BOSSMAN, PETER ROBERT
Name: Peter Robert Bossman Rank/Branch: E4/US Navy Unit: Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 363, Marine Air Group 13, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing Date of Birth: 03 December 1944 Home City of Record: West Seneca NY Date of Loss: 25 September 1966 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 164656N 1065421E Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 3 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH34D Refno: 0472 Other Personnel In Incident: Phillip A. Ducat; Dean W. Reiter (both missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1990 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 - see source below.
SYNOPSIS: Capt. Phillip A. Ducat was a helicopter pilot assigned to HHM 161, Marine Air Group 16. On Sepember 26, 1966, Ducat was assigned a medical evacuation mission in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. His co-pilot was 1Lt. Dean W. Reiter of the same Marine helicopter company and Hospital Corpsman Third Class Peter Robert Bossman, a U.S. Navy Corpsman. (NOTE: According to Navy records, Bossman was assigned to HHM 161, MAG 16.)
When the helicopter was approximately 22 miles west of Dong Ha, Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam, the aircraft was hit by enemy ground fire, burst into flames and exploded prior to impact with the ground. The crew aboard was killed, and the intense fire of the crash consumed all remains.
The crew of the UH34 was was listed as killed, body not recovered. They are among over 2300 Americans who remain prisoner, missing or otherwise unaccounted for from the Vietnam war. The cases of some, like Bossman, Ducat and Reiter, seem clear - that they perished and cannot be recovered. Unfortunately, many other cases are clouded with doubt. Some were known to be in enemy hands. Others described their imminent capture by radio. Others simply disappeared.
Since American involvement in Vietnam ended in 1975, nearly 10,000 reports relating to Americans missing, prisoner, or otherwise unaccounted for in Indochina have been received by the U.S. Government. Many officials, having examined this largely classified information, have reluctantly concluded that many Americans are still alive today, held captive by our long-ago enemy.
In our haste to leave an unpopular war, it now appears we abandoned some of our best men. In our haste to heal the wounds of this same war, will we sign their death warrants? Or will we do what we can to bring them home?
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 20:31:06 -0500 From: Jerry Ostapowicz <email@example.com> USMC/Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Subject: Comments on Ducat, Phillip, et al
Green, Arthur William LCPL Crew HMM-161 660925 Parker Jr, Vernon Howard CPL Crew HMM-161 660925 Bossman, Peter Robert HM3(USN) Corpsman HMM-265 660925 Reiter, Dean Wesley 1stLT Copilot HMM-161 660925 Ducat, Phillip Allen CAPT AircraftCommander HMM-161 660925
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- DUCAT PHILLIP ALLEN : 086222 : USMC : CAPT : O3 : 7335 : 27 : FORT WAYNE : IN : 19660925 : hostile, crash, land : Aircraft Commander : body NOT recovered :Quang Tri :04 : 19390904 : Cauc : Roman Catholic/married : 11E : 013 GREEN ARTHUR WILLIAM : 2149931 : USMCR : LCPL : E3 : 6422 : 18 : CHICAGO : IL : 19660925 : hostile, crash, land : Crew : body recovered : Quang Tri :01 : 19480124 : Cauc : Protestant / single : 11E : 014
PARKER VERNON HOWARD JR : 2023506 : USMCR : CPL : E4 : 6422 : 21 : SECANE : PA : 19660925 : hostile, crash, land : Crew : body recovered : Quang Tri :04 : 19450620 : Cauc : Protestant/single : 11E : 016
REITER DEAN WESLEY : 090274 : USMC : 1stLT : O2 : 7335 : 23 : MANCHESTER : MO : 19660925 : hostile, crash, land : Copilot : body NOT recovered : Quang Tri :04 : 19421010 : Cauc : Protestant/married : 11E : 017
BOSSMAN PETER ROBERT : 6984246 : USNR :HM3 : E4 : HM3 : 21 : WEST SENECA : NY : 19660925 : hostile, crash, land : Crew - Corpsman: body NOT recovered :Quang Tri :03 : 19441203 : Cauc : Protestant / single : 11E : 012
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Comments on Incident: Capt. Phillip A. Ducat was a helicopter pilot assigned to HMM-161, Marine Air Group 16. On September 26, 1966, Ducat was assigned a medical evacuation mission in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. His copilot was 1Lt. Dean W. Reiter of the same Marine helicopter squadron and Hospital Corpsman Third Class Peter Robert Bossman, a U.S. Navy Corpsman. (NOTE: According to Navy records, Bossman was assigned to HMM-161, MAG-16.) When the helicopter was approximately 22 miles west of Dong Ha, Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam, the aircraft was hit by ground fire, burst into flames and exploded prior to impact with the ground. The crew aboard was killed, and the intense fire of the crash consumed all remains. Three of the crew of the UH-34 were listed as killed, body not recovered. They perished and cannot be recovered. Submitted by John Lane. Comments on Incident: The H-34 was not hit by the NVA but by our own artillery from Camp Carroll. According to Marion Sturkey's book "Bonnie-Sue," on page 173 and 174, it was the only documented instance that a Marine helicopter in flight was knocked out of the air by our artillery. In addition, they had made a pick up of one or two WIA's. I guess this guy or guys are listed MIA. Submitted by Bennie C. Phillips, VMO-2 crew-chief on medevac escort gunship.
Comments on Incident: We were the chase aircraft. The H-34 had just picked up a WIA or two. I know they had been down in the zone . They had come out of the zone and were climbing for altitude and called for a SAV-A-PLANE [a request to the artillery command center for clearance away from artillery fans] and they got one. Well they didn't get the right one because that is about the time they took the hit. We were about 75 yards behind them. They were hit in the pilots crew station. The rotor head went one way and the H-34 went straight down (on fire like a flare). Submitted by Bennie Phillips, VMO-2 crew-chief on medevac escort gunship.
Comments on Incident: The parents of Lt Dean Reiter did not have any information regarding the incident other than an initial MIA report from the USMC after the incident. For many years, they "held hope" that their son would return. In 1998, Mr. Reiter contacted the USMC/Vietnam Helicopter Assoc regarding his son. Through our research, contacts, and eye-witness reports of the condition of the aircraft after the incident, it was confirmed to Mr. Reiter's satisfaction that his son had in fact died in the incident; that there was no chance that anyone could have survived the incident and resulting incineration. LT Reiter's official files were registered as KIA, but the family was not properly notified. An examination of all personnel files involved in the incident indicates final registration as KIA. Submitted by A.H. Barbour, Association Historian, 1998.
Comments on Incident: Phil [DUCAT], Herb Kennedy and I were TAD from HMM-164 (H-46's} and volunteered to go to HMM-161 to fly H-34's on operation Hastings. HMM-161 was short of H-34 aircraft commanders and we had been 34 aircraft commanders. Shortly before Phil's accident I was sent Forward Air Controlling with the 3rd. Battalion, 7th. Marines on Operation Prairie, which was the follow-up to Hastings and in the same area. 3/7 was protecting a bridge in the area that Phil's helo crashed. We found many engine parts of Phil's helo and we found one of his boots xxxxxxxxx . I knew it was his boot because of the way he kept them spit shined and the way he laced them with parachute cord. Submitted by Larry D. Robinson, HMM-164, friend, TDY roommate at HMM-161