Name: Bryford Glenn Metoyer
Rank/Branch: 1st. Lt. / US Army
Unit: US Army Utility Tactical Transport
Helicopter Company, US Army Support Group, Vietnam
Date of Birth: 19 December 1938
Home City of Record: Oakdale LA
Date of Loss: 18 January 1964
Country of Loss: South Vietnam/Over Water
Status (in 1973):
Killed/Body Not Recovered
Aircraft Type: UH1B Gunship
Education: BS degree, Southern University, Baton Rouge, LA
Other Personnel In Incident: John L. Straley
1Lt. Bryford G. Metoyer was the
pilot of a UH1B Gunship Helicopter flying a tactical operation over South Vietnam.
During a strafing attack against an enemy position, his tail rotor was
damaged by enemy fire. While attempting to withdraw and return to his home
base, he made a wide turn out over the South China sea. In the process, he
experienced a complete tail rotor failure and crashed into the sea. The
operation was being conducted along the shoreline of the South China Sea
in the Kien Hua Province region. Three of the crew were rescued or
recovered, and a search for Metoyer and his co-pilot John L. Straley was
conducted for about 10 days with no results.
Metoyer and Straley are listed
among the missing because their remains were never found to send home to
the country they served. For their families, the case seems clear that
they died on that day. The fact that they have no body to bury with honor
prevents a complete closure in regards to his loss. He is survived by a
wife, Evelyn Alexis Metoyer, a
son Bryford G. Metoyer,
Jr, and a daughter, Elisha Metoyer who
was born while her father was serving in Vietnem.
1st. Lt. Bryford Metoyer and
his older brother, Major Herbert R. Metoyer, who was also a helicopter
pilot, served in Vietnam together. Major Metoyer completed his tour and
had return to the states 3 weeks prior to this incident.
later, 1st. Lt. Bryford Metoyer's son, Capt. Bryford G. Metoyer, Jr.
graduated from the West Point Military academy.
The White Ocean
Editorial from The Washington Post July 1, 1965
It has happened at last. At St. Augustine, Fla., despite the zealous
efforts of local segregationists, some Negroes were allowed to go swimming
in the Atlantic Ocean. Given the devious patterns pursued by the Gulf
Stream, reinforced by a branch of the trade-wind current off Florida, the
whole Eastern Coast of North America must now be considered desegregated
by every true-blue, red-blooded white supremacist. It is doubtful,
moreover, if, even the Gulf of Mexico can any longer be deemed completely
white. The tides these days are so erratic that there is no telling where
the consequences of this momentous immersion may be felt.
The marvelous thing about the immersion at St. Augustine in that it took
place with the consent of the local authorities and under the protection
of more than 100 policemen who guarded the bathers-some white, some
colored civil rights demonstrators-from a jeering horde of onlookers
determined to preserve the purity of the white race and of the Atlantic
Ocean. This is the more remarkable because a large part of the law
enforcement personnel in St. Augustine is said to consist of Ku Klux
Moreover, the civil rights demonstrators — that is, the persons asserting
a right to use part of the Atlantic Ocean — offered just the kind of
target that contemporary Klansmen like best. The demonstrators were
committed to non-violence, so that the white supremacists were able to
show their supremacy by slugging and stomping their helpless victims at
will. During the early demonstrations at St Augustine, the police did
nothing to interfere with this bloody sport, watching it, apparently, with
amusement and approval. But suddenly, they have called a halt.
Perhaps economics had something to do with the change. The Executive
Vice-President of the St. Augustine and St. Johns County Chamber of
Commerce said to Post Reporter, George Larder, Jr., “We’re vulnerable.
We’ve been getting 2 million tourist through here a year. They spend about
$22 million before they leave. I estimate this is going to cost us $8
million, to $10 million of that this summer. Summertime is our big season."
