KONYU, WILLIAM MICHAEL

Name: William Michael Konyu
Rank/Branch: W1/US Army
Unit: Company B, 101st Aviation Battalion, 101st Airborne Division
Date of Birth: 18 March 1947
Home City of Record: Phillipsberg NJ
Date of Loss: 16 April 1969
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 155349N 1073414E (YC752591)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1H
Refno: 1426

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)

REMARKS:

SYNOPSIS: On April 16, 1969, WO William M. Konyu was the pilot of a UH1H
helicopter on a combat mission in northern Quang Nam Province, South
Vietnam, about 10 miles from the border of Laos.

As WO Konyu made his short, final approach to the landing zone (LZ), he
received intense enemy fire. The windshield on the pilot's side was
shattered. Konyu was seen to throw up his hands and slump forward over the
controls. The co-pilot was wounded in his legs, and lost control of the
aircraft. The helicopter subsequently crashed, rolled over on its side and
burned. Attempts to reach the helicopter by personnel on the ground were
impossible because of the intense heat of the burning aircraft.

U.S. ground teams inspected the aircraft later, and reported a burned form
in the pilot's seat. Three crewmen and passengers had been rescued. (If
other personnel were aboard and killed, no mention is made in public
record.) The team was uncertain how to recover what they believed were the
remains of the pilot, and left the area, but returned later in the day to
prepare to extract the remains.

When the extraction team arrived four days later to recover the remains,
they had disappeared. Evidence that enemy forces had been at the site were
discovered, and it was assumed that the enemy buried the pilot somewhere
nearby, but no graves were located. Konyu was listed among the missing
because his remains were never found.

William Konyu, according to all witnesses, died as his aircraft crashed. His
family can be as certain as possible without having received his body, that
he is dead. For many others listed missing, however, simple solutions are
not possible. Many were known to have been captives, but were never
released. Others were alive and well the last they were seen. Still others
were in radio contact with would-be rescuers, describing their imminent
capture.

Over 1000 eye-witness reports have been received relating to Americans still
held captive in Southeast Asia, convincing many authorities that the number
still alive could be in the hundreds. As long as even one many remains
alive, we own him our very best efforts to bring him home.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

01/2020

https://dpaa.secure.force.com/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt0000000BTVGEA4

WO1 WILLIAM MICHAEL KONYU

Return to Service Member Profiles


 

Warrant Officer 1 William Michael Konyu, who joined the U.S. Army from New Jersey, was a member of Company B, 101st Aviation Battalion (Assault Helicopter), 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile). On April 16, 1969, eight Company B helicopters were on a mission to support Detachment B-52 (Project Delta), 5th Special Forces Group.  Forty-Six Special Forces soldiers were to be inserted to reinforce a six man reconnaissance team in danger of being over-run by an unknown size enemy force approximately 70 kilometers (44 miles) west-southwest of Da Nang in wartime Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam.  WO1 Konyu, as the pilot, flew the lead UH-1H helicopter (tail number 66-16343) carrying eight Project Delta soldiers.  At 1330 hours during the final approzch to the landing zone, the helicopter was hit by intense enemy ground fire from the front and the left side that that shattered the windshield on the pilot's side of the helicopter.  W)1 Konyu was seen to slump over the controls after a bullet struck him in the face, and the aircraft commander was wounded.  Control of the helicopter was lost causing it to crash on the landing zone coming to rest on its left side.  The helicopter burst into flames while the crew chief and door guner helped to rescue the wounded aircraft commander and the passengers.  The intense heat of the fire made it impossible to extricate WO1 Konyu's body.  Several of those on the gound at the time inspected the aircraft after the fire subsided and reported seeing a severely burned body in the pilot's seat.  A Detachment B-52 ground team returned to the crash site four days later to recover the WO1 Konyu's remains, but found that the enemy disturbed the wreckage tipping over the pilots seat.  The ground team sifted through the ashes and found no remains.  He remains unaccounted for. Today, Warrant Officer 1 Konyu 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.

If you are a family member of this serviceman, DPAA can provide you with additional information and analysis of your case. Please contact your casualty office representative.

Service member profile discrepancy? Please help us ensure the accuracy of each profile by submitting documentation about a service member profile.