GERVAIS, DONALD PETER
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 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 1998.
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 site.
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?