POWERS, LOWELL STEPHEN Name: Lowell Stephen Powers Rank/Branch: W1/US Army Unit: Company A, 159th Aviation Battalion, 101st Airborne Division Date of Birth: 25 September 1946 (Oakland CA) Home City of Record: Scottsdale AZ Date of Loss: 02 April 1969 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 162903N 1064717E (XD908232) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 4 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: CH47 Refno: 1421 Other Personnel In Incident: (none missing) 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. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: At 1240 hours on April 2, 1969, WO1 Lowell Powers was the pilot of a CH47 helicopter (serial #67-18523). He landed at an LZ in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam, near Khe Sanh, where about 73 members of the ARVN 9th Popular Forces Company were loaded onto his aircraft. Powers left the LZ, the aircraft lost power, settled to earth, but touched down on the side of a ravine and then rolled down to the bottom of the ravine, coming to rest on its left side. Upon landing, Maj. Butler, the aircraft commander, asked WO1 Powers if he was all right, and received a positive response. Maj. Butler later reported that WO Powers released his harness and called back through the companionway to the passenger compartment. Maj. Butler left the aircraft through the left window, but never saw WO1 Powers again. A short time later, the aircraft began to explode. The area was reached quickly by a Republic of Vietnam Popular Forces and their American/Australian advisors from Advisory Team 19. A series of searches was undertaken in the immediate area for any survivors. Later, it was determined that WO1 Powers was missing. Search efforts were made for him. The other members of the flight crew were able to reach safety. The result of the crash was one American missing in action, 23 ARVN killed in action, and 50 ARVN wounded. That night, the area was secured by an ARVN company, and the next morning an ARVN and 3rd Marine Division Graves Registration team started the recovery of the remains. The ARVN team recovered what was thought to be 17 bodies, and the Marine team recovered 3 bodies. At Quang Tri on April 4, it was found that the ARVN had taken what they recovered and divided it into 21 caskets, which were turned over to the next of kin. The ARVN believed that Americans could keep one of the bodies they had recovered and turn the other 2 over to the ARVN. The ARVN would then have accounted for all their known losses. It was later determined that all 3 of the remains recovered by the Marines were Vietnamese. Efforts were made by the U.S. Army mortuary officer to exhume the ARVN remains to determine if WO1 Powers was among those remains turned over to the Vietnamese next of kin, but his efforts were unsuccessful because of Vietnamese religious restraints. Although most observers believe that WO1 Powers died in the explosion of the aircraft following its crippled landing, no one saw him die, and no one saw his body. Iris Powers, Lowell's mother, haunted by an ever-increasing flow of reports that Americans were still in captivity after the war was over, never gave up hope that her son could be alive, or if dead, that she would finally know for sure. For years, she actively sought information on him and the nearly 3000 others missing in Southeast Asia. Most of those 3000 men are still unaccounted for, and the reports continue to flow in. It's time our men came home.