Name: MAJ George Constable
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 05/23/1968 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Home City: Australia
Unit: 161 (INDEP) RECN FLT
Short Summary: Was shot down while flying a Bird Dog low over an Australian convoy. Crashed and burned near the village of Tan Uyen. Was unit commander
Call sign: POSSUM
Country: South Vietnam
Location: Bien Hoa Province III Corps.
Additional information about this casualty:
Major Constable, 161 Flight's Commander, and Cpl Watson were airborne in the Bird Dog flying 'road recces' for a convoy headed to the Australian fire support bases. When the aircraft ran low on fuel, Major Constable returned to Bien Hoa. Cpl Watson had other duties to carry out at Bien Hoa, so after refuelling Constable took off alone and set course for the convoy. He found the Australian vehicles without difficulty and was flying low just to the front of them when the Bird Dog was engaged and hit by ground fire. The small aircraft immediately crashed near the village of Tan Uyen and caught fire. Lt O'Brien witnessed the crash and within three minutes landed his Sioux next to the Bird Dog. By then however, the fire was out and "all that remained of the aircraft were its wing tips and tail section. The rest was molten aluminium. Poor old George didn't have a chance and prbably died instantly." Major Constable was a very popular commander both with his pilots and ground crews, who remember him as a likeable and considerate boss. His death came as a severe shock to the Flight's personnel, especially as some suspected that South Vietnamese soldiers fired the shots which bought his aircraft down.
The Officer Commanding the Flight in 1967/68, Captain George Constable although he flew fixed wing aircraft he also flew Bell 47 G3B-1 Sioux's. He died on the 23 May 68 when he was shot down whilst flying a Cessna O1-G Bird Dog on loan from the US Army. More information is available if required. Our unit was in Vietnam from Sept 1965 until March 1972. Initially we operated Cessna 180's and Bell 47 G3B-1 Sioux helicopters. In late 1967 we had a couple of Cessna O-1 Bird Dogs on loan from the US Army. We sent Australian Pilatus Porters to Vietnam in November 1969 and we operated eight (8) OH-58A Kiowa's, again on loan from the US Army, from July 71 until March 72. Regards Len Avery
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