ELLIOTT, JERRY WILLIAM
Name: Jerry William Elliott Rank/Branch: E2/US Army Unit: 282nd Assault Helicopter Co., 17th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade Date of Birth: 14 July 1948 Home City of Record: Greenville MS Date of Loss: 21 January 1968 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 163722N 1064434E Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1D Refno: 1000
Other Personnel In Incident: Billy D. Hill (missing), McKinsey, W01 Gerald L. remains recovered 8 April 1968.
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 March 1991 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 2003 (KIA sp from Semyo to SEYMOE/McKensey to McKinsey.)
SYNOPSIS: On January 21, 1968, Captain Tommy C. Stiner, pilot; WO Gerald L. McKinsey Jr., co-pilot; SSgt. Billy D. Hill, doorgunner; and SP5 David H. Harrington, crewchief; were aboard the lead UH1D helicopter and PVT Jerry W. Elliott was the doorgunner on the following UH1D on a troop insertion mission. The two choppers were inserting ARVN troops at an old French fort approximately 1200 meters east of Khe Sanh. Also in the lead aircraft was LtCol. Semyo, senior advisor to the ARVN unit being inserted.
As WO McKinsey's aircraft touched down on the landing zone, NVA troops stood up all around the aircraft and began firing at the aircraft at almost point blank range. As soon as all the ARVN troops were off loaded, the aircraft lifted off. At approximately 8-10 feet off the ground, the aircraft was hit by either a 57mm recoilless rifle or a direct hit mortar fire, burst into flames and crashed. PVT Elliott, doorgunner and his crewchief were on another UH1D that landed approximately 50-60 feet from the crashed aircraft.
LtCol. Joseph Phillip Seymoe died while pinned under the aircraft. His body was subsequently recovered. The pilot, Stiner, exited the aircraft successfully, evaded capture and returned to friendly lines. Harrington was able to board one of the rescue aircraft that had landed in the LZ. Before leaving the vicinity, Capt. Stiner was in a defensive position with WO McKensey. Stiner later reported that he witnessed McKensey being shot in the back of the head and killed.
PVT Elliott and his crewchief exited their aircraft to assist survivors of the downed helicopter. In a matter of seconds, the crewchief returned to his aircraft and advised the pilot to take off immediately because of the highly intense hostile fire. The aircraft lifted off, leaving Elliott on the ground, circled and returned to the LZ, but could not locate PVT Elliott. Three days after the incident, a helicopter searched the area and observed a body in the tall elephant grass and small trees. By process of elimination, the pilot determined that the body was that of PVT Elliott.
Two sets of remains were recovered from the crash site by an unidentified unit and were later positively identified as those of Seymoe and McKinsey. Hill was last seen by Capt. Stiner, just prior to the aircraft being hit in the compartment in which Hill was manning his machine gun. Stiner stated that Hill was probably struck by the same volley of rounds that downed the aircraft as his machine gun was observed blown to pieces. Stiner searched the area before taking evasive action, but Hill could not be located.
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