William Byard Hollowell

Army of the United States
14 April 1932 - 24 March 1967
Birmingham, Alabama
Panel 17E Line 035


National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for William Byard Hollowell

06 Jun 2008


It has been so long since you went away and we have missed you every minute of every day. So many of our family have joined you - Mother, Dad, Alice, George, and Doris. Every time I come to Arlington I have to smile that your grave overlooks the Pentagon where you once worked and now it overlooks the Air Force Memorial too.

Wish that you could have seen all of your nephews and nieces and your Elisa and KathySue's children. Just a few lines to say how proud I am of you and those who served with you. We love you and keep you in our hearts forever.

Your Sister, Ruth Anne

Ruth Anne Larr

15 June 2008

The following article is taken from The Philadelphia Daily News, October 30, 2007:

Hollowell joined the Army at age 17 and was a veteran of the Korean War. He grew up in Southwest Philadelphia and played trumpet in the band at John Bartram High School, where he graduated in 1949. He was 34 years old and a captain when he died in a helicopter crash in March 24, 1967. His family moved to South Jersey a year after his high-school graduation. Since his wife was from Birmingham, Ala., where she lived with their two daughters when he died, he originally was listed as being from Alabama.

In 1987, when Philadelphia's Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated, the Daily News published a special section. In it, we briefly described each of the 630 who were thought to have died in the conflict. Since then 16 more names have been added to the monument, men who'd been missed at that dedication. Today we honor them by telling their stories.

From a native Philadelphian and Marine,
Jim McIlhenney

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Captain Hollowell received his commission through the Field Artillery Officer Candidate School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, with Class 22-52. The photo above shows him at that time.

The casualty database says that Captain Hollowell died on 24 March 1967 from injuries received in a helicopter accident but gives neither the date he was injured nor the location. A friend, LTC Richard Rouse, US Army (Ret), has advised that Hollowell was injured on 17 March 1967 when he accompanied the Commander, 1st Bde, 1st Inf Div, on a visit to a newly constructed Special Forces camp. On completion of the visit, as their helo lifted off in heavy dust the pilots lost visual orientation and the helo crashed. Captain Hollowell was hospitalized at the 24th Evacuation Hospital, where he died on 24 March.

The Vietnam Helicopter Pilots' Assn database contains the following entry:

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 64-15764
Date: 03/17/67
Accident case number: 670317051 Total loss or fatality Accident
Number killed in accident = 0 . . Injured = 2 . . Passengers = 1
Loss to Inventory
Accident Summary: On a night take-off from a dusty field site, the pilots lost visual reference both inside and outside of the aircraft due to dust. The RPM dropped and the AC made a 180 degree left turn to set down. The aircraft hit the ground hard, bounced and rolled over two times to the left. It came to rest on the left side. Engine failture due to fuel contamination.
Although the injured passenger is not identified it seems likely that it was Captain Hollowell ... there is no record of a similar incident between 16 and 18 March inclusive.

Colonel Rouse's recollection - not a certainty, but a recollection - is that the incident occurred at the Bu Dop Special Forces Camp in Phuoc Long Province.

Bill Hollowell and Richard Rouse, Vietnam

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his sister,
Ruth Anne Larr

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 06 Jun 2008
Last updated 06/16/2008