NYSTUL, WILLIAM CRAIG

Name: William Craig Nystul
Branch/Rank: United States Marine Corps/O3
Unit: USS HANCOCK   HMM 164 MAG 36
Date of Birth: 04 January 1946
Home City of Record: CORONODO CA
Date of Loss: 29 April 1975
Country of Loss: South Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 95532 North  1072006 East
Status (in 1975): Killed In Action/Body Not Recovered
Category: 3
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: CH46D
Missions:
Other Personnel in Incident: Shea, Michael, KIA/BNR
Refno:

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 in 2000 with info from USMC/Vietnam Helicopter
Association.   2020

REMARKS: KIA, FUEL RAN OUT DURING EVAC  CRASHED INTO SOUTH CHINA SEA

------------------------------

From - Sun Feb 06 18:22:06 2000
From: "Alan H. Barbour" <popasmoke@erols.com>

REMARKS SHOULD READ: KIA, SAR CREW FLEW INTO WATER AFTER
NORMAL CARRIER WAVE-OFF ON DARK NIGHT, CRASHED INTO
SOUTH CHINA SEA

"It was late on the night of the 29th and well into the operation when the
CH-46 SAR helicopter crashed into the South China Sea along side of the
Hancock. It was tragic to say the least. Both the pilot, Capt. Bill Nystul
and co-pilot 1Lt Mike Shea were lost at sea. The other 2 enlisted crewman
were rescued (that in itself involved tremendous heroism on the part of Capt
Steve Haley and 1LT Dean Koontz breaking off on deck refueling and executing
a night water landing and taxiing around to pickup the 2 survivors). The
tragedy is that Bill was a new WestPac arrival to Okinawa when we deployed
with all the remaining H-46's and UH-1E's from Futenma [Okinawa]. He had
just completed schooling and was re-famming in the H-46. Mike, as I
remember, was a CH-53 co-pilot. This is the combination that was orbiting
the ship for 4-5 hours and was coming aboard to refuel and launch again!"

"The final approach was waved off, and on downwind (pitch black) they flew
into the water with no apparent awareness that it was happening. They did
not make any distress call or respond to frantic calls from pri-fly!! The
next evening we held the traditional burial at sea service without
recovering the remains. The crash site was located in 65 feet of water, but
because or the immense political pressures to vacate the area, no attempt
for recovery was made. I am positive, according to the time schedule I
alluded to, that these 2 Marines were the final Marine casualties of the
Vietnam War."

Submitted by CHIC SCHOENER, Squadron pilot, eyewitness

Alan H. Barbour, President
_____________________________________________

SAEPE EXPERTUS,  SEMPER  FIDELIS,  FRATRES  AETERNI
"Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever"

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

02/2020

https://dpaa.secure.force.com/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt0000000BTiUEAW

CAPT WILLIAM CRAIG NYSTUL

Return to Service Member Profiles


On April 29, 1975, a CH-46D Sea Knight with a crew of four took off from the aircraft carrier USS Hancock (CVA-19) in the South China Sea. After returning from its mission, while attempting to land on the Hancock, the Sea Knight crashed into the sea. The pilot and copilot could not be recovered; the two other crew members, both seriously injured, were rescued.

Captain William Craig Nystul entered the U.S. Marine Corps from California and was a member of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 164, Marine Air Group 36, 1st Marine Air Wing. He was the pilot of this Sea Knight when it crashed, and he was lost with the aircraft. His remains were not recovered. Today, Captain Nystul 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.

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