TERWILLIGER, VIRGIL BYRON
Name: Virgil Byron Terwilliger Branch/Rank: United States Marine Corps/E3 Unit: HMM 163 MAG 16 Date of Birth: 08 May 1946 Home City of Record: MCCLURE OH Date of Loss: 13 March 1967 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 164451 North 1065813 East Status (in 1973): Killed In Action/Body Not Recovered Category: 5 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH34D #150574 Missions: Refno: 0620
Other Personnel in Incident: PFC Paul Harris, KIA/BNR; Maj. Peter Nicholas Samaras (Wounded, Died 03/19/67); co-pilot, rescued.
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews and CACCF = Combined Action Combat Casualty File. Updated 2000 with information provided by the USMC/Vietnam Helicopter Association [http://www.popasmoke.com/kia/] through Linda Terwilliger Bleschke.
On the anniversary of his loss, we received the following information:
March 13, 2000
Comments on the Incident:
During a hot recon extract, aircraft from HMM-163 received intense enemy fire on approach to landing zone. Aircraft crashed and burned (extrmemely high heat - the Marine Sikorsky H-34 was made of magnesium), crewmembers Paul Harris and Virgil Terwilliger were KIA at the scene of crash. A/C Maj Samaras received 2nd and 3rd degree burns over a substantial portion of his body, died within a week or so of a heart attack due to burn related stress. The unknown co-pilot was the sole survivor of the incident.
Terwilliger was the machine gunner on the mission.
His sister says, " He was my best friend as well as my brother. I have no grave to put flowers on and I don't think I ever will. I just want you to know he wasn't captured....."
From: "Linda Bleschke" <email@example.com> Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 21:58:08 -0500
Today is the anniversary of his death and this my way of putting flowers on his grave.
Today is March 13th. The day you died 33 years ago. How can I begin to describe the impact your lost had on us. For the longest time I use to blame myself for your death. Why? A few days before we were notified of your death, I had a dream [nightmare] that Loretta came in the back door of the cafeteria at school to tell me you had been killed. That is exactly what happened. The minute I saw her that day, I fell to my knees screaming. If I hadn't had that dream. Did it come to me at the moment of your death. Who knows?
We all miss you and talk of you often. All the boys live out of state now, so it is just us three girls who live here to take care of Dad. Mom is with you now so take care of her. Give her my Love also. I have a feeling Dad will be joining you soon, so watch for him. Oh, don't walk to fast on your journey because someday I want to give you a hug again. When it is my time, come and get me please. We have so many years to catch up on.
I love you and miss you so desperately.
Your loving sister,
Virgil was the 7th child of 12 children. He is survived by his father, 5 brothers, and 3 sisters. He is preceded by 2 brothers and 1 sister. Our mother passed on in 1989 and she was buried with her Gold Star Pin.
We will celebrate his life and mourn his death forever.