HEITMAN, STEVEN WAYNE
Name: Steven Wayne Heitman
Rank/Branch: E5/US Army
Unit: H & H Troop; 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry; 1st Cavalry Division
Date of Birth: 23 April 1943
Home City of Record: Indianapolis IN
Date of Loss: 13 March 1968
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 163650N 1072618E (YD601383)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Other Personnel In Incident: Cleveland Evans; Jimmy L. Watson (both missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1991 from one or more of
the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence
with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W.
SYNOPSIS: On March 13, 1968, SP5 Heitman, Sgt. Evans, passengers, WO Jimmy
Watson, pilot, SFC Eugene Gubbins, PFC Larry Moore and Lt. Purda,
crewmembers and 4 unidentified passengers of the 101st Airborne Division
were aboard a UH1H helicopter (tail #67-17254) which proceeded north from
Phu Bai airfield on a logistics mission to Camp Evans, Republic of Vietnam.
About 3-5 miles southeast of Camp Evans, the helicopter was hit by enemy
fire and was forced to land. All 10 persons exited the aircraft and split
into two 5-man teams in an attempt to evade to friendly lines.
Lt. Purda and the four 101st Airborne personnel walked into Camp Evans at
2000 hours. An intensive search was initiated, but failed to reveal any
trace of the aircraft or the 5 missing. On March 28, elements of the 1st
Cavalry Division found 2 bodies in a shallow grave in the area of the crash
site. They were later identified as those of SFC Gubbins and PFC Moore. The
fates of the other 3 remained a mystery and the three were classified
Missing in Action.
Since the war ended, thousands of reports have convinced many authorities
that hundreds of Americans are still held captive in Southeast Asia. The
three survivors of the helicopter crash on March 13, 1968 could be among
them. They also could be dead. Until the U.S. seriously pursues his fate, we
may not know with certainty what happened to Steve Heitman.
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