Lee Joseph Boudreaux, Jr.
Sketch by Cliff Wheeler
Specialist Fourth Class, Combat Aviation Door Gunner
281st Assault Helicopter Company
10th CAB, 17th CAG, 1st AVN BDE
From New Orleans, Louisiana
Born November 6, 1945
Shot down in Laos on December 2, 1966
Presumed died while missing.
Vietnam Wall Panel 13E - Line 3
Specialist Fourth Class
(SP/4-E-4) Lee Joseph Boudreaux, Jr. a 31 year old Single, Caucasian Male,
from New Orleans, Louisiana was serving as the Door Gunner on the
crew of UH-1D 65-1088 which was performing a Special
Operations rescue mission Under the command of WO Daniel Sulander.
WO Donald Harrison was the pilot and SP4 William Bodzick was the
Crew Chief. The crew was engaged by a hostile ground force
resulting in their aircraft being shot down by hostile
forces, killing all on board.
Sp/4 Lee Joseph Boudreaux joined the 281st AHC on January 22, 1966, after having served served six months as a Military Policeman South of Saigon, South Vietnam. Prior to joining the 281st Lee spent Christmas with his family in New Orleans, Louisiana and according to his father if Lee could not have gotten a door gunner assignment he would not have extended. Lee Initially enlisted into the U.S. Army in 1955 and served in the Paratroopers in Japan. He was separated from the army in 1958 and returned home to became a New Orleans Police Officer. He reentered the Army in December of 1965 and was trained as a Military Policeman at Ft. Gordon, Georgia. He was then assigned to Vietnam as an MP and one of his fellow soldiers posted this note:
Lee was stationed in my squad with the 630th MP Company Vietnam in 1966. He had been in the Army from 1955-58 and prior to his second enlistment was a Policeman in New Orleans. He was on voluntary TDY from our company to the 1st Aviation BN when he was KIA. The mission he went on where he lost his life was a volunteer mission to extract Special Forces troops that were pinned down. This man was older and more mature than most of the guys in the 630th. He was our friend and mentor. I think of you often, Lee. I am with you in spirit.
Tuesday, January 11, 2000"
At approximately 10 AM on December 2, 1966, Lee and the crew of 65-1088 along with 1st Sergeant Irby Dyer, a Project Delta Special Forces Medic, left Khe Sahn South Vietnam, along with six other UH-1s from the 281st AHC. Their mission was to recover a long-range recon team located inside the borders of Laos. The recon team on the ground consisted of two Special Forces Sergeants, Master Sergeant Russell Bott and Master Sergeant Willie Stark along with a number of South Vietnamese Army personnel. The team was in contact and under heavy fire from larger enemy force from the NVA 325B Division, SGT Stark had been wounded in the chest and leg, and several ARVN troops had been killed or wounded. The team reported that they were running low on ammunition and that their situation was precarious. As the UH-1D neared the team’s position and begin to make it approach it came under heavy intense automatic weapons fire. The crew of a 281st AHC helicopter flying protective cover reported that 65-1088 was hit by heavy ground fire and descended in a nose down attitude and crashed. The aircraft was immediately engulfed in flames and continued to burn for the approximately fifteen minutes.
Searches conducted between 10 and 13 December located the wreckage of 65-1088 and identified the remains of the five men aboard, but the search team was not able to recover the bodies. No trace of SGT Bott or SGT Stark was found. Another team was inserted to recover the remains of the helicopter crew, but found that US air strikes in the area had hit the UH-1 wreckage. While three bodies could be positively identified and recovered, WO Sulander and SGT Dyer’s remains could not be identified. Although there was some evidence that Bott was captured, there is no certainty of what happened to either of the two Special Forces men. On 2 August 1973 WO Sulander’s status was changed from missing in action to Killed in Action and presumed Dead, Body Not Recovered.
Lee Joseph Boudreaux was adopted by Earl Broussard of the 281st AHC and he developed the information shown here. Please contact Earl if you have information concerning Lee Joseph Boudreaux,Earl J. (EJ) Broussard, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, address is PO Box 1121, Highlands, Tx 77562.
For additional details on the Special Operations Mission please see WO Daniel Sulander's memorial page.
A MAN IS NOT DEAD UNTIL HE IS FORGOTTEN
ONCE AN INTRUDER ... ALWAYS AN INTRUDER