Jack Edward Searing

Warrant Officer
Army of the United States
22 September 1949 - 17 October 1971
Sterling, IL
Panel 02W Line 040


Army Aviator

Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Jack Edward Searing

03 Oct 2003

Jack, it has been over 30 years now. I think back to the days in Vietnam, the good and the bad. The bad day when we learned of the ill-fated crash that took you and the others, Lt Webb, Wallace, Barry and Barry Brown. It took a while to find ya'll. We were hoping for the best, but not to be. I remember finding the crash site and how hopeless I felt. I still feel sad to this day.

We became close while on guard duty. We pulled guard duty together at least twice a month, Jack the OIC and me the NCOIC. The perimeter sweep always gave me a scare, but Jack always said, "Put those PFC's out front". It was hard to give those orders, but I did.

Jack wanted to fly. His wings are spread wide in Heaven. AIRBORNE, all the way. Thanks, Jack, for your service to our country, and the ultimate sacrifice.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

Shortly before 9 PM on the evening of 17 Oct 1971 the standby crew of A Company, 101st Aviation Battalion, launched from Camp Eagle on a flare mission. The aircraft, UH-1H tail number 67-19497, proceeded under GCI radar control to Fire Support Base Birmingham, about 10 miles to the west. When overhead FSB Birmingham, the flareship joined on a second aircraft. The two aircraft orbited overhead the FSB while awaiting planned artillery support, but after 15 or 20 minutes of delay the two aircraft returned to Camp Eagle so the "Nighthawk" aircraft could refuel.

At about 9:30 PM, after both aircraft had topped off, they departed Camp Eagle and returned to orbit overhead the FSB. The artillery fire ceased about 15 minutes after their arrival and the "Nighthawk" continued his recon mission. Shortly thereafter, as the flareship began his flare mission the aircraft inadvertently entered a heavy rain shower and the crew lost visual contact with the ground. The aircraft crashed, killing the five men aboard:

  • 1LT Robert Mitchell Webb, Jr, pilot
  • WO1 Jack Edward Searing, pilot
  • SGT Alvis T. Barrington, Jr, crewchief
  • SP5 Wallace Joseph Depreo, crewchief
  • SP4 Barry Lee Brown, gunner

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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 08/10/2009