William Lawrence Deane

Lieutenant Colonel
Army of the United States
27 September 1934 - 30 April 1979
Orlando, Florida
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William L Deane

Purple Heart, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for William Lawrence Deane

06 Mar 2002

William L Deane

Etched In Stone
by Julie Karen Jackson

I went to see the Wall again today,
"Etched in stone" is the phrase they say.
A special name to me is known,
A certain soldier who never came home.
A bracelet I wear on my arm
Hoping with remembrance that will keep him safe from harm.
I speak his name and wish him well,
Never knowing if time will tell.
Will he be found or gone forever?
His spirit will live on through the years
Even as we all shed many tears.
His name is here on the wall for all to see,
This great big Wall,
A sad memory.

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William L Deane

Lt. Col. William L. Deane will never be forgotten. I never knew him, but I wore his bracelet for many years. By touching it and saying his name I hoped to send him some peace, and the biggest thing - to let him know that he was not forgotten.

Lt. Col. William L. Deane is now buried in Arlington National Cemetery with Mickey A. Wilson, Elbert W. Bush, and William S. Stinson.

Placed by
Julie Karen Jackson

17 Sep 2005

I had the privilege of serving with Major Deane. He was my boss, the Detachment S-1 and I was the Det's First Sergeant. Major Bill Deane was a fine officer and a wonderful man to work with.

1SG(R) Fred C. Brander
626 Greenwood Avenue, Clarksville, Tn 37040-3716

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On 8 January 1973, a UH-1H HUEY (tail number 69-15619) of the 62nd Avn Co, 1st Avn Bn, 11th Combat Avn Group, was tasked with flying two men from MACV HQ on a support mission to several landing zones (LZs) in the vicinity of Quang Tri City, South Vietnam. Aboard the HUEY were
  • WO1 Mickey A. Wilson, aircraft commander;
  • WO1 Richard A. Knutson, copilot;
  • SP5 Manuel A. Lauterio, crew chief;
  • SP5 William S. Stinson, gunner;
  • MAJ William L. Deane, passenger; and
  • SSG Elbert W. Bush, passenger.
Normal radio contacts with the Tactical Operations Center were not established prior to or during the flight. When no radio contact was received by 1500 hours, the operations center queried all landing zones on the aircraft's briefed route to determine its whereabouts. It was learned that the UH-1H had departed Landing Zone Sally at 1430 enroute Quang Tri City.

The Huey had been observed by ground forces as it flew toward Quang Tri City and to cross the Thach Han River into enemy held territory. While northwest of the river, it was seen to circle twice with its door guns firing at an unknown ground target. Enemy automatic weapons fire was heard by friendly ground troops, who also reported seeing three SA-7 ground-to-air missiles fired at the helicopter. The first missile missed but the second and third struck the helicopter. It crashed in a populated but enemy-held area near Ai Tu.

A search and rescue (SAR) operation was initiated and continued through 9 January. SAR aircraft were driven off by small arms and automatic weapons fire as well as multiple SA-7 launches. Ground searches were impossible due to enemy presence. When formal SAR operations were terminated the six men were listed as Missing in Action.

Although intelligence reports indicated that four of the men were alive after the crash, none were repatriated during the POW release in February 1973. They were continued in MIA status.

On 30 Apr 1979, the Secretary of the Army approved a Presumptive Finding of Death for William Deane.

In January 1994 a Joint Task Force team visited the site. After interviewing witnesses who claimed that bodies associated with the incident had been buried in a local cemetery, exhumation produced remains which, after repatriation, were identified as those of Warrant Officer Richard Knutson (10/27/1995). The other five men were still missing.

Another JTF team revisited the site in July-August 1996. The team interviewed witnesses who claimed they buried the remains of several Americans associated with this incident near the crash site and identified a specific location. Excavation produced commingled remains of what the team believed to be the remaining five crewmen. After repatriation, the remains were examined at the Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii (CIL-HI). Positive identification for all five men wwas made through dental records.

Lieutenant Colonel William Deane and the other men were were interred in a common grave in Arlington National Cemetery in April of 2000.

Additional information is contained on the
POW Network
Task Force Omega

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
one who wears his MIA bracelet,
Julie Karen Jackson
6 Mar 2002

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 09/20/2005