BYARS, EARNEST RAY
Name: Earnest Ray Byars Branch/Rank: United States Marine Corps/E3 Unit: HMM 164 MAG 16 Date of Birth: 29 April 1948 Home City of Record: HOUSTON TX Date of Loss: 30 July 1967 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 165607 North 1065753 East Status (in 1973): Killed in Action/Body not Recovered Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: CH46A Missions: Other Personnel in Incident: ROBERT BISCAILUZ, DAVID FREDERICK, CRAIG WATERMAN - all Killed in Action/Body not Recovered
Source: 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 and CACCF = Combined Action Combat Casualty File. Updated 2003 - see sourcee below.
REMARKS: REM RET 6/11/93 -- All found dead, ground fire, no recovery
CACCF/CRASH/AIRCREW QUANG TRI
Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 18:53:46 -0500 From: Jerry Ostapowicz <firstname.lastname@example.org> USMC/Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Subject: Comments on Biscailuz, Robert Lynn, et al
Incident Date 670730 HMM-164 CH-46A 151945+ YT-14
Byars, Earnest Ray LCPL Crew HMM-164 670730 Biscailuz, Robert Lynn LCPL Crew HMM-164 670730 Waterman, Craig Houston 1stLT Copilot HMM-164 670730 Frederick, David Addison CAPT AircraftCommander HMM-164 670730
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- BISCAILUZ ROBERT LYNN : 562625624 : USMCR : LCPL : E3 : 6332 : 21 : MIDWAY CITY : CA : 19670730 : hostile, crash, land : Crew : body recovered : Quang Tri : 01 : 19460724 : Cauc : Protestant/single : 24E : 050 : Arlington National Cemetery BYARS EARNEST RAY : 452742588 : USMCR : LCPL : E3 : 6320 : 19 : HOUSTON : TX : 19670730 : hostile, crash, land : Crew : body recovered : Quang Tri :01 : 19480429 : Cauc : Protestant/single : 24E : 050 : Arlington National Cemetery
FREDERICK DAVID ADDISON : 137324402 : USMCR : CAPT : O3 : 7562 (H-46) : 25 : COLUMBUS : OH : 19670730 : hostile, crash, land : AircraftCommander : body recovered : Quang Tri :06 : 19420622 : Cauc : Protestant/married : 24E : 051 : Arlington National Cemetery
WATERMAN CRAIG HOUSTON : 021134018 : USMCUSMCR : 1stLT : O2 : 7562 (H-46) : 23 : REHOBOTH : MA : 19670730 : hostile, crash, land : Copilot: body recovered :Quang Tri :03 : 19431014 : Cauc : Protestant/single : 24E : 053 : Arlington National Cemetery
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Comments on Incident: On 30 July 1967, I launched on a 2-plane mission to relieve a battalion of some of their dead troopers that they were bringing back after an operation in the DMZ. The pick up zone was located west-northwest of Quang Tri in what was known as the Three Sisters area. The zone was a small clearing with a trail going north and south to the west side of the one-plane zone. The area was hilly with thick scrub growth that made it hard to see for any distance. The battalion appeared to have had a tough time and the troopers walking south on the trail looked bushed. The tanks supporting them were burdened with body bags and the battalion was having to fight their way south. Our mission was to relieve the battalion of the body bags and any wounded and deliver then to Quang Tri. We launched from Quang Tri and Capt. Frederick and Lt. Waterman manned the other CH-46 with LCpl Biscailuz and LCpl Byars as crew. We had two huey gunships along as support. The weather was hot and humid and mostly clear. We had contact with the battalion on our FM radios and they reported sporadic fire over the last half hour in the area. The Hueys made parallel runs into the LZ as I made my first approach from east to west with Capt Frederick orbiting at 3,000 feet. After I was loaded and departed the LZ Capt Frederick made his approach with the Hueys providing covering fire. We joined up and departed for Quang Tri and off loaded the body bags and returned immediately to the LZ. On the second approach we received light fire on our approach and departure from the zone. The battalion was very efficient and the loading was accomplished at a rapid pace.
On the third trip into the zone the fire increased and as I left the zone one of the Huey pilots reported that the second aircraft had gone in. As I made a left turn, I looked back and saw a large fire on the top of a small knoll about a half mile east of the zone.
The Huey leader reported that the aircraft had started to descend and had not pulled out of his decent. I reported this to Quang Tri and the battalion and headed to Quang Tri to unload and return to the zone. Both hueys remained at the landing zone and I was told later that the battalion had sent a team to the crash site. They had to fight their way there and back but had retrieved the dog tags of the crew when the crash had cooled down. I made one or two more trips into the zone until I had all the body bags and we left the site and returned to base.
My log book shows a 4.3 hour flight in BuNo 152536. The HMM-164 command chronology for 30 July 1967 does not contain any details. It states: "Two aircraft were launched on medical evacuation missions. While on approach to the pick up zone, one aircraft, BuNo 151945, was observed to go out of control and crash, killing all four crew-members. There were no passengers aboard. The aircraft was not recovered." Submitted by Ed Langley, HMM-164, Section Leader.
Comments on Incident:
MIA'S REMAINS FINALLY BACK ON NATIVE SOIL WAR: A U.S. Marine from Midway City who was killed in Vietnam is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.. By GARY A. WARNER, The Orange County Register
Lance Cpl. Robert Biscailuz Jr. was buried Friday with full military honors, a horse-drawn caisson pulling his flag-draped coffin to a place in the nation's most-hallowed ground at Arlington National Cemetery. For 26 years, the Marine from Midway City had lain in a tomb of another kind - a burned out Marine helicopter grown over with thick vines and grass, forgotten except for his family and a parade of Pentagon insiders whose job was to track the missing-in-action list.....
Comments on Incident: On 30 July 1967 the following crew members were killed: Capt. David Frederick, lstLt Craig Waterman, LCpl Robert Biscailuz, LCpl Ernest Byars. Although the sterile listing of the names and other official data are listed under the KIA incidents section of the website there are no personal recollections of squadron mates who were in the squadron at that time about what happened. Please, if anyone was in HMM-164 on 30 July 1967 and knows what happened go to the Pop-A-Smoke KIA incidents and post a short narrative about the mission. All of the HMM-164 KIA's except for these four have first hand accounts by friends who were there at the time. Thanks for your help. Semper Fi. Col. Warren C. .Dad. Watson, CO, May 65-Feb 67.
The following was copied from my old journal kept almost daily until things just got too busy and I was away from my books:
July 31, 1967 Phu Bai A black veil is hanging over me today because yesterday about 1000 we lost a plane and the crew in or around the DMZ. I lost two friends on this mission. One was my old defensive football coach back in new River, Captain Frederick and the other, Corporal Byars, the first man to greet me from HMM 164 at Marble Mountain.
They were at Dong Ha flying Med. Evac all night and early morning when the bird YT 15 was said to have crashed and burned after rolling over on its side. Later recon got to the wreck and brought out the dog tags. All four of the crew were killed. This included Cpl Biscailuz and Lt. Waterman.
It seems as if we were to have bad luck this week because it was just Thursday when YT17 crashed and burned while taking off from Phi Bai. Luckier the crew , for no one was hurt too seriously. I witness[ed] the crash from the back of the flight line along the outer road. It was the first time I had ever seen a CH46A go in.
I want to do my duty, what is expected of me , but I also want to return home to build a better life. I will just have to trust my life to the Lord Almighty for him to do with me what ever [it is] he wishes. SEMPER FIDELIS, Chuck [Nowotny]