HARRIS, PAUL WINIFORD
Name: Paul Winiford Harris
Branch/Rank: United States Marine Corps/E2
Unit: HMM 163 MAG 16
Date of Birth: 24 June 1947
Home City of Record: CHILLICOTHE OH
Date of Loss: 13 March 1967
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 164451 North 1065813 East
Status (in 1973): Killed In Action/Body Not Recovered
Other Personnel in Incident: LCpl Virgil Terwilliger KIA/BNR; Maj. Peter
Nicholas Samaras (Wounded, Died 03/19/67); co-pilot, 2dLt Robert E. Swete,
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 2000 with information provided by the
USMC/Vietnam Helicopter Association [http://www.popasmoke.com/kia/] through
Linda Terwilliger Bleschke. Updated 2020.
Neither Harris nor Terwilliger were married.
On the anniversary of this loss, we received the following information:
March 13, 2000
Comments on the Incident:
During a hot recon extract, aircraft from HMM-163 received intense enemy
fire on approach to landing zone. Aircraft crashed and burned (extrmemely
high heat - the Marine Sikorsky H-34 was made of magnesium), crewmembers
Paul Harris and Virgil Terwilliger were KIA at the scene of crash. A/C Maj
Samaras received 2nd and 3rd degree burns over a substantial portion of his
body, died within a week or so of a heart attack due to burn related stress.
The unknown co-pilot was the sole survivor of the incident.
Terwilliger was the machine gunner on the mission.
His sister says, " He was my best friend as well as my brother. I have no
grave to put flowers on and I don't think I ever will. I just want you to
know he wasn't captured....."
This is the "official" report in Marine Command Chronolgies....
From - Tue Mar 21 14:05:42 2000
Return-Path: <xxxxx @ hqmc.usmc.mil>
I reviewed the monthly reports submitted by HMM 163 for March 1967 and
was able to determine the following: On 13 March 1967, Major Peter N.
Samaras, while on an emergency recon team retraction, received fire as he
was touching down in the landing zone, The aircraft received several hits
and the pilot immediately lifted off. He continued to receive fire and the
aircraft subsequently lost power and crashed into the trees. The aircraft
exploded before the other two crewmembers could be freed. The pilots were
retrieved from the area the following day and were taken to the USS REPOSE.
The list of squadron casualties reports that Major Samaras died of
wounds and burns on 19 March aboard the Naval Hospital Ship USS REPOSE.
2dLt Robert E. Swete was treated for second degree burns on the
REPOSE and survived.
LCpl Virgil B. Terwilliger and PFC Paul W. Harris both died when
the helicopter crashed and burned.
'Missing' Vietnam Marine finally honored
The Gazette staff
More than 39 years after he was listed as missing but presumed killed in
action in Vietnam, a Chillicothe native will be honored at a memorial
service next week.
Pfc. Paul W. Harris, a 1965 graduate of CHS, will be honored at a 10 a.m.
public service on Saturday, Sept. 30, at Greenlawn Cemetery in Chillicothe.....