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Sgt Billie Leroy "Bill & Sam" Roth
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Birth: Jun. 22, 1934
Lacon
Marshall County
Illinois, USA
Death: Jun. 27, 1965
Bien Hoa, Vietnam

In Memory of ... SSGT. Billie Leroy Roth.
*** Staff Sergeant Roth was a member of the 37th Consolidated Air Maintenance Squadron. On June 27, 1965, he was the cargo master of a Provider Cargo Aircraft (C-123) on a transport mission from Nha Trang to Ton Son Nhut Airbase, South Vietnam. As the aircraft was on final approach it received ground fire 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 those who knew you. You will live on because we remember you!


BILLIE LEROY ROTH - Air Force - SSGT - E5
Age: 31
Race: Caucasian
Date of Birth Jun 22, 1934
From: LACON, IL
Marital Status: Married - Sarah L. Roth and Daughters, Cheryl A. Roth and Carol D. Roth. Son, Doublas L. Roth, all from Palmetto, Florida. Parents: Father, Louis A. Roth, Born 1901 and Died 1978 and Mother, Phamie L. Roth, Born 1903 and Died 1965. Brother, Robert Eugene Roth, Born 1931 and Died 1945 and Sister, Louise Roth Lee, Born 1923 and Died 2000.

***** CHERYL ROTH - daughter
palmetto, florida.

***** Bill: I was stationed with you at Chanute AFB in Illinois from 1963 to 1965. I was just out of school and you took me under your wing and showed me the ropes. I will always remember when you and I were working nights, and your wife called frantically and said your daughter was missing. You jumped in the car and raced home. On the way home you heard movement in the back seat of the car and discovered your daughter who had crawled into the back seat and fallen asleep.
Paul Bartolucci - Friend



Length of service 10 years
His tour began on Jun 27, 1965
Casualty was on Jun 27, 1965
In BIEN HOA, SOUTH VIETNAM
HOSTILE, FIXED WING - CREW
AIR LOSS, CRASH ON LAND
MILITARY DATA
Service: United States Air Force
Grade at loss: E5
Rank: Staff Sergeant
ID No: 16369179
MOS: -----: Not Recorded
Length Service: 10
Unit: 37TH CONSOL MAINT SQDN, 37TH AIR BASE GROUP, 37TH TAC FTR WING, 13TH AF

CASUALTY DATA
Incident Date: 06/27/1965
Casualty Date: 06/27/1965
Age at Loss: 31
Location: Bien Hoa Province, South Vietnam
Remains: Body not recovered
Casualty Type: Hostile, died outright
Casualty Reason: Fixed Wing - Crew
Casualty Detail: Air loss or crash over land

Loss Coordinates noted by the USG at time of loss: 101307N 1064405E (XT990095)
Loss Coordinates suspected by JTF-FA in 1998: 48P YT 02830 04566, near the village of Xom Long Dinh
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: C123


Body was not recovered
Panel 02E - Line 21


Personnel In Incident:CAPTAIN CARL EDWIN JACKSON PILOT;
STAFF SERGEANT BILLIE LEROY ROTH, CARGO MASTER
14 more onboard were " Chinese Nationalists "


STAFF SERGEANT BILLIE LEROY ROTH served as a CARGO MASTER
and was attached to the 1st FLIGHT DETACHMENT MILITARY ASSISTANCE COMMAND, VIETNAM STUDIES AND OBSERVATION GROUP
1131st SPECIAL ACTIVITIES SQUADRON 12th DETACHMENT
Missions: Captain CARL EDWIN JACKSON Accumulated 4200 hours of flying time throughout his career in the United States Air Force prior to his shootdown.

The C123B, in the hands of a group of airmen who called themselves " The Mule Train " became the first transport to see Vietnam service.

The C123B transports were soon joined by UC123Bs of the now-controversial " Project Ranch Hand " which sprayed pesticides and herbicides over Vietnam, including Agent Orange.

The MACV-SOG personnel in this incident were commanded directly out of the Pentagon by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

One was not just assigned to this detachment, but rather interviewed for it at the Pentagon, so the work was extraordinary even applying Air Commando standards.

The aircraft had no standard markings on it, but were painted with a unique camouflage pattern of low-reflectivity black, green and brown paint. The aircraft was rigged with pylons on it. Runways were often replaced by landing on very wide roads. The 1131st Special Activities Squadron flew only at night. They operated in a shroud of secrecy, no reports, no tail numbers due to MACV-SOG.

All aircraft were sanitized as well as the nationality and individuality of those on board. The idea was to "just make it happen ".

Captain Carl Edwin Jackson enlisted in the Air Force in 1957 for two years. He re-enlisted in the Air Force Reserve, active duty, in 1960.

