Name: Donald Peter Gervais
Rank/Branch: E5/US Army
Unit: Troop B, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division
Date of Birth: 20 July 1943
Home City of Record: Clarksville TN
Date of Loss: 01 May 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 162105N 1070535E
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: OH6A
Refno: 1153

Other Personnel In Incident: Richard D. Martin; Warren T. Whitmire (both

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:  Sgt. Donald Gervais, gunner; CPL Richard D. Martin, crewchief;
and WO1 Warren T. Whitmire, pilot comprised the crew of a OH6A helicopter on
a visual reconnaissance mission over the A Shau Valley in South Vietnam.

At 1800 hours, another aircrew saw Whitmire's aircraft crash into a ravine.
It appeared to the crew of the other aircraft that Whitmire's helicopter hit
a dead tree.  The other aircraft received gunfire as it flew closer to the

Visual reconnaissance of the site was difficult because of enemy fire and it
was determined that search crews could not be inserted because of the
presence of enemy troops and rugged terrain.

An infantry platoon that was on the ground had encountered the enemy troops,
and had observed the crash through binoculars from 300 meters away.  The
platoon leader tried to move closer to the site, but encountered enemy
activity and had to withdraw.  Heavy enemy activity continued in the area,
making it impossible to reach the site again.

Gervais, Martin and Whitmire were declared Missing In Action.  As no one saw
them die, it is assumed that they could have survived.  Certainly, the enemy
should know their fate - alive or dead.

Since the war ended, thousands of reports have been received regarding
Americans still held captive in Indochina.  Is one of them Donald Gervais?
If so, what must he be thinking of us?




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On May 1, 1968, an OH-6A Cayuse (66-7810) with a crew of three took off on a reconnaissance mission over A Shau Valley, South Vietnam. During the mission, another aircrew witnessed the OH-6A crash in a ravine. As the other aircraft approached the crash site to assess the situation, they came under enemy fire, and were forced to withdraw. A nearby ground unit observed the crash site from a distance, and reported seeing several enemy troops nearby, but no sign of any of the helicopterís crew. Enemy presence in the area precluded further investigation of the site, and none of the helicopterís crew was seen or heard from following the incident.

Master Sergeant Donald Peter Gervais, who joined the U.S. Army from Tennessee, was a member of Company B of the 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. He was the door gunner of the OH-6A and was lost along with the aircraft. Attempts to locate him or his remains following the end of hostilities were unsuccessful. Today, Master Sergeant Gervais 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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