SA Elmer Heggen


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Special Agent Elmer Martin (Bud) Heggen

Died: July 23, 1973

SA HeggenSpecial Agent Heggen and Special Agent Henry Tibbs were killed in an aircraft accident while en route to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas to testify in a courts martial.  The courts martial was for a Soldier convicted of murder. He was arrested for the crime by Heggen and Tibbs in Hue-Phu Bai, Vietnam. The case had been reopened due to a technicality and the subject was at Fort Leavenworth. Heggen and Tibbs were stationed at the Fort Campbell CID field office and were flying Ozark Airlines to St. Louis, Missouri, for a connecting flight. Ozark Airlines Flight 809 crashed in a severe storm on approach to the St. Louis International Airport.

Heggen had served with the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command for eight years and was survived by his wife, son, daughter and three sisters.

Background information provided by retired CID Special Agent Bill Evans, who was the OIC of the Hue-Phu Bai CID Field Office at the time of the incident:
Heggen and Tibbs, both assigned to the Hue-Phu Bai CID Field Office, were en route to Quanq Tri Combat Base to conduct interviews. They approached a convoy check point between Hue and Quang Tri just as a military policeman, assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, shot and killed a staff sergeant.  They apprehended the MP, collected the evidence and conducted witness interviews.  The MP was later convicted of murder and sentenced to Fort Leavenworth.

Their investigation disclosed that the checkpoint had been established to ensure that military vehicles traveling south moved in convoys of four or more vehicles.  This was standard area procedure for that area.  It was controlled by one MP.  The staff sergeant was en route to the unit personnel office at Phu Bai Combat Base to out-process.  While waiting for more vehicles to arrive the staff sergeant approached the MP several times and demanded to be allowed to proceed.  Each time the MP explained that he would have to wait until a convoy could be formed.  The SSG then became involved in a heated argument with the MP at which point the MP drew his 45 caliber sidearm and shot the SSG, holstered his weapon, walked back to his post and picked up a comic book and began to look at it.