My MIA Bracelet for William Dunlap

On this Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, 2009, I was dusting and happened to pick up the MIA bracelet for William Dunlap that I got back in the early 70s. I wore it for a year back then. Since then, it has been sitting on top of my incense burner from the sixties. I never knew if he was found or not. I Googled his name today and found this memorial with a picture of who he was and some information about what happened.

Here is part of the memorial:

“Notes from The Virtual Wall
At about 8:30 PM on 02 Dec 1969, two UH-1B HUEY gunships of the 129th Aviation Company (later redesignated the 129th Assault Helicopter Company) departed LZ English to provide fire support for a long range reconnaissance patrol (LRRP) that had radioed for help.

The second, or wingman, helicopter (UH-1B hull number 64-13959) was crewed by
CW2 Martin Vanden Eykel, pilot and aircraft commander;
CW2 William C. Dunlap, copilot;
SP5 Michael H. Shanley, gunner; and
SP5 William D. Sanderlin, crew chief.

The gunships joined with a third UH-1 equipped for flare drops. The flare ship then led the flight to the target area where attempts were made to contact the LRRP. CW2 Vanden Eykel radioed that he had made a turn to avoid crashing into a mountain – but immediately thereafter contact with him was lost. When neither aircraft nor crew could be located, the four crewmen were placed in "Missing in Action" status."

It goes on to say his remains, as well as those of his comrades, were turned over to the U.S. and identified in 1989.

About pam

I am retired from real 9 to 5 jobs. I do my artwork and occasionally write poetry. In September 2010, I moved to Fargo, ND after spending 60 years in Phoenix, Arizona. Now, five years later, July 2015, I'm back in Arizona. And yes, I love the heat!
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32 Responses to My MIA Bracelet for William Dunlap

  1. debplatt says:

    For his family's sake, I'm glad that the remains were identified and sent home.

  2. debplatt says:

    To press the government to resolve these cases, and to demonstrate that these MIA's were not forgotten, there was a movement which distributed such bracelets with the names of actual MIAs. So people who agreed to wear the bracelets didn't know the individuals personally.

  3. ellinidata says:

    thanks for posting Pam,I never knew!Happy Veteran's Day to you and to yours,and my thanks to all dead or alive that gave so much for peace sake …

  4. L2D2 says:

    You knew this man? Not quite understanding why you were wearing MIA bracelet?

  5. Dacotah says:

    😦 To him and all the Veterans, POW/MIA, thank you, God Bless you all.

  6. L2D2 says:

    I guess I missed that. Don't remember it at all. Thanks debplatt for the info.

  7. gdare says:

    Good thing he was burried in his home land. Gives a little satisfaction to his family.

  8. Stardancer says:

    Thanks for posting this, Pam.:smile:

  9. L2D2 says:

    I had a schoolmate in middle school, whose mother was a teacher. Their father/husband was an MIA in Korea and had been missing in action for years, but they refused to give up hope that one day he would come home. I lost track of them after I moved away from that town, but have often wondered how long they continued to hope. Pretty horrible to be left hanging in limbo like that, never knowing for sure what happened to someone you loved.

  10. PainterWoman says:

    Ah, I should have explained the MIA bracelet thing. No, I never knew him. I was working for a large company and almost everyone in the building got one of the bracelets. The money was a donation to the movement for our government to get off their butts and find out about our soldiers. Thanks everyone. I sort of feel at peace for him now that I finally know exactly what happened. Never thought about goggling him before today. Hmmmmm…..maybe that means I should dust more often.

  11. Unasia says:

    I have a Friend who went through Vietnam and has written a few Books about his time served. Here is a link with a preview to a good deal of one of his publications. If you want to know about war. info here. have four of his publications, they are grounding to say the least.

  12. Unasia says:

    Your Welcome. He does a good job it seems relaying in his words all the good bad and ugly of war.

  13. PainterWoman says:

    Thank you for those links Clance. I do like his work.

  14. Unasia says:

    I think what we forget, is that for so many, war and its effects never really end and what they give is more than the time in the service.

