Rank: Warrant Officer
Unit: Air Cavalry Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment
MOS: 100B – Utility/Observation Helicopter Pilot
Awards: Purple Heart Medal, Air Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
Unit awards: Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm device
Start of tour: 19-Dec-1971
Note: OH-6A, Tail # 67-16347, Pilot
Flight class: 71-9, Fort Wolters, Texas
Enlisted by: Reserve
Date of birth: 31-Aug-1949
Hometown: Buffalo, Wyoming
Marital status: Married to Margaret L. Skiles, one son
Campaign: Vietnam Conflict
Incident date: 19-Dec-1971
Date of casualty: 19-Dec-1971
Age at death: 22
Cause of death: Hostile, died while missing. Unknown. Aircraft loss, crash not at sea.
Thomas William Skiles was killed while the pilot of a military aircraft on a military mission when the aircraft was fired upon by a hostile force crashed and burned.
On December 19, 1971, an OH-6A Cayuse (tail number 67-16347, call sign “White 1”) carrying two crew members took off on a bomb damage assessment mission with a target area southeast of Dambe, Kampong Cham Province, Cambodia. During the mission, this aircraft received heavy enemy ground fire, was hit, and burst into flames. The aircraft passed over an open area and crashed into a tree line at (GC) XU 026 248. It exploded upon impact and was completely destroyed by fire. A strong enemy presence in the area turned back all attempts to search the crash site and recover crew remains.
Peter Charles Forame and Thomas William Skiles are list as Missing In Action.
Two Blackhorse troopers died in this incident:
1LT Peter Charles Forame
WO Thomas William Skiles
Location of fatality: Cambodia
Place of interment: Honolulu Memorial, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
View this soldier‘s Find a Grave page (opens in a new window)
Vietnam Veterans Memorial panel and row: 02W 089 (view Vietnam Veterans Memorial link in a new window)