Name: CPT Thomas Tucker Oliver
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 02/07/1968 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 27.0
Date of Birth: 02/05/1941
Home City: Bedford, VA
Service: IN branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: A/123 AVN 23 INF
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 66-16
Service: IN branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 38E-009
Short Summary: Hit in the head by a single round after exiting his damaged Huey in the LZ.
Aircraft: UH-1H
Call sign: PELICANS
Service number: O5225838
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 1981 = 19 Rotary Wing Aviator (Unit Commander)
Primary cause: Hostile Fire
Compliment cause: weapons
Started Tour: 11/20/1966
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
Length of service: 03
Location: Quang Nam Province I Corps.

Additional information about this casualty:
The following is cut from the 161st AHC website maintained by John Hastings (crewchief around 1967). Captain Oliver was a great platoon leader; universally respected and loved. I think every pilot junior to him - pretty much everyone since he was on an extended tour - considered him to be a mentor. Personally, I would have followed him anywhere.

From: Bruce T. Bevans, Ex WO1, 161st AHC

Captain Oliver, nickname 'T.T.', was the 1st Platoon Commander at the time of his death serving as Aircraft Commander for UH-1H sn 66-16675. He was, also, on an extended tour of duty after his original DEROS date. During a break in the action with other aircraft, Captain Oliver was standing outside his shutdown Huey. He was struck in the head by a single bullet. It is not known if this was a single sniper round.

WO Langdon Carpenter (Estacada, OR) was the pilot during this incident and has provided what he recalled from this incident.

I remember that we were taking out resupply to a grunt unit on my AC check ride. We had our tail rotor cable shot out while trying to take off and I had to set the aircraft down. Capt Oliver tried to lift the bird but it started to spin again so we shut it down. He was shot while exiting the aircraft. Then all hell broke lose with the grunts, they were shooting everywhere. They brought in napalm on the closest tree line which was on the ships right side. I remember we were on the ground for at least 3 hrs.

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 12/03/2009

This information is available on CD-ROM.

Additional information is available on KIAs at http://www.coffeltdatabase.org

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