Johnnie Gene Lee

Army of the United States
11 October 1939 - 03 November 1962
Mashulaville, Mississippi
Panel 01E Line 014


Army Aircrew

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Johnnie Gene Lee

23 May 2008

Sergeant Johnnie G. Lee was a crewchief/gunner on a UH1A gunship. Sergeant Lee died from wounds received when his aircraft was hit while providing fire support during a combat assault into a hostile landing zone in the delta near Can Tho, in November 1962. Johnnie is the first attack helicopter crewmember to be killed in Vietnam.

I was his platoon leader and I cannot forget the day he was killed. Sergeant Lee was a professional soldier, skilled airman, and a joy to all who served with him, in Okinawa, Thailand, and finally in South Vietnam. I will always miss him.

From his platoon leader,
Keith J. Rynott, Col. US Army (Ret)
HC 70 Box 511, Davis, WV 26260

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 15 November 1964 the UTT published a yearbook covering its time in South Vietnam. The book was dedicated to nine men who died while assigned to the Company:

A summary of the unit's history which begins several pages further on contains the following paragraph:

Sergeant William L. Deal was killed in action in UH-1B tail number 62-01882 while flying in support of ARVN forces at Ap Bac - but he wasn't the UTT's first loss. Sergeant Lee was. Further, the UTT's last two losses are missing from the dedication list. Available documentation indicates the UTT's eleven losses between 13 Nov 1962 and 12 Aug 1964 were:

  • SGT Johnnie G. Lee, Mashulaville, MS (KIA 11/03/1962, CH-21C 52-08642)
  • SGT William L. Deal, Mays Landing, NJ (KIA 01/02/1963, UH-1B 62-01882)
  • 1LT Paul R. Smith, Omaha, NE (DoW 07/06/1963, date wounded and helo unknown)
  • 1LT Charles M. Hasper, Keokuk, IA (KIA 01/17/1964, UH-1B 62-01946)
  • CWO William H. House, Ridgely, MD (KIA 01/17/1964, UH-1B 62-01946)
  • PFC Grover K. Olson, Grants Pass, OR (KIA 01/17/1964, UH-1B 62-01946)
  • PFC Raymond P. Flynn, Houma, LA (KIA 01/17/1964, UH-1B 62-01946)
  • 1LT Bryford G. Metoyer, Oakdale, LA (KIA 01/18/1964, UH-1B 62-01880)
  • PFC John L. Straley, Beaver Falls, PA (KIA 01/18/1964, UH-1B 62-01880)
  • SP5 Leonard W. Lockard, Pioneer, LA (KIA 07/10/1964, UH-1B serial unknown) *
  • 1LT Harold L. McNeil, Mount Pleasant, TX (KIA 08/12/1964, UH-1B serial unknown) (Dist Svc Cross) *

        * Not included in the 1964 Yearbook dedication
There is another small conflict in information: Colonel Rynott states that SGT Lee was a gunner in a UH-1A, while the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots' Association database shows him in CH-21C tail number 52-08642.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 23 May 2008
Last updated 08/10/2009