Whitmore, William Lee, CPT

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Primary Unit
1969-1970, 062B, 101st Airborne Division
Service Years
1968 - 1970



 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt. S. Kimbrow to remember Whitmore, William Lee (Lee), CPT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
Aug 10, 1970
Hostile, Died of Wounds
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Quang Tri (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Willamette National Cemetery - Portland, Oregon
Wall/Plot Coordinates
08W 102

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  1970, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

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 Ribbon Bar

Aviator Badge (Basic)

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment101st Airborne Division
  1969-1970, 1981, HHT, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment
  1969-1970, 062B, 101st Airborne Division
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Captain Whitmore was flying an OH-6A scout bird, (# 67-16168) along with his observer, SSG Gerald Vetrano southeast of Khe Sanh when they came under NVA fire. The aircraft exploded, burned, but he managed to crawl away from the aircraft. He was severely wounded by burns during operations on 28 July 1970. He died at Camp Zama, Japan from these wounds on 10 August. His observer was killed in the incident.

 Silver Star Citation

for Action on 6 July 1970 Awarded posthumously for actions during the Vietnam War

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 8, 1918 (amended by act of July 25, 1963), takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Captain William L. Whitmore , United States Army, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Troop A, 2d Squadron (Airmobile), 17th Cavalry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, in action in the Republic of Vietnam on 6 July 1970.

Captain Whitmore distinguished himself while serving as pilot of an CH-6A light observation helicopter supporting a Ranger team in heavy contact with an enemy force. Despite intense hostile fire directed against his aircraft, Captain Whitmore flew at low level and marked the enemy positions for supporting armed helicopters. When the Ranger team leader was seriously wounded, Captain Whitmore descended through the hostile fire to the team's position. Although a heavy volume of enemy fire was directed against the aircraft, Captain Whitmore hovered in the landing zone until the wounded Ranger was placed aboard. Evading the hostile fire, Captain Whitmore then ascended and flew the wounded man to the nearest medical facility.

Captain Whitmore's personal bravery and devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.

General Orders: Headquarters, 101st Airborne Division, General Orders No. 9361 (August 15, 1970)
Action Date: 6-Jul-70
Service: Army
Rank: Captain
Company: Troop A, 2d Squadron (Airmobile)
Regiment: 17th Cavalry Regiment
Division: 101st Airborne Division
See Notes

this quote

On July 28, 1970 Capt. Lee Whitmore was piloting his Oh-6A scout bird, tail # 67-16168 along with his observer, SSG Gerald Vetrano, as part of a pink team. He was flying above the jungle southeast of Khe Sahn and just north of an NVA road in an area that had produced many contacts with the NVA. As was their practice, the NVA had at least three .51 cal machine guns strategically placed and waited for Lee to enter their kill zone before they unleashed devastating fire. As he screamed that he was taking fire, his aircraft exploded into a huge ball of flame and smoke and fell into the jungle. It took quite some time before our Cobras were able to cool down the area in order to put in our Blues. There was no doubt in any ones mind that neither trooper had survive such a catastrophe. The Blues were inserted and miraculously; Lee had gotten out of the bird and had dragged himself into a small stream for comfort. Lee had a habit of flying with his nomex sleeves rolled up and his face shield in the up position. He was severely burned, but the Blues were able to get him on the medivac and back to the Surg. His observer had died from the hail of bullets and/or fire. What determination it must have taken for Lee to drag himself from the burned-out bird and into the water of the nearby stream. Unfortunately, the severity of the burns were more than Lee could take and he died in the burns unit of the hospital in Japan on August 10, 1970.
                     ---from Mike Inlow, November 2003.
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