William Charles Dunlap
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Army of the United States
Tucson, Arizona
September 21, 1946 to February 20, 1979
(Incident Date December 02, 1969)
WILLIAM C DUNLAP is on the Wall at Panel W15, Line 17

William C Dunlap
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13 Dec 2001

Bill, know that you are missed by your 129th family.
Rest in Peace, brother.

02 Dec 2002

William, again today your brothers of the 129th AHC reflect on you and the crew of the UH-1B that crashed on 12/2/69. We know you are at peace and we thank God for that. We will remember you and "The Guys" always.

A memorial from a friend,

02 Apr 2003

I have never forgotten you.
I wore your name on my wrist for such a long time. I have visited your name
in Washington, but never knew the full story about you until 1990,
and I later learned that we share a birthday.
You will always be in my thoughts,
just as you have been for all of these years.

E-mail address is not available.

August 8, 2003

I sit here holding the bracelet I wore for several years
(beginning in high school), looking at your name.
It reads,W/O William Dunlap 12-2-69.
The bracelet has been in my safe for safekeeping.
I never wanted to lose it.
It is only now, 34 years later, that I learned about you
and the mission you were on, through The Virtual Wall.
I wish I could see a picture of you,
so I could put a face with the name of the man I have been praying for.
Thank you, William, for fighting for our country and giving us the gift of freedom. You are my hero!

A lady with your bracelet
E-mail address is not available.

28 Mar 2004

My family lived next door to the Dunlaps when I was just a little girl. I had such a crush on Billy and he used to tease me saying he would "stop growing" until I got old enough to marry him. Billy's brother taught me the letters of the alphabet in sign language.

Billy spent a weekend at the Santa Cruz County Fair one time. He spent most of his time in a small cage letting people know how our POW's in Vietnam were being treated. He refused to let anyone buy him food or drinks saying he wanted to spend this time just as the POWs were spending theirs. I was so proud that he was my friend!

The first time I saw my dad cry was when he learned that Billy's helicopter had been shot down and that he was missing in action. Our family was devastated; Mom and Jo had been good friends and we visited often. I remember crying every time I heard the song, "Billy, Don't Be A Hero"; it fit "us" so well.

Mom requested MIA bracelets for us and I never took mine off until the day in 1985 that I got married. When we learned that Billy had been returned to us, Mom took our bracelets and gave them to Jo.

Billy, you'll never be forgotten.

From a proud friend and neighbor,
Tammy Fortney Joyce

Note regarding the photo above:
William (Billy) Charles Dunlap and his wife Ramona.
Photographer unknown.
Submitted by Richard and Tammy Joyce
Pueblo West, CO

29 Mar 2004

I was doing some research on William C. Dunlap, or Billy as my family knew him. I came across this wonderful site, and was amazed at the beautiful sentiments expressed. I never knew Billy, as I was just a baby when he died.

My family knew his family however, and my sister wanted to marry him, even though he was already married and she was only 9.

I remember when I heard the on the news that 20 bodies had been returned to the U.S from Vietnam. I called my mom immediately and we prayed that one of those bodies was Billy's remains. What a relief to finally have him home!

I attended a memorial service for him in Tucson, and watched as my mother returned the bracelet she had worn for so many years. I did not know until recently however, that she kept one of those bracelets.

My son recently traveled to Washington, D.C. He is only 11, but has heard the story of Billy his whole life. My mom gave him the bracelet she had kept all these years, and it has become one of his most sacred possessions. He took part in the wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier, and felt priviledged to do so.

We find it amazing that this man affected so many people in the course of his life, and his death. He is truly an American Hero, who gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country. God bless him.

From a family friend,
Melissa Fortney Cordova
Patagonia, Arizona

30 Oct 2005

I wore Bill Dunlap's bracelet for years after my return from Vietnam. I didn't know him but I lost many friends there and having his bracelet on helped me remember them all. Some have not yet returned home but Bill has. He will always have a place in my heart. I have had a good life, in part because of his willingness to serve alongside soldiers like me.

Bob Gunnarson
LT, Mobile Advisory Team 41, MACV

Robert Gunnarson
Garden Ridge, Texas
E-mail address is not available.

02 Jun 2006

I'm new to this site but I would like to add a few facts about Bill Dunlap that perhaps family and friends are not aware of. Bill went through Flight School in Class 68-3 at Fort Wolters and 68-5 at Fort Rucker. Bill was what was called prior service, he had been a crew chief on UH1s (Hueys). He was way ahead of the rest of us when it came to maintenence and overall general knowledge of the aircraft. Most of the time he was what we called a hard charger, always first to formation, first to class, and always squared away. We shared Flight Instructors and aircraft. We did our day and night solo flights together. The day we made Warrant Officer our serial numbers were one number apart.