As everyone knows, $10 million is color blind. Perhaps, however, there is
another factor at work in this situation. Perhaps, observing the dignity
and the purposefulness of the rights demonstrators, some of the Klansmen
began uneasily to ask themselves if it was really so unreasonable for
these Negroes to want to use a little bit of the Atlantic Ocean for
themselves. And perhaps they looked at the Atlantic after the Negroes had
used it for a little while and saw that it seemed quite unchanged.
We should like to think that one other thought occurred to the people of.
St. Augustine. Just the other day the U.S. Army conferred the Army Air
Medal with Oak Leaf clusters on a fellow Southerner who came, actually,
not from Florida but from Mount Airy, La., not so very far away. The medal
was conferred-posthumously-on First Lt. Bryford G. Metoyer,
a Negro pilot, who had participated in over 300 combat operation
or aerial missions in South Viet-Nam until one day last
January when he was returning from a combat mission and his aircraft,
damaged by enemy fire, plunged into the Pacific Ocean. So, in a manner of
speaking, the Pacific had already, been desegregated and perhaps it was
really high for the Atlantic to go, too.
Oakdale Army Officer
Is Missing in Action
After Crash in China Sea
MISSING IN ACTION
— 1st Lt. Bryford G. Metoyer of Oakdale has been reported
missing in action off the China Sea, one mile off shore. He has been missing since Jan. 18 when the
helicopter in which he was piloting was hit by the enemy. The photo above
shows the lieutenant having his bars pinned on him by his wife, Mrs.
Evelyn Metoyer, left, and his mother, Mrs. Ruby Metoyer. He was 26 years
First Lieutenant Bryford G. Metoyer stationed in South Viet Nam has
been missing in action since January 18, 1964. The helicopter in which
Lieutenant Metoyer was piloting was hit by the enemy and crashed in the
China Sea one mile off shore. The 26 year old pilot even showed obvious
signs during his childhood that he was going to be a man of unshaken
courage and unlimited determination.
His life has been steered by his motto, “Nothing is impossible.” The
audacious officer hitch-hiked from South Vietnam to Oakdale, December 7.
1963 just to see his new-born baby and also got a chance to cast his vote
in the first primary election.
The handsome soldier is a native of Oakdale and a graduate of Allen
High. He attended Southern University in Baton Rouge where he received a
B.S. degree in Political Science. He is a member of the Greater Hayes
Chapel A.M.E. Church in Oakdale, pastored by Rev. L. V. Blount.
Lieutenant Metoyer is married to Mrs. Evelyn Metoyer of Mount Airy, LA
and they have two wonderful children, a little boy and a little girl. The
Army hero is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Metoyer, Sr. of Oakdale.
Naturally, Metoyer's relatives and thousands of friends were
unexplainably shocked when the sad news of his tragedy touched their
eardrums. But whether our hero is dead or alive, we find favorably
consolation in these words that say “A good soldier never dies, he just
Article appeared in the Alexandria
News Leader dated February 15, 1964.
Victor Metoyer Jr.
Metoyer Jr., 78, died Oct. 22, 2003, at Elliot Hospital after a brief
He was born in
Omaha, Neb., on March 26, 1925, the son of Victor and Rosalie (Gauthier)
He had resided
in Jersey City, N.J., and Lyndonville, Vt., and moved to Manchester in
He served as a captain in the U.S. Army.
Mr. Metoyer was an architectural designer and draftsman and a water
colorist. He was vice president of the New England African American
Genealogical and Historical Society and held membership in the Bedford
Boomers Model Railroad Club, Currier Art Museum, Zimmerman House Tours and
Synapse Society of St. Johnsbury, Vt.
Family members include his wife, Marie (Madison) Metoyer, M.D., of
Manchester; three sons, Victor Metoyer III of New York, N.Y., Stephen
Metoyer of Takoma Park, Md., and Eric Metoyer of San Francisco, Calif.;
two daughters, Mrs. John (Cecile) Garcia of Medford, Mass., and Mrs. Ken
(Adrienne) Eng of Newark, Calif.; four grandchildren and a
donations may be made to the Currier Gallery of Art, 201 Myrtle St.,
Manchester 03104 or a charity of one’s choice.