FERGUSON, WILLIE C. JR.
Name: Willie C. Ferguson Jr.
Branch/Rank: United States Marine Corps/E3
Unit:
Date of Birth: 09 June 1949
Home City of Record: OKLAHOMA CITY OK
Date of Loss: 11 October 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 155123 North  1080003 East
Status (in 1973): Killed in Action/Body not Recovered
Category:
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH34D [see below]
Missions:
Other Personnel in Incident: [see below]
Refno: 1302
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews and CACCF = Combined Action
Combat Casualty File. USMC/Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association 2000.
REMARKS:
02/73 REMAINS RECOVERED   ID'd 06/29/73
CACCF CRASH/NONAIRCREW/QUANG NAM
------------------------------
From - Wed Feb 09 08:22:42 2000
INCIDENT DATE 681011 HMM-362 UH-34D 148802+ and HMM-265 CH-46A 151917+ 
[Crew UH-34D 148802+]
Harris Jr., Lantie Lawrence LCPL Crew HMM-362 681011 
Kleinhans, Lawrence Charle LCPL Crew HMM-362 681011
Schryver, Peter Edward 1stLT Copilot HMM-362 681011
Martin, Steven Wayne CAPT AircraftCommander HMM-362 681011
[Crew CH-46A 151917+]
Kemski, Gary Douglas CPL Crew HMM-265 681011
Wesley Jr., Marvin SGT Crew HMM-265 681011
Rainaud, Jeffrey William 1stLT AircraftCommander HMM-265 681011
Hale, William Thomas 1stLT Copilot HMM-265 681011
[Passengers CH-46A 151917+]
Ferguson Jr., Willie C LCPL Pass 681011
Hankins, Thomas Fred LCPL Pass 681011
Heaver, Brian Tracy LCPL Pass 681011
Heller, Ivan Louis HN(USN) Pass-Corpsman 681011
Hicks, Benny Joe CPL Pass 681011
Walters, J D CPL Pass 681011
---------------------------------------------------------
Comments on Incident:
I witnessed the air collision between the H-34 and the H-46. The former
[UH-34D] exploded and burned. The H-46 [CH-46A] went down like a brick. Both
aircraft crashed on a nearby beach. We took part in the recovery of the
deceased. The collision occurred just off the LZ. I would estimate 300-400
feet off the ground. I was with Mike 3/7 at the time. We were operating off
Hill 52 (north of Song Vu Gia River, Quang Nam Province) with other
companies from the 5th Marines. The LZ was below the hill  some units were
departing - much helicopter activity--I was near the summit of the hill.
My recollection was that the H-34 was ascending, the H-46 coming in. I heard
the explosion first and then saw the aircraft going down. The H-34 burst
into flames almost immediately. The H-46 just went down like a brick. The
crew chief or gunner (starboard side of the helo) stayed at the hatch all
the way down. His conduct, from my perspective, was something unforgettable.
My platoon assisted in the recovery of the dead. We got to the scene(s) of
the crashes pronto. I do not know if either aircraft took enemy ground fire.
I do not recall any sniper fire incoming, although it was a noisy time with
all the traffic. I always have had an enduring appreciation for the good men
that flew in the Corps. I dreaded hot LZs, but have many fond memories of
looking upon helicopters as my safe haven out of the bush. I'm pleased I was
able to get the names of those men, rather than remember them as anonymous
Marines. Semper Fi. Submitted by David Bruneau, M/3/7, USMC witness on
ground.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
KIA Index | Mission Comments | USMC/Vietnam Helicopter Association
NETWORK NOTE: Ferguson and Heller seems to be the only losses NOT accounted
for at the time of the crash. Records indicate remains were not recovered
until 1973. No further information available at this time.