  15. L2D2 says:

    All my brother's-in-law served in various branches of the military, and my oldest brother. WWII. I was thankful that my son never had to go. He had to register but never had to go, largely because he was the last one of his line, and also because they did away with the draft before Desert Storm came along. I can only be grateful that my only son didn't have to go and fight in a war. That may be selfish, but he is alive and whole.

  16. debplatt says:

    When a soldier serves in the military, he makes many sacrifices, but so do his family. I just did a blog on daddy dolls, which are used to help youngsters cope with long separations from their fathers while they are deployed overseas.There's also a video showing an older daughter being reunited with her father. It is a happy time, but the emotions are so raw in this video, that it really brings home how difficult deployment is on the loved ones who remain at home. If you'd like to see it, it's here:

  17. PainterWoman says:

    Originally posted by ossian42:

    his deep southern drawl was all he needed to say

    Many men I've meet who are around my age, give or take five years, were in that war and most never talked about it at all. Originally posted by Unasia:

    war and its effects never really end

    I agree Clance. Originally posted by debplatt:

    just did a blog on daddy dolls,

    Have never heard of these Deb. I'll check out your post. Originally posted by L2D2:

    I was thankful that my son never had to go

    Same here but mine was just a toddler during this war. He heard all about it in grade school and on and had a fascination for it.

  18. L2D2 says:

    He just posted a status message last week that, having thought he couldn't be more miserable from the sand and heat over there, now it was getting cold and raining and raining and he discovered that, yes, he COULD be more miserable. Their physical conditions over there are horrible.

  19. L2D2 says:

    Yes, Chris was too young to go to Nam, thank God. But my nephew is in Iraq for the second time so I pray for his safe return. He's pretty together, but there are some things he talks about of his first tour in Iraq, only reluctantly.

  20. L2D2 says:

    Not just him—-for all our troops. It's a harsh country.

  21. debplatt says:

    @L2D2: Sorry to hear how difficult the conditions are for your nephew in Iraq.

  22. edwardpiercy says:

    I'm glad you were able to find out, Pam. "Closure" as they say.

  23. L2D2 says:

    Just an aside—-closure is very important to me. I CANNOT DEAL if I am left hanging.

  24. PainterWoman says:

    Ed and Linda: Yes closure is important. If I'd had a pc back then I would have found out much sooner.

  25. slackwrdave says:

    When I was in elementary school, almost all the 5th and 6th graders had the 'Nam POW/MIA bracelets. I felt it was a good way to keep one's mind on things. It was part of what has shaped my thinking to this very day.

  26. PainterWoman says:

    Originally posted by slackwrdave:

    I felt it was a good way to keep one's mind on things.

    I agree completely.

  27. PainterWoman says:

    Yes, I remember them thinking it wouldn't happen. If I were in that situation, I seriously think I'd go AWOL. But then don't you get arrested for that? I don't know. I just know I couldn't leave.

  28. anonymous says:

    Anonymous writes:I too wore a braclet in the 70's. Glad to know that some families had closer. When my grandsons are old enough to join the military I hope they step up and serve. I guess I'm old fashioned and don't like to see women espesially young mothers in the service. Children need thier partents and there is enough people available to serve without mothers leaving their children.

  29. slackwrdave says:

    Originally posted by PainterWoman:

    both parents were in the military and both were called to duty

    I guess they were hedging a bet that it wouldn't happen, then it did. What a situation. 😦

  30. PainterWoman says:

    Thank you for visiting Anon. I have mixed emotions about women in the military. I think if they want to go then they should but then if they have children, that's where my old fashioned ideas come in. I heard of one family where both parents were in the military and both were called to duty. Both would be gone for a year and they had to have relatives take on the responsibility of their children. One parent was trying to have it changed to go another time, but orders couldn't be changed last I heard.

  31. 1bluebox says:

    i wore an MIA bracelet for over three years — robert (i can't remember the last name). it was in my jewlery box and it is not there any longer. i bought it with my allowance monies because i thought it needed to be told that one man had gone missing in that terrible place — i can not imagine having to give my life as so many have year after year, time after time for others they don't even know. the proud few they are, those who serve the rest of us here in this free land we call home. good one pam! cheers to you my friend. deborah.

  32. PainterWoman says:

    Thanks Deb. Originally posted by 1bluebox:

    i can not imagine having to give my life as so many have year after year

    Nor can I.

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