Name: William Cooper Pierson III
Rank/Branch: W1/US Army
Unit: Troop B, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry, 101st Airborne Division
Date of Birth: 23 December 1947 (San Antonio TX)
Home City of Record: Madison WI
Date of Loss: 13 April 1969
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 155701N 1063806E
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 4
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: AH1G
Refno: 1425

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 1998.

Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)


SYNOPSIS: On April 13, 1969, WO William C. Pierson III was the co-pilot of
an AH1G aircraft flying visual reconnaissance with Capt. Alvie J. Ledford,
Jr, pilot. On request from an accompanying Loach light observation
helicopter, the AH1G started a gun run on a suspected target.

As Ledford and Pierson's aircraft was about 500 feet into the dive, the
observation aircraft saw flames spurting from one side of the aircraft,
which appeared to come from below and behind the pilot's compartment. The
Loach pilots was the pilot compartment separate from the aircraft and
disintegrate in the air as it fell to the ground.

At 1400 hours on the same day, while searching the area, the Loach pilot saw
what he believed to be human remains located in a stream southeast of the
wreckage. At 1530 hours, a recovery team entered the area. The Loach pilot
returned to the area on the following day and observed a 6-man Ranger team
searching the area. The team inspected the wreckage and surrounding area,
and noted no signs of blood, flesh or personal belongings.

On April 20, the Loach pilot returned and relocated the remains which he had
seen on April 13. The remains were recovered and identified as those of
Capt. Ledford. No trace was found of WO Pierson.

William C. Pierson was listed as Missing in Action, because the possibility
exists that he was not killed, but survived to be captured. He is among
nearly 2500 Americans who remain unaccounted for from the Vietnam war.
Alarmingly, mounting evidence indicates that hundreds of Americans are still
captive, waiting for the country they proudly served to secure their
freedom. It is possible that one of those said to be still alive is WO
William Pierson.

In our haste to leave an unpopular war, it now appears we abandoned some of
our best men. In our haste to heal the wounds of this same war, will we sign
their death warrants? Or will we do what we can to bring them home?