Steven M. Pashman (1966/01/25)
When Steven boarded a US Air Force C123, little did he realize that he would be involved in one of the worst air disasters in the war.
Steven Mark Pashman, the second son of Mr. and Mrs. John R. Pashman, was born in Topeka, Kansas, on September 25, 1944. He and his two brothers, John and David, attended local Topeka schools until 1960 when the family moved to Santa Cruz, where their father had acquired the Villa Del Mar Motel. The Pashman family moved into a residence on the motel grounds, and Stephen entered Santa Cruz High School.
After graduating from high school in June 1962, Steven enrolled in Cabrillo College. Later he obtained employment at the California Tube Lab in Santa Cruz. Pashman was an avid sports enthusiast and soon became president of the Santa Cruz Sports Club.
Steven Pashman entered the US Army in the fall of 1965 and was sent to a training facility. After completing basic and advanced individual training in late 1965, he was assigned to the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Airmobile Division serving in Vietnam. Pashman arrived in the central highland area of Vietnam on December 13, 1965, with transportation to his unit to be provided by plane.
On the morning of January 25, 1966, Private First Class Steven Mark Pashman and forty-one other troopers of the 7th Cavalry boarded a Fairchild Provider aircraft to be transported to a combat zone in the highlands. The lumbering C123 troop transport had just taken off from the An Khe staging area of the US 1st Cavalry Airmobile Division 250 miles north east of Saigon on the morning of January 25, 1966, when problems were encountered. A low 300-foot cloud cover had hidden a looming mountain in their path and before the pilot could maneuver the craft to avoid it the plane smashed into the hillside. The sound caused by the crash of the explosion shattered the early morning silence. The name Steven Pashman and the names of the other troopers aboard would be etched into the Vietnam Memorial Wall.
The remains of Private Steven M. Pashman were recovered and returned to Santa Cruz where a memorial mass was conducted at Holy Cross Church. Steven's remains were sent to Topeka, Kansas and interred in the Mt. Calvary Cemetery.
(VNMW; SCSn January 25, 1966 1:2, January 27, 1966 1:4, February 4, 1966)