Name: William Boyle
Rank/Branch: E7/US Army Special Forces
Unit: CCC/MACV-SOG, 5th Special Forces Group
Date of Birth: 26 November 1938 (Brooklyn NY)
Home City of Record: Watrous PA
Date of Loss: 28 February 1970
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 143753N 1072404E (YB586188)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
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 2020.
SYNOPSIS: SFC William Boyle was assigned to MACV-SOG (Military Assistance
Command, Vietnam Studies and Observation Group). MACV-SOG was a joint
service high command unconventional warfare task force engaged in highly
classified operations throughout Southeast Asia. The 5th Special Forces
channeled personnel into MACV-SOG (although it was not a Special Forces
group) through Special Operations Augmentation (SOA), which provided their
"cover" while under secret orders to MACV-SOG. The teams performed deep
penetration missions of strategic reconnaissance and interdiction which were
called, depending on the time frame, "Shining Brass" or "Prairie Fire"
On February 28, 1970, SFC Boyle was a passenger in an ARVN CH34 Sikorski
helicopter (serial #554324), call sign "King Bee". The CH34 was a huge gas
powered aircraft that sat high on two great wheels in front, making the
pilots appear to be sitting 2 stories above the ground, and tapering down in
back. The aircraft was an outstanding transport vehicle. The ARVN used the
CH34 before they acquired "Huey" helicopters from the U.S.
Boyle's aircraft was on a resupply/medivac mission in the tri-border area in
Attopeu Province, Laos, when it was hit by enemy ground fire. SFC Boyle had
just completed loading wounded personnel when an enemy rocket hit the
helicopter, cuasing an explosion and subsequent fire. SFC Boyle was observed
just prior to rocket impact standing inside the helicopter and was
apparently trapped inside the aircraft and burned with it.
The wrecked remains of the helicopter and surrounding area were checked
thoroughly, but no bodies could be found after the fire. No other U.S. Army
personnel were lost in the crash of the aircraft. William Boyle was listed
as Killed in Action - Body Not Recovered.
Because no remains were found for SFC Boyle, he is listed with honor among
the missing. Unlike Boyle, the fates of other missing Americans are not as
simple. Many were alive and well the last time they were seen. Some were
photographed or known to have been captives, yet simply disappeared from the
prison system. In all, there are nearly 2500 still missing, prisoner, or
unaccounted for in Indochina.
When American involvement in the Indochina war ended in 1975, refugees began
to flood the world, bringing with them stories of Americans still held
captive. Since that time, nearly 10,000 reports have been received regarding
missing Americans. Most authorities believe Americans are still alive. Few
agree on how to bring them home.