Name: CW2 John William Mursch
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 07/08/1970 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 24.8
Date of Birth: 09/25/1945
Home City: Charleston, SC
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: A/7/17 CAV
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 66-23
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 09W-131
Short Summary: Ground casualty.
Service number: W3155325
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 100E = Attack Helicopter Pilot
Primary cause: Ground Casualty
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Started Tour: 05/09/1969
"Official" listing: ground casualty
The initial status of this person was: no previous report
Length of service: *
Location: Pleiku Province II Corps.
Military grid coordinates of event: YT990405

Additional information about this casualty:
CW2 John William Mursch was a member of A Troop, 7/17 Air Cavalry in June, 1970 when I met him in June, 1970. John was on his second tour and had, in fact, just returned from a 30 day leave: he had extended his tour six months. I had arrived in country around the 9th of June and after processing and a short school in An Khe I was to go on my first mission. I was the "sand bag". John was the AC, back seater of our AH-1G. Our mission required us to stage out of Dak To II. On the ride up there John, against policy, took me for a low level run up the highway. The Troop Commander, Major Rackley, saw the low level flight. He grounded John (for 30 days, I believe) upon completion of the dayÆs mission. During the time John was grounded he was put in charge of several different details. One of these was to supervise the burning of vegetation around the perimeter of Camp Holloway, specifically that area known as the "Christmas Tree". On a day in late June or early July John was performing this duty. I know that he had several soldiers working with him and a 49 Charlie full of JP4. The drill was to hose an area down with the JP4; move the stuff off and then burn it. Apparently it didnÆt work that way, however. There was a fire and the 49 Charlie exploded. IÆm pretty sure the driver was killed. John received burns over most of his body. He was evacuated to the hospital in Pleiku. I believe John died at the hospital in Pleiku before he could be stabilized and evacuated to the States or Japan. I believe the last "Checkmate" soldier to see John at the hospital was CW2 Larry Cranford. VHPA member Gary Downs was the gun platoon leader at the time of this incident. Ray Connolly(?) and Dennis Clausen were the section leaders, I believe. Rick Brooks, CW4, USA (Ret), Knight 28, 606 Woodview Drive, Georgetown, TX 78628,

Reason: burns
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died illness or injuries
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Religion: Protestant - no denominational preference
The following information secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: warrant officer
This record was last updated on 11/09/1997

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Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023

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