Name: William Joor Morgan
Rank/Branch: O4/US Army
Unit: MACV, Artillery Division
Date of Birth: 11 February 1938
Home City of Record: Baton Rouge LA
Date of Loss: 25 February 1972
Country of Loss: South Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 160745N 1081701E (BT008901)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 5
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1H
Refno: 1799

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: William J. Morgan was a passenger aboard a UH1H helicopter (tail
#69-15391) that crashed in the Da Nang Harbor on February 25, 1972. The
helicopter was recovered on March 17, and all personnel aboard the aircraft
were accounted for except Maj. Morgan. It was concluded that his body
drifted from the aircraft and either out to sea or to the beaches of nearby
Mui Da Nang island. A further search at the main harbor was not feasible,
and Maj. Morgan was listed as dead, remains non-recoverable. No enemy action
is associated with the loss.

Search and recovery efforts in Vietnam were the best and most successful
ever seen in wartime. They were so successful, in fact, that the numbers of
those remaining missing in action were dramatically reduced over previous

The unique thing about Vietnam as compared to other wars, however, is that
not a great many cases are like that of Maj. Morgan. Most of the missing
could be readily accounted for by either the governments of Southeast Asia,
who kept incredibly detailed records of each prisoner and downed aircraft
lost, or by on-site inspection and/or excavation of loss sites.

Approximately 1/2 of the nearly 2500 now listed as missing could be
accounted for with access to information held by our former enemies or
access to loss sites. Included in this number are hundreds of individuals
who were known to have been captives, or were alive when last seen.

The other approximate half of those missing were originally classified as
killed, body not recovered. In light of discrepancies, however, at least
several score of these cases need further examination. For example, one
"KIA/BNR" individual was known to have safely parachuted from his aircraft.
Another group of individuals were horribly mutilated by the enemy, and their
bodies (and equipment) disappeared before they could be extracted.

The most troubling aspect of the missing in Vietnam remains the "several
million" documents and "over 250,000" reports received by the U.S.
Government relating to Americans missing in Southeast Asia. Many U.S.
authorities are convinced that hundreds of Americans remain alive today,
held against their will. While it is improbable that Maj. Morgan is among
them, one must wonder what he would think of his country abandoning its best
men to enemy hands.




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On February 25, 1972, a UH-1H Iroquois (tail number unavailable) carrying ten passengers and crew crashed into Da Nang Harbor, South Vietnam, after taking off from a U.S. Navy destroyer. Rescue forces deployed immediately rescued three survivors and recovered the remains of one crew member. Over the next several weeks, the Iroquois’s wreckage was salvaged from the harbor, and the remains of five of the helicopter’s other occupants were recovered and identified. The remains of the last passenger aboard the Iroquois could not be located.

Major William J. Morgan, who joined the U.S. Army from Louisiana, was a member of Headquarters, Military Assistance Command Artillery Division, Vietnam. Major Morgan was a passenger aboard the Iroquois, and his remains were not found in the aircraft’s wreckage. Today, Major Morgan 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 Non-recoverable.

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.

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