Irby Dyer

Army of the United States
12 June 1943 - 02 December 1966
Midland, Texas
Panel 13E Line 004

Combat Medic

Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

Irby Dyer

The database page for Irby Dyer

8 Sep 2002

Rest easy, Brother ...
You are not forgotten.

From a fellow Vietnam Veteran,
Jim Wilson
22 Apr 2004

"Corky" Dyer was born in Sweetwater, Texas and was raised in Midland. He attended Midland public schools, graduated from the Schreiner Institute, a private military school in Kerrville, Texa; he also attended the University of Texas at Austin and Odessa College in Odessa, Texas. Corky loved poker, opera, books, his friends and family and fishing.

The day he brought his daughter Dee Dee home from the hospital, he pulled into the driveway and said "Wait here, I've got to start our baby out right' and he went into the house and turned on the stereo and when his wife brought the baby in, the stereo was playing Mario Lanza singing "The Great Caruso" as loud as the stereo could be turned up.

Corky is remembered by his community and the Permian Basin Vietnam Memorial located at Midland International Airport, Midland, Texas. May his sacrifice never be forgotten.

From a Permian Basin Vietnam Memorial Representative,
Billy M. Brown

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On 29 November 1966, a six-man recon team, callsign VIPER, was inserted along the Laotian/SVN border just south of the DMZ. Extremely poor weather conditions during the insertion resulted in a navigation error and the team was inserted to the northwest of the intended point, within Laos itself. Even worse, the insertion point was within the bivouac area of the North Vietnamese 325b Infantry Division.

The team was lead by SFC Willie E Stark and consisted of assistant team leader SSG Russell P Bott and four Vietnamese Special Forces personnel. Shortly after being inserted, the team was ambushed by elements of the 325B NVA Division and forced into a two-day running gun battle as RT Viper moved toward the northeast in an attempt to break contact. Continuing monsoon weather and the original navigation error combined to render outside assistance to the team impossible - friendly forces simply did not know where they were. Late on the second day, VIPER made radio contact with a Forward Air Controller (FAC) and the team's position was firmly identified. SSG Bott reported that SFC Stark had wounds to the chest and leg; they were almost out of ammunition; and that several of the ARVN SF personnel were dead or wounded. Bott indicated that he would stay with SFC Stark, who could not travel and required immediate extraction. He also ordered the surviving ARVN troops to escape and evade toward Khe Sanh.

On the morning of 02 December, 7 UH-1 aircraft from the 281st AHC at Khe Sanh launched in a recovery effort, accompanied by a FAC aircraft. The FAC crew located the two Americans on the top of a small crest covered with elephant grass. After clearing the area, the FAC called in the recovery helo which touched down in the vicinity of the two Americans. At touch-down, the UH-1 received intense and accurate fire from all directions; the crew immediately lifted off but entered uncontrolled flight almost immediately, spun in, exploded, and burned. Simply stated, the NVA had set a successful trap using VIPER as the bait.

The supporting gunships took the area under fire, but the two Americans had disappeared and no further recovery efforts could be made. It was apparent that none of the five men on the downed UH-1 had survived the crash.

The enemy presence prevented a ground search until 10 December, when a search and recovery (SAR) team was inserted. The team photographed the wreckage and the bodies of the crew, but were unable to recover the bodies. Over the next three days the area was subjected to heavy American air strikes. On 15 December another recovery team reached the crash site and retrieved all the remains that could be found and took them to a US mortuary for examination. Those remains were later identified as the Huey's copilot, crew chief, and door gunner.

Two of the four ARVN SF troops successfully made their way back to American forces. Both of the survivors reported clearly hearing North Vietnamese soldiers yell, "Here you are! We've been looking for you! Tie his hands, we'll take him this way."

At the termination of the search and rescue effort, seven men were known dead and two were missing:

Visit John Dennison's
Medics on the Wall
memorial which honors the
Army Medics and Navy Corpsmen who died in Vietnam.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a fellow Vietnam Veteran,
Jim Wilson 
8 Sep 2002

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TX State Index . Panel 13E

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 04/22/2004