Bill Dunlap was born on September 21, 1946, in Westline, Arkansas. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on July 7, 1964, and after completing basic training at Fort Polk, Louisiana, and advanced training as a helicopter mechanic at Fort Rucker, Alabama, Dunlap served as a helicopter mechanic and crew chief with the 545th Transportation Detachment and the 119th Aviation Company in South Vietnam from March 1965 to March 1966. His next assignment was as an instructor at Fort Rucker from April 1966 to May 1967, when he was accepted into the Warrant Officer Rotary Wing Aviator Course. Dunlap was appointed a Warrant Officer and awarded his Army Aviator Wings on May 21, 1968, and then served with the 297th Aviation Company at Fort Riley, Kansas, from June to August 1968. His next assignment was with the 238th Aerial Weapons Company at Fort Riley from August 1968 to March 1969, followed by service as a UH-1 Huey pilot with the 129th Assault Helicopter Company, 268th Aviation Battalion, 17th Aviation Group of the 1st Aviation Brigade in South Vietnam from March 1969 until he was killed in action on December 2, 1969. CW2 Dunlap was officially listed as Missing in Action until declared dead on February 20, 1979, during which time he had been promoted to Chief Warrant Officer 3 (CW3). His remains were returned to the U.S. on January 23, 1989, and he was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Epitaph For A Hero
If I should perish overseas
In service to my Land
I shall have died a noble death--
Let none misunderstand.
I hope my body will be found,
Returned back to my home,
Where it was nourished and inspired--
No more to yearn, or roam.
Home is the soldier then from the war
Back to his family;
Home is the patriot at last,
Buried in majesty.
Pause, visitor, and cast a glance,
Upon a hero's grave;
Be thankful to breathe Freedom's air,
For which his life he gave.