established at the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, the State Department ordered that the Tihwa (Ürümqi) consulate where Mackiernan was stationed as vice consul be closed, and personnel were to leave the country immediately. Mackiernan, however, was ordered to stay behind, destroy cryptographic equipment, monitor the situation, and aid anti-communist Nationalists. Mackiernan fled south toward India after most escape routes were cut off, along with Frank Bessac, an American Fulbright Scholar who was in Tihwa, and three White Russians. Although Mackiernan and his party survived the Taklamakan Desert and Himalayas, Mackiernan was shot by Tibetan border guards, probably because they mistook them as Communist infiltrators, on April 29, 1950. Although Mackiernan's death was reported on the front cover of the New York Times at the time of his death and his name appears on a plaque in the State Department lobby, the CIA did not reveal his service, because he was operating under diplomatic cover. His star was acknowledged to family members in a secret memorial ceremony at the Wall in 2000 but remained officially undisclosed until 2006, when his name was placed into the CIA's Book of Honor.
- Jerome P. Ginley – Killed on January 11, 1951, when his plane crashed into the East China Sea, near the Japanese Ryukyu Islands.
- Norman A. Schwartz and Robert C. Snoddy – Both were pilots of a C-47 aircraft on a mission to extract a CIA operative from China. Their plane took off on November 29, 1952, from South Korea for Jilin province, China. They were preparing to pick up the agent with an airborne extraction system when the operative was compromised by Chinese forces on the ground and their plane was shot down. Both Schwartz and Snoddy were killed, while two other CIA crewmembers, Richard G. Fecteau and John T. Downey, were captured by the Chinese and held until 1971 and 1973, respectively. Schwartz's and Snoddy's remains were returned in 2005.
- James "Pete" McCarthy Jr. – A paramilitary operations officer who died in 1954, on a training flight in Southeast Asia.
- Four CIA Lockheed U-2 pilots who died in plane crashes – Wilburn S. Rose (d. May 15, 1956), Frank G. Grace (d. August 31, 1956), Howard Carey (d. September 17, 1956), and Eugene "Buster" Edens (d. April 1965). Rose, Grace, Carey, and Edens were honored with stars in 1974.
- William P. Boteler – Boteler was killed in the bombing of a restaurant in Cyprus that was frequented by CIA operatives; the group EOKA committed the attack on June 16, 1956.
- James J. McGrath – A native of Middletown, Connecticut, McGrath died following an accident while working on a high-power German transmitter in January 1957. His star was placed on the wall in 2007.
- Chiyoki Ikeda – Ikeda died when Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 710 crashed in Indiana on March 17, 1960, while he was on temporary duty assignment in the United States.
- Stephen Kasarda, Jr. – A native of McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, Kasarda died on May 1, 1960, while stationed in Southeast Asia. He was working with air supply missions being flown into Tibet.
- Nels L. Benson – Killed on April 13, 1961, in a training accident while instructing members of Brigade 2506 on the use of C-4 explosives in Retalhuleu, Guatemala.
- Four CIA pilots were killed on April 19, 1961, while supporting the failed Bay of Pigs invasion on Cuba – Leo F. Baker, Wade C. Gray, Thomas W. Ray and Riley W. Shamburger. One more American was killed during the invasion, paratrooper Herman Koch Gene, but he was not part of the CIA.
- David W. Bevan, Darrell A. Eubanks and John S. Lewis – All three were former Smokejumpers (firefighters) who were working for the CIA's Air America airline when their plane crashed in Laos on August 13, 1961, killing them and two other crew members. They were dropping cargo in support of General Vang Pao's Hmong army when their plane experienced a mechanical problem. The three men were honored with stars in 2017.
- John G. Merriman – A CIA pilot, he was shot down on July 26, 1964, while attacking a convoy of Simba rebels near Kabalo, Congo, with his T-28 counter-insurgency (COIN) aircraft.
- Barbara Robbins – Killed in a Vietcong car bomb attack on the U.S. embassy in Saigon, South Vietnam, on March 30, 1965. She was honored with one of the original 31 stars in 1974, but her name was not included in the Book of Honor until May 2011.
- John W. Waltz – Died on June 6, 1965, in Baghdad, Iraq, while working as an Aide at the U.S. embassy. He became ill and died from medical complications following emergency surgery.
