KIA INCIDENT: 19680819-1 HMM-262 Vietnam

Brothers (& Sisters) Killed in Action in USMC Helicopters or while assigned to USMC Helicopter or Tiltrotor Squadrons

19680819-1 HMM-262 Vietnam

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Incident Date 19680819-1 HMM-262 CH-46D 152563+ - Hostile Fire

Smith, Eldon Wayne Sgt Gunner HMM-262 PROVMAG-39 1968-10-06 (vvm 41W:020)

SMITH ELDON WAYNE : 2182224 : USMC : SGT : E5 : 6242 : 21 : WATERVILLE : ME : 19681006 : Hostile Crash Land (died of wounds) : Crew : body recovered :Quang Tri :02 : 19470713 : Cauc : Protestant/single : 41W : 020

From HMM-262 webpage

“Sergeant Eldon Wayne Smith 218224/6242 USMCR was from Canada although his home of record is listed as Waterville, ME., where he enlisted. He was born on July 13, 1947. He arrived in Vietnam on January 3, 1968. He was 21 years old at the time of his death. He died on October 6, 1968 at the medical facility at Quang Tri Air Base in Quang Tri Province while being operated on by the squadron surgeon. He was a gunner on CH-46D 152563 which received machine gun fire while on a resupply mission. The pilot of the aircraft was Major James Wells, later Commanding Officer of the squadron. He was flying with only the chest plate of his body armor, probably because the weight of the armor was uncomfortable. He was struck by one round in the upper back, just below the trapezius muscle which exited at the base of the neck, just above the collar-bone. The bullet severed a major artery in his neck, but quick action on the part of the crew by applying direct pressure to the wound kept him alive until his arrival at Charlie Med. He died of wounds received. He was not married. His race is officially listed as Caucasian. His religion was Protestant. He had two years service at the time of his death. Shortly after this incident the same machine gun fired on and hit an aircraft flown by Major Don Waunch who received superficial wounds to the face and the eye from fragments. Waunch recorded the position of the gun, which was later destroyed by fixed wing aircraft. Sergeant Smith’s mother wrote a letter to the squadron telling how proud he was of what we were doing and how proud she was of him.”

Submitted by: N/A, 20030821

Sgt Eldon Wayne Smith

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