30 September 1966 – LtCol Walter “Mel” Fowler’s F-100 #553502 is hit in the engine by gunfire over SVN. He came close to capture or death by closely advancing Viet Cong before his wingman suppressed the advancing VC and he was picked up from the rice paddy by an Army Helo. Fowler was serving with
Duncan Padgett Smyly - KIA
Born an “Army BRAT” at Charleston, South Carolina, in 1934, while his parents were stationed at old Fort Moultrie, a nearby Army post of years past, Duncan Padgett Smyly lived his entire life in the military tradition. At an early age, he determined to follow the military profession and was graduated with the USMA Class of 1957. His first choice upon graduation was the Air Force and pilot training.
The early pattern of his service was a typical one for pilots. At first, were the various schools and flight training stations, then came instructing at flight schools followed by a tour of foreign service in Thailand and a return to Oklahoma State University at Stillwater where he obtained a Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering. Thereafter, he had a short stay at Sherman AFB, Texas, and then preparation for Vietnam where he arrived in January 1967 at Bien Hoa for duty with the 510th Tactical Fighter Squadron.(1)
“On November 11, 1967, Major Duncan P. Smyly and Lt. Kirk Brimmer were scrambled off the alert pad to support friendly troops in contact with the enemy. Captain Smyly was on a napalm pass when his aircraft was hit by enemy fire. His attempted ejection was unsuccessful.”(2)
Duncan is buried at Arlington National Cemetery and is honored on the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington DC. His name is inscribed at VVM Wall, Panel 30e, Line 34.