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.
REMARKS: KIA, FUEL RAN OUT DURING EVAC CRASHED INTO SOUTH CHINA SEA
From - Sun Feb 06 18:22:06 2000 From: "Alan H. Barbour" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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 _____________________________________________
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