Sgt James Mack Lawing
Birth: Jan. 24, 1947 Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co., NC.
Death: Oct. 4, 1968 Quang Tin, Vietnam.
SGT James Mack Lawing, Vietnam Veteran native of Charlotte, NC was a member of the Army Selective Service and a Draftee, 21 years old and was married. James died when a Helicopter blade struck him while waiting to board. His body was recovered.
An Army Helicopter was on a resupply mission for the 3/21 Infantry BN, 23d Infantry Div. The aircraft’s cargo consisted of approximately 400 pounds of resupplies and three passengers which were to be delivered to LZ Center. Also, 900 pounds of fuel was on board. The aircraft commander contacted the ground unit and requested smoke. After analyzing the smoke and touchdown point conditions, he elected to begin his approach; landing approximately to the southeast. All aircraft engine instruments indicated normal readings. The approach was considered normal until the last 20 feet of the maneuver.
The aircraft, assumed to be now closing at a rate slightly faster than normal, made contact with the ground sooner than anticipated by aircraft commander, the right skid striking the ground with a force greater than normal. This initial ground contact caused the aircraft to roll excessively to the left, the aircraft commander applied right cyclic to correct this condition. The excessive application of right cyclic caused the main rotor system to strike the ground on the right side of the aircraft. Blade disintegration and complete loss of control occurred with the aircraft completely rolling over to the right and coming to rest in an inverted position. After ground contact the main rotor system killed James.
He served with Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 196th Infantry Brigade, Americal Division. He was awarded The Combat Infantryman’s Badge, The Bronze Star Medal, The Purple Heart Medal with One Oak Leaf Cluster for his combat related wounds, The Vietnam Service Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign Service Medal, The National Defense Service Medal and The Good Conduct Medal.
Burial: Forest Lawn West Cemetery Charlotte, Mecklenburg Co., NC
(Source: Posted with permission of Tom & Jim Reece, #46857744;
finding NC Vietnam KIA/MIA’s gravesites; Reconfigured and submitted by: Ron Yates)