Pitches, James Sutherland, Maj

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1968-1969, 14th Special Operations Wing
Service Years
1958 - 1969
Officer Collar Insignia

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
New York
New York
Year of Birth
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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address
Nha Trang AB, South Vietnam

Casualty Date
Sep 01, 1969
KIA-Killed in Action
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Vietnam, South (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Mount Hope Cemetery - Yonkers, New York
Wall/Plot Coordinates
18W 021
Military Service Number
Not Specified

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

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

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Navigator Observer (basic)

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
4th Special Operations Squadron14th Special Operations Wing
  1968-1969, 4th Special Operations Squadron
  1968-1969, 14th Special Operations Wing
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1961-1973 Vietnam War
 My Aircraft/Missiles
AC-47 Spooky/Puff  
  1968-1969, AC-47 Spooky/Puff
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity


On 01 Sep 1969 an AC-47D "Spooky" gunship (tail number 43-49021) from the 4th Special Operations Squadron departed Bien Hoa Air Base on a night patrol. During the flight the aircraft was directed to support friendly troops whose position was under attack about 20 miles east of Bien Hoa. While on station the AC-47 was hit in the starboard wing and crashed, killing the eight crewmen. 43-49021 was the last of 19 AC-47Ds lost during the war.

The location of his remains is unknown.

Plane Crash Claims Yonkers 30th Vietnam Fatality

Air Force Capt. James Sutherland Pitches, 32, became Yonkers' 30th Vietnam casualty on Monday.
His wife, Mrs. Joan Wilson Pitches of 250 N. Broadway and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. David H. Pitches of 17 Cross Hill Ave., were informed on Tuesday that he had been killed when his plane he was navigating crashed into a mountain in Vietnam the previous day.
Capt. Pitches is survived by four children, Laurie Elizabeth, 8; David Wilson, 6; Jill Victoria, 4, and John S., 2. He was the son-in-law of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Wilson of 144 Douglas Ave.
Mrs. Margaret Pitches, senior bookmobile clerk for the Yonkers Public Library, described her son as "a boy who joined the Air Force to do his duty for his country and regardless of how he felt about the war in Vietnam, that was his duty."
She disclosed that Capt. Pitches was to have met his wife in Hawaii on Sept. 12 during his R and R (Rest and Relaxation) leave.
He had been in Vietnam since Nov. 22, 1968, and was stationed as a navigator with the Fourth Special Operations Squadron at Bien Hoa Air Base.
He had last been home just before going to Vietnam and was scheduled to leave there this November.
Capt. Pitches joined the Air Force in 1959 upon graduation from the University of New Hampshire. He attended School 5 in Yonkers and was a Gorton High School graduate. Before going to the University of New Hampshire, he had attended Clarkson College in Potsdam, N.Y.
He married the former Joan Eba Wilson on July 30, 1960 in St. Paul's Episcopal Church. Capt. Pitches was a communicant of the Dayspring Presbyterian Church.
His mother noted that "his four children received letters from him regularly and he wrote to all of us continually.
According to Capt. Pitches' father, the family has not yet received any futher details of the plane crash or date of arrival of the body.
In addition to his wife, parents, and children, Capt. Pitches is survived by his grandmother, Mrs. Sarah Pitches of the Cross Hill Avenue address.
Also surviving are two brothers. David Kerr and Donald Mathieson Pitches of the same address, and a sister, Mrs. Marjorie Whitter of Livonia, Mich. His maternal grandparents were the late Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Kerr of Yonkers.
Posted by: Jim McIlhenney
Email: christianamacks@comcast.net
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