ASTON, JAY STEVEN Name: Jay Steven Aston Rank/Branch: W1/US Army Unit: Company C, 101st Aviation Battalion, 101st Aviation Group, 101st Airborne Division Date of Birth: 16 May 1949 (Cleveland OH) Home City of Record: Rocky River OH Date of Loss: 18 July 1971 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 155247N 1073101E (YC697557) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1H Refno: 1761 Other Personnel in Incident: Clement R. Custer (rescued) REMARKS: Source: Compiled from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK in 1998. SYNOPSIS: WO1 Jay S. Aston was the pilot and aircraft commander of a UH1H helicopter (tail #68-15671) on which his co-pilot was CW2 Clement R. Custer assigned an extraction mission on July 18, 1971. Aston and Custer, together with another helicopter providing support, were to pick up four friendly personnel from a classified area. At the point of extraction near the Laos/South Vietnam border, ground fire was received upon lift off. The aircraft was hit, and was seen by the second helicopter to roll to the right and crash inverted into the trees. The helicopter went down in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam due east of the Laotian city of Ban Bac. Custer was knocked unconscious from the crash. WO Aston, shot in the head, was pinned in the wreckage of the helicopter, and it was impossible to free him. Sgt. Richmond, the medic with the team to be extracted, determined that Aston was dead, because of a massive head and neck injury with extensive bleeding and lack of vital signs. Sgt. Richmond was unable to extricate Aston's body, which was pinned in the twisted wreckage of the helicopter. Sgt. Richmond, CW2 Custer and the remaining team members were successfully extracted. Because special equipment was needed to recover Aston, his body was left behind for later removal. Because of enemy activity, however, Aston's body was never recovered. According to witnesses, Aston is dead. Tragically, his family has no grave holding his body to visit. His remains are on enemy soil, and not buried in his homeland. Even more tragically, evidence mounts that hundreds of Americans are still alive, held captive in Southeast Asia. What must they be thinking of us? What would WO Jay Aston think of us?