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First Lieutenant, Signal Corps, Aviator
281st Assault Helicopter Company
From: Boise, Idaho Born: February 16, 1942
Tour of duty began July 28th, 1966
Died on September 26, 1966 due a non-hostile helicopter crash.

1stAB Army Aviator

guidon ribbons

William R Beasley

Lt. William R. Beasley was lost on September 26, 1966 when his helicopter, UH-1D 65-07926 crashed on takeoff landing in an abandoned French mine field while supporting Special Forces Team C-3 at Bien Hoa, South Vietnam. SP4 Lawrence Williams, Jr., Door Gunner, was also killed in the crash. SP5 Bobby Birdsong, the Crew Chief was severally injured and was medically evacuated. WO Donald L. Pabst, the Aircraft Commander also survived the crash. William was married and a member of the Latter Day Saints. He is remembered by the members of his family to have been a wonderful father and loving husband.


The following was provided by Lou Lerda, who has adopted LT. Beasley for his "Book of Remembrance." The following article appeared in the Idaho Daily Statesman on October 1st, 1966:

Emmett -- 1st Lt. William Ronald Beasley, 24, formerly of Emmett was killed in Bein Hoa, Viet Nam on September 25th when the UH-1 helicopter he was piloting crashed and burned, the Department of Defense announced Friday. Lt. Beasley had been serving in Viet Nam since late July. He was stationed with the 281st Assault Helicopter Company flying for the Fifth Special Forces Group.

Born February 16th 1942, in Okmulgee, Oklahoma (about 25 miles south of Tulsa), he came to Emmett with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. William F. Beasley, of Boise. He attended Emmett High School, serving as vice president in his sophomore year and student body president in 1960, the year he graduated. During his time in high school, he attended Gem Boy's State twice, played on the school basketball team and helped to organize a Key Club at the school. For three summers he worked as a smokejumper for the Boise National Forest while he attended the University of Idaho graduating with a degree in Business Administration in 1965. While there he was a cadet in the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps and attained the position of R.O.T.C. Brigade Commander. He was a distinguished military graduate (DMG) and was commissioned in the Army as a Second Lieutenant. After graduation from college, he attended the Army Signal School at Fort Gordon, GA the Primary Helicopter School, Fort Wolters, TX and Advanced Helicopter School, Fort Rucker, AL. Upon completion of his helicopter training, he was awarded the wings of an Army Aviator and subsequently promoted to First Lieutenant on July 8, 1966. In late July 1966, he was deployed to Viet Nam and was assigned to the 281st A.H.C.

Lt. Beasley and his wife, the former Janice Ann Cheney were married on September 1, 1961 at Emmett. In addition to his wife, he leaves two children, Brett 4, and Stacey 14 months. He was a member of the LDS Church.

Bill was killed in an unfortunate accident that involved a night mission in marginal weather conditions. The crew became disoriented in the fog and crash landed in a mine field near a Special Forces compound. Bill was only in the unit a very short time before his death.

"Let no man remain behind because of my inaction"

Lou Lerda
281st AHC (Intruders)

Lou Lerda of the 281st AHC Association adopted Bill Beasley and researched his information for his "Book Of Remembrance" for the 281st Association Memorial Web Site.
Contact Lou Lerda at marlinlou@comcast.net



huey sunrise

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