REITER, DEAN WESLEY
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 missing)
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. NETWORK 1998.
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 enemy.
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?