Name: WO1 Gerald Frank Vilas
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 09/19/1971 while performing the duty of Aircraft Commander.
Age at death: 22.1
Date of Birth: 08/16/1949
Home City: Yale, MI
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 335 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 70-45
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 02W-020
Short Summary: Shot through the head while on a night INFANT mission. Ernest Tussey can give details.
Aircraft: UH-1M tail number 65-09493
Call sign: Cowboys
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 100B = Utility/Observation Helicopter Pilot
Primary cause: Hostile Fire
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: small arms fire
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: pilot
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 03/06/1971
"Official" listing: ground casualty
The initial status of this person was: no previous report
Length of service: *
Location: Kien Giang Province IV Corps.
Military grid coordinates of event: VR872730
Additional information about this casualty:
Was attached to the 162nd AHC in Can Tho. Gerald was shot down on a night INFANT mission south of 33 CP in Uminh Forest. A crew member was unable to pull him from the aircraft prior to it catching fire. from Mark Coletta 216-932-8803 July 2001.
Reason: gunshot or small arms fire
Casualty type: Hostile - killed
single male U.S. citizen
Religion: Methodist (Evangelical United Brethren)
Burial information: ELMWOOD CEMETERY, YALE, MI
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: warrant officer
This record was last updated on 07/21/2001
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Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021
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