Donald HarrisonWarrant Officer
281ST AHC, 10TH AVN BN, 17TH AVN GROUP, 1 AVN BDE
Army of the United States
09 June 1945 - 02 December 1966
New York, New York
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The database page for Donald Harrison
Warrant Officer Donald Harrison was born on June 09, 1945 in Jamaica, New York, a suburb of Queens/New York City, New York. Donald attended New York City public schools and graduated from Andrew Jackson High School, Cambria, New York in 1963.
He joined the army in August of 1963 and was trained as an airborne qualified Medical Corpsman. He reached the rank of E-5 while assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He left Fort Bragg in December of 1965 to attend flight school at Camp Wolters, Texas. He graduated with Class 66-13 at Fort Rucker Alabama in September of 1966.
Following flight school Donald traveled to South Vietnam where on October 07, 1966 he was assigned to the 281st Assault Helicopter Company.
On Dec. 02, 1966, Donald was killed in action while performing aircrew duties as a pilot. WO Daniel Arthur Sulander, SP4 William Joseph Bodzick and SP4 Lee Joseph Boudreaux, Jr. were also lost in the same aircraft crash. Donald was 21 years old at the time of his death.
A memorial from the
My name is Donald J. Harrison. I am the nephew of the late Donald Harrison. My father Raymond was one of my uncle's two older brothers. I was named after my Uncle Donald as well as my Grandfather and other uncle. I was born in 1975 so I never met my uncle. He died before my birth. I've always felt a connection to my Uncle Donald. He died at the tender age of 21, shot down in a helicoptor as it was told to me. For some strange reason I always thought I would meet the same fate. Needless to say I was a bit jittery when at the age of 21 I would take flights to and from college. Well, 10 years later I'm still here.
On August 30, 2004 at the age of 66 my father and brother of my uncle Donald died of a heart attack. He left behind three daughters - Judi, Vanetta, and Lynette. One son, that would be me, and a widow Gloria J. Harrison. To my knowledge my uncle had no children. James Harrison, the oldest of the siblings, still resides in New York City though his wife Fannie departed February 28, 2006. From their holy union they conceived two children, Kevin and Gregory Harrison. Stella Harrison, the only female sibling, also resides in New York. She conceived 5 children.
Although I never had the pleasure of talking to or playing with my uncle like a little nephew would, I hope he can look down on us and smile with joy. If there is any other information about my uncle please feel free to contact me. God Bless you and may all your dreams come true.
From his nephew,
Notes from The Virtual WallA UH-1D from the 281st AHC was tasked with picking up a long range recon team from just within Laos. The team consisted of two Special Forces personnel (MSG Russell Bott and SMAJ Willie Stark) and a number of South Vietnamese Army personnel. The recon team was in hot contact with a larger enemy force from the NVA 325b Division, Stark had been wounded in the chest and leg, and several ARVN troops had been killed or wounded.
SGT Irby Dyer, a medic with Det B-52, 5th SFG, was aboard the UH-1D, which was hit by gunfire, crashed, and burned. The recon team was not picked up.
Searches conducted between 10 and 13 December located the UH-1D wreckage and identified the remains of the five men aboard, but the search team was not able to recover the bodies. No trace of Bott and Stark was found. Another team was inserted to recover the remains of the helicopter crew, but found that US air strikes in the area had hit the UH-1 wreckage. While three bodies could be positively identified and recovered, WO Sulander's and SGT Dyer's remains could not be identified.
Although there was some evidence that Bott was captured, there is no certainty of what happened to either of the two Special Forces men.
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Jamaica, New York
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 25 Nov 2001
Last updated 08/05/2007