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Pickett David Henry

David Henry Pickett
Lieutenant Colonel
Serial Number:
United States Army
Date of Death:
Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia
Section 59
LOM w/OLC, Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, POW, MSM w/2OLC, Air Medal w/OLC, Joint Svc Comm Medal, ARCOM, ND Svc Medal, AF Expeditionary Medal, Humanitarian Svc Medal, Army Svc Medal, Overseas Svc Ribbon

David Henry Pickett was born on July 7, 1950, in Springfield, Windsor County, Vermont. He was the son of Edward Francis Pickett and Grace Lorraine Archambault Pickett.

Before LTC Picket's death, he was scheduled to complete his tour as commander of the 4th Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment, under the U.S. Army South in Panama. He was the senior Army aviation and safety officer for U.S. units in Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize, and Nicaragua, and an adviser on aviation employment in those countries. After the change of command, David was to go on to Ft. Rucker, Ala., for aviation command combat development, then to War College, a major step in moving up the Army career ladder. The change of command took place without either Pickett present.

LTC Picket was killed in El Salvador on January 2, 1991, during the 19791992 Salvadoran Civil War. Around 2:15 p.m., a Bell UH-1 Iroquois making its way to Honduras was shot down by the FMLN using a surface-to-air missile. Pilot Daniel Scott was killed in the attack, but two other servicemen, Lieutenant Colonel David Pickett (copilot) and Corporal Earnest Dawson (the engineer) managed to survive.

FMLN militants stole all the equipment from the helicopter and ordered locals to relocate the officers as the aircraft would be set on fire. A farmer told the United Press International that he had left for an hour to get water for the survivors, but they were already dead by the time he came back.

An autopsy by an American forensic team found that Pickett and Dawson had been murdered by the guerillas, each with gunshot wounds in the head. Pickett seemed to have been raising his left arm to defend himself when he was shot.

Source of information:,