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WO Thomas William Skiles
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Birth: Aug. 31, 1949
El Paso
El Paso County
Texas, USA
Death: Dec. 19, 1971, Cambodia

In Memory of ....... WO Thomas William Skiles.
*** Warrant Officer, First Class Skiles was a member of the Air Cavalry Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. On December 19, 1971, he was the pilot of a Hughes Cayuse Observation Helicopter on a bomb damage assessment southeast of Bambe, Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia when the aircraft received intense automatic weapons fire, burst into flames and crashed. His remains were not recovered. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.


You may be gone, no longer living on this earth; but you will live on - in the memories of your family and friends. There will always be a part of you living in your family who knew you and loved you. You will live on because we remember you!


THOMAS WILLIAM SKILES - Army - WO - W1
11th Armored Cavalry
Age: 22
Race: Caucasian
Date of Birth Aug 31, 1949 - Born in El Paso, Tx.
From: BUFFALO, WY
Religion: EPISCOPAL, ANGLICAN
Marital Status: Married - Margaret L. Skiles and Son, Thomas Skiles, Jr., both of Gretna, Louisiana. Parents: Father, William Skiles and Mother, Dorothy L. Skiles, both of Buffalo, Wyoming.

***** My father, Thomas William Skiles, was a Warrant Officer, First Class, in the Air Cavalry Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. He is the soldier mentioned in Brigadier General Tucker's speech at a recent reunion.
He was killed when I was three years old. I am 34 now, married to a beautiful woman, and we have an 11 month old daughter, who I am sure would be the apple of her Grandpa's eye had he survived Viet Nam. I am writing this message because, although my dad was killed in this war, he very much lives on through myself and my family. There isn't a day that goes by when I don't think of him and wish I would have known him. If you knew my father and saw me, you would probably do a double take, because I look just like him. I hope that my message brings hope to those veterans who lost so many people close to them. I have struggled much to come to terms with my father's death, but have come to learn that we continue to live in the hearts and memories of those who knew us.
I find peace in hearing the memories of my dad from those who knew him. I find immense comfort in raising his Grand-daughter with the love I know he had for me. If anyone knew my father and would like to share any memories of him, please e-mail me. I have the utmost respect for you veterans. Peace.
Tom Skiles



His tour began on Dec 19, 1971
Casualty was on Dec 19, 1971
In , CAMBODIA
Hostile, died while missing, HELICOPTER - PILOT
AIR LOSS, CRASH ON LAND

Body was not recovered
Panel 02W - Line 89


Crew Members:
AC 1LT FORAME PETER CHARLES BNR
P WO1 SKILES THOMAS WILLIAM BNR


On December 19, 1971, W1 Thomas W. Skiles was the pilot and 1Lt. Peter C. Forame the co-pilot on board an OH6A helicopter (tail #67-16347) on a bomb damage assessment mission southeast of Bambe, Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia.

The crew of that OH-6 was 1LT Peter Forame and W01 Thomas Skiles, Air Cavalry Troop, 11 ACR, two of the last Blackhorse troopers to die in Southeast Asia.

They were piloting an OH-6A scout helicopter on a Bomb Damage Assessment mission Southeast of Dambe, Cambodia. Their were hit by .51 caliber and .30 caliber machine gun fire and crashed into a tree line.

The helicopter exploded upon impact and was completely destroyed by fire in a short time.

Two other helicopters attempted a recover Lt. Forame and WO1 Skiles, but were driven off by heavy automatic weapon fire and rocket propelled grenades, with one helicopter suffering extensive damage.

After helicopter gunships arrived to suppress the enemy fire, it was verified that the helicopter was destroyed and that there were no survivors.

Further attempts to recover the pilots were unsuccessful despite numerous airstrikes on known and suspected enemy positions.


************************************************

Thomas William Skiles - P ACT/11 ACR
OH-6A 67-16347 - Date MIA 19 Dec 1971
Still Serving in Southeast Asia
by Brigadier General Terry L Tucker 56th
Colonel of Blackhorse
I recently returned from the 11 ACVVC and Blackhorse Reunion in San Diego California-- What a great weekend many other 11 ACR veterans and I had. Thanks for inviting me to participate.

For the past 2 years, I have been privileged to command Joint Task Force "Full Accounting". In that assignment I led 160 outstanding men and women from all services on a mission to achieve the fullest possible accounting of Americans still unaccounted-for as a result of the war in Southeast Asia. We conducted over 1,000 investigations and 125 recovery operations and brought home 67 Americans to their families in that 2 years. Let me tell you about one case that I shared with my brother Blackhorse troopers at the July reunion.

In January 1998, we investigated the site of a 19 December 1971 OH-6 helicopter crash in central Cambodia. In March 1999, we excavated that crashed site. The recovery team did not find remains of the crew. However, they did find several items of personal effects. Found were a military identification card and part of another card with an unidentified sticker on it. The recovery team could clearly identify the photograph and name on the Identification Card, but could not identify the sticker on the second card. Upon my arrival, several possible explanations were offered as to what the sticker might be. After listening to their speculation, I opened my wallet, removed my Blackhorse Association Membership Card, and showed them the exact symbol they were trying to figure out. It was a Blackhorse patch.

The crew of that OH-6 was 1LT Peter Forame and W01 Thomas Skiles, Air Cavalry Troop, 11 ACR, two of the last Blackhorse troopers to die in Southeast Asia. They were piloting an OH-6A scout helicopter on a Bomb Damage Assessment mission Southeast of Dambe, Cambodia. Their were hit by .51 caliber and .30 caliber machine gun fire and crashed into a tree line. The helicopter exploded upon impact and was completely destroyed by fire in a short time. Two other helicopters attempted a recover Lt. Forame and WO1 Skiles, but were driven off by heavy automatic weapon fire and rocket propelled grenades, with one helicopter suffering extensive damage. After helicopter gunships arrived to suppress the enemy fire, it was verified that the helicopter was destroyed and that there were no survivors. Further attempts to recover the pilots were unsuccessful despite numerous airstrikes on known and suspected enemy positions.

************

ACT/11 ACR - #67-16347
A/C was on a bomb damage assessment mission SE of Bambe, Kampong Cham Province. During the mission, A/C began receiving heavy .30 and .51 cal AW fire and in attempting to climb, A/C turned and burst into flames. The A/C passed over an open area and crashed into a tree line, exploded on impact, and was completely destroyed by fire.

***********************************
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Note: Looking for location of his Memorial Headstone.
 
Burial:
Honolulu Memorial *
Honolulu
Honolulu County
Hawaii, USA
*Cenotaph [?]
 
Created by: Eddieb
Record added: Oct 12, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 60004852
WO Thomas William Skiles
Added by: Sunny
 
WO Thomas William Skiles
Added by: Eddieb
 
WO Thomas William Skiles
Added by: Eddieb
 
 
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 Added: Mar. 9, 2014

- Eddieb
 Added: Mar. 2, 2013
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- Eddieb
 Added: Feb. 19, 2013
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