Jack Taylor Dempsey – Colonel, United States Army


  • Date of Birth: 6/2/1921
  • Date of Casualty: 3/26/1967
  • Home of Record: COALGATE, OKLAHOMA
  • Branch of Service: ARMY
  • Rank: COL
  • Casualty Country: SOUTH VIETNAM
  • Casualty Province: VINH BINH

My record of Colonel Dempsey's final flight is told in “OUTLAWS IN VIETNAM,” a book I have written about our helicopter flying experiences in the Mekong Delta of RVN. He was my Battalion Commander, and I rescued his copilot on that fateful day of March 26, 1967 during the Battle of Easter Sunday.

His was the third ship shot down that day, and until I flew into LZ Alpha, we thought him still alive. Don Casper was the Lieutenant Colonel flying with Delta 6, and informed me that Dempsey was dead when he reached my bird, Outlaw 23. It was a very exciting day, to say the least, and we all owe our lives to the heroics of the gunships protecting us during the extraction of the down crews.

Jerry Daly in “Viking Surprise”, the Soc Trang smokeship, saved us all in this daring rescue by 4 Hueys for the pickup of the wounded aviators and downed crewmembers. MACV advisors who helped out that day stil contact me.
Posted by: DAVE EASTMAN, OL 23,-24

On Easter Sunday Colnel Jack Dempsey gave his life in Vinh Binh Provience South Vietnam while trying to rescue “his boys” who had been shot down in a hot landing zone.

For his courage that day Colonel Dempsey was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross – the nation's second highest award for heroism in action.

The Colonel is buried in Arlington Cemetery. I was proud to have known him and proud to have served in his Battalion during the war. I will never forget this true hero. — Posted by: Joe O'Donnell


  • Colonel (Infantry), U.S. Army
  • 13th Combat Aviation Battalion, 1st Aviation Brigade,
  • Date of Action: March 26, 1967
  • HQ US Army, Vietnam, General Orders No. 1633 (April 12, 1967)


The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Jack Taylor Dempsey, Colonel (Infantry), U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam, while serving with 13th Combat Aviation Battalion, 1st Aviation Brigade.

Colonel Dempsey distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 26 March 1967 while flying in support of an airmobile assault near Tam Binh.

As Commander of the 13th Aviation Battalion, Colonel Dempsey was observing the progress of one of his units conducting an airlift of Vietnamese troops into a besieged landing zone. Enemy fire around the ravaged area was devastating, and one of the troop helicopters was shot down during the first lift. As a medevac aircraft attempted to effect a rescue, it was also hit and crashed. Unmindful of the extreme dangers,

Colonel Dempsey dauntlessly chose to go to the aid of the downed crews himself. He radioed for gunships to provide support and, disregarding the advise of his mission commander, started the treacherous approach. Flying under the cover of an air strike, Colonel Dempsey fearlessly ordered his pilot to dive through the hail of Viet Cong bullets.

Despite the hostile fire that was hitting the helicopter, he would not be deterred from his mission. Even when the downed crews waved him off, Colonel Dempsey ignored their warning and flew on into the landing zone. In this gallant effort to save his men, he was fatally wounded when hostile fire raked the helicopter just before landing.

His unimpeachable valor and profound concern for the welfare of others will serve as a source of lasting inspiration to all those who knew him. Colonel Dempsey's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.


  • DATE OF BIRTH: 06/02/1921
  • DATE OF DEATH: 03/26/1967
  • DATE OF INTERMENT: 04/03/1967

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