SOYLAND, DAVID PECOR
Name: David Pecor Soyland
Rank/Branch: W1/US Army
Unit: Company A, 158th Aviation Battalion, 101st Airborne Division {see
note}
Date of Birth: 29 April 1951 (Fullerton CA)
Home City of Record: Rapid City SD
Date of Loss: 17 May 1971
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 163425N 1065323E (YD048268)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1H
Other Personnel in Incident: Dale A. Pearce (missing)
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 2006.
SYNOPSIS: W1 Dale A. Pearce, pilot; W1 David P. Soyland, aircraft commander;
SP5 Harold E. Parker, crew chief; and SP4 Gary A. Alcorn, door gunner,
comprised the crew of a UH1H helicopter on an assault/extraction mission on
May 17, 1971.
The aircraft departed Camp Evans in South Vietnam as the assault aircraft of
a helicopter team attempting to extract a reconnaissance team that was under
heavy fire by an unknown size enemy force about 10 miles northeast of Khe
Sanh in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam.
Upon approach to the target, WO1 Pearce's aircraft began taking heavy enemy
fire. The aircraft began to bank to the right and was hit, causing the
helicopter to start to turn over. An RPG hit and severed the tail boom, and
the violence of the explosion threw Alcorn from the aircraft just before it
crashed. After impact, the aircraft slid to the bottom of a slope.
On May 18, a recovery team was inserted in the area to recover the remains
of the original reconnaissance team and to search the aircraft wreckage for
survivors. At this time, both Parker and Alcorn were discovered alive, and
remains which were assumed to be those of Pearce were found. Without tools,
the recovery of the remains was impossible, as they were wedged beneath the
aircraft debris. The left pilot seat was completely intact, and no sign of
blood on it or in the immediate area was found. All harnesses in the
aircraft had been unfastened.
Alcorn reported that he saw a man in a white t-shirt running across the
ridge line. A search aircraft in the area reported hearing a loud beeper
distress signal. It was concluded that the man had been W1 Soyland, who
would have been the occupant of the left pilot seat. From the way the
aircraft impacted, on its right side, Soyland, seated on the left side of
the aircraft, would have had a high probability of surviving the crash.
Searches continued until May 27, 1971 for Soyland, but no trace was found of
him. It was concluded that he survived the crash and was probably captured.
It was concluded that W1 Pearce died in the crash.
WO Soyland was not among the prisoners of war that were released in 1973.
High ranking U.S. officials admit their dismay that "hundreds" of suspected
American prisoners of war did not return.
Alarmingly, evidence continues to mount that Americans were left as
prisoners in Southeast Asia and continue to be held today. Unlike "MIA's"
from other wars, most of the nearly 2500 men and women who remain missing in
Southeast Asia can be accounted for. Soyland could be one of those thought
to be alive today. The U.S. believes there is a strong probability that the
Vietnamese know the fates of both men - alive or dead. Isn't it time we
brought our men home?
                                                        [r1747.97]
                                 PROJECT X
                        SUMMARY SELECTION RATIONALE
NAME: SOYLAND David P., W01, USA
OFFICIAL STATUS: MISSING
CASE SUMMARY: SEE ATTACHED
RATIONALE FOR SELECTION: Two crewmembers survived the aircraft crash. W01
Soyland's side of aircraft was undamaged and his harness was unbuckled,
indicating he left under his own power. One of the rescued crewmembers
stated he had seen an individual in a white T-shirt he believed to be W01
Soyland on the next ridge. No correlated related reports of W01 Soyland's
possible death have been received since the incident date.
REFNO: 1747 31 Mar 75
(U) CASE SUMMARY
1. On 17 May 1971 W01 David P. Soyland, aircraft commander, WOI Dale A.
Pearce, pilot, SP5 [blank] crew chief, and SP4 [blank] door gunner, were
the crew of a UH-1H assault helicopter, (#65-17607), which departed Camp
Evans, South Vietnam, to extract a reconnaissance team that was under heavy
fire by an unknown-size enemy force. On target approach the helicopter
began taking heavy enemy fire. The aircraft began banking right and was hit
by the enemy fire, causing the aircraft to continue to bank and start to
turn over. A rocket-propelled grenade hit and severed the tail boom. The
violence of the explosion threw SP4 [blank] out of the aircraft, just
before the aircraft crashed. After the impact the aircraft continued to
slide to the bottom of the slope, (in the vicinity of grid coordinates (GC)
YD 048 268).
2. On 18 May a recovery element was inserted into this area to recover the
bodies of the original reconnaissance team and to search the aircraft
wreckage for survivors. At this time both SP5 [blank] and SP4 [blank] were
discovered alive, and a set of remains which was assumed to be W01 Pearce
was found. The pilot's seat on the left side of the aircraft was not
damaged; all harnesses had been unfastened. There was no blood on the seat
or surrounding area to indicate any injury to WOI Soyland. SP4 [blank]
reported that he saw a man in a white T-shirt running across a ridgeline in
the estimated location of grid coordinates YD 047 273, near his position
that same afternoon, and a search aircraft in the area reported hearing a
loud beeper distress signal. It was concluded that the man in the white
T-shirt was W01 Soyland, and who would have been the occupant of the left
pilot's seat of the aircraft. According to the way the helicopter impacted
he would have had a high probability of surviving the crash. Search and
recovery missions were performed in the general area of the crash site from
17 to 27 May, (1971), but no trace was found of W01 Soyland. it was
concluded that he had survived the helicopter crash and was probably
captured.
3. During the existence of JCRC, the hostile threat in the area precluded
any visits to or ground inspections of the sites involved in this case. In
July 1973, at the request of JCRC, The U.S. Defense Attache Office, Saigon,
reviewed available aerial photography. No evidence of crash site or downed
aircraft was found at the listed coordinates. This individual's name and
identifying data were turned over to Four-Party Joint Military Team with a
request for any information available. No response was forthcoming. WOI
Pearce is currently carried in the status of Missing.
REFERENCE USED
1. Ltr (U), 101st Abn Div 1 Aug 71.
2. MSG: CG, USARV LBN RVN 190936Z May 71.
ASSOCIATED INDIVIDUALS
1. David P. Soyland 1747-0-01
2. Dale E. Pearce 1747-0-02
                 * National Alliance of Families Home Page
--------------------------------------
NOTE:
From - Sun Feb 13 13:30:10 2000
From: "Gary and Becky Earls" <beegee@abraxis.com>
The for David P. Soyland lists him to be a member of Company A of the 158th
Aviation Battalion.  Actually he was a member of Company C of the 158th.
Reference is Tom Marshall's book, "The Price of Exit".
Regards,
Gary
Gary E. Earls
LTC, Av, RTD
Phoenix 30/36
Roadrunner 5
-----------------
02/10/2006
Bracelet finds way to MIA's father
HOT SPRINGS (AP) - They represent the soldier's motto to "leave no man
behind," and for more than 30 years, friends, relatives and many Americans
have worn the names of missing and captured soldiers on bracelets worn
around their wrists.
The bracelets are an important way to remember comrades whose fate remains
unknown, and for two South Dakota military families, one POW/MIA bracelet
was the cause of an unlikely connection.......
Copyright c 2006 The Rapid City Journal
Rapid City, SD