STINSON, WILLIAM SHERRIL Remains identified 11/03/99
Name: William Sherril Stinson Rank/Branch: E5/US Army Unit: 67th Aviation Company, 11th Combat Aviation, 1st Aviation Brigade Date of Birth: 17 June 1947 Home City of Record: Georgiana AL Date of Loss: 08 January 1973 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 16421N 1070956E (YD324528) Status (in 1973): Missing In Action Category: 1 Acft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1H Refno: 1978
Other Personnel in Incident: Elbert W. Bush; William L. Deane; Richard A. Knutson; Manuel A. Lauterio; Mickey A. Wilson (all missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1991 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 1999.
SYNOPSIS: WO1 Richard Knutson, pilot; WO1 Mickey A. Wilson, aircraft commander; SP5 William S. Stinson, gunner; SP5 Manuel A. Lauterio, crew chief; and SSgt. Elbert W. Bush and Maj. William L. Dean, both passengers; were aboard a UH1H helicopter (serial #69-15619) that flew in support of the American Senior Advisor to the Vietnamese Airborne Division in Quang Tri and Thua Thien Provinces, working between the provincial capitals of Hue and Quang Tri.
On January 8, 1973, at about 1430 hours, the aircraft had departed a landing zone en route to other LZs without making radio contact with the 2nd Battalion Technical Operations Center. When no radio contact was received by 1500 hours, the other LZs were queried. The helicopter did not go to either of the two designated LZs, nor had any communication been established with them.
The helicopter's intended route would have taken it northwest toward Quang Tri, with a left turn to an LZ south of the Thach Han River. Although the helicopter failed to contact either LZ along the route, it was later seen flying northwest toward Quang Tri City and crossing the Thach Han River into enemy held territory. While in this area, the helicopter was seen to circle with door guns firing. Enemy automatic weapons fire was heard, and a direct hit was made on the tail boom by a missile, reportedly an SA7.
Aerial searches of the suspected crash site on January 8 and 9 failed to locate either the wreckage or the crew. The aircraft was shot down less than three weeks before American involvement in the war came to an official end.
Intelligence reports indicated that of the six men aboard, four were seen alive on the ground. Further information indicated that the aircraft did not explode or burn on impact. The families of the men assumed that their loved ones would be released with the other POWs. Some were even so informed.
But the crew of the UH1H was not released, and have not been released or found since that day. As thousands of reports of Americans alive in Southeast Asia mount, these familes wonder if their men are among the hundreds thought to be still alive.
----------------------------- Defense POW/MIA Weekly Update November 9, 1999
MISSING IN ACTION SERVICEMEN IDENTIFIED
The remains of seven American servicemen previously unaccounted-for from Southeast Asia have been identified and are being returned to their families for burial in the United States.
They are identified as Major Thomas H. Amos, USAF, of Springfield, Mo.; Captain Mason I. Burnham, USAF, of Portland, Ore; Sergeant First Class William S. Stinson, US Army, of Georgiana, Ala.; and four other servicemen. Their names are not being released at the request of their families...
On January 8, 1973, Stinson and other crew members were on board a UH-1H Huey helicopter over Quang Tri City, South Vietnam which was believed to have been hit by a surface-to-air missile. Aerial searches of the area following the incident failed to locate the aircraft's crew or wreckage.
In August 1993, a joint team interviewed witnesses to a 1972 helicopter crash in a river near their village. Two of the witnesses provided information on the burial of several bodies near the crash site, but indicated several had been exhumed in subsequent years. In 1994, a second team interviewed other witnesses who led them to a cemetery in which some claimed to have buried remains, which the team recovered. Returning to the crash site in 1996, a team excavated a burial site and recovered human remains and personal effects from three separate graves.
Analysis of the remains and other evidence by CILHI confirmed the identification of each of these seven servicemen. With the accounting of these servicemen, 536 Americans have been identified from the war in Vietnam and returned to their families. There are currently 2,047 Americans still unaccounted-for from that war.
================================ FLORIDAY TODAY - Friday April 7, 2000
Time to remember Vietnam victims
An older man parks his dark sedan beneath the shade pines at Melbourne's Wickham Park on one of those early spring afternoons you want to stick on a postcard and mail to those in less fortunate northern latitudes. Nylon flags of all 50 states and their international allies againsf communism are driven into urgent rippling by western winds. In the clearing next to the pond sits the Moving Wall, the shrine to the dead.....