Name:  David Andrew Dillon 
Rank/Branch: Specialist/US Army 
Unit:  68th Aviation Company
Date of Birth: 28 May 1942 
Home of Record: Spring Valley CA
Date of Loss: 20 July 1966
Country of Loss:  South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates:  104403N 1063218E (XS668865)
Click coordinates to view maps

Status in 1973: Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 4
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground:  UH1 "Iroquois"
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) 


SYNOPSIS:   By early 1967, the Bell UH1 Iroquois was already the standard Army assault helicopter, and was used in nearly every "in-country" mission. Better known by its nickname "Huey," the troop carriers were referred to as "Slicks" and the gunships were called "Hogs." It proved itself to be a sturdy, versatile aircraft which was called on to carry out a wide variety of missions including search and rescue, close air support, insertion and extraction, fire support, and re-supply to name a few. It usually carried a crew of four.

On 20 July 1966, SP4 David Dillon was the crewchief of a UH1B helicopter on an airmobile air assault mission approximately 8 miles southwest of Saigon, Long An Province, South Vietnam. During the landing approach to the LZ, the Huey was hit by enemy gunfire, exploded and crashed. An immediate search of the area by US personnel on site was conducted. The remains of the pilot, co-pilot and door gunner were recovered and subsequently identified.

SP4 Dillon's wallet and ID card were found in the vicinity of the wreckage, but no remains were found that could be identified as those of the crewchief. Because of the location of loss and heavy enemy presence in the area, an in-depth search was not possible. A Board of Inquiry was convened. Its report indicated that the crewchief's position on the aircraft was at the left door, which was the primary point of contact of the explosion, caused by white phosphorous. David Dillon was immediately listed Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.

A second search of the crash site was made shortly after the crash. However, it was also unsuccessful because the area of the crash was now under several inches of water in a rice paddy.

After the end of the war, Joint Casualty Resolution Center (JCRC) teams were tasked to recover American remains throughout South Vietnam. One team returned to SP4 Dillon's aircraft crash site in December 1973 for a follow-up field investigation/excavation. Unfortunately, the team was assaulted by a band of Viet Cong (VC) and one of the team members killed. Because of this attack, it was the last search and recovery operation made by JCRC teams in South Vietnam.

Since the end of the Vietnam War, over 21,000 reports of American prisoners, missing and otherwise unaccounted for have been received by our government. Many of these reports document LIVE American Prisoners of War remaining captive throughout Southeast Asia TODAY.

Pilots and aircrews in Vietnam were called upon to fly in many dangerous missions, and they were prepared to be wounded, killed, or captured. It probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country they proudly served.