- Edward Johnson and Louis O'Jibway – Both were members of the CIA front company called Air America who were working as intelligence officers. They were killed when their helicopter crashed into the Mekong River in Southeast Asia on August 20, 1965.
- Michael M. Deuel and Michael A. Maloney – Both were members of the CIA front company called Air America who were working as intelligence officers. They were killed, along with one more Air America pilot and a mechanic, when their helicopter crashed near Saravane, Laos, on October 12, 1965.
- Marcell Rene Gough – A maritime specialist who died in a vehicle accident in November 1965, in today's Democratic Republic of the Congo, while on assignment to maintain equipment for operations designed to defeat communist-backed rebels.
- Nine officers were killed in action during the Vietnam War in South Vietnam or Laos from 1965 to 1975 – Unknown (d. 1965), Billy J. Johnson (d. 1968), Wayne J. McNulty (d. 1968), Richard M. Sisk (d. 1968), David L. Konzelman (d. 1971), Raymond L. Seaborg (d. 1972), John Peterson (d. 1972), John W. Kearns (d. 1972), William E. Bennett (d. 1975).
- Ksawery "Bill" Wyrozemski – An air operations officer who died in a vehicle accident in 1967, in today's Democratic Republic of the Congo.
- Two CIA A-12 pilots who died in plane crashes – Walter L. Ray (d. January 5, 1967) and Jack W. Weeks (d. June 4, 1968).
- Charles Mayer – An engineer in the Directorate of Science and Technology, who died in an airplane crash in Iran in 1968. His duties at the CIA were to monitor the Soviet Union's missile capabilities.
- Hugh Francis Redmond – Redmond was a member of the Special Activities Division (SAD) who was posing as an ice cream machine salesman when he was captured in 1951, in Shanghai, China, while boarding a ship for San Francisco. He was in captivity for 19 years until he died on April 13, 1970. The Chinese claimed that he slit his wrists.
- Paul C. Davis – Died in Russia in 1971.
- Wilbur M. Greene – Greene was serving in the Vietnam War when he died during a gall bladder operation in April 1972.
- Raymond C. Rayner – Rayner was killed by an unknown intruder who broke into his home on the night of November 23, 1974, on Bushrod Island, near Monrovia, Liberia.
- James A. Rawlings – Killed in a cargo plane crash in South Vietnam in January 1975. He was declared missing and, a year later, the CIA issued a “presumptive determination” of death.
- Tucker Gougelmann – Gougelmann was a Paramilitary Operations Officer from the CIA's Special Activities Division who worked in the CIA from 1949 to 1972, serving in Europe, Afghanistan, Korea, and Vietnam. Gougelmann returned to Saigon in spring 1975 in an attempt to secure exit visas for loved ones after North Vietnam had launched a major offensive. He missed his final flight out of Saigon, and was captured by the North Vietnamese, who tortured him for 11 months before he died. Gougelmann was honored with a Memorial Star after the criteria for inclusion on the Wall was broadened and after "It was determined that although Gougelmann did not die in the line of duty while employed by CIA, his past affiliation with the Agency led to his death."
- Richard Welch – Station chief in Greece was assassinated by the radical Marxist organization Revolutionary Organization 17 November in December 1975.
- Denny Gabriel and Berl King – Former members of the CIA's Air America, they were killed, along with a member of the U.S. Special Forces, when their plane crashed in North Carolina on July 13, 1978, during a training exercise for a top-secret mission.
- Robert Ames, Phyliss Faraci, Kenneth E. Haas, Deborah M. Hixon, Frank J. Johnston, James Lewis, Monique Lewis and William Richard Sheil – Died in the 1983 Beirut embassy bombing. Haas was the station chief.
- Richard Spicer, Scott J. Van Lieshout and Curtis R. Wood – Killed in a plane crash while on a covert mission during the Salvadoran Civil War on October 18, 1984.
- William Francis Buckley – Station chief in Lebanon killed in captivity on June 3, 1985.
- Richard D. Krobock – Killed in a helicopter crash during the Salvadoran Civil War on March 26, 1987.
- Matthew Gannon – Gannon was the CIA's deputy station chief in Beirut, Lebanon; on December 21, 1988, he was one of at least four American intelligence officers aboard Pan Am Flight 103 (he was assigned Clipper Class seat 14J), when a bomb detonated and destroyed the plane high over Lockerbie, Scotland.
