William Dale Sanderlin

Staff Sergeant
Army of the United States
15 September 1943 - 31 March 1976
Fort Worth, Texas
Panel 15W Line 018



Army Aircrew

Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for William Dale Sanderlin

05 June 1999

I wore William's POW/MIA bracelet.

A memorial initiated by
Renee Shelfer

13 December 2001

Rest in peace, William, and know you are not forgotten.

02 Dec 2002

William, today your brothers and friends of the 129th AHC remember you and the crew of the 64-13959 UH-1B which crashed on this date in 1969. We know you are at peace and with our fallen brothers, in a much better place than you left. We will remember your sacrafice and think of you often.

From a friend,
01 January 2002

I still have William Sanderlin's MIA bracelet. Until I saw this web site I had no idea he had been found and identified. On the bracelet that I have he is referred to as Sandy.

I have a cousin who was also killed in Viet Nam, and I was referred to this page by his sister. And I'm certainly glad she did.

Rest in Peace Mr. Sanderlin, you certainly deserve it and all the others that are in heaven with you.

Rose Savage

28 Sep 2002

I also wore Sandy's POW/MIA bracelet when I was in High School. I still have the bracelet in my jewelry box. Until I read his history, I was not aware that his body had been found and finally identified. May he rest in Peace. My brother-in-law was also lost in Viet Nam and I know the pain the family has felt. I am also a Texan with many relatives in the Fort Worth area. If his family would like the bracelet, please let me know.

Marla Ruvalcaba

04 Nov 2002

From all of Billy's Family, I want to thank all of you...

From his nephew,
Timothy Sanderlin

11 Nov 2002

I had worn Sandy's POW/MIA bracelet for many years. I didn't know Sandy's first name was William. I have been to the Traveling Wall several times looking for him. Only recently did I find out about the web-site. My thoughts and prayers have been with Sandy and his family for a long time. May he rest in peace. Sandy will never been forgotten.

Carol Marich
2042 Bluebird Lane, Highland, IN 46322

14 Mar 2003

Billy, Wherever you may be, may you be in peace.

From one who wore his MIA bracelet,
Coral Eberly

24 Mar 2003

I wore Sandy's bracelet for many years. I still have it.
I have a rubbing of his name from the Wall that a friend did for me.
I have yet to visit the Wall, and hope to someday.

I was in the USAF during the Vietnam war. I am now in the Montana Air National Guard.

My sympathy goes to Sandy's family. I feel badly that they were robbed of his presence all these years.

Norene D. Ross Rash

07 Jul 2003

I too wore a "S/SGT. Sandy Sanderlin 12-2-69" POW bracelet. It never left my wrist during my Junior High years - the early 70's. I visited the Traveling Wall a few years ago in Naperville, Il, intent on finding his name. The adjacent tent with manned computers simplified the task, and provided an informative printout on his wall location and final status. There he was, finally.

Today, July 4, 2003, while reading our local paper, I came across his name. The article highlighted 16 young men who lost their lives from our town, Wheaton Il. Martin D. Vanden Eykel was with Sandy Sanderlin. The Traveling Wall is in my town today, and with my bracelet I will again visit. God Bless all those whose choose to serve their country.

From a proud bracelet wearer,
Bonnie Waldron
Wheaton, IL
E-mail address is not available.

02 Sep 2003

My POW bracelet reads S/SGT Sandy Sanderlin 12-2-69. It was a gift on my 15th birthday. I always wondered about him. Thank you.

Kathy Lynn Moore

19 Mar 2004

Today I finally found out what happened to "Sandy" Sanderlin, whose POW/MIA bracelet I am STILL wearing, after 30 years. I got married wearing it, and have not removed it since I received it in 1973. I have visited the Wall in Washington to see his name, and always wondered about him and his family. I wrote letters to all branches of the Armed Services, hunted through phone books and visited the Travelling Wall.

I have always felt a connection to him thru' this bracelet. To Sandy's friends and family, thank you for this memorial. Peace to you and to Sandy's memory. I will keep wearing the bracelet.

Kimberle Gray

14 Sep 2005

I also wore Sandy Sanderlin's bracelet in High School until it broke. Although I am almost 50, his name has never left me, and I have wondered many times over the years what happened to him, and now I know. Thanks for the beautiful tribute website, and for the chance to connect with the other members of Sandy's "family". Peace be with you, Sandy.

Janet Franck Eagen

October 9, 2005

I wore S/Sgt Sandy Sanderlin's MIA bracelet during my college years. I found his name on the Wall when visiting Washington D.C. many years ago. At that time I believed he was still missing in action.

