William Michael KonyuWarrant Officer
B CO, 101ST AVN BN, 101 ABN DIV
Army of the United States
18 March 1947 - 16 April 1969
Phillipsburg, New Jersey
Panel 27W Line 097
The database page for William Michael Konyu
Well, Billy, I finally made it to the Wall in D.C., and got a terrific shock. Your name is there in the granite, but the carat mark indicating that you are missing had been filled in. You have been missing in my mind all these years. You are now officially listed as KIA. After all that time I was crushed. I had always kept you as you were in my mind - alive. Missing but alive. The finality sucks, so I've decided to keep you as you were, always young, always flying on the edge, laughing at death, and alive.
From a friend.
Dear Uncle Bill,
I never knew you, though I wish I did. The helicopter which you were piloting was shot down in1969, 3 years before I was born. Mom talks about you every now and then. I can see the pain in her eyes, as she remembers her only sibling. She says she remembers you being outgoing and personable. You had a lot of friends and everyone loved your easygoing personality.
I see pictures of you and marvel at the similarities between you and Mom. I wonder what you would look like today. Mom says you enlisted in the US Army, even though you were the only male son to carry on the family name. To me, that symbolizes your pride in fighting for the American cause in Vietnam, and your unselfishness in putting your life 'on the line'. I hope America and Vietnam can work together in bringing you, and many others, who are Missing In Action, home real soon.
I love you.
My name is Frank Tresenrider and I was also with the B Company, 101st Aviation in Vietnam. I returned home in March of 1969. On March 9, 1969 the company lost a helicopter and the 4 crewmen on board. I was the crew chief and door gunner on that same helicopter the week before it crashed. You can find links to my tributes to those 4 Kingsmen below. I am very glad that you have honored Mr. Konyu on the Virtual Wall. Feel free to e-mail me at any time. Thank you very much for the tribute.
Notes from The Virtual WallOn April 16, 1969, WO William M. Konyu, B Co, 101st Avn Bn, was the pilot of a UH-1H helicopter on a combat mission in northern Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam, about 10 miles from the border of Laos.
As WO Konyu made his final approach to the landing zone (LZ), the aircraft received intense enemy fire. The windshield on the pilot's side was shattered. Konyu was seen to throw up his hands and slump forward over the controls. The co-pilot was wounded in his legs, and lost control of the aircraft. The helicopter subsequently crashed, rolled over on its side and burned. Attempts to reach the helicopter by personnel on the ground were impossible because of the intense heat of the burning aircraft.
U.S. ground teams inspected the aircraft later, and reported a burned form in the pilot's seat. Three crewmen and passengers had been rescued. The team was uncertain how to recover what they believed were the remains of the pilot, and left the area, but returned later in the day to prepare to extract the remains.
When the extraction team arrived four days later to recover the remains, they had disappeared. Evidence that enemy forces had been at the site were discovered, and it was assumed that the enemy buried the pilot somewhere nearby, but no graves were located. Konyu was listed among the missing because his remains were never found.
From the POW Network.
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10 Feb 2001
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 11/03/2004