Maj. Bunting was not the pilot of the helicopter. I have long since forgotten the names of the crew members but there were two pilots and Bert was not one of them. We were on a flight from Bearcat to Tan An and checking on reports of VC activity south of Saigon. VC were out and about without their usual caution but at that time we had no idea why. The date was 30 Jan 1968. The helicopter was flying low across open flat terrain which at the time I had a bad feeling about. I had been on missions flying low over dense canopy and trees to take advantage of the reduced visibility from the ground and I did not feel the need for flying so low over open country. About 15 to 20 minutes into the flight we began taking ground fire from the left side of the helicopter. Bert was seated on the right side and leaned over to start talking on the radio and as he did so his flak jacket rode up on his back and just then he took a round in his back. If he had remained upright a few more seconds the round would have impacted on the flak jacket. The right side gunner was wounded, rather severely as I recall, and the right side pilot was wounded in the leg. One other passenger, an EM whose name I have also forgotten, was winged on his leg. The helicopter took several rounds and caused some damage but in the excitement I don't know to what extent. We diverted to Hotel 3 at Ton San Nhut and got everyone packed off to the medics. As you know Bert died of his wound. As I understand it he had severe organ damage, including one kidney. His other kidney failed eventually causing his death. I volunteered to go the "morgue" and re-identified his body. I should add that although Bert was not the aircraft commander he was directing the actions of the aircraft, telling them where he wanted to go, etc From: Robert F. Ward <email@example.com>
Reason: gunshot or small arms fire
Casualty type: Hostile - died of wounds
married male U.S. citizen
Religion: Episcopal (Anglican)
Burial information: FOREST LAWN CEMETERY, NORFOLK, VA
The following information secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: officer
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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017
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