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Info Sheet - William H "Bones" Dawson

William H. Dawson CPT Aerorifle Platoon Leader (call sign Centaur 35) and Cobra Pilot is listed on our roster (Jan 69 to Jan 70). He is also quoted in Thunder Magazine talking about Mini-Cav.

Tom Dooling: "Bones" flew Cobras and Scouts - arrived in country about the same time I did. The below report is somewhat inaccurate as to what happened and the cause, but Bones was the PIC of the aircraft and because an O-6 that hated Cav guys became involved in the aftermath, the Troop commander at the time gave Bones an FEB. While he waited for the results of the FEB, he became the Aerorifle Plt Leader. The reason the Loach crashed was because the engine quit at the wrong time in the wrong place with the wrong pilot (me) at the controls - but Bones got blamed because he was the PIC (I was actually not rated in the OH-6 at the time). It was really unfortunate that the Troop Commander did that because Bones was one of the good guys

Aircraft Incident Report: OH-6A 68-17215

D Troop. "Arkansas Butch." 08/12/69 South China Sea LT Dawson, WO1 Dooling and CW2 Shirley DEPARTED Vung Tau airfield at approximately 11:20 hrs on a 180 degree departure. Shortly after their departure WO1 Dooling asked LT Dawson if they could fly along the back beach area and look at the old sunken tander and old fighting position. As the aircraft entered the back beach area it flew at appooximately 10 to 20 feet above the beach shore line. While flying along the beach LT Dawson threw a purple smoke grenade on the Australian section of the beach. After he threw the smoke grenade the aircraft conti(ued in a southerly direction down the beach where the aircraft was observed making a cycle climb toa altitude of approximately 800 to 1200 feet. The aircraft then did a left turn combined with a dive and never recovered from the dive. The aircraft struck the water 300 meters off the shoreline and sank immediately.