Name: William John Moore
Rank/Branch: E4/US Air Force
Unit: (Unknown, per USAF)
Date of Birth: 01 July 1935
Home City of Record: Monmouth IL
Date of Loss: 18 May 1966
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 135755N 1083945E (BR476454)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 5
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: C123B
Refno: 0342

Other Personnel in Incident: Jerry M. Wall (missing)

Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 June 1990 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.


SYNOPSIS: The Fairchild C123 "Provider" was a night attack system/transport
aircraft based on an all-metal glider designed by Chase Aircraft. The
airplane's C123B prototype first flew on September 1, 1954. The C123B, in
the hands of a group of airmen who called themselves "The Mule Train" became
the first transport to see Vietnam service. The C123B transports were soon
joined by UC123Bs of the now-controversial Project Ranch Hand which sprayed
pesticides and herbicides over Vietnam, including Agent Orange.

The Provider, particularly in camouflage paint with mottled topside and
light bottomside, resembled an arched-back whale suspended from the bottom
midpoint of huge dorsal wings. Like other transports, the Provider proved
its versatility during the Vietnam war. The C123 also dispensed flares to
illuminate targets for fighters or tactical bombers, and were dubbed
"Candlestick" when they served in this capacity.

SSGT William J. Moore and Airman First Class Jerry M. Wall were crewmen
assigned to a C123B squadron which was dispatched on a Candlestick mission
on May 18, 1966. The aircraft was dropping flares about 45 miles east of the
city of Pleiku in Binh Dinh Province when it was hit by enemy fire and

Among the crew of the aircraft, only Wall and Moore are missing. Public
information provided by the Air Force does not indicate the fates of the
rest of the crew; whether they were killed and their bodies recovered or
whether they were rescued alive is unknown.

It was determined that Wall and Moore (who was a flight mechanic) were
killed when the aircraft crashed and that it would never be possible to
recover their remains.

For Wall and Moore, death seems a certainty. For hundreds of others,
however, simple answers are not possible. Adding to the torment of nearly
10,000 reports relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia is the
certain knowledge that some Americans who were known to be prisoners of war
were not released at the end of the war. Others were suspected to be
prisoners, and still others were in radio contact with would-be rescuers
when last seen alive. Many were known to have survived their loss incidents,
only to disappear without a trace.

The problem of Americans still missing torments not only the families of
those who are missing, but the men who fought by their sides, and those in
the general public who realize the full implication of leaving men
unaccounted for at the end of a war.

Tragically, many authorities believe there are hundreds of Americans still
alive in captivity in Southeast Asia today.  What must they be thinking of
us? What will our next generation say if called to fight if we are unable to
bring these men home from Southeast Asia?





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Before dawn on May 18, 1966, a C-123B Provider (tail number 55-4534) with five crew members was participating in a flare drop mission to illuminate enemy troops that were attacking an American airbase at An Khe, South Vietnam. During the mission, the aircraft was hit by enemy ground fire, which caused it to burst into flames and crash at a steep angle near grid coordinates BR 476 454. The crash site area was under a full-scale attack by enemy forces and could not be immediately searched. By the time search and recovery crews reached the area later that day, they could only recover the remains of three crew members. One more crew member was recovered and identified following the war, but the fifth crew member remains unaccounted for. 

Airman First Class William John Moore entered the U.S. Air Force from Illinois and served in the 310th Air Commando Squadron. He was the flight mechanic aboard the C-123B when it crashed on May 18, 1966, and his remains have not been recovered. Following the incident, the Air Force promoted A1C Moore to the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSgt). Today, Staff Sergeant Moore 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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