Hicks, William Donald, SMSgt

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Last Rank
Senior Master Sergeant
Primary Unit
1965-1965, 405th Organizational Maintenance Squadron
Service Years
1949 - 1965
Enlisted Collar Insignia
Senior Master Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt Stephen Willcox-Deceased to remember Hicks, William Donald, SMSgt.

If you knew or served with this Airman and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Bien Hoa AB

Casualty Date
May 16, 1965
Non Hostile- Died while Missing
Other Accident
Bien Hoa (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
01E 118, Virtual Wall, Smock, PA

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Maintenance (Master)

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
34th Tactical GroupOrganizational Maintenance Units
  1965-1965, 34th Tactical Group
  1965-1965, 405th Organizational Maintenance Squadron
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1965-1965 Vietnam War2
 My Aircraft/Missiles
B-57 Canberra  
  1965-1965, B-57 Canberra
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

...On May 16, 1965, while waiting to take off on a mission, a B-57B exploded on the ground at Bien Hoa, setting of a whole chain of secondary explosions. The resulting conflagration destroyed tne B-57's, eleven VNAF A-1H Skyraiders, and a US Navy F-8 Crusader and caused numerous casualtes among air and ground crewmen - at least 26 men died in the explosions and fires."

One of those men was Senior Master Sergeant William Donald Hicks of the 34th Tactical Air Group, 405th Organizational Maintenance Squadron.

"The Bien Hoa Air Base Vietnam May 16 1965 Conflagration/Fire accident investigation board concluded the accidental explosion of a bomb on a parked B-57 at Bien Hoa triggered a series of blasts. The aircraft and the ammunition were stored too close together which allowed the fires and explosions to propagate. The accident investigation Board recommended improvements. In the face of such experience, engineers initiated a major program to construct revetments and aircraft shelters to protect the valuable assets."

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org

And one would hope to prevent another human tragedy. One airman who was there on that day wrote "These were men I saw just about every day. I don't know if this incident was the result of an accident or hostile fire but I do know that these men gave their lives for their country..These men were not rookies, all were senior airman and officers and they were there because they wanted to be...Many airmen braved the explosions and flames to pull aircraft out of harms way. There were many acts of bravery that went unseen and unheralded." Source: http://www.dixiestones.net

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