The Walter E. Demsey Memorial Gallery

SP4 Walter E. Demsey was killed in a helicopter crash on 18 February 1971. The aircraft crashed on the Laos/Vietnam border in the Southern part of the A Shau Valley. Walter's body was not recovered. At the time of his death, Walter was a member of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Mobile).

Walter's brother, Dave, made an attempt to reach the crash site in May of 1992. Dave's trip was made in conjunction with an official trip by a joint US-Vietnamese POW/MIA Search Team. Also making the trip was Wayne Jones who served as his brother's door gunner two weeks before the crash.

The pictures, maps, and other information in this gallery document Dave's trip. Dave can be reached on the Internet at:

"The Long Journey Home "

From Dave's notes:

"The beautiful A Shau Valley. It was a trip I will never forget...

...wading in leech infested streams, crossing cliffs by holding onto rotted tree roots, 60-degree slopes, 140 varieties of poisonous snakes, the most unusual insects in the world, and jungle so dense at the bottom of the ridge lines that you could not see more than a few feet in front of you.

I cannot imagine what it was like during the war when the enemy could be waiting up that trail, and you can't see more than a few feet. It's a shame that more people can't experience this. It would give them a greater understanding of the conditions that our troops went through. You can read all the books and watch all the movies, but you cannot know what it was like until you go there."

Read Dave's entire journal of the trip "The Long Journey Home"

Photos and maps of the trip

Wayne Jones (L) and Bob Clewell (R) Wayne was Walter's door gunner on the UH-1H helicopter. Bob was Walter's CO at the time.

The hotel in A Loui A Loui is in the southern end of the A Shau Valley.

The Leader of the U.S. Search Team buying ice cream from a vendor in A Loui

The U.S. Search Team eating dinner at the hotel in A Loui

The bath area at the hotel. All the comforts of home!

An impromptu dance was held in our honor at A Loui

This was my room at A Loui

My brother's friend, Wayne Jones in the A Shau Valley

A close up of Wayne

The joint U.S.-Vietnamese search team heading for the Western wall of the A Shau Valley (background)

This is one of the border guards that accompanied the search team.

A U.S. Jeep Cherokee pulls a Soviet-made jeep out of the mud in the A Shau.

Dave Demsey in the A Shau Valley May, 1992.

A close up of me dressed for action

A memorial service for my brother. This was taken very close to the actual crash site.

This is a close up of the nameplates honoring the U.S. Army soldiers killed in the crash.

CW2 George P. Berg
WO1 Gerald E. Woods
SP4 Walter E. Demsey
SP4 Gary L. Johnson
Sgt Allen R. Lloyd (SF)
Capt Ronald L. Watson (SF)

Another picture of the memorial service

The LZ at Camp Eagle, 1992

New building on the Perfume River in the city of Hue.

My brother, Walter.From a polaroid picture taken during his tour in VN.

A close up of the same picture

My Brother

My Brother A smaller version

A copy of a color photo showing the area of the Laos-VN border where the Huey was shot down.

Another picture of the area.

A composite photograph of the crash site taken in 1971.

A NASA Landsat satellite photograph of the A Shau Valley.

An aeronautical chart showing the area of South Vietnam and Laos. The A Shau is marked.

Marble Mountain showing the location of the former Special Forces Camp

Party Line One area of Bill McBride's ill-fated reconnaissance patrol shown on 1:50,000 map provided by Dave Demsey. This .jpg file is 1.8 MBytes. You might want to download it to your disk before viewing it.