William Joseph DugganAviation Electronics Technician 3rd Class
HC-1 DET 3, USS GRIDLEY, 7TH FLEET
United States Navy
24 October 1946 - 06 January 1967
Panel 13E Line 118
The database page for William Joseph Duggan
REMEMBERED ACROSS THE YEARSDuggan was a second crewman of a search and rescue helicopter (HC-1 Detachment 3) embarked in USS Gridley (DLG-21).
They left on a rescue mission at dusk and encountered heavy fire en route. Duggan returned fire with his M-16 rifle until wounded. Both the pilot and co-pilot were wounded.
When they landed back on Gridley, at night, Duggan was rushed to sick bay, but died.
There were 52 holes in the helicopter.
It was such a sad and tragic war. I would not like for him to be forgotten.
From a Shipmate,
Bill, this past week I sponsored a reunion of HC-7 here in Millington, Tenn. I was very proud to take about 50 pilots and gunners along with their families to Duggan Hall, which was built and named in your honor in 1968. Tears were in our eyes as I told them about how you died and read the plaque commemorating you that hangs in the hallway of the building which used to house the AT "A" and "B" schools. There were 4 men present who were on other HC-1 SAR Detatchments and were only a few miles from you when you were killed ... you may remember them - AD1 Roger Clements, AT2 Bill Stock, AM1 Loren Hamond and AM3 John Birch.
Bill, you will always be remembered and your family will forever be in our thoughts and prayers.
From a fellow helo aircrewman,
We never met and we did not know each other. But our lives crossed because of our mutual love of horses. In 1972, the First Annual Bill Duggan Memorial Horse Show was held at Circle Bar Stables, you know, "Pop's." We were told that you were a medic and had been killed on a mission for which you had volunteered. The Navy sent an honor guard and the flag was raised for you over the arena.
I competed and won a first place. I was awarded a trophy inscribed with your name. In 1973, I again competed in the Bill Duggan Memorial Horse Show. Once again, I won a class and was awarded a trophy inscribed with your name. One of your trophies is on the wall in my kitchen. The other is on a bookcase. When people see them, I tell them about you. I am a history teacher. When I do the unit on Vietnam, I tell my students about you.
In 1977, I visited the Wall. I found your name. That day, I told myself I would return with one of the trophies and leave it with you, at the Wall. I remain committed to doing so.
I wish I had known you. I would have enjoyed riding with you!! I think of you often as I ride. You are in my heart.
Until we meet, as another horse loving friend would say, "Ride Lucky!!!!"
Early in 2007, I wrote the public affairs office at Millington and asked if I could visit DUGGAN HALL. I had been present at the August 1968 dedication of the hall and had decided I wanted to make a return visit. When I sent off the e-mail, I had no idea if DUGGAN HALL was even still standing. What a surprise, it was and on May 22, 2007, I and two friends visited the facility. We were given a tour of the building, which is no longer a electronic/computer training facility, and is in the process of being converted to offices in order to house Naval Recruitment commands.
Our tour guides were Rodger Aitken, PE, Manager, Planning & Project Development Branch, Facilities Management Division, NAVFAC Midwest PWD MidSouth and Dave Wainwright, Architectural Technician, Public Works, Facility Planning Division, Naval Support Activity Mid-South.
While at DUGGAN HALL, I was approached by a gentleman who gave me a slip of paper with the name of John Birch and a phone number and told me John had been attempting to locate the family of William J. Duggan. I have since spoken with John and learned he had been trying to locate William J. Duggan's family for 37 years. I also learned more about the events of January 6, 1967, the day my younger brother and only sibling died. Thank you.
I was the other crewmember in the back with Bill Duggan that day, Jan 06, 1967. We called him 'Duke'. He was a great friend and comrade. We trained as a team and we served as a team. He will never be forgotten.
God spared my life that day and I have since accepted Christ as my Saviour and I serve Him each day. As I serve Christ I remember Duke. Duke is a Christian and he showed me the way.
From a friend and fellow crewmember,
A Note from The Virtual WallAccording to various sources, an F-8E CRUSADER flown by LCDR Richard D. Mullen of VF-191, embarked in USS TICONDEROGA (CVA 14), was downed in the vicinity of Tho Son City, Nghe An Province, North Vietnam. LCDR Mullen parachuted to safety on the ground, but combat SAR efforts failed and he was captured. No other aircraft are known to have been downed on 6 January 1967 in the areas assigned to Naval search and rescue. It seems likely that Petty Officer Duggan was involved in the effort to recover LCDR Mullen, who was released after seven years' captivity.
ATN3, United States Navy
was buried on 13 January 1967
Plot 422 6 RW D
Los Angeles National Cemetery
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California
surrounded by other men of courage and integrity.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 29 Apr 2001
Last updated 01/01/2008