Dugan, John Francis, CPT

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
1981-Rotary Wing Aviation Unit Commander
Last MOS Group
Aviation (Officer)
Primary Unit
1970-1971, 1981, 1st Aviation Brigade
Service Years
1968 - 1971



Four Overseas Service Bars

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
New Jersey
New Jersey
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SGT Robert Briggs (squadleader)-Deceased to remember Dugan, John Francis, CPT.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Roselle, NJ
Last Address
Roselle, NJ

Casualty Date
Mar 20, 1971
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
4W, 60 / SECTION 60 SITE 8361

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Legion Of ValorArmy Aviation Association of America (AAAA)Combat Helicopter Pilots AssociationVeterans of the Vietnam War
Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA)Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA)
  2008, Legion Of Valor [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2008, Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2008, Combat Helicopter Pilots Association [Verified]
  2008, Veterans of the Vietnam War [Verified]
  2008, Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (VHPA) [Verified]
  2008, Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Aviator Badge (Senior)

 Unit Assignments
25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)101st Aviation Battalion101st Airborne Division 1st Aviation Brigade
  1967-1968, 1981, 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning)
  1970-1971, 1981, B Company, 101st Aviation Battalion
  1970-1971, 1981, 101st Airborne Division
  1970-1971, 1981, 1st Aviation Brigade
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Tet Counteroffensive Campaign (1968)/Battle of Hue
  1969-1970 Operation Commando Hunt
  1970-1970 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VII Campaign (1970-71)/Battle of Fire Support Base Ripcord
  1971-1971 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VII Campaign (1970-71)/Operation Lam Son 719
 Colleges Attended 
Union College
  1965-1967, Union College
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Captain John Francis Dugan was a member of B Co (Kingsmen), 101st Avn Bn, 101st Airborne Division (Ambl) . On March 20, 1971, he was flying in a Bell Iroquois Utility Helicopter (UH-1H) trying to extract ARVN troops from Laos, 20 west of Khe Sanh, when his aircraft was hit by enemy fire and crashed. SOUTH EAST ASIA - GRID COORDINATES 163544N 1962513E  XD515352

On March 20, 1971, Barker and Dugan were piloting a UH-1H Huey helicopter with Dillender and Chubb on board.  The aircraft was participating in a troop extraction mission in the Savannakhet Province of Laos. As the helicopter approached the landing zone, it was hit by heavy enemy ground fire.  It exploded in the air and there were no survivors.  Continued enemy activity in the area prevented any recovery attempts.

Four members of the 101st Airborne Division -- including Captain John F. Dugan of Roselle -- died on March 20, 1971, when their UH-1H Huey chopper (serial #66-16185) was hit by enemy fire as they tried to rescue troops surrounded by North Vietnamese soldiers.

The helicopter exploded in air. There were no survivors. Enemy activity in the area prevented any recovery attempts. John Dugan was 24 and on his second tour in Vietnam when he died.  

LAM SON 719 was a large offensive operation against NVA communications lines in Laos. The operation called for ARVN troops to drive west from Khe Sanh, cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail, seize Tchpone and return to Vietnam. The ARVN would provide and command the ground forces, while U.S. Army and Air Force would furnish aviation airlift and supporting firepower.

The 101st Airborne Division commanded all U.S. Army aviation units in direct support of the operation. Most of the first part of the operation, begun January 30, 1971, was called Operation DEWEY CANYON II, and was conducted by
U.S. ground forces in Vietnam. The ARVN were halfway on February 11 and positioned for the attack across
the Laotian border. On 8 February, ARVN began to push into Laos. The NVA reacted fiercely, but the ARVN held its positions supported by U.S. airstrikes and resupply runs by Army helicopters. President Nguyen Van Thieu ordered a helicopter assault on Tchepone, and the abandoned village was seized March 6. Two weeks of hard combat were
necessary for the ARVN task force to fight its way back to Vietnam. Towards the end of the removal, a helicopter from Company B, 101st Aviation Battalion was lost.

Flown by Maj. Jack L. Barker, the UH1H (serial #66-16185) was attempting to land to extract ARVN troops about 20 miles west of Khe Sanh. During the attempt, the aircraft came under enemy fire and was seen to spin, explode, and catch fire, then to break up in the air. No signs of survivors were seen. The crew aboard the aircraft were Private First Class John J. Chubb, Sergeant William E. Dillender, and Captain John F. Dugan. Because of the presence of enemy forces
in the area, no subsequent search could be made for survivors.

March 20, 1971 Captain Dugan volunteered, along with fellow soldiers, for an exceptionally dangerous assignment, the helicopter rescue of a unit of South Vietnamese Rangers under fire in a remote area of Laos, knowing that a previous rescue attempt had failed as a result of heavy enemy fire




U.S. Army Captain John F. Dugan, Jr. of Roselle, New Jersey, graduated from Roselle Catholic High School in 1965 and attended Union County College for two years.

John Francis Dugan signed up for Army Officers Candidate School and went to Vietnam in 1968 as a forward observer. He received a Silver Star 20/3/71, Two Purple Heart's 1968/1971 and Bronze Star 1968, Air Medal, OLC, and 18 OLC.

Impressed with helicopter pilots because they helped people, Dugan went to flight school in Texas, then volunteered for combat because he felt the Vietnamese needed American help.

Active Duty Army

BOS 1981
SN RA157405617

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