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Raybon John D.

John D. Raybon
Chief Warrant Officer
Serial Number:
United States Army
Date of Death:
North Carolina
Fort Bragg Main Post Cemetery, Fort Bragg, Cumberland County, North Carolina

John D. Raybon was born on March 15, 1948. He was the son of Marvin William Raybon and Helen Irene Smith Raybon.

John was killed on July 15, 1987, when the helicopter carrying him crashed into a hillside during stormy weather 10 miles east of San Salvador, El Salvador. This incident resulted in the deaths of 6 Americans.

CW2 Raybon is now buried in the Fort Bragg Main Post Cemetery, Fort Bragg, Cumberland County, North Carolina, USA.

The nighttime mission CW2 Raybon and the others were killed was a medevac effort. Two Special Forces advisers, assigned as trainers at the Salvadoran training base in La Union, had gotten into an argument over a Salvadoran female. During the confrontation, one of the Green Berets shot the other with his M16. Due to the seriousness of the incident senior American military officers were onboard the helicopter as investigators.

Just seven minutes after taking off the pilot was forced to attempt to return to the airfield due to extremely poor weather. It was during this attempt that the crash occurred. The Pentagon identified the victims as: Sgt. 1st Class Lynn Keen, 27, a Special Forces medic; 1st Lt. Gregory J. Paredes, 24, a pilot; Chief Warrant Officer, John D. Raybon, 29, copilot; Spec. 4 Douglas L. Adams, 22, of Corvallis, Ore., the crew chief; and Lt. Col. Joseph L. Lujan, 41, Special Forces. Also killed was Air Force Lt. Col. James M. Basile, 43, of Cheshire, Conn.