HILL, JOHN RICHARD
Name: John Richard Hill
Rank/Branch: O3/US Army
Unit: Medivac, 237th Medical Detachment, 67th Medical Group, 44th Medical
Date of Birth: 05 August 1940
Home City of Record: Waynesburg PA
Date of Loss: 27 April 1970
Country of Loss: South Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 161830N 1080237E (AU972003)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
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.
Other Personnel In Incident: (None missing)
SYNOPSIS: John R. Hill never considered another person as an enemy. That is
why he chose to pilot Medical Evacuation helicopters and the reason he did
not hesitate to pick up anyone who was injured, regardless of nationality,
civilian or military.
On April 27, 1970, Capt. Hill, pilot; WO Donald G. Study, co-pilot; SP4
Zettie J.C. Dulin, crew chief; and PFC Randall W. Love were the crew of a
UH1H helicopter (serial #66-17626, call sign Dustoff 712) conducting a
medivac mission when the aircarft crashed into the sea.
The helicopter was returning to Quang Tri when it went down. All occupants
exited the aircraft safely, although PFC Love went under and was not seen to
surface. No one aboard the aircraft was wearing life jackets. The three
remaining crewmen began swimming toward flares on the beach. Capt. Hill fell
behind and became separated from the other two. Later, during the night, SP4
Dulin and WO Study were separated. WO Study was rescued by a Korean LST in
the mouth of Da Nang Bay.
On May 3, the bodies of SP4 Dulin and PFC Love were recovered. An extensive
search was conducted from April 28, through May 12 for Capt. Hill, but no
trace was ever found. He was listed as killed and it was considered that his
remains would never be found.
John Hill is one of only a small number of the men missing in Southeast Asia
who cannot be accounted for. Unlike MIA's from other wars, the men missing
in Southeast Asia were lost over a small geographical area, and primarily on
or near land. Further, unlike in other wars, The Vietnamese and her
communist allies expended great efforts recovering both remains and aircraft
which had been downed. They also kept very detailed records.
Since the war ended, refugees have flooded the world, bringing with them
stories of American prisoners still held in their country. Rather than
decrease in number over the years, these reports have increased. Many
authorities believe that hundreds of Americans are captive in Southeast Asia
today, waiting for their country to come for them.
John Hill is almost certainly dead, but he was not the kind of man to ignore
any man's misfortune if there was anything he could do to help. How much are
we doing to bring these men home?