PIERSON, WILLIAM COOPER III 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) REMARKS: 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?