Name: CPT Luther McKind Lasater III
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 02/13/1972 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 25.0
Date of Birth: 02/16/1947
Home City: Garland, TX
Service: EN branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: F/9 CAV 1 CAV
Major organization: 1st Cavalry Division
Flight class: 68-514/68-24
Service: EN branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 02W-106
Short Summary: Shot down into a bunker complex.
Aircraft: OH-6A tail number 67-16138
Call sign: White
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: 11/21/1971
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - pilot
The initial status of this person was: missing in action - P I D
Length of service: *
Location: Bien Hoa Province III Corps.
Military grid coordinates of event: YS235973
Additional information about this casualty:
Capt. Luther M. Lasater, III, 462-xx-7173, 1st Cavalry Division, 3rd Brigade, 9th Cavalry Regiment, F Troop, Pilot OH-6A Scout Helicopter. Killed in Action on 13 February 1972 near Bien Hoa, South Vietnam. Born on 16 February 1947, he was from Garland, Texas. His tour in Vietnam began on 21 November 1971. Capt. Lasater was recommended for the Congressional Medal of Honor for the action which cost him his life. The narrative for the action reads as follows: "On the afternoon of 13 February 1972, Company 'B', 2nd Battalion, 8th Cavalry, made contact with a force of undetermined size in a bunker complex, and requested that a Hunter-Killer team be sent to their assistance. The weather was clear and sunny and the terrain was thin, single canopy jungle with low, dense bamboo thickets and gently rolling hills. The enemy morale was high and they were protecting their positions by firing at all aircraft and personnel entering the area. When the Hunter-Killer team arrived on station, the mission commander coordinated with the ground unit and made rocket runs in his AH-1G to suppress the area. Then the OH-6A Scout aircraft, piloted by CPT Luther M. Lasater, entered the contact area at treetop level to mark the enemy positions for the AH-1G to destroy. CPT Lasater flew through the area several times, each time taking heavy small arms and machine gun fire, before he was satisfied that he could put out an accurate mark. He then put out a white phosphorous grenade to mark the enemy positions for the Cobra, which made rocket runs as CPT Lasater moved away. At this time, an aerial field artillery section arrived on station fully armed and CPT Lasater, despite the heavy volume of enemy ground to air fire, offered to re-mark the enemy positions so their rockets would be of the most benefit to the ground unit. CPT Lasater entered the area and immediately became the target of the enemy gunners, who were able to hit his aircraft, shooting out his main generator. CPT Lasater, however, was not satisfied with his mark and returned to put another grenade on the location. On this pass, CPT Lasater's aircraft was critically hit by enemy fire and crashed between the enemy and friendly ground unit. SP4 Keith A. Delahoy, CPT Lasater's gunner, was able to escape the aircraft and made an attempt to rescue CPT Lasater. At that time, however, the aircraft exploded, burning SP4 Delahoy painfully and killing CPT Lasater. Because CPT Lasater's actions diverted enemy fire, the command and control element of the company in contact was able to disengage from an untenable location where it was pinned down by enemy fire. The company command element thus obtained a superior command and control position from which to successfully direct the remaining battle. The facts contained in the proposed citation and this narrative have been substantiated by the statements of eyewitnesses." Capt. Lasater's Medal of Honor recommendation was downgraded to the Distinguished Service Cross. He also received a posthumous Bronze Star and Air Medal. He was 24 years old. married and is buried at Resland Cemetery, Richardson, Texas, Space 3, Lot 37, Block P, Field of Honor. From http://www.tohonorourfallen.com/vietnam.htm
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - killed
married male U.S. citizen
Religion: Lutheran (Missouri Synod)
Burial information: RESTLAND MEMORIAL PARK, DALLAS, TX
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 10/19/2011
Additional information is available on CD-ROM.
Please send additions or corrections to: The VHPA Webmaster Gary Roush.
Return to the Helicopter Pilot KIA name list
Return to the KIA panel date index
Date posted on this site: 05/26/2019
Copyright © 1998 - 2019 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association