William Francis Coyne

Lance Corporal
United States Marine Corps
10 December 1946 - 11 January 1967
Massillon, OH
Panel 14E Line 009

1ST MARDIV National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for William Francis Coyne

The Memorial

Billy joined the Corps with about 15 buddies from this area.
He died with two of his buddies from Massillon, Oh. They all
grew up together all living within a block of each other.
They died in a helicopter crash in the South China Sea.
His two buddies were Timothy Berry and Richey Fuchs.
They were typical of Happy Days show and American Graffitti.

The Mission

From the HMM-363 Squadron Chronology 11 Jan 1967:
Two HMM-363 H-34 aircraft were proceeding to Quang Ngai Airfield to stand night medevac. Lead aircraft YZ-74 had to make a passenger pickup at the Admin Pad before continuing to Quang Ngai. Lead radioed his wingman in YZ-76 to orbit over the beach at Chu Lai while lead made the pickup. While lead was on the ground a radio transmission was received from YZ-76 stating that the aircraft was mechanically defective and that the pilot was returning to Ky Ha to get another aircraft. Lead rogered the transmission, but thirty seconds later YZ-76 radioed that he had lost his engine and was ditching in the water off Chu Lai.

Lead lifted out of the Admin Pad and arrived over the downed aircraft. YZ-76 had hit the water at the surf line and the aircraft was breaking up very rapidly due to due to heavy seas and surf. There were no survivors to be found on the surface. HMM-363 SAR aircraft YZ-77 arrived over the scene minutes later and assumed command of rescue operations. YZ-76 went down with a crew of four and six Marine troops on board.

The ten men who died in this incident were
  • HMM-363 aircrewmen
    • 1stLt Robert Peter Schena, pilot
    • 1stLt Gary Don Shields, copilot
    • CPL Ernest Howard Wilson
    • LCPL Patrick Lee Wood
  • C Company, 1st Shore Party Battalion
    • LCPL Timothy Dale Berry
    • LCPL William Francis Coyne
    • LCPL Richard Ellsworth Fuchs
    • PFC Francis Lee Langley
    • LCPL Alan Randal Moore
    • PFC Sandy Lee Ross
From the
Pop-A-Smoke site

A memorial from his brother,
18 Oct 2001

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)