Joseph Patrick Rowley

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
28 March 1947 - 08 October 1967
Cumberland, Maryland
Panel 27E Line 078


National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Joseph Patrick Rowley

04 Jun 1998


by a cousin,
Bill Rowley

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 08 Oct 1967 the weather in the area around Danang was horrific, with low clouds, ground fog, and rain. The poor weather was the direct cause of death for 28 US servicemen as the result of two aircraft accidents, both the result of flying into rock-filled clouds.

The first involved a Navy E-1B early warning aircraft, call sign Sea Bat 700, which was based aboard USS ORISKANY. Sea Bat 700 completed a mission over the Gulf of Tonkin and then diverted ashore to Chu Lai Air Base for a logistics matter. After refueling, the E-1B proceeded north toward Danang, intending to go over water there toward USS ORISKANY. Sea Bat 700 didn't make it; it collided with a mountaintop about ten miles northwest of Danang, killing the five Navy men aboard.

The second accident was even worse. An Air Force C-130B (tail number 61-2649) with five aircrewmen and 18 US servicemen as passengers departed Phu Bai for the short hop to Danang. About 10 minutes into the flight the aircraft hit an 1850 foot peak about 150 feet below the summit. When the wreckage was located two days later it was learned that all aboard had been killed. The toll in this accident was 8 soldiers, 4 sailors, 5 Marines, and six airmen (5 crew, one passenger).

Seven of the soldiers were assigned to the 8th Radio Research Company (an electronic intelligence gathering unit):

  • SP5 William L. Stewart, Williamsburg, VA, Company B
  • SP4 Robert D. Nelson, Knoxville, TN, company unknown
  • SP4 John D. Saville, Cumberland, MD, Company A
  • SP4 Ronald A. Vilardo, Sacramento, CA, Company A
  • SP4 Richard G. Ferruggia, Cedar Grove, NJ, Company B
  • SP4 Terrance H. Larson, Cody, WY, Company B
  • SP4 Joseph P. Rowley, Cumberland, MD, Company B
Specialists Saville and Rowley both were from Cumberland, Maryland. Born four months apart, they died together half a world away from western Maryland.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a cousin,
Bill Rowley
29 May 1998

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 09/03/2005