DILLENDER, WILLIAM EDWARD Remains IDd 08/30/2005
Name: William Edward Dillender Rank/Branch: E4/US Army Unit: Company B, 101st Aviation Battalion, 101st Airborne Division Date of Birth: 06 November 1951 (Waltham MA) Home City of Record: Naples FL Date of Loss: 20 March 1971 Country of Loss: Laos Loss Coordinates: 163544N 1962513E (XD515352) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1H Refno: 1731
Other Personnel in Incident: John J. Chubb; Jack L. Barker; John F. Dugan (all missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 1990 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 2006.
REMARKS: EXPLODED FIRE NO SEARCH - J
SYNOPSIS: LAM SON 719 was a large offensive operation against NVA communications lines in Laos. The operation called for ARVN troops to drive west from Khe Sanh, cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail, seize Tchpone and return to Vietnam. The ARVN would provide and command the ground forces, while U.S. Army and Air Force would furnish avaition airlift and supporting firepower. The 101st Airborne Division commanded all U.S. Army aviation units in direct support of the operation. Most of the first part of the operation, begun January 30, 1971, was called Operation DEWEY CANYON II, and was conducted by U.S. ground forces in Vietnam.
The ARVN were halfway on February 11 and positioned for the attack across the Laotian border. On 8 February, ARVN began to push into Laos. The NVA reacted fiercely, but the ARVN held its positions supported by U.S. airstrikes and resupply runs by Army helicopters.
President Nguyen Van Thieu ordered a helicopter assault on Tchepone, and the abandoned village was seized March 6. Two weeks of hard combat were necessary for the ARVN task force to fight its way back to Vietnam. Towards the end of the removal, a helicopter from Company B, 101st Aviation Battalion was lost.
Flown by Maj. Jack L. Barker, the UH1H (serial #66-16185) was attempting to land to extract ARVN troops about 20 miles west of Khe Sanh. During the attempt, the aircraft came under enemy fire and was seen to spin, explode, and catch fire, then to break up in the air. No signs of survivors were seen. The crew aboard the aircraft were PCF John J. Chubb, Sgt. William E. Dillender, and Capt. John F. Dugan. Because of the presence of enemy forces in the area, no subsequent search could be made for survivors.
Losses were heavy in Lam Son 719. The ARVN lost almost 50% of their force. U.S. aviation units lost 168 helicopters; another 618 were damaged. Fifty-five aircrewmen were killed, 178 wounded, and 34 missing in action in the entire operation, lasting until April 6, 1971.
In all, nearly 600 Americans were lost in Laos, but because we did not negotiate with the Pathet Lao, no Americans held in Laos were released. Since that time, over 10,000 reports have been received relating to Americans prisoner, missing or unaccounted for in Southeast Asia. Although many authorities are convinced that hundreds remain alive, the U.S. has not secured the release of a single man.
Saturday, November 29, 2003
Remains of 101st Airborne paratrooper elude author
By LEON ALLIGOOD Staff Writer
Helicopter was shot down in Laotian jungle in 1971
In the fall of 1969, Bill and Ann Dillender said goodbye to their son, Billy, who quit school to join the Army....
Leon Alligood covers Tennessee for The Tennessean. Contact him at 615-259-8279 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
=================================== National League, Jan 11, 2006
ARMY PERSONNEL ANNOUNCED AS ACCOUNTED FOR: The Defense POW/MIA Office announced December 19th that as a result of US-Lao cooperation, all four Americans listed as KIA/BNR March 20, 1971 are now accounted for. The four Army helicopter crew members were MAJ Jack L. Barker of GA, CAPT John F. Dugan of NJ, SP4 William E. Dillender of FL and PFC John J. Chubb of CA. Recovery date was December 5, 2002, ID date was August 30, 2005, and all four families recently accepted the results. To each family, the League expresses support, with gratitude that they have final answers. The accounting for these four Americans brings to 1,808 the number of US personnel listed by DoD as missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War - 1,382 in Vietnam, 364 in Laos, 55 in Cambodia and 7 in PRC territorial waters. Over 90% of the 1,808 were lost in Vietnam or in areas of Laos and Cambodia then under Vietnamese control.
NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
No. 136-06 IMMEDIATE RELEASE Feb 14, 2006 Media Contact: (703)697-5131 Public/Industry(703)428-0711
Army MIA Soldiers from Vietnam War Identified
The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of four U.S. servicemen, missing in action since the Vietnam War, have been identified. They will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors.
They are: Maj. Jack L. Barker of Waycross, Ga.; Capt. John F. Dugan of Roselle, N.J.; Sgt. William E. Dillender of Naples, Fla.; and Pfc. John J. Chubb of Gardena, Calif. All were from the Army's 101st Airborne Division. Chubb will be buried in Inglewood, Calif., on Feb. 18. Barker, Dugan and Dillender will be buried on April 12 in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington. D.C.
On March 20, 1971, Barker and Dugan were piloting a UH-1H Huey helicopter with Dillender and Chubb on board. The aircraft was participating in a troop extraction mission in the Savannakhet Province of Laos. As the helicopter approached the landing zone, it was hit by heavy enemy ground fire. It exploded in the air and there were no survivors. Continued enemy activity in the area prevented any recovery attempts.
A refugee in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand, showed an identification tag of Pfc. Chubb and a medallion to a U.S. interviewer in 1986. The medallion was reportedly recovered near the same general location from an F-105 crash site. However, the location and the aircraft type did not correlate with the missing aircraft and soldiers.
Between 1988 and 2001, joint U.S.-Lao People's Democratic Republic teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), conducted four investigations and three excavations for these soldiers without positive results. An investigation team surveyed three crash sites in 2002 after interviewing local villagers from the province. The team recovered a fragment of human tooth and some crew-related artifacts from one of the crash sites.
In October and November 2004, another joint investigation team excavated the crash site and recovered additional human remains and crew-related evidence. The wreckage was of a UH-1H helicopter, and contained insignia worn by members of the 101st Airborne Division.
The remains included nine fragments of teeth that the forensic anthropologists at JPAC were able to match with detailed information from medical and dental records.
From the Vietnam War, 1,807 Americans are still unaccounted-for with 364 of those from Laos. Another 839 have been accounted-for in Southeast Asia with 208 of those from losses in Laos.
16 February, 2006 Family gets relief 35 years after Naples High grad's death By Amie Parnes
....This week, U.S. Department of Defense officials announced they had identified the remains of Dillender and three other servicemen who have been missing in action since that Saturday in March 1971........
Staff writer Brigid O"Malley contributed to this report. c2006 Naples Daily News