Name: Paul Dean Urquhart
Rank/Branch: O3/US Army
Unit: Company B, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry, 101st Airborne Division
Date of Birth: 30 September 1944 (Ishpeming MI)
Home City of Record: McMurray PA
Date of Loss: 28 May 1971
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 162100N 1070818E (YD284087)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: OH6A
Refno: 1750

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 2020.

Other Personnel in Incident: Stephen Chavira (missing)


SYNOPSIS: Capt. Paul D. Urquhart, pilot and SP4 Stephen Chavira, observer,
were the crew of an OH6A helicopter on a visual reconnaissance mission in
the northern A Shau Valley in Thua Thin Province, South Vietnam. The OH6A
and a UH1A were chase ships for two AH1C gunships on this mission.

During an area recheck, while at an altitude of 30 feet above ground level,
one of the gunship commanders saw a rocket propelled grenade round strike
Capt. Urquhart's aircraft and explode, causing the tail boom to bend in
half. The aircraft was seen to explode into flames, crash and burn on a
small knoll.

An area about 25 meters around the crash site was burned off by the ensuing
fire, thus permitting an accessible view by aerial reconnaissance over the
area after the crash. None of the witnesses reported seeing anyone thrown
clear of the helicopter during the mid-air explosion or during the crash. No
remains or survivors were seen after the crash.

No ground search was conducted due to enemy activity in the area. On June 7,
reconnaissance of the area was conducted during which the investigating
officer saw no signs of survivors or remains.

According to witnesses, Urquhart and Chavira are most probably dead.
Tragically, their families have no graves holding their bodies to visit.
Their remains are on enemy soil, and not buried in their homeland. Even more
tragically, evidence mounts that hundreds of Americans are still alive, held
captive in Southeast Asia. What must they be thinking of us? What would Paul
Urquhart and Stephen Chavira think of us?





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On May 28, 1971, an OH-6A Cayuse (tail number 67-16670) carrying two crew members took off as one of four aircraft on a visual reconnaissance mission in the northern A Shau Valley, Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam. During an area recheck, one of the other pilots on the mission saw a rocket-propelled grenade round strike the Cayuse, causing the aircraft's tail boom to bend and double. The aircraft exploded and crashed and burned on a small knoll at grid coordinates YD 284 087. None of the witnesses reported seeing anyone thrown clear of the helicopter during the mid-air explosion or the ensuing crash. No ground search was conducted due to the enemy activity in the area, and aerial searches failed to locate any signs of survivors or the crew's remains.

Captain Paul Dean Urquhart entered the U.S. Army from Pennsylvania and was a member of Troop B, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division. He was the pilot of the OH-6 and was lost with the aircraft when it crashed. His remains were not recovered. Today, Captain Urquhart is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Active Pursuit.

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