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Name: CW2 William Dewitt Perkins, Jr.
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 08/27/1966 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 33.2
Date of Birth: 05/29/1933
Home City: Jackson, MS
Service: reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: A/501 AVN
Major organization: other
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 10E-050
Short Summary: Gunship on a sweep off the end of Tan Son Nhut airport when lost tailboom and crashed with WO1 Robert Lee Banks. See memo.
Aircraft: UH-1B tail number 66-00496
Call sign: Rattlers
Service number: W2215514
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 062B = Helicopter Pilot, Utility and Light Cargo Single Rotor
Primary cause: A/C Accident
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: aircraft commander
Started Tour: 09/08/1965
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
Length of service: 14
Location: Unknown Province

Additional information about this casualty:
WO1 Robert Lee Banks was pilot and CW2 William Dewitt Perkins, Jr. was Aircraft Commander. Had been doing troop insertions and doing gunship cover. Perkins was 3 to 4 days from DROS and swapped gunships with Will Hingston and left a rubber plantation outside of Tay Ninh and was enroute to Saigon for DROS paperwork when tail boom came off. Perkins was Hingston's mentor and good friend. Banks was Hingston's classmate. (Information from Will Hingston) The aircraft lost its tail boom and went in. The aircraft hit flat. Bill the crew chief and gunner were in the aircraft as Bob got out and away. Bob returned to help the others. While there the aircraft exploded killing all four. The accident investigation board said that a rocket pod came loose and hit the tail boom. Information from Paul W. Beverung.

Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died while missing
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Religion: Baptist - other groups
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 06/20/1992

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Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021

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