Click here for more information about this incident

Name: CPT William Edward Collum
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 04/23/1971 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 22.8
Date of Birth: 07/06/1948
Home City: Jacksonville, FL
Service: IN branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: B/2/17 CAV 101 ABN
Major organization: 101st Airborne Division
Flight class: 70-10
Service: IN branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 03W-004
Short Summary: Killed by small arms fire in A Shau Valley with CPT Louis Speidel.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 68-16199
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 1981 = 19 Rotary Wing Aviator (Unit Commander)
Primary cause: Small Arms Fire
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: small arms fire
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: aircraft commander
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 07/03/1970
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
The initial status of this person was: no previous report
Length of service: *
Location: Thua Thien Province I Corps.
Military grid coordinates of event: YC484925

Additional information about this casualty:
Trapped in his helicopter during a ranger extraction. The aircraft was hit by small arms fire, Bill reacted pulling the cyclic hard right. The main rotor blade hit a tree and the aircraft went inverted and slid down the side of a ridge line. Both pilots were pinned in the aircraft for three days until the L Company Rangers were able to free them. Collum died three hours before CPT Dave Oley and the L Co. Rangers arrived. The co-pilot Speidel lived long enough to have his left leg amputated, then died 60 days later from kidney failure. from CPT Frank D. Jones, pilot who inserted the rangers and witnessed the action. July 1997.

Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - killed
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Religion: Baptist - other groups
The following information secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: officer
This record was last updated on 08/09/1997

This information is available on CD-ROM.

Additional information is available on KIAs at

Please send additions or corrections to: The VHPA Webmaster Gary Roush.

KIA statistics

Return to the Helicopter Pilot KIA name list

Return to the KIA panel date index

Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023

Copyright © 1998 - 2023 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association