Name: Dean Wesley Reiter
Rank/Branch: O2/US Marine Corps
Unit: Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 161,
Marine Air Group 16, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing
Date of Birth: 10 October 1942
Home City of Record: Manchester MO
Date of Loss: 25 September 1966
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 164656N 1065421E
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 3
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH34D
Refno: 0472
Other Personnel In Incident: Peter R. Bossman; Phillip A. Ducat (both
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1990 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.
SYNOPSIS: Capt. Phillip A. Ducat was a helicopter pilot assigned to HHM 161,
Marine Air Group 16. On Sepember 26, 1966, Ducat was assigned a medical
evacuation mission in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. His co-pilot was
1Lt. Dean W. Reiter of the same Marine helicopter company and Hospital
Corpsman Third Class Peter Robert Bossman, a U.S. Navy Corpsman. (NOTE:
According to Navy records, Bossman was assigned to HHM 161, MAG 16.)
When the helicopter was approximately 22 miles west of Dong Ha, Quang Tri
Province, South Vietnam, the aircraft was hit by enemy ground fire, burst
into flames and exploded prior to impact with the ground. The crew aboard
was killed, and the intense fire of the crash consumed all remains.
The crew of the UH34 was was listed as killed, body not recovered. They are
among over 2300 Americans who remain prisoner, missing or otherwise
unaccounted for from the Vietnam war. The cases of some, like Bossman, Ducat
and Reiter, seem clear - that they perished and cannot be recovered.
Unfortunately, many other cases are clouded with doubt. Some were known to
be in enemy hands. Others described their imminent capture by radio. Others
simply disappeared.
Since American involvement in Vietnam ended in 1975, nearly 10,000 reports
relating to Americans missing, prisoner, or otherwise unaccounted for in
Indochina have been received by the U.S. Government. Many officials, having
examined this largely classified information, have reluctantly concluded
that many Americans are still alive today, held captive by our long-ago
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?