A1C Winters was assigned to the 600th Photo Squadron out of Bien Hoa AB, Vietnam.
On 19 July 1966, he was to “photograph a combat mission and flew in one of the F-100s assigned an interdiction mission. “He flew in F-100 #58-1217 “with Captain John R. Bottesch of Munhall, Pennsylvania who was assigned to 90th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Bien Hoa Air Base.
When the F-100 was making a strafing pass over a target in Long An Province near the city of Tan An, it was hit by hostile ground fire and crashed just short of the target area.
Winters is believed to have been killed in the crash of the aircraft, but there is no indication of the fate of the pilot in Air Force summaries of Winters’ loss incident.
A1C Winters was just beginning his second tour in Vietnam at the time of his death. “He was on his 302nd combat mission, 217 in the backseat of an F-100.
He had been awarded the Bronze Star for his actions on 16 May 1966 when a Viet Cong attack destroyed 13 aircraft and killed 30 servicemen (at Bien Hoa AB). He held the Air Medal with 12 Oak Leaf clusters, ” according to the Oakland Tribune of 3 August 1966.
He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.
It is in Gordon Winter’s honor that Air Force Photography’s most prestigious award has been named; the Darryl G. Winters Award and is presented annually to the outstanding photographer from the fields of still, motion picture, and video.”(1)
Darryl Gordon Winter’s name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.
Sources: usafcombatcamera.org; Honorstates.org;