James Raymond Nelson

Staff Sergeant
Army of the United States
04 February 1942 - 05 June 1973
Ludington, Michigan
Panel 21E Line 091

Army Aircrew

Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for James Raymond Nelson

03 Apr 2007

The proud wearer of his MIA bracelet.

SSgt Jason Parkinson

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 11 June 1967, a UH-1D (hull number 63-12958) departed Qui Nhon Airfield on an operational mission along the coast south of Qui Nhon. Five men of the 227th Assault Helicopter Battalion (previously the 227th Aviation Battalion) were aboard the aircraft: Beecher, a rated UH-1 pilot, was "hitching a lift" on this flight; he was not a crewman.

They left Qui Nhon at about 1900, planning to remain over or at most slightly seaward of the coastline. Bad weather was encountered en route and the pilot requested assistance from both Tuy Hoa and Qui Nhon radar flight following centers in determining his position. Both Tuy Hoa and Qui Nhon radar control centers had the UH-1 on radar, and both tried to direct the aircraft toward shore. In addition, a SAR aircraft was launched in an effort to intercept Clinton and lead him to safety. Darkness and rain prevented a join-up between the SAR aircraft and the UH-1.

At 2057, Clinton reported that he was out of fuel and would attempt a water landing. At that time, radar placed the aircraft approximately 21 miles east of the coast line, 25 miles northeast of Tuy Hoa and 41 miles southeast of Qui Nhon.

Search and rescue efforts started immediately and continued until 13 June. No trace of the UH-1 or the five men was found. In the absence of proof positive that the men were dead, they were declared Missing in Action, Category 5 (recovery unlikely).

On 5 June 1973 the Secretary of the Army approved Presumptive Findings of Death for the five men.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 03 Apr 2007
Last updated 08/10/2009