Thomas Wayne Underwood

Staff Sergeant
HML-167, MAG-16, 1ST MAW
United States Marine Corps
07 January 1942 - 21 March 1970
Zanesville, Ohio
Panel 12W Line 030

1ST MAW UH-1 Huey HML-167
Combat Aircrew

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

The database page for Thomas Wayne Underwood

08 Jul 2006

Tom Underwood is my father-in-law. My husband was only 2 months old when his father went missing in action and unfortunately doesn't know much about his father. We have piecing together Tom's life through the men who served with him as the Marine Corps was his life. We have been so fortunate to have met so many of Tom's friends who have shared stories and pictures. Our hopes are to find more. Please contact us if you knew Tom at any time throughout his life.

AJ and Amy Underwood

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 21 March 1970 HML-167 lost an aircraft, UH-1E BuNo 152427. HML-167's Command Chronology for March 1970 contains the following entries regarding the loss:

"Our second loss occurred when the aircraft was shot down while attempting the emergency extraction of a reconnaissance team deep in enemy controlled territory. All 4 crew members aboard the aircraft perished."

"21 March 1970 - TV-27 crashed BuNo 152427
  CASTLE, R. E. 1/Lt, 0105474, Pilot, Alpha Injury
  PARSONS, L. D. 1/Lt, 0101271, Co-pilot, Alpha Injury
  GONZALES, D. Cpl, 2348336, Crew Chief, Alpha Injury
  UNDERWOOD, W. SSgt, 1892041, Aerial Gunner, Alpha

Although specifics are scarce, it appears the aircraft was hard-hit, went down in flames, and impacted in an apparently unsurvivable crash. But the crash was not unsurvivable, because 21 days later 1stLt L. D. Parsons was picked up by an Army Huey which was conducting the same kind of mission. 1stLt Parsons had been thrown from the flame-filled cockpit and evaded the NVA for three weeks. During his debrief, 1stLt Parsons said he was unaware of any other survivors, but the fact of his survival was enough to cause a ground team to be inserted with the sole mission of searching the area around the wreckage.

The ground team found the aircraft had been completely burned out, but there were footprints around the crash site. Although skeletal and dental remains were recovered from the hulk, only the pilot, 1stLt Castle, could be positively identified from the recovered remains.

Additional information is available on the
Pop-A-Smoke site

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his son and daughter-in-law,
Amy Underwood

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 08 Jul 2006
Last updated 07/10/2006