Major John Walker was the co-pilot of a UH-1E (#152436) was on 20 April 1968, two VMO-2 gunships and one HML-167 gunship launched a search and destroy mission in the [Operation] Foster area. During a gun run, the HML-167 aircraft crashed, killing all aboard. The VMO-2 gunships provided cover in the crash area, and other gunships were launched to provide suppressive fire in the area. The lost crew members included aircraft commander 1LT Joseph A. Cestare, pilot MAJ William J. Walker, crew chief CPL Warren C. Parsons, and gunner SGT Joseph A. Zutterman Jr. Search and rescue units were unable to recover their remains and all were listed Killed In Action - Body Not Recovered.
Cheryl DiFiore Daughter of his friend My father, Hal DiFiore, flew with Bill Walker. During the war there was a shortage of pilots, so the pilots were cross-trained. Bill and Hal were flying jets, so they had to choose between helicopters and fixed-wings for their second aircraft. Bill chose the former. My father chose the latter (C-130's) because he said that helicopters were widow-makers. In April 1968, both my father and Bill were in Viet Nam flying for different squadrons. I can remember the day my mother found out that Bill was killed. I was 11 years old and my mother fell apart after the phone call. I thought that something had happened to my father, but quickly realized it was Bill. My father died in 1991 of Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia. It has now been proven to be a direct link to Agent Orange. My father carried 100's of barrels of the stuff on his cargo plane on a weekly basis. At the time, he didn't know that Agent Orange would also create a lot of widows. I hope they are finally both flying in peace. Friday, October 17, 2003