Roth, Billie Leroy, SSgt

 Service Photo   Service Details
View Time Line
Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
11470-Load Master Supervisor
Last AFSC Group
Primary Unit
1965-1965, 37th Tactical Fighter Wing
Service Years
1955 - 1965
Staff Sergeant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Sgt Stephen Willcox to remember Roth, Billie Leroy, SSgt.

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
Lacon, IL
Last Address
Nha Trang AB

Casualty Date
Jun 27, 1965
Hostile, Died
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Bien Hoa (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Lacon Cemetery - Lacon, Illinois
Wall/Plot Coordinates
02E 021

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2012, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Aircrew Enlisted (Senior)

 Unit Assignments
US Air Force37th Tactical Fighter Wing
  1965-1965, 37th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
  1965-1965, 37th Tactical Fighter Wing
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1965-1965 Vietnam Defensive Campaign (1965-66)
 My Aircraft/Missiles
C-123 Provider  
  1965-1965, C-123 Provider
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
The incident that led to the death of SSGT Billie Leroy Roth (Loadmaster), Capt. Carl Edwin Jackson (Pilot) and fourteen Chinese Nationalists was apparently shrouded in secrecy until the early 1990's, when some information was declassified by the DOD. Yet, the official story of the incident still evokes doubt among family members and others, especially in light of persistant rumors regarding other scenarios as to what might have happened to both Capt Jackson and SSgt Roth. Reported Jackson family discussions with former CIA Agents further cast doubt on the official explanation for both men's death. A more detailed discussion on the controversy can be found at

Certainly the pilot was part of a highly secret 1st Flight Detachment, MACV, 1131st Special Activities Squadron, 12th Detachment. Information on reflects that SSgt Roth was part of the same units, but other records (see right side panel) indicate he was with the 37th Consolidated Air Maintenance Squadron. Since SSgt Roth was "on stand-by as a C123 Cargo Master, the night he was assigned to fly with Jackson," it wouldn't be uncommon for pilots, navigators and other crew to fly with other than their own units on occasions, so Roth could have been with the 37th and filled in for someone else. Of course, its also possible he did serve with the 37th and the MACV units. What's certain is that he was involved with highly secret missions.

The official government story is that while on final approach to Ton Son Nhut Air Base, the C123 was hit by groundfire and crashed. There are rumors that the plane actually crashed in North Vietnam. Another rumor reflects that Capt. Jackson was a POW and that an operation to free him and other POWs failed. Whatever the truth, it does seem odd that if the plane indeed crashed on approach to Ton Son Nhut, some remains of Capt Jackson and SSgt Roth would have been recovered and returned to their families.

Additional Information from

Major Command: 13th AF
37th TFW
37th CA Maint SQ (Note: 27th Consolidated Air Maintenance Squadron)

Copyright Inc 2003-2011