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Name: CPT Joseph Richard Harris
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 04/08/1972 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 24.5
Date of Birth: 10/24/1947
Home City: Tallahassee, FL
Service: AR branch of the regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: H/16 CAV 1 CAV
Major organization: 1st Cavalry Division
Flight class: 71-24
Service: AR branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 02W-133
Short Summary: Pilot killed due to hostile fire just east of Bu Dop Special Forces Camp during the evacuation of the camp.
Aircraft: OH-6A tail number 67-16078
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 1981 = 19 Rotary Wing Aviator (Unit Commander)
Primary cause: Hostile Fire
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: small arms fire
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: pilot
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 10/16/1971
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - pilot
The initial status of this person was: no previous report
Length of service: *
Location: Tay Ninh Province III Corps.
Military grid coordinates of event: XU975270

Additional information about this casualty:
CPT Joseph Richard Harris was killed just east of the Bu Dop Special Forces camp by NVA automatic weapons fire. He was flying reconnaissance missions around Bu Dop in support of the ARVN evacuation mission by the Chinooks from 362d ASHC, 1st CAV. Harris was known for his blue freckles, which he got as the result of an accident as a teenager when he was loading shotgun shells. He had not put the pellets in the shell, when the powder went off and inbedded in his face. He was 6'2'' and weighed 220. As this was occurring, a CH-47A flown by CPT Tom Wallace took a load of 108 Vietnamese out and was hit in the main rotor blades on departure. CPT Mike Sloniker and WO1 Joe Layman, A/229th, were over the OH-6 crash site when the crew chief was being brought up the hoist by a 1st Cav Dustoff. The Dustoff pilot received a Silver Star for the rescue that was conducted under heavy fire.

Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - killed
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Religion: Episcopal (Anglican)
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 11/10/1996

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Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023

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