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My Adopted Hero


SSgt. Elbert Wayne Bush

Rank/Branch: E6/ USArmy
Unit: ACG Army Advisory Group Headquarters- MACV
Date of Birth: 13 October 1946 (Starkville, MS)
Home City of Record: Jackson, MS
Date of Loss: 8 January 1973
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 16421N 1070956E (YD324528)
Status (in 1973): Missing in Action
Category: 1
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1H
Refno: 1978
Other Personnel in Incident: William L. Deane; Richard A. Knutson; Manuel A. Lauterio; William S. Stinson and Mickey A. Wilson (all missing)

SYNOPSIS: WO1 Richard A. Knutson, pilot; WO1 Mickey A. Wilson, aircraft commander; SP5 William S. Stinson, gunner; SP5 Manuel A. Luterio, crew chief and SSgt. Elbert W. Bush and Major William L. Dean, both passengers; were aboard a UH1H Helicopter (serial#69-15619) that flew in support of the American Senior Advisor to the Vietnamese Airborne Division in Quang Tri and Thua Thien Provinces, working between the provincial capitals of Hue and Quang Tri.

On January 8, 1973, at about 1430 hours, the aircraft had departed a landing zone en route to other LZ's without making radio contact with the 2nd Battalion Technical Operations Center. When no radio contact was received by 1500 hours, the other LZ's were queried. The helicopter did not go to either of the two designated LZ's, nor had any communication been established with them.

The helicopters intended route would have taken it northwest toward Quang Tri, with a left turn to an LZ south of Thach Han River. Although the helicopter failed to contact either LZ along the route, it was later seen flying northwest toward Quang Tri City and crossing the Thach Han river into enemy held territory. While in this area, the helicopter was seen to circle with door guns firing. Enemy automatic weapons fire was heard, and a direct hit was made on the tail boom by a missle, reportedly an SA7. Aerial searches of the suspected crash site on January 8 and 9 failed to locate either the wreckage or the crew. The aircraft was shot down less than three weeks before American involvement in the war came to an official end. Intelligence reports indicated that of the six men aboard, four were seen alive on the ground. Further information indicated that the aircraft did not explode or burn on impact. The families of the men assumed that their loved ones would be released with the other POW's. Some were even so informed. But the crew of the UH1H was not released, and have not been released or found since that day. As thousands of reports of Americans alive in Southeast Asia mount, these families wonder if their men are among the hundreds thought to still be alive.



2,047 POW/MIA's are still missing from Vietnam. When the American citizens become so outraged that they start making demands on the Government officials and the canidates to return the POW/MIA - it will happen. One more day of waiting is too long to wait for the POW.


To the family of Elbert Wayne Bush....we want you to know that you are in our hearts and our prayers daily. God Bless You!

*Thank you for your help in making this honor page more personal.

UPDATE: Elbert Wayne Bush was returned home and buried on 15 January 2000 in Parkway Cemetery, Kosciusko, MS. There will also be a ceremony in Arlington on 14 April 2000.

According to Elbert Wayne's son, he loved his family very much. He was also very gung-ho about the military and loved fast cars.


Last revised: February 27, 2000.