He was one of the elite chosen to work with MACV-SOG ( Military Assistance Command, Vietnam - Studies and Observation Group ). MACV-SOG was a joint service high command unconventional warfare task force engaged in highly classified operations throughout Southeast Asia.

Captain Jackson flew the C123 Provider in Vietnam.

Staff Sergeant Billie Leroy " Sam " Roth was on stand-by as a C123 cargo master on the night he was assigned to fly with Jackson.

Jackson, Staff Sergeant Billie Leroy " Sam " Roth, and 14 " Chinese Nationalists " were on board the night the flight was reported downed.

The co-pilot as well was Chinese.

The Department of Defense de-classified this information in the mid 1990s.

The family of Captain Jackson was told that on Sunday evening, word had it that Nha Trang was about to be under rocket and mortar attack.

Jackson and his commanding officer headed for the jeep, dropping off his c/o at one aircraft then drove to his own.
Apparently, the destination was Tan Son Nhut Air Base.

On 27 June 1965, while on final approach, Jackson's C123 started receiving ground-fire and subsequently crashed.

Rescue crews arrived at the scene and found that there were no survivors.

The FBI was brought in to fingerprint all on board, however, none of the bodies could be identified as Captain Carl Edwin Jackson, USAF.

Throughout the years, the U.S. government has still not positively located his crash site.

There have been at least two sites which correlated with his flight.

Further investigation of both sites proved negative results.

It has been rumored that his aircraft was flying somewhere near North Vietnam and that his C123 did take ground fire and crash. No one knew for sure whether or not anyone survived. The aircraft supposedly crashed north of " Thud Ridge ".


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

Over the years, the Jackson family and the Roth family have personally met to discuss the events.

They have shared personal information with each other as well.

On 16 May 1968, Chanute Air Force Base located in Illinios, dedicated a building to Captain Carl Edwin Jackson who had become the first casualty from Chanute in Vietnam. The building was named " Jackson Hall ".

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

Note: My name is Sgt. Thomas LaRoe (Birddog). I was at Nha Trang Air Base in May of 1965 I was stationed with the Special C-123s controled by the CIA and the Pentagon indeed were Special. First off the Pilots were trained at Hurlbeurt Field in Florida and not only flown by American Pilots on special occasions but flown by Chinese Nationalists from Taiwan where these Special Birds were stationed at when not at Nha Trang Air Base Vietnam. Now the men that worked on these planes only knew them as the Gray Birds. These C-123s only maked by a letter on the inside of the side entrance door and they were 'A', 'B', 'C', 'D' and 'E' and at that time they were only painted a two tone gray they were not painted the unique Camouflage pattern of Black,Green and Brown. On the Day in question June 27th 1965 the Nha Trang Air Base was to come under attack so all the ground crew of the C-123 Gray Birds preped their planes for takeoff on the morning of June 27th 1965. Now Captain Carl Edwin Jackson's plane that night was the Gray Bird 'E' aircraft and it took off with the other five aircraft. Where they went after that was Top Secret to everyone except the crew. The crew of the planes didn't live on base not even the loadmasters or other Air Commando Airmen that flew with the planes they lived in Villas off base and were transported to the base in enclosed trucks as to be not known by the locals because each and everyone of the crew either Americn or Chinese Nationalists had a bounty on their heads by the North Vietnamese. That night our base was mortared with 8 rounds of mortar and 3 of them landed at the fuel depot which we use (the gray birds) killing two Airmen. The remaining other 5 rounds of mortar landed on each spot where we had the five C-123s parked earlier that day. It was only in the early hours of the morning that we learned that Captain Jackson and Air Commando Loadmaster SSgt Billie LeRoy Roth's plane had been shot down while attempting to land at Tan Son Nhut Air Base in the late afternoon hours.

It was on approach to the runway when it disappeared of the radar scopes.


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

.
 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  Louis Roth (1901 - 1978)
  Phamie Roth (1903 - 1965)
 
 Siblings:
  Louise Roth Lee (1923 - 2000)*
  Robert Eugene Roth (1931 - 1945)*
  Billie Leroy Roth (1934 - 1965)
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Note: Looking for location of his Memorial Headstone.
 
Burial:
Lacon Cemetery *
Lacon
Marshall County
Illinois, USA
Plot: GPS is for Hawaii Memorial
GPS (lat/lon): 21.31323, -157.84734
*Cenotaph [?]
 
Created by: Eddieb
Record added: Dec 02, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 62454305
Sgt Billie Leroy Bill & Sam Roth
Added by: IL-MCHS
 
Sgt Billie Leroy Bill & Sam Roth
Added by: Eddieb
 
Sgt Billie Leroy Bill & Sam Roth
Added by: Eddieb
 
 
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- Eddieb
 Added: Jan. 20, 2015
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- Eddieb
 Added: Mar. 11, 2014

- TLK
 Added: Mar. 6, 2014
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