JOHN F DUGAN - CAPT
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- November 10, 1947
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- March 20, 1971
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
John Francis Dugan was born on November 10, 1947. His home of record is Roselle, NJ. John had two brothers, Joseph and Michael. John graduated from Roselle Catholic High School in 1965. He subsequently attended Union College for two years.
Dugan was inducted into the US Army where he attained the rank of Captain (CAPT). He was assigned to Company B, 101st Aviation Battalion, 101st Airborne Division.
On March 20, 1971, Dugan's UH-1H Huey helicopter that he was piloting was overwhelmed by ground fire, pierced by a surface-to-surface missile, and then exploded midair. Dugan was listed as missing in action as of March 20, 1971. In August of 2005, his remains were identified through DNA from the crash site. His status was changed to Remains Recovered (RR).
He was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, and various Vietnam Medals.
Synopsis (from the POW Network) as to the circumstances behind being listed as MIA:
LAM SON 719 was a large offensive operation against NVA communications lines in Laos. The operation called for ARVN troops to drive west from Khe Sanh, cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail, seize Tchepone and return to Vietnam. The ARVN would provide and command the ground forces, while U.S. Army and Air Force would furnish aviation airlift and supporting firepower. The 101st Airborne Division commanded all U.S. Army aviation units in direct support of the operation. Most of the first party to the operation, begun January 30, 1971, was called Operation Dewey Canyon II, and was conducted by U.S. ground forces in Vietnam.
The ARVN were halfway on February 11th and positioned for the attack across that Laotian border. On 8 February, ARVN began to push into Laos. The NVA reacted fiercely, but the ARVN held its positions supported by U.S. air strikes and re-supply runs by Army helicopters.
President Nguyen Van Thieu ordered a helicopter assault on Tchepone, and the abandoned village was seized March 6. Two weeks of hard combat were necessary for the ARVN task force to fight its way back to Vietnam. Towards the end of the removal, a helicopter from Company B, 101st Aviation Battalion was lost.
Flown by Maj. Jack L. Barker, the UH1H (serial #66-16185) was attempting to land to extract ARVN troops about 20 miles west of Khe Sanh. During the attempt, the aircraft came under enemy fire and was seen to spin, explode, and catch fire, then to break up in the air. No signs of survivors were seen. The crew aboard the aircraft was PCF John J Chubb, Sgt. William E. Dillender, and Capt. John F. Dugan. Because of the presence of enemy forces in the area, no subsequent search could be made for survivors.
Sources: the POW Network and NJVVMF.
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