WILLIAM E LEATHERWOOD JR
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HONORED ON PANEL 5E, LINE 42 OF THE WALL

WILLIAM E LEATHERWOOD JR

WALL NAME

WILLIAM E LEATHERWOOD JR

PANEL / LINE

5E/42

DATE OF BIRTH

01/29/1940

CASUALTY PROVINCE

PR & MR UNKNOWN

DATE OF CASUALTY

02/17/1966

HOME OF RECORD

CARROLLTON

COUNTY OF RECORD

Pickens County

STATE

AL

BRANCH OF SERVICE

ARMY

RANK

2LT

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Contact Details

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR WILLIAM E LEATHERWOOD JR
POSTED ON 11.16.2021

Final Mission of 2LT William E. Leatherwood Jr.

On February 17, 1966, an enlisted man from the U.S. Army’s 10th Radio Research Unit (attached to the 1st Cavalry Division) was on the airstrip at Phu Bai Airfield, RVN, attempting to hop a flight back to his unit at An Khe. The Specialist Five was on a courier run, carrying a packet of intelligence material needed by 1st Cav commanders. He talked his way onto a U.S. Marine Corps UH-34D Seahorse helicopter (#149380) from Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 163 (HMM-163) bound for An Khe. While waiting to takeoff, an Army officer came aboard and informed him he was pulling rank and that he would have to get off. The officer, 2LT William E. Leatherwood Jr. from A Company, 8th Field Radio Research Field Station, 509th Army Security Agency, had significant cargo with him which exceeded the load capacity of the Seahorse. The courier was steamed as he climbed down and watched from the edge of the runway the helicopter takeoff and rise away. He was still watching when, to his horror, the aircraft lost power around 300 feet and came back down rapidly, its main rotor blades coning up above it. It crashed about mid-runway, rolled on its left side, and burst into flames. Another Marine helicopter came over, its crew exiting to assist survivors. The aircraft lifted into a hover over the burning ship and beat down the flames, remaining until the airfield’s crash crew arrived. The Seahorse’s pilot and crew chief survived with severe burns. Leatherwood was fatally injured, and the gunner, CPL Calvin R. Hebert Jr., sustained second and third-degree burns over 70% of his body. He was medically evacuated to the U.S. Naval Hospital in Oakland, CA, where he expired five days later. [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org and vhpa.org]
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POSTED ON 3.23.2020
POSTED BY: Lucy Micik

Thank You

Dear Lt William Leatherwood, Thank you for your service with the 509th Army Security Agency Group. I researched you on your 53rd anniversary, sad. Saying thank you isn't enough, but it is from the heart. Happy Spring! For many of us, we have begun Lent. The time passes quickly. Please watch over America, it stills needs your strength, courage, guidance and faithfulness. Rest in peace with the angels.
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POSTED ON 1.29.2019
POSTED BY: Dennis Wriston

I'm proud of our Vietnam Veterans

Second Lieutenant William Elbert Leatherwood Jr., Served with Company A, 8th Radio Research Field Station, 509th United States Army Security Agency Group, United States Army Security Agency, United States Army Vietnam.
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POSTED ON 4.22.2015
POSTED BY: Barton Cox, FAOCS Class 11-65

To My Big Brother, the BinCo

I’m ashamed of myself for not finding this site sooner. Bill was my “Big Brother” in OCS. He was also the “BinCo” (Battalion Commander) of his class. That’s the highest honor awarded by FAOCS for overall performance as an FAOCS Candidate. It combines leadership scores, gunnery scores, and all other academic scores as well as evaluations by fellow FAOCS Candidates and the FAOCS Staff. In the eyes of graduates of FAOCS it is a really big deal. If anyone ever deserved it, Bill Leatherwood certainly did. I’m 73 years old now, and I’ve known quite a few outstanding individuals in my life, but I’ve never met a more outstanding person than Bill Leatherwood. His choosing me as his “Little Brother” is the greatest honor of my long life. Hope to see you on the other side Bill.
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POSTED ON 11.26.2014
POSTED BY: Larry W James

I Looked Up To Lt. Leatherwood

I was an spec. 5 with the 8th RRFS and saw Lt. Leatherwood on a daily basis. I looked up to him and considered him the coolest officer (by far) that we had. I still remember the day of the crash and until today I grieved for the loss of Lt Leatherwood. I still go back to the wall to pay tribute to this good man.
He stood out and left a good impression.
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