Name: WO1 Michael Roy Wilson
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 06/25/1971 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 22.4
Date of Birth: 01/29/1949
Home City: Mt Plesant, MO
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 61 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 70-43
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 03W-089
Short Summary: Killed on short final while flying chock three on a lift carrying the elements of the Tiger Div. ROK in the Suey Coe mountains.
Aircraft: UH-1H
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: 02/15/1971
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - pilot
The initial status of this person was: no previous report
Length of service: *
Location: Binh Dinh Province II Corps.
Military grid coordinates of event: BR710580

Additional information about this casualty:
Mike was a pilot in the 1st Platoon, 61st AHC, attached to 7/17 Cav. based at LZ Lane. I was the 2nd Platoon commander, flying chock 6. Everyone fly able that day was somewhere in the air, including the XO, maintenance, and operations. Mike was the AC and was killed on short final while flying chock three in a UH-1H, on a lift carrying the elements of the Tiger Div. ROK in the Suey Coe mountains, about 20K NE from Phu Cat Air Base. There were sixty slicks from several different units with 10 ship flights landing in 6 different LZ's at the same time. All the LZ's were two ship LZ's on top of the mountain ridge stretching about 10K South to North. We were briefed to expect hot LZ's with 25% U.S. causalities. On short final &/or on landing lead and chock 2 lost their radios to enemy fire and could not report, the guns were under heavy fire and one took a rocket in their right rocket pod wounding the pilot and door gunner and leaving the ship in serious trouble limping back to Phu Cat. With one gun (UH-IC) left, and ROK's in the LZ under heavy fire, Mike made the decision to land to put more troops on the ground. He was killed on short final by heavy machine gun fire, he didn't have his harness locked and fell into the controls. The pilot crashed the ship(slammed the collective down) to keep it from going over a very steep (200ft.) drop off. I was flying chock 6 and on landing picked the down crew up along with Mike. The pilot, CE, were wounded with the gunner laying in the LZ with his M-60 returning fire. With a down crew, and ROK's taking heavy losses, everyone just kept landing and dropping off the troops. There was no radio contact, but we could see everything going on, and the last radio call Mike made he said "look at all the fucking dinks". We lost most of the ROK's in the LZ, close to 60 dead. The ROK's recognized Mike by awarding him with the highest award they can give to a none Korean, I am sorry I don't know the name. The U.S. responded and awarded (Posthumously) the Silver Star to Mike. I don't think there were any other awards except for the PH to Mike and the wounded. In the other flights there were losses and for one of the few times Military Intelligence was correct there were 25% U.S. losses, in dead, wounded, and ships. We kept putting ROK's in all day and with the follow up support and getting the wounded and down ships out the day was not done till all of us had seen over 12 hours. I don't know how many others were KIA, or died later from their wounds, but there were wounded in each flight, and in the other gun support teams. I am sure this is more than you wanted but use what you need. I think of Mike every once in a while, he was one of those young energetic, always happy type of persons that was a joy to know. He is who I visit at the Wall.

Cliff White, November 1998.

I would like to add some firsthand information on the well written article of the morning of 06/25/1971. My name is Michael Boyd, (spec. 4 at the time) and I was Mike's gunner on that day. My first year in the Vietnam I was with the recon unit of the 17th Cav. 173 Airborne. I became a door gunner by taking a six month extension to get the early out the Army was offering. I had already been through a few firefights, a long time in the jungle, and had my purple heart. A nine to five war with the 61st AHC for six months didn't look too bad. This was the first time I had flown gunner for Mike and didn't know the other pilot, I came from another platoon because every man was flying. A lot of choppers in the air that day. We were third into the LZ and taking fire. I heard Mike saying "look at all the dinks", the crew chief had taken a round in his foot, and then we hit the ground hard on the left side. This caused the rotor blades to snap, one smashing through the top of the cock-pit crushing Mike's head inside his flight helmet. The other pilot had both his wrists broken. I was thrown forward into the hole and landed on Korean ROK's who broke my fall. Because my experience with the 173rd airborne was kicked into high gear, I dismounted the M-60 and moved to a firing position at the right front of the chopper, but shot off less than a hundred rounds before a short round in the belt jammed the gun. Before I could clear the gun, I saw the co-pilot trying to get out of the cock-pit. Dropping the M-60 I ran back and busted the jammed door open. Because his wrists were broken he couldn't slide the armor plate on his seat back. I slid the plate back and got him out. I saw Mike with no movement, so I went back into the chopper. On the back of the pilot's seats there are two latches that will allow you to lay the seat all the way back. I unlatched them and when I laid him back, I saw his head had been crushed, I don't think he felt anything, but he did keep us from going over the top of that hill. I grabbed him by the pistol belt and pulled him out the back of the chopper to the tail boom with some help from the wounded crew chief. Two choppers overflew the LZ because of heavy incoming, but the next one now known to me as chock 6 made a ballsy landing, dismounted his crew chief, who helped me get the dead and wounded on board. I was lucky that morning, I only broke my watch. The time stopped at 6:38 am. I was able to thank the pilot of chock 6 back on LZ Lane for the pick up off the hill, but if you have a way of letting him know, THANKS AGAIN TO YOU AND YOUR CREW. From: Michael Boyd, gunner

Web site(s) refering to this casualty:

Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - killed
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: warrant officer
This record was last updated on 07/13/2006

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Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023

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