JOHN M SOUTHER
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HONORED ON PANEL 4W, LINE 7 OF THE WALL

JOHN MARTIN SOUTHER

WALL NAME

JOHN M SOUTHER

PANEL / LINE

4W/7

DATE OF BIRTH

01/25/1949

CASUALTY PROVINCE

QUANG TRI

DATE OF CASUALTY

02/26/1971

HOME OF RECORD

LOS ANGELES

COUNTY OF RECORD

Los Angeles County

STATE

CA

BRANCH OF SERVICE

ARMY

RANK

WO

Book a time
Contact Details

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR JOHN MARTIN SOUTHER
POSTED ON 5.28.2017

Final Mission of WO1 John M. Souther

At approximately 2150 hours on February 20, 1971, WO1 John V. Rauen (Dustoff 30) and his crew from the 498th Medical Company (Air Ambulance) were notified of an extended mission in support of armed operations west of Khe Sanh Airfield. At this time WO1 Rauen elected to refuel his aircraft, a U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H (tail number 69-15273), and the tower cleared him to reposition from B-Med to POL (refueling station). The aircraft was flown to POL and refueled without incident. Khe Sanh tower was again contacted, and Dustoff 30 was cleared from POL back to B-Med. Dustoff 30 departed to the north, and after obtaining a height of 60-80 feet, the aircraft was turned to a southwesterly heading. Upon reaching the approach end of Runway 09, the aircraft was seen to enter a fog bank which partially obscured the running lights and rotating beacon. Witnesses stated ground fog had been moving in and out of the area, causing the horizontal visibility to vary from zero-zero to unlimited. Shortly after the aircraft entered the fog, a hard turn left was observed by witnesses standing on the approach end of Runway 09. Witnesses further stated they saw the aircraft losing altitude during the steep turn. No power loss or malfunction of the engine was noted. As the aircraft neared the ground, the aircraft commander apparently realized what was happening and flared the aircraft in an attempt to decrease his rate of descent. The aircraft impacted the ground (aft left skid), descending at a rate of 650 feet per minute. The aircraft continued forward, flying approximately 45 feet then made ground contact a second time where the right skid made a furrow in the ground. As the right skid collapsed, the main rotor blade made contact with two fifty-five (55) gallon drums. The aircraft continued forward, and a Nomex flight suit sleeve was torn off one of the crew members by a jagged edge from one of the two fifty-five gallon drums. Also, at this point the head separated from the main rotor mast and as the aircraft began to roll, the tailboom separated from the main fuselage. The fuselage rolled another 250 feet leaving puddles of burning JP-4 fuel, and came to rest in the upright position facing north. The tailboom also continued forward coming to rest ninety feet NW of the fuselage. The aircraft commander, WO1 John M. Souther (left seat), was completely engulfed in flames, and therefore was not removed until the fire was at least partially extinguished. The pilot, WO1 Rauen, was extracted from the main fuselage with the use of a front loader. He died February 26, 1971, from 3rd degree burns of the head and shoulders. The crew chief, SP4 Dennis E. Gilliland, was thrown clear of the main fuselage and landed near the tailboom. He died enroute from Khe Sanh to Quang Tri from 3rd degree burns over ninety percent of his body. The medic, SP4 John J. Levulis, was extracted from the right side of the cargo compartment critically burned. He died February 21, 1971. [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org and vhpa.org]
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POSTED ON 2.28.2014
POSTED BY: Curt Carter [email protected]

Remembering An American Hero

Dear WO John Martin Souther, sir

As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.

May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.

With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir

Curt Carter
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POSTED ON 5.13.2013
POSTED BY: Robert Sage

We Remember

John is buried at Eternal Valley Memorial Park, Newhall, Los Angeles county,CA.

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POSTED ON 4.7.2011

Remembered

Rest in peace with the warriors.
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POSTED ON 1.6.2006
POSTED BY: Bob Ross

Do not stand at my grave and weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

Mary Frye – 1932

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