For some unknown reason this morning his name came into my thoughts. I found my bracelet and decided to research his name on the computer. That is how I discovered his remains had been found and sent back to the states.

Today my thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

Gloria M. Poirier

13 Oct 2006

I also wore Mr. Sanderlin's bracelet and have felt a connection to him in a spiritual way. He knows there is a lot of love. I've had it since the early 70's - Rest in Peace.

Micki Hardisky
E-mail address is not available.

24 Apr 2007

I wore Sandy Sanderlin's bracelet during the 70's and kept it in my jewelry box after that. I have tried over the years to locate more information but as others I was looking for Sandy. I am glad he is "home" again. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family who had to live without him for so long.

Our son leaves for Iraq in May and he has always been impressed with the bracelet. He was very excited to know what happened to Sandy and salutes him.

Shannon Ford

04 Jun 2007

The Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall was in my area last week (June 01, 2007), so I took my POW/MIA bracelet with Sandy Sanderlin's name engraved on it with me, to search for his name and to honor all our fallen servicemen and women. My bracelet was given to me in 1973 and worn many, many years. The young lady helping to search for the names could only find a William Sanderlin. Naturally, we assumed Mr. Sanderlin had either been found or released. I remember going thru the newspaper in the early '90's looking for his name and never finding a "Sandy" Sanderlin then. I thought I would do a search on his name and see if his family would like to have the bracelet, first "hit", I discover this memorial. I wish I would've known his true name was William, I could've found his name on the wall. Hopefully, I'll be able to take my bracelet with me to "The Wall" in D.C. one day and make a rubbing of his name.

Thank you for the beautiful tribute to Sandy. We owe all our servicemen, women and their families a debt of gratitude for their sacrifices. God Bless you all. Rest in Peace, Sandy.

Cheryl Chrane
Austin, Texas

06 Jun 2007

I also have the bracelet of "S/SGT. SANDY SANDERLIN, 12-2-69". I wore it through my college years and have honored it to this day. Rest in peace my friend - you are a true hero.

Michael E. Freeman

02 Jul 2007

I wore S/SGT Sandy Sanderlin's braclet today, July 2, 2007. For some reason I pulled it out of my jewelry case and it meant so much to me. I pray for his family and wish him peace in heaven.

Rachel Guardiani
Southbridge, Ma
E-mail address is not available.

15 Sep 2007

I also wore Sandy Sanderlin's name on my bracelet, which I still have. It is amazing to see how small the world is when today I typed his name into my computer, and found out that so many wore his name, and that his remains were recovered... My prayers go out to his family.

Rachel Barnett
E-mail address is not available.

19 Dec 2007

I wore Sandy's POW/MIA bracelet for years and still have it in a jewelry box. I tried years ago to find out what happened to him, and I'm so grateful to finally know. My heart goes out to his family. God bless you. Mary

Mary Kucera
E-mail address is not available.

25 Dec 2007

A high school sophomore in 1969, I purchased my POW/MIA bracelet for "S/SGT. Sandy Sanderlin 12-2-69" as it is inscribed. I have it to this day, and will keep it in his honor and in the honor of his service.

Alfred Reed
King George, VA.
USMC, retired

Notes from The Virtual Wall

At about 8:30 PM on 02 Dec 1969, two UH-1B HUEY gunships of the 129th Aviation Company (later redesignated the 129th Assault Helicopter Company) departed LZ English to provide fire support for a long range reconnaissance patrol (LRRP) that had radioed for help.

The second, or wingman, helicopter (UH-1B hull number 64-13959) was crewed by

The gunships joined with a third UH-1 equipped for flare drops. The flare ship then led the flight to the target area where attempts were made to contact the LRRP. CW2 Vanden Eykel radioed that he had made a turn to avoid crashing into a mountain - but immediately thereafter contact with him was lost. When neither aircraft nor crew could be located, the four crewmen were placed in "Missing in Action" status.

The Secretary of the Army approved Presumptive Findings of Death for the four men -

  • CW2 Martin Vanden Eykel on 16 April 1979;
  • CW2 William C. Dunlap on 20 February 1979;
  • SP5 Michael H. Shanley on 24 August 1978; and
  • SP5 William D. Sanderlin on 31 March 1976.
Their status was changed on those dates from Missing in Action to Died while Missing, Body not Recovered.

On 23 January 1989, the Vietnamese government turned over human remains to US control. On 22 February 1990, the Department of Defense announced that the remains of CW2 Vanden Eykel, CW2 Dunlap, SP5 Shanley, and SP5 Sanderlin had been identified.

They are remembered by their brothers in the
129th Assault Helicopter Company

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 05 Jun 1999
Last updated 08/10/2009