SOULIER, DUWAYNE

Name: Duwayne Soulier
Rank/Branch: Private First Class/US Marine Corps 
Unit: Headquarters Company, 7th Command Battalion, 1st Marine Division 




Date of Birth: 31 December 1946 (Hayward, WI)
Home of Record: Milwaukee, WI
Date of Loss: 01 May 1967 
Country of Loss: South Vietnam/Over water
Loss Coordinates: 153013N 1085408E (BT750150) 
Status in 1973: Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered 
Category: 5
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: CH46A "Sea knight"
Other Personnel In Incident: Stan L. Corfield, John H. Bailey, Roger C. Gaughan, Hilario H. Guajardo and Carl A. Smith (missing) 

REMARKS:

SYNOPSIS:  The Boeing-Vertol CH46 Sea Knight arrived in Southeast Asia on 8 March 1966 and served the Marine Corps throughout the rest of the war. With a crew of three or four depending on mission requirements, the tandem-rotor transport helicopter could carry 24 fully equipped troops or 4600 pounds of cargo and was instrumental in moving Marines throughout South Vietnam, then supplying them accordingly.

PFC Duwayne Soulier, was a member of Headquarters Company, 7th Command Battalion, 1st Marine Division. He had been wounded during a combat operation and transported to the hospital at Chu Lai, Quang Tin Province, South Vietnam for medical treatment.

On 1 May 1967, several Marines, including Duwayne Soulier, were being medically evacuated from Chu Lai to one of the US Navy's hospital ship's stationed in the South China Sea. SSgt. Stan L. Corfield was assigned as the door gunner of a CH46A Sea Knight helicopter that was conducting this medivac mission. The helicopter's crew was from HMM-165, MAG-36, 1st Marine Air Wing.

The following were also wounded Marine passengers onboard the Sea Knight:
Sgt. John H. Bailey, Company M, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division
Cpl. Roger C. Gaughan, 3rd Marine Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division
PFC Hilario H. Guajardo, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division
LCpl. Carl A. Smith, Company B, 1st Support Battalion, 1st Marine Division

Just before the aircraft crashed into the water, the pilot made an emergency Mayday call outlining their emergency and giving their position, which was approximately 12 miles east-northeast of Chu Lai and 57 miles southeast of DaNang. Search and recovery (SAR) operations were launched immediately and rescue helicopters were on site within minutes of the loss. SAR personnel were able to locate and rescue the pilot, co-pilot, crewchief and at least 1 Navy corpsman assigned to this flight. However, they were unable to find any trace of Sgt. Bailey, SSgt. Corfield, Cpl. Gaughan, PFC Guajardo, LCpl. Smith and PFC Soulier.

The US Navy believed the six men were trapped inside the helicopter when in rolled over on its side and sank to the bottom of the South China Sea. At the time the formal search operation was terminated, John Bailey, Stan Corfield, Roger Gaughan, Hilario Guajardo, Carl Smith and Duwayne Soulier were listed Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.

Under the circumstances, it is highly unlikely the remains of the men killed in this tragic loss at sea can ever be found without a massive underwater salvage/recovery operation being undertaken. Each man has a right to have his remains returned to his family, friends and country if at all humanly possible. However, in this helicopter loss, that will probably never happen. Above all else, each man has the right not to be forgotten by the nation for which he gave his life.

For other Americans who remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, their fate could be quite different. Since the end of the Vietnam War well 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.

American servicemen in Vietnam were called upon to fight in many dangerous circumstances, 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 so proudly served.