Name: David S.
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. April 2003.
Thirteen Longbows from the 6th Squadron, an Apache unit from
Illesheim, Germany, flew into the area south of Baghdad on Sunday night
to attack military targets associated with the Iraqi Republican Guard.
Along with them were 18 Longbows from the 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation
Regiment out of Fort Hood, Texas. It was the first battle for the
Longbow, a late-’90s update of the 20-year-old Apache, the Army’s
only attack helicopter.
According to Stars
and Stripes, their first battle wasn’t as successful as hoped:
Although all except one of the aircraft returned home battered but safe,
all had bullet holes. One helicopter from the 1-227 Aviation was forced
down. The 6-6 Cavalry and 1-227 Aviation took off after dark to attack
two separate targets in the same area south of Baghdad. The Fort Hood
aircraft arrived first and actually destroyed several military vehicles
before the ground fire got too severe — bringing down one helicopter.
The Apache helicopter with two on board went down in Karbala, about 60 miles southwest of Baghdad. The attack chopper which Chief Warrant Officer David S. Williams and Chief Warrant Officer Ronald D Young were piloting, was forced down in central Iraq while on a mission in support of coalition ground troops.
Reports state two attempts to rescue the two pilots failed under withering arms fire from enemy forces. Following capture, Young and Williams were both shown on Iraqi television in apparently good condition. Five other captive Prisoners of War were also shown earlier on Iraqi TV.
Williams Sr. told reporters that his son played
football as a boy and was "more on the
Williams graduated from Chesapeake's Virginia's Great Bridge High School in 1991. He joined the Army two years after graduating and attending community college in Florida and has been in the Army for 12 years.
CWO Williams is based at Fort Hood, Texas. He and his wife - also a military pilot -- are the parents of a boy and a girl -- Jason, 2, and Madison, 5 months.
"Our prayers go out for our son Dave, to all other POWs being held in Iraq and to all our members of the armed forces in harm's way. We should all pray for their safe return," his mother, Pam Thacker, and stepfather said in a statement released shortly after CWO Williams' capture.
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 13, 2003 DoD officials identified the seven American prisoners of war found in northern Iraq
today as five members of the 507th Maintenance Company and two Apache helicopter pilots.
Two of the seven have suffered gunshot wounds but are in good shape, said Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Officials woke up President Bush with the good news this morning. He held an impromptu press availability at the
White House. "Today is a great day for the families, comrades, loved ones of the seven missing in action who are
free," he said.
The five soldiers from the 507th are Sgt. James J. Riley, 31, of Pennsauken, N.J.; Spc. Shoshana N. Johnson, 30, of
El Paso, Texas; Spc. Edgar A. Hernandez, 21, of Mission, Texas; Spc. Joseph N. Hudson, 23, of Alamogordo, N.M.; and
Pfc. Patrick W. Miller, 23, of Walter, Kan.
The two Apache pilots, Chief Warrant Officers David S. Williams and Ronald D. Young, are members of the 1st
Battalion, 227th Aviation at Fort Hood, Texas.
The 507th members had been captured when their convoy took a wrong turn and was ambushed in Nasiriyah March 23. The
pilots had been captured near Karbala on March 23.
Marines moving up for an attack on Tikrit were tipped off to the presence of American POWs by Iraqis, said U.S.
Central Commander chief Army Gen. Tommy Franks on CNN's "Late Edition."
The Marines moved into the area and found the soldiers walking along a road near Samarra. They flew the former
POWs to an airfield in southern Iraq and transferred them to a C-130 transport plane. They were then moved to Kuwait
for medical treatment and an intelligence debriefing.
Rescued POW Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch, now being treated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., is
also a member of the 507th, which is based in Fort Bliss, Texas. Lynch was rescued from an Iraqi hospital April 2.
The president said the United States will keep looking for American service members still missing in Iraq. "We pray
that they too will be safe and free one of these days," he said. But it's just a good way to start off the morning, to
have been notified that seven of our fellow Americans are going to be home here pretty soon in the arms of their