- Robert W. Woods – Killed in a plane crash (along with U.S. Representative Mickey Leland) on August 7, 1989, while on a humanitarian mission in Ethiopia.
- Michael Atkinson, George Bensch, George V. Lacy, Pharies "Bud" Petty, Gerhard H. Rieger and Jimmy Spessard – Killed when their Lockheed L-100 Hercules transport plane crashed on November 27, 1989, in Angola while supporting the rebel group UNITA. Eleven members of UNITA who were on board also died in the crash.
- Barry S. Castiglione – Killed during the July 1992 ocean rescue of a colleague in El Salvador.
- Lawrence N. Freedman – Killed by a landmine in Somalia on December 23, 1992.
- 1993 shootings at CIA Headquarters – The two fatalities of the attack were Lansing H. Bennett M.D., 66, and Frank Darling, 28, both CIA employees. Bennett, with experience as a physician, was working as an intelligence analyst assessing the health of foreign leaders. Darling worked in covert operations.
- Freddie Woodruff – Assassinated in Tbilsi, Georgia, on August 8, 1993, while acting as the station chief and training the bodyguards of Georgian leader Eduard Shevardnadze and the élite Omega Special Task Force.
- Jacqueline K. Van Landingham – Shot and killed in Pakistan on March 8, 1995.
- James M. Lewek – Killed when a United States Air Force CT-43A crashed near Dubrovnik, Croatia, on April 3, 1996. Thirty-four other people on board were also killed.
- John G.A. Celli III – Killed in a traffic accident in the Middle East in November 1996.
- Leslianne Shedd – Killed when three Ethiopians, who were seeking political asylum in Australia, hijacked Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 on November 23, 1996, and crashed the plane into the Indian Ocean.
- Thomas M. Jennings Junior – Died in Bosnia-Herzegovina in December 1997.
- Tom Shah and Molly C.H. Hardy – Died in the 1998 African embassy bombings.
- Johnny Micheal "Mike" Spann – He was a Paramilitary Operations Officer from the Special Activities Division, killed during a Taliban prison uprising in November 2001 in Mazar-e Sharif (see Battle of Qala-i-Jangi). His star, the 79th, was added in 2002. Officer Spann was posthumously awarded the Intelligence Star for valor for his actions.
- Nathan Chapman – He was the first U.S. soldier to be killed in combat in the American war in Afghanistan. At the time of his death, he was detailed to the CIA as a CIA paramilitary team’s communications specialist. He was killed on January 4, 2002, while investigating an Al-Qaeda safe house in Khost.
- Helge P. Boes – Killed by a grenade during a training accident in Afghanistan on February 7, 2003.
- Christopher Glenn Mueller and William "Chief" Carlson – Two paramilitary contractors from Special Activities Division, killed in an ambush in Afghanistan on October 25, 2003. On May 21, 2004, these officers' stars were dedicated at a memorial ceremony. "The bravery of these two men cannot be overstated," then-Director of Central Intelligence George J. Tenet told a gathering of several hundred Agency employees and family members of those killed in the line of duty. "Chris and Chief put the lives of others ahead of their own. That is heroism defined." Mueller, a former US Navy SEAL and Carlson, a former Army Ranger, Green Beret and Delta Force soldier, died while tracking high level terrorists near Shkin, Afghanistan, on October 25, 2003. Both officers saved the lives of others, including Afghan soldiers, during the ambush.
- Gregg Wenzel – An operations officer who was killed in Ethiopia in 2003, also was honored with a star on the CIA's memorial wall. A former defense attorney in Florida, Wenzel grew up in Monroe, New York, and was a member of the first clandestine service training class to graduate after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. His Agency affiliation was withheld for six years. Overseas, Wenzel gathered intelligence on a wide range of national security priorities. In Director Leon Panetta’s words: “At age 33, a promising young officer—a leader and friend to so many—was taken from us. We find some measure of solace in knowing that Gregg achieved what he set out to do: He lived for a purpose greater than himself. Like his star on this Wall, that lesson remains with us always.”
- Gregory R. Wright, Jr. – Killed in Iraq on December 7, 2005, while working on a Protective Service Detail. His team was returning from an asset meeting when they were ambushed by unknown attackers.
