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Name: CPT Walter Richard Speare III
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 11/11/1966 while performing the duty of Aircraft Commander.
Age at death: 25.0
Date of Birth: 11/15/1941
Home City: Medford, OR
Service: AR branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 119 AHC
Major organization: other
Flight class: 65-16
Service: AR branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 12E-054
Short Summary: Battle is depicted in book by Gen S.L.A. Marshall "West to Cambodia" chap title-Pali Wali Doodle. W of Pleiku w/ Paul Hess.
Aircraft: UH-1B tail number 63-08600
Call sign: Crocodile
Service number: O5709494
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 1981 = 19 Rotary Wing Aviator (Unit Commander)
Primary cause: A/C Accident
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: small arms fire
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: aircraft commander
Started Tour: 03/16/1966
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
Length of service: 03
Location: Unknown Province

Additional information about this casualty:
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES ARMY VIETNAM APO San Francisco 96307 23 February 1967 GENERAL ORDERS NUMBER 781 1. TC 320. The following AWARD is announced posthumously. SPEARE, WALTER R III O5709494 CAPTAIN ARMOR United States Army 119th Assault Helicopter Company, 52nd Combat Aviation Battalion, APO 96318 Awarded: Distinguished Flying Cross Date action: 11 November 1966 Theater: Republic of Vietnam Reason: For heroism, while participating in aerial flight, evidenced by voluntary actions above and beyond the call of duty in the Republic of Vietnam: Captain Speare distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 11 November 1966 while serving as aircraft commander of a helicopter protecting the landing of troops in hostile territory near Pleiku. As the troop helicopters approached the landing zone, eight heavily camouflaged anti-aircraft weapons revealed themselves directly beneath the fire team. Without a thought to his opponents' vastly superior firepower, Captain Speare attacked the Viet Cong emplacements to draw their fire away from the vulnerable troop carriers. He assaulted continuously, silencing one of their weapons and successfully diverted the rest of their fire from the landing zone. He did not relent in his attack, despite the odds against him, until repeated hits so damaged his aircraft that it crashed. Captain Speare perished in the crash. Through his efforts to protect the combat force a potential disaster turned into a subsequent victory. Captain Spear's outstanding flying ability and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military and the United States Army. Authority: By direction of the President under the provisions of the Act of Congress, approved 2 July 1926. For the Commander: RICHARD J. SEITZ Brigadier General, US Army Chief of Staff

Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - died while missing
married 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: battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: officer
This record was last updated on 04/27/2002

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Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021

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