GRIMM, WILLIAM D.
Name: William D. Grimm
Rank/Branch: Capt/US Air Force
Unit: 16th Special Operations Squadron
Home City: Hurlburt Field FL
Date of Loss: 31 January 1991
Country of Loss: Kuwait
Status: Missing in Action
Status in 2001: KIA/Body Recovered
Other Personnel in Incident: Arthur Galvan; John P. Blessinger; Dixon L.
Walters, Jr.; Paul G. Buege; Barry M. Clark; Thomas C. Bland Jr.; Paul J.
Weaver; Timothy R. Harrison; Robert K. Hodges; Damon V. Kanuha; James B. May
II; John L. Oelschlager; Mark J. Schmauss (all missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 10 February 1991 from one or more
of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, published
sources, interviews. Updated 2002 POW NETWORK.
UPDATE: June 2, 2002:
My husband Paul G. Buege...killed in Desert Storm...
Your bio of him is incorrect. It upsets me greatly that you have been misinformed concerning
the remains. Out of a crew of fourteen, five were identified, and the other nine families had
to accept apportioned remains. There were no returned bodies as your bio suggests. I have no
idea if the apportioned remains I received even contain anything of my husband. It disturbs
me greatly that Mortuary Affairs reports that we received bodies....when they made us fight
to have our own funerals and gravesites, so we wouldn't have to be deemed to a group funeral
and grave. The Government knows full well that they don't believe they had the remains of all
14 crewmembers. I will be doing my utmost to correct this misnomer.
Theresa L. Buege
REMARKS: OPERATION DESERT STORM
SYNOPSIS: The Lockheed C130 Hercules aircraft is a multi-purpose four-engine
prop aircraft known in military circles for precise radar targeting and
awesome firepower. The aircraft is used as transport, tanker, gunship, drone
controller, airborne battlefield command and control center, weather
reconnaissance craft, electronic reconnaissance platform; search, rescue and
In the hands of the "trash haulers", as the crews of Tactical Air Command
transports styled themselves, the C130 proved the most valuable airlift
instrument in the Southeast Asia conflict.
The C130 was used in the abortive attempt to rescue hostages held at the
U.S. Embassy in Tehran in 1980. The C130 was again in action in the
December, 1989, invasion of Panama, spearheading the attack by knocking out
Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega's military headquarters. In 1990, the C130
was again to see combat in Operation Desert Storm.
The AC130H Spectre is an armed version of the C130 Hercules transport. It
bristles with side-firing cannons, including a 105mm howitzer. Gunships are
used to attack tanks and other vehicles as well as stationary ground
targets, often under cover of night when the lumbering four-engine
turboprops are harder to spot, even at low altitudes. The Spectre missions,
especially those of the Special Operations Squadrons, are often classified
On January 31, 1991, an AC130H was performing a support mission deep into
enemy territory when it went down over Kuwait. The crew of the aircraft
included Major Paul J. Weaver; Capt. Dixon L. Walters; Capt. Arthur Galvan;
Capt. William D. Grimm; 1Lt. Clifford Bland, Jr.; TSgt. Robert K. Hodges;
Sgt. Damon V. Kanuha; MSgt. James B. May II; SSgt. John L. Oelschlager;
SSgt. Mark J. Schmauss; SSgt. John P. Blessinger; SMSgt. Paul G. Buege; and
Sgt. Barry M. Clark. U.S. Representative Earl Hutto (D-FL) whose district
includes the home base of the 16th Special Operations Squadron, Hurlburt
Field, later told media sources that the gunship was on a targeting mission,
seeking out enemy targets and directing other aircraft to them.
Other aircraft heard a "mayday" distress call, but there was no indication
of what caused the aircraft to crash. Search and rescue teams were unable to
reach the aircraft's location to recover any who may have survived. The crew
of the aircraft were equipped with AN-PRC-90 hand-held survival radios, even
though a newer version, the AN-PRC-68, might enhance survival chances.
The 90, although still in wide use, uses only two well-known international
distress frequencies, increasing the possibility that allied rescuers could
be decoyed into a deadly trap by Iraqi forces using the same frequencies.
The 68 has 2,000 channels and can be modified to provide encrypted speech to
frustrate eavesdroppers. Friendly search forces can determine the direction
of signals transmitted by the newer radio.
The families were notified on the following day that the aircraft was down
and that all aboard were Missing in Action. Searches were ongoing for the
aircraft and/or survivors, families were asked not to speak to media
representatives, and little information is available about the crew or the
mission on January 30.
The Iraqis have stated that Allied prisoners of war would be used as "human
shields" to protect their important military sites from attack by Allied
forces. Amidst clearly inflated shoot-down reports issued by the Iraqis, and
reluctance by the Pentagon to release premature information, observers wait
for news of missing and captured military personnel, speculating on the
treatment they will receive as prisoners if they are captured.
Those who recall the torture and degradation American POWs were subjected to
by the North Vietnamese can only wait and pray. Those who recall the
abandonment of American POWs in World War II, Korea and Vietnam are watching
carefully, determined that all our men and women will be returned alive, or
fully accounted for, before American troops leave the Middle East when
The 16th Special Operations Squadron is based at Hurlburt Field, Florida,
where its members were stationed when they embarked for the Middle East.