David Roscoe Smith

Army of the United States
02 November 1939 - 15 October 1973
Dayton, Ohio
Panel 29W Line 056


Army Aviator

Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for David Roscoe Smith

31 May 1999


by an anonymous friend.
E-mail address is not available.
26 Aug 2005

Captain David Smith -

I have served in the Army for eight years. I was selected to escort your remains from the Identification Lab in Hawaii to your home of Dayton, Ohio. In my career, which includes a year in Iraq, I have never felt more proud than on 23 August 2005 when I was able to lean over your casket at the Cincinnati airport and say

"Welcome home, after 36 years, you are finally home."

Thank you to you and your family for your sacrifice.

From his Escort Officer,
Captain Bradley T. Culligan
U. S. Army

06 Mar 2006

Thirty-seven years ago
Almost to the day
God sent his Angels to take you away
He gave you a special set of wings
Almost as if to say your death will never be in vain

Thank you for your sacrifice

Welcome Home


30 May 2006

I was David's roommate at the time of the accident. I am so happy to hear that his remains were found and returned home. A great roommate and a fun guy to be around. I know the return of his remains is a blessing to his sister. A wonderful 2006 Memorial Day present for me.

From a friend and roommate,
Bill Lynch

04 Aug 2006

You were aboard that fateful flight with a classmate of mine, Raymond Bobe. Now you fly with the Angels and remain forever young in the minds who knew you. You were in good company when you winged your way to heaven with Raymond. We will find you, I am sure, guarding the gates of Heaven. You will always be remembered along side the name of Raymond. May God grant those of us left here, without you and Raymond, the same Peace you have for 37 years enjoyed.

Reba Darnell

05 Oct 2006

Captain David Smith,

I was in high school when I received my POW/MIA bracelet with your name on it. I wondered all these years if you would be found. I even looked your name up on the Wall when I was there. I was so grateful when I saw your picture in our paper and the article saying you had been located and returned to your family. Welcome home, Captain Smith, and God Bless You for your service to our country.

A friend,
Jeanne Girard
E-mail address is not available.

01 Dec 2007

My name is Lauri and I have worn Captain David R. Smith's bracelet since I was in 8th grade. I am now 47 years old, I have had several different bracelets because they have worn out. I have never not worn his name. It has always been a part of me, always been on my wrist.

I went to the traveling wall several years ago and got his name on a rubbing. It was a very emotional day for me. I never knew that this site or the others that I have recently found were out there.

I had a very nice man help me find information on Captain Smith and that is how I found out that his remains were found and he was buried in his home town. I bought the Ohio newspaper that had the story about his remains being returned home. In the story was a picture of Captain Smith I can't tell you how I felt when I saw his face after all these years of wearing his name and him being a big part of my every-day life.

I am so thankful that he is home and that his family has a place to go visit him. I know I will never meet his family but I just want them to know that for all these years he has been part of my family and I thought of them often. I am so glad he is home, I am so glad I got to see what he looked like. I am so thankful for what he did for us. I have yet to take off my bracelet, it has been 2 months since I found out he was home, I am not sure what to do with the bracelet as I said it has been part of me for years.

I have thought about getting a new one with a new name, maybe the name of the co-pilot Charles R. Barnes who was with Captain Smith, his remains have not been found. Thank you, Captain Smith, for being part of my life. I hope your family feels peace and comfort with you home now. If any of his family members want his bracelet you may have it with love.

Bless you, Smith family...

Lauri Lewis

04 Jan 2008

My Mother passed away in 2001. I recently received some of her belongings. Among them was a bracelet that I remember her having when I was a boy. It was an MIA bracelet with the name Capt. David Smith. My Mother didn't know him, but she thought of him and his family quite a bit. Her name was Sharon Eylese Hill Howard, later Sharon Luce. I'm proud to have the bracelet.

Kevin Howard
Springfield, Missouri

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On 16 March 1969 the Command Aviation Company, 210th Aviation Battalion, was tasked with flying a routine logistics flight which originated at Long Thanh with several scheduled stops enroute Hue/Phu Bai and return. The aircraft assigned was a UC-21A aircraft (tail number 66-18007). The trip was uneventful through its first scheduled stops. At Long Binh passengers Major Marvin L. Foster, SP4 Michael Batt, and PFC Raymond Bobe boarded the aircraft for transportation to Hue. The aircraft went from Long Binh to Qui Nhon, where two passengers deplaned, and departed for Hue/Phu Bai.

Although the weather was good on departure from Qui Nhon it deteriorated as the flight approached Danang and the crew requested an instrument flight plan to Hue with radar flight following. Although Danang had radio and radar contact with the UC-21, radio contact was lost when the crew was directed to change frequency to Hue Approach and radar contact was lost shortly thereafter (not unexpectedly, since there's a 5000-foot mountain range between the two places). The official reports do not indicate that Hue/Phu Bai ever established contact with the UC-21. Although search and rescue efforts were begun when the aircraft failed to arrive on time, an airborne search had to await improvement in the weather and were unsuccessful in finding any evidence of the aircraft or its crew and passengers.

The five men aboard were classed as "Missing" and were continued in that category until the Secretary of the Army approved Presumptive Findings of Death on the dates shown below:

  • Aircrew, Cmd Avn Co, 210th Avn Bn, 12th Avn Grp, 1 Avn Bde
    • CPT Charles R. Barnes, Fullerton, PA (08/24/1976)
    • CPT David R. Smith, Dayton, OH (10/15/1973)

  • HQ Company, US Army Vietnam
Nothing further was known until the following press release was issued:

from the United States Department of Defense

No. 720-05
Jul 15, 2005

Army Soldiers MIA from Vietnam War are Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of four U.S. servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been identified and are being returned to their families for burial.

They are Lt. Col. Marvin L. Foster, Hubbard, Tex.; Capt. David R. Smith, Dayton, Ohio; Sgt. 1st Class Michael L. Batt, Defiance, Ohio; and Sgt. 1st Class Raymond E. Bobe, Tarrant, Ala., all U.S. Army.

On March 16, 1969, Capt. Smith was piloting an Army U-21A "Ute" aircraft with Foster, Batt, Bobe and one other passenger aboard whose remains have not been identified. The aircraft left Qui Nhon airfield in South Vietnam, headed for Phu Bai airport near Hue. The Da Nang control tower briefly established radar and radio contact, but was unable to maintain it. The aircraft never landed at the Phu Bai airport.

Combat search and rescue units scoured the area, both land and sea, for the next eight days, but did not find the missing aircraft.

In 1988 and 1989, the Vietnamese government turned over to U.S. specialists several boxes of human remains, including identification tags for Bobe and Smith. The technology at the time failed to yield an identification of the remains. Also in 1989, a Vietnamese refugee in the Philippines was interviewed, and turned over human remains as well as a rubbing of an identification tag for Bobe.

U.S. specialists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) conducted seven investigations between 1993 and 1999, to include interviews with Vietnamese nationals who claimed to have knowledge of the crash. Then in April and May of 2000, a JPAC team excavated an area about 25 miles northwest of Da Nang, where they found aircraft debris and human remains.

JPAC scientists and Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory specialists used mitochondrial DNA as one of the forensic tools to help identify the remains.

The press release does not mention Captain Charles R. Barnes by name; he is the "one other passenger aboard whose remains have not been identified".

A JTF-FA summary of the recovery operation dated 05 April 2005 gives the location of the crash site - the peak of Nui Cai Mountain, 11 kilometers east-southeast of Phu Loc, part of the 5000-foot mountain range mentioned above.

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 31 May 1999
Last updated 08/10/2009