Linden Dale Eiler, Jr

Army of the United States
30 November 1946 - 25 April 1968
Peru, Indiana
Panel 52E Line 004


Army Aircrew

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Linden Dale Eiler, Jr

28 Jul 2007

Hey Eiler, I think of you a lot these days. It's been a while, but I still remember those days in AIT and Vietnam.

Eiler, as we called him from the very beginning at AIT (altough we sometimes called him Dale), was as nice a guy as you could find anywhere. He was friendly with a heart as big as the sky. He always smiled and had the greatest disposition one can imagine. I don't think Eiler ever had a bad day.

He so wanted to fly. That is why he vounteered for the rescue flight on 080 on 4/25/68. Eiler was in 1st Maintenance Platoon and waiting for the day he could fly. He wanted to help in the recue, too. That was just the way he was, very giving.

Eiler was in good company. Our friends from AIT were with him on 080; some to return and others who stayed out there with Eiler. Leslie Edwards came back. Boy, I would love to hear from him. Fred Smith came back, too, along with our XO, Tony Vickers who was copilot. But Kenneth Delp died that day with Eiler. So did Jerry McManus and Bolen McGee. Our CO and AC that day was Major Jerry Matthews who was wounded as was the crew chief, Spec 4 Dan Dazell.

Eiler, you went out with a whole airplane full of heros. You stayed out there a while with some of the best.

I'll never forget,
Mel "Tex" Chappell
CE 047 and 485, FE 480

A Note from The Virtual Wall

When CH-47A tail number 66-19080 departed Camp Evans on 25 April to pick up a downed UH-1 via a sling lift she carred her normal aircrew, maintenance personnel, and two air cargo specialists from the 561st Trans Co who would rig the sling. The location was northeast of the A Shau Valley, about 14 kilometers due north of A Luoi village.

Once the sling was rigged the CH-47 came to a hover overhead so it could be connected to the sling. As it hovered, the aircraft was hit by enemy fire and crashed, killing four crewmen and injuring others - but as it turned out the two cargo specialists weren't killed when 66-19080 went down.

Later that day, at 1915H (7:15 pm local time), a UH-1 was "observed flying over an ARVN ground engagement with NVA. Hit by enemy fire, descending in flames. Received more enemy fire while descending, with main rotor head and transmission separating prior to impact. A/C hit flat and was totally consumed by fire."

The 1st Battalion, 26th Marines was tasked to respond to the downed aircraft and by 10 pm had airlifted a platoon to the crash site. A preliminary search failed to find any survivors, and the Marines established a defensive perimeter around the aircraft while awaiting sunrise. At 0930 26 April the 1/26 Marines reported they had identified the aircraft as BuNo 154761, found a pilot's kneepad with the name "Cawley" on it, and recovered six bodies from the wreckage. The six bodies subsequently were identified as four aircrewmen from Marine Observation Squadron 6 (VMO-6) and two soldiers: SP4 Joseph Burkes and PFC Ronald J. Campbell, 561st Trans Co. The two men apparently had obtained a lift from the Marines in order to get to Quang Tri Airfield.

Ten men died in the two separate incidents:

  • In UH-1E BuNo 154761, 11 kilometers east-northeast of Quang Tri Airfield:
    • Capt James P. Cawley, Scranton, PA, VMO-6, pilot
    • 1stLt Robert C. Kimmel, East Islip, NY, VMO-6, copilot
    • Pfc Edgar C. Laye, Chicago, IL, VMO-6, crewman
    • Pfc Brock R. Schramm, San Carlos, CA, VMO-6, crewman
    • SP4 Joseph Burkes, Detroit, MI, 561st Trans Co, passenger
    • PFC Ronald J. Campbell, Philadelphia, PA, 561st Trans Co, passenger

  • In CH-47A 66-19080, 25 kilometers southwest of Camp Evans Airfield:
Nine of the ten men appear in Lines 3 through 11 of Panel 52E of the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial. By error, PFC Delp's name appears on Panel 06E, which contains the names of men who died on and between 10 March 1966 and 26 April 1966.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend from the army,
Mel "Tex" Chappell

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 28 Jul 2007
Last updated 08/01/2007