Thomas William Skiles

Warrant Officer
Army of the United States
31 August 1949 - 19 December 1971
Buffalo, Wyoming
Panel 02W Line 089


Army Aviator

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

The database page for Thomas William Skiles

21 Mar 2005

I received my POW-MIA bracelet with your name on it many years ago. I guess I was afraid to see if you had come home. Knowing what I know now you are among the missing. I have worn my bracelet with pride and honor, knowing that you had served you country and me. A heartfelt Nation thanks you, MY soldier.

Laurie Carey

14 Jun 2007

I was working the communications in the Tactical Operations Center the day Mr. Skiles and Lt. Forame went down. I remember how we begged to try just one more time. I will never forget that day. My prayer is always for peace and comfort on the surviving family. I know this is something that has never gone away for me and I know it never will for the family. God bless you all.

From a fellow veteran,
Gary Skinner

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 19 Dec 1971 WO Thomas W. Skiles, pilot, and 1LT Peter C. Forame, co-pilot, were conducting a bomb damage assessment mission in OH-6A tail number 67-16347. While southeast of Dambe, Cambodia, their aircraft was heavily hit by .30 and .51 caliber fire and crashed in flames. Although other aircraft in the area were not able to land to aid the crew or recover remains, they did locate the wreckage and visually sight two bodies in the burned-out wreckage of the OH-6.

Air strikes were called in in an effort to sanitize the area sufficiently to allow a recovery effort to be mounted on the 20th. An additional helicopter was lost (probably OH-6A tail number 67-16609 from C Company, 2/17 Cavalry) with one crewman seriously wounded during the 20 Jan effort and a decision was taken that the risk of further losses outweighed the benefits of recovering Skiles and Forame's remains. The recovery effort was terminated and further air strikes, including ARC LIGHT, were called in on what apparently was a major NVA/VC troop area.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 27 Mar 2005
Last updated 08/10/2009