Click here for more information about this incident

Name: WO1 Robert Lee Banks
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 08/27/1966 while performing the duty of Aircraft Commander.
Age at death: 21.5
Date of Birth: 02/22/1945
Home City: Philadelphia, PA
Service: reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: A/501 AVN
Flight class: 66-5W
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 10E-050
Short Summary: Gunship on a sweep off the end of Tan Son Nhut airport when A/C lost its tail boom w/ William Perkins.
Aircraft: UH-1B tail number 66-00496
Call sign: RATTLERS
Service number: W3153104
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 062B = Helicopter Pilot, Utility and Light Cargo Single Rotor
Primary cause: A/C Accident
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: pilot
Started Tour: 06/19/1966
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - pilot
Length of service: 02
Location: Unknown Province

Additional information about this casualty:
Had been doing troop insertions and doing gunship cover. Perkins was 3 to 4 days from DROS and swapped gunships with Hingston and left a rubber plantation outside of Tay Ninh and was enroute to Saigon for DROS paperwork when tail boom came off. Perkins was Hingston's mentor and good friend. Banks was Hingston's classmate. (information from Will Hingston) The aircraft lost its tail boom and went in. The aircraft hit flat and Bob Banks got out. He ran from the aircraft and turned around and saw the others were still in the aircraft and went back. The aircraft exploded killing all 4 crew members. The accident board said that the rocket pod had come loose, swung back and hit the tail boom. CW2 William Dewitt Perkins, Jr. was the aircraft commander. Information from Paul W. Beverung.

Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died while missing
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Religion: Roman Catholic
The following information secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: warrant officer
This record was last updated on 06/20/1993

This information is available on CD-ROM.

Additional information is available on KIAs at

Please send additions or corrections to: The VHPA Webmaster Gary Roush.

KIA statistics

Return to the Helicopter Pilot KIA name list

Return to the KIA panel date index

Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023

Copyright © 1998 - 2023 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association