Name: Jerry William Elliott
Rank/Branch: E2/US Army
Unit: 282nd Assault Helicopter Co., 17th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade
Date of Birth: 14 July 1948
Home City of Record: Greenville MS
Date of Loss: 21 January 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 163722N 1064434E
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1D
Refno: 1000

Other Personnel In Incident: Billy D. Hill (missing), McKinsey, W01 Gerald
L. remains recovered 8 April 1968.

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 March 1991 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 (KIA sp from Semyo to SEYMOE/McKensey to McKinsey.)


SYNOPSIS: On January 21, 1968, Captain Tommy C. Stiner, pilot; WO Gerald L.
McKinsey Jr., co-pilot; SSgt. Billy D. Hill, doorgunner; and SP5 David H.
Harrington, crewchief; were aboard the lead UH1D helicopter and PVT Jerry W.
Elliott was the doorgunner on the following UH1D on a troop insertion
mission. The two choppers were inserting ARVN troops at an old French fort
approximately 1200 meters east of Khe Sanh. Also in the lead aircraft was
LtCol. Semyo, senior advisor to the ARVN unit being inserted.

As WO McKinsey's aircraft touched down on the landing zone, NVA troops stood
up all around the aircraft and began firing at the aircraft at almost point
blank range. As soon as all the ARVN troops were off loaded, the aircraft
lifted off. At approximately 8-10 feet off the ground, the aircraft was hit
by either a 57mm recoilless rifle or a direct hit mortar fire, burst into
flames and crashed. PVT Elliott, doorgunner and his crewchief were on
another UH1D that landed approximately 50-60 feet from the crashed aircraft.

LtCol. Joseph Phillip Seymoe died while pinned under the aircraft. His body
was subsequently recovered. The pilot, Stiner, exited the aircraft
successfully, evaded capture and returned to friendly lines. Harrington was
able to board one of the rescue aircraft that had landed in the LZ. Before
leaving the vicinity, Capt. Stiner was in a defensive position with WO
McKensey. Stiner later reported that he witnessed McKensey being shot in the
back of the head and killed.

PVT Elliott and his crewchief exited their aircraft to assist survivors of
the downed helicopter. In a matter of seconds, the crewchief returned to his
aircraft and advised the pilot to take off immediately because of the highly
intense hostile fire. The aircraft lifted off, leaving Elliott on the
ground, circled and returned to the LZ, but could not locate PVT Elliott.
Three days after the incident, a helicopter searched the area and observed a
body in the tall elephant grass and small trees. By process of elimination,
the pilot determined that the body was that of PVT Elliott.

Two sets of remains were recovered from the crash site by an unidentified
unit and were later positively identified as those of Seymoe and McKinsey.
Hill was last seen by Capt. Stiner, just prior to the aircraft being hit in
the compartment in which Hill was manning his machine gun. Stiner stated
that Hill was probably struck by the same volley of rounds that downed the
aircraft as his machine gun was observed blown to pieces. Stiner searched
the area before taking evasive action, but Hill could not be located.


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On January 21, 1968, multiple U.S. helicopters took part in a troop insertion mission in the vicinity of Khe Sanh, South Vietnam. As one of the helicopters offloaded its troops in the landing zone, it was hit by enemy fire, burst into flames, and crashed. Another helicopter, a UH-1D Iroquois (tail number unknown), landed near the crash site and two of its crew members disembarked to render aid. Heavy enemy fire in the area forced the aiding helicopter to take off again almost immediately, and only one of the two crew members was able to get back on board, but the other was still on the ground. The pilot circled the area and returned to the landing zone, attempting to find the other crew member, but did not locate him.

Private Jerry William Elliott, who entered the U.S. Army from Mississippi, served with the 282nd Aviation Company, 17th Aviation Group. He was the crew member who did not make it back onto the UH-1D before it took off on January 21, 1968. Three days later, a search helicopter spotted a body in the area that was determined to be Private Elliott; however, the enemy presence in the loss area prevented any ground recovery efforts. Further attempts to recover his body were unsuccessful, and he remains unaccounted-for. Following the incident, the Army promoted Private Elliott to the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSG). Today, Staff Sergeant Elliott is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Active Pursuit.

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