Dennis Elbert Gilliland

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
25 September 1950 - 20 February 1971
Globe, Arizona
Panel 05W Line 123

Army Aircrew

Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Dennis E Gilliland

The database page for Dennis Elbert Gilliland

10 Jun 2004

Dennis, I know there are others that knew you better and could say more. You were a good man, excellent crew chief, and a friend. You are missed by those who knew you and loved you. When we flew together I knew I never had to worry about the condition of the ship.

Notes from The Virtual Wall

In February 1971, US air and South Vietnamese ground forces were heavily engaged in the Tchepone area of Laos in an effort to disrupt enemy use of the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Air support for these forces flew from a number of base camps along the Lao/SVN border. On 20 Feb 71 DUSTOFF 30, a UH-1H (tail number 69-15273) of the 498th Medical Company, was on standby at Khe Sanh. The crew consisted of At about 2150 DUSTOFF 30 was alerted for an extended medevac mission. The aircraft commander elected to refuel his aircraft before departure and was cleared to fly from the 498th Med hardstand to the refueling point. The short flight and the refueling were accomplished without incident. Upon completion, Khe Sanh tower cleared DUSTOFF 30 for takeoff. DUSTOFF 30 lifted off heading north and climbed to about 60 to 80 feet before banking to a southeasterly heading. As it reached the approach end of Runway 09 it entered a heavy bank of ground fog. Witnesses stated that DUSTOFF 30 then made a hard descending left turn to clear the fog, but impacted the ground. The aircraft continued in motion for several hundred feet, breaking into two main pieces. Warrant Officer Rauen and SP4 Gilliland died in the crash. The other two men survived the crash itself but died of injuries received, SP4 Levulis on 21 Feb 71 and Warrant Officer Souther on 26 Feb 71.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend and comrade-in-arms,
Willard G. Rusk 
10 Jun 2004

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 06/10/2004