Virgil Byron Terwilliger

Lance Corporal
HMM-163, MAG-16, 1ST MAW
United States Marine Corps
08 May 1946 - 13 March 1967
Mc Clure, Ohio
Panel 16E Line 074



Virgil B Terwilliger

USMC Combat Aircrew

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Virgil Byron Terwilliger

06 Apr 1999


by Roy Wallis

Visit my
personal memorial page

07 May 2005

Virgil's father, Arthur Esty Terwilliger, joined him and our Mother May 5, 2005. We asked Dad to take our love to them.

Virgil is never far from my thoughts. His brothers and sister will take his memory with us as we lay our father to rest.

Your birthday is tomorrow, so happy birthday.

From your loving sister,
Linda Bleschke

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 13 March 1967 a UH-34D (BuNo 150574) from HMM-163 was tasked with an emergency extraction of a reconnaissance team. The UH-34D was crewed by
  • Maj Peter Nicholas Samaras, pilot
  • 2ndLt Robert E. Swete, copilot
  • LCpl Virgil Byron Terwilliger, door gunner
  • Pfc Paul Winiford Harris, crew chief
While available reports disagree in minor detail, it is clear the aircraft was heavily hit by enemy fire while attempting the pick-up, lost power, went into the jungle, caught fire, and exploded. The two pilots were pulled were pulled from the wreckage before the UH-34 exploded, but the two crewmen in the aft section could not be rescued. The fire was extremely hot due to the high magnesium content in the UH-34's structure, and the combination of fire and explosion effectively cremated LCpl Terwilliger's and Pfc Harris' bodies.

The badly burned pilots could not be medevaced until the next day, when they were picked up for evacuation to the hospital ship USS REPOSE where Major Samaras died of his injuries on 19 March 1967. 2ndLt Swete recovered from extensive second degree burns and continued to serve in the Marine Corps until his retirement as a Lieutenant Colonel.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009