We, Bill and I and one other Warrant, went to Fort Riley, Kansas, to build a new unit. Most of our other classmates went to RVN. At Fort Riley Bill was designated armament officer and was instrumental in acquiring the various guns and subsystems for 12 B model gunships of the 238th Aerial Weapons Company. We spent 8 months at Fort Riley training for our mission in RVN. The entire company, aircraft by ship and most personnel by C-141, arrived in Vietnam in early March of 69. Within a couple weeks due to the lack of combat experience the unit was infused, meaning more than half our people was sent to other units and replaced with more experienced pilots. I saw Bill only a couple times after that. Our class 68-3 lost more than 30 young Warrant Officers to the Vietnam war. I never cared what the civilian population ever thought of me, but I always thought they should have shown more respect for those, more than 500 per week, who didn't come back. I think many of us who came back in one piece have always had a feeling of guilt that we made it and why us. You know the word hero is thrown around for most everyone anymore. For the family and friends of Bill Dunlap, you should know Bill didn't throw himself on a grenade and he didn't save dozens of lives, but when it came time to do his job Bill always did his best and is surely a HERO to me. Thank you, Bill Dunlap, for making the ultimate sacrifice.

From a flight school classmate.

From The Virtual Wall:
The weekly losses in Vietnam were bad enough but not quite as bad as is suggested above. The weekly average from all causes between 01 May 1965 and 29 Feb 1972 was 163 men. Overall, 81% of the losses are coded as the result of hostile action; the remainder were accidents and illnesses.

15 Oct 2006

This weekend our city was honored with a visit from the Traveling Vietnam Wall Memorial, sponsored by Dignity Memorial. As a volunteer I was honored to be a part of the continous reading of names that appear on the Wall. The name William Charles Dunlap stuck with me as I used to bear the Dunlap name. Although we are not related, I wish his family to know it was my privilege to be a part of honoring our departed heros. William Charles Dunlap, along with the other 58,000 heros, will forever have a special memorial in my heart. My prayers are with the family.

Becky Dunlap Eccard
Tallahassee, Florida

15 Mar 2007

Bill Dunlap was one of my best friends while attending high school in Horatio, Arkansas. He then moved to Arizona before graduation.

Three Bills from Horatio followed each other to Vietnam. Bill DeVasier went first and died at Con Thien, then I went to the Danang area returning in 1968.

I wondered for many years about Bill. Hoping he would fly home one day. He did finally come back. I have visited his grave several times in the Chapel Hill cemetery just outside DeQueen, Arkansas.

A real friend is hard to find. But I think anyone who knew Bill would agree, this quiet guy was as good a friend as anyone could ever hope to meet.

Rest easy old friend, you will never be forgotten.

From a friend.

From The Virtual Wall: According to the 3rd Marine Division's Operations Log and SITREP for 26 Sep 1967 LCpl Billy K. DeVasier, an artilleryman with F Btry, 2nd Bn, 12th Marines, was killed in action at Fire Support Base C-2, located about 6 kilometers south-southeast of Con Thien (Hill 158). One other Marine from Fox 2/12 was wounded in the pre-dawn 82mm mortar attack.


Notes from The Virtual Wall

At about 8:30 PM on 02 Dec 1969, two UH-1B HUEY gunships of the 129th Aviation Company (later redesignated the 129th Assault Helicopter Company) departed LZ English to provide fire support for a long range reconnaissance patrol (LRRP) that had radioed for help.

The second, or wingman, helicopter (UH-1B hull number 64-13959) was crewed by

The gunships joined with a third UH-1 equipped for flare drops. The flare ship then led the flight to the target area where attempts were made to contact the LRRP. CW2 Vanden Eykel radioed that he had made a turn to avoid crashing into a mountain - but immediately thereafter contact with him was lost. When neither aircraft nor crew could be located, the four crewmen were placed in "Missing in Action" status.

The Secretary of the Army approved Presumptive Findings of Death for the four men -

  • CW2 Martin Vanden Eykel on 16 April 1979;
  • CW2 William C. Dunlap on 20 February 1979;
  • SP5 Michael H. Shanley on 24 August 1978; and
  • SP5 William D. Sanderlin on 31 March 1976.
On those dates their status was changed from Missing in Action to Died while Missing, Body not Recovered.

On 23 January 1989, the Vietnamese government turned over human remains to US control. On 22 February 1990, the Department of Defense announced that the remains of CW2 Vanden Eykel, CW2 Dunlap, SP5 Shanley, and SP5 Sanderlin had been identified.

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