- Rachel A. Dean – Dean was a native of Stanardsville, Virginia, who joined the CIA as a young support officer in January 2005. She died in a car accident in September 2006, while on temporary duty in Kazakhstan.
- Maj. Douglas A. Zembiec – Known as the "Lion of Fallujah" for his deployment there with the US Marine Corps, he was serving with the CIA's Special Activities Division when he was killed in a gun battle in Baghdad in May 2007 while leading Iraqis on a "snatch-and-grab" operation against insurgents. Officially, his star is anonymous; the CIA refuses to comment on Zembiec's employment with the Agency. However, former U.S. intelligence officials have stated in interviews with The Washington Post that Zembiec was indeed serving with the SAD Ground Branch at the time of his death.
- Jeffrey R. Patneau – Died in a car accident on September 29, 2008, while posing as a State Department employee in Yemen.
- Donald Barger, killed on May 10, 2008 in a Taliban ambush in Afghanistan. Barger was a retired Master Sergeant, former US Army Ranger and Special Forces soldier. He served with 1st Ranger Battalion and Army 3rd Special Forces Group.
- Harold Brown, Elizabeth Hanson, Darren LaBonte, Jennifer Matthews, Dane Paresi, Scott Roberson, Jeremy Wise – Killed in the Camp Chapman attack in Afghanistan on December 30, 2009.
- Jay Henigan – Shot and killed by a rogue Afghan, who was working for the U.S. government, at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, on September 25, 2011. Henigan was a plumber and CIA contractor.
- Glen A. Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods – Killed during the attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on the night of September 11–12, 2012. Both were former Navy SEALs and worked as CIA security contractors. In addition, the US ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and one other American diplomat, Sean Smith, were also killed in the attack.
- Dario N. Lorenzetti was killed during a suicide bombing by a member of the Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security on October 18, 2012. He was a 1993 West Point graduate and Army Ranger.
- Mark S. Rausenberger was killed on May 23, 2016, while working for the CIA in the Philippines, but details about the circumstances of his death remain classified. He worked for the CIA for 18 years and also served in the U.S. Army. He was previously stationed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and other countries. He was honored with a star in 2017.
- Brian R. Hoke and Nathaniel P. Delemarre – Killed during assault on an ISIS compound outside of Jalalabad, Afghanistan on October 26, 2016. Hoke was a former United States Navy SEAL and Delemarre a former Marine. Both were members of Special Activities Division.
- George A. Whitney – Killed in the Jalalabad area of Afghanistan in December 2016. Whitney was a former United States Marine Captain.
- Staff Sgts. Matthew C. Lewellen, Kevin J. McEnroe and James F. Moriarty, of the 5th Special Forces Group – were working for the CIA, training moderate Syrian rebels in Jordan, when they were shot and killed on November 4, 2016. Although Jordan initially claimed that security forces at King Feisal Air Base had fired upon the Americans for failing to stop at the base's gate, U.S. officials stated that the soldiers were killed by a deliberate terrorist attack. Video shows that after the Americans had been cleared to enter the base, one of the Jordanian guards opened fire on the men. The Jordanian attacker was wounded in the shootout.
- The identities of twelve of the officers, and the circumstances of their deaths, are undisclosed. Of the twelve, there was one death in each of the years 1978, 1984 and 1989; six died in 2008; and the dates of the other deaths are undisclosed.
Civil Air Transport
On May 6, 1954, during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu, two CIA pilots, James B. McGovern, Jr. and Wallace Buford, were killed when their C-119 Flying Boxcar cargo plane was shot down while on a resupply mission for the French military. They worked for Civil Air Transport, which was later reorganized as Air America. Neither of them has a star on the Memorial Wall.
There were more than 30 pilots and other crew members of the CIA's Air America company that were killed during the Vietnam War that were not counted as part of the Agency even though they worked for it.
Jane Wallis Burrell was the first CIA officer to die in the Agency’s service when an Air France DC-3 from Brussels crashed on approach to the Le Bourget Airport near Paris on January 6, 1948, killing all five crew members and 10 of the 11 passengers. She died only 110 days after the CIA was officially established the previous September. Jane was never a candidate for a Star on the CIA’s Memorial Wall because the Wall commemorates Agency employees who died in specific circumstances and deaths from commercial aircraft crashes have generally not qualified.
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