Name: WO1 Robert Eugene De Vinney
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 12/07/1969 while performing the duty of Aircraft Commander.
Age at death: 22.2
Date of Birth: 09/30/1947
Home City: Mound, MN
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 235 AWC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 69-27
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 15W-035
Short Summary: AK47 gunshot wound to the head in front seat coming out of a gun run north of Soc Trang. Back seat was WO1 George Caldwell who flew
Aircraft: AH-1G
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 100E = Attack Helicopter Pilot
Primary cause: Hostile