Click here for more information about this incident

Name: CPT David Murray May
Status: Remains were returned on 1999 from an incident on 02/20/1971 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Declared dead on 12/05/1973.
Age at death: 26.1
Date of Birth: 01/29/1945
Home City: Hyattsville, MD
Service: IN branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 48 AHC, 223 CAB
Prior Unit: 281 AHC 70
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 70-4
Service: IN branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 05W-125
Short Summary: Shotdown in Laos. A pilot reported seeing two crewmen exit downed helicopter but none reported as POW. See Reid.
Aircraft: UH-1C tail number 66-00700
Call sign: JOKER
Country: Laos
MOS: 100B = Utility/Observation Helicopter Pilot
Primary cause: Hostile Fire
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: vehicular accident
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: co-pilot
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 05/24/1970
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
The initial status of this person was: missing in action - bonified
Length of service: *
Military grid coordinates of event: XD562198

Additional information about this casualty:
David became a casualty in LAOS at the age of 28 when he and his crew, while flying a Huey gunship, were shot down. As the 281st AHC was being drawn down in 1970 David had been transferred to the 48th AHC. David's gunship was the second in a trail of two while participating in Operation Lahn Sohn 719, a tri-border operation designed to cut the Ho Chi Minh trail at the Laotian panhandle. After the aircraft crashed it was reported that some of the crew members were shot exiting the aircraft on the ground. His co-pilot on the operation was CWO Jon Reid. This memorial information was provided by David's friend and roommate, John Quatman, Jr., and Kevin Farrington, both of whom knew David while assigned to the 281st AHC. David was married and had an infant son when he died, also named David. David Sr. was from Hyattsville, Md

Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - died while missing
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Religion: Roman Catholic
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 01/13/2008

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