United States Aircrew – 6 March 1968

Date Icon Publish Date

SEWARD, WILLIAM HENRY

Remains Identified 06/16/00
Name: William Henry Seward
Rank/Branch: O4/US Marine Corps
Unit: HMM 165, Marine Air Group 36
Date of Birth: 11 April 1937
Home City of Record: Atlanta GA
Date of Loss: 06 March 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 145208N 1075713E (YC456958)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: CH46A
Refno: 1077
Other Personnel In Incident: Robert Lopez; indigenous personnel; (all missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1991 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK 1998.

REMARKS:

On March 6, 1968, Major William H. Seward, pilot, and Lieutenant Colonel Robert Lopez, passenger, were aboard a US Marine Corps CH46A helicopter (tail #151909, call sign Yankee Whiskey 17) as lead aircraft in a flight of two in
company with several other support aircraft on an insertion mission in South Vietnam. Also onboard Seward's helicopter were an unknown number of indigenous personnel working with the Special Forces team to be inserted. While hovering above an 80-foot canopy to insert a the reconnaissance team, the aircraft received moderate small arms fire and began settling. The aircraft continued its descent until the rotor blades struck the trees and the aircraft twisted and fell, coming to rest on the right side in a nose-low attitude. Following the crash of the helicopter, both Seward and the co-pilot were helplessly trapped in the twisted wreckage of the cockpit. The personnel who were able to get out of the burning aircraft succeeded in freeing the co-pilot. Major Seward was unconscious and trapped in the opposite side of
the cockpit. Every effort to free him failed. Lieutenant Colonel Lopez appeared to be trapped between the aircraft and the ground, and efforts to free him were useless.

Once flames reached the cockpit and ammunition began exploding, the men were forced to abandon rescue efforts. Within 30 seconds, the aircraft exploded and was completely consumed by fire. A short while later, the survivors were
extracted by rescue helicopters and evacuated. A recovery team entered the crash area about 2 hours later. The remains of one passenger, believed to be those of Lopez were found, but were charred beyond recognition, and it was
decided not to attempt recovery. Other remains were apparently destroyed by fire and explosion. The other men reported missing were indigenous, names unknown.

Lopez and Seward are listed with honor among the missing because no remains were found. Their cases seem quite clear. For others who are listed missing, resolution is not as simple. Many were known to have survived their loss
incident. Quite a few were in radio contact with search teams and describing an advancing enemy. Some were photographed or recorded in captivity. Others simply vanished without a trace.


June 16, 2000:

Those announced include Captain Roger M. Netherland, USN, of Pennsylvania, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Lopez, USA, of Washington, and Major William H. Seward, USMC, of Georgia.  The remains of Captain Netherland, missing since May 10, 1967, were unilaterally repatriated by the Government of Vietnam on September 11, 1989.

The remains of LTC Lopez and Major Seward were jointly recovered in August of  1993 and October of 1994.


Full Name: WILLIAM HENRY SEWARD 

Wall Name: WILLIAM H SEWARD
Date of Birth: 4/11/1937
Date of Casualty: 3/6/1968
Home of Record: ATLANTA
State: GA
Branch of Service: MARINE CORPS
Rank: MAJ
Casualty Country: SOUTH VIETNAM
Casualty Province: THUA THIEN
Status: MIA

Full Name: ROBERT LOPEZ 

Wall Name: ROBERT LOPEZ
Date of Birth: 10/7/1924
Date of Casualty: 3/6/1968
Home of Record: SEATTLE
State: WA
Branch of Service: ARMY
Rank: LTC
Casualty Country: SOUTH VIETNAM
Casualty Province: PR & MR UNKNOWN
Status: MIA

robert-lopez-photo-01

LOPEZ, ROBERT

  • LTC   US ARMY
  • DATE OF BIRTH: 10/07/1924
  • DATE OF DEATH: 03/06/1968
  • BURIED AT: SECTION 34  SITE 674-A

SEWARD, WILLIAM HENRY

  • MAJ   US MARINE CORPS
  • VIETNAM
  • DATE OF BIRTH: 04/11/1937
  • DATE OF DEATH: 03/06/1968
  • BURIED AT: SECTION 34  SITE 674-A

aircrew-03061968-gravesite-photo-july-2006-001

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