Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
William L. McDaniel II, MSgt. USAFJune 12, 1965 – February 21, 2002
Air Force Master Sgt. McDaniel was assigned to the 320th Special Tactics Squadron, stationed at Kadena Air Base, Japan. McDaniel was killed in an MH-47E Chinook helicopter crash during a training exercise in the Philippines. Bill was a successful crew chief when he decided he wanted to do something more. He wanted to pursue a dream to become a Pararescueman. Pararescuemen are trained to drop out of helicopters and other aircraft to rescue people at sea or behind enemy lines. Fellow soldiers fondly remember one mission where Bill was thrown into the sea when his raft overturned and he was forced to get to shore on his own. As he was coming on shore they noticed that the zipper on his dry suit was open and his suit was filled with water up to his waist. He came in shaking his head but as soon as he saw them laughing, he realized just how funny it was. He smiled and went on with the mission – he loved his job. Bill was always there with a smile no matter how bad a mission got; he was able to find some good in everything. He was the epitome of the “quiet professional” who never sought recognition, yet who was named the 320th’s Pararescueman of the year for 2001 when he was assigned to Kadena. He leaves behind his wife, Deborah, and son.
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