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
WATERMAN - all Killed in Action/Body not Recovered

Refno: 0777

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 sources below.   2020

REMARKS: REM RET 6/11/93 -- All found dead, ground fire, no recovery



Date: Mon, 20 Jan 2003 18:53:46 -0500
From: Jerry Ostapowicz <>
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

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:

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]



Return to Service Member Profiles

On June 3, 1993, Joint Task Force-Full Accounting (JTF-FA, now DPAA) identified the remains of Lance Corporal Earnest Ray Byars, missing from the Vietnam War.

Lance Corporal Byars joined the U.S. Marine Corps from Texas and was a member of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 164. On July 30, 1967, he was a crew member aboard a CH-46 Sea Knight (bureau number 151945) that crashed while approaching a landing zone in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam. Lance Corporal Byars was killed in the crash, and enemy presence prevented ground teams from recovering his remains. In 1992 and 1993, a joint U.S. and Vietnamese investigative team excavated a site associated with LCpl Byars' Sea Knight and recovered human remains there. In 1993, some of the recovered remains were identified as those of LCpl Byars.

Lance Corporal Byars is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. 

If you are a family member of this serviceman, you may contact your casualty office representative to learn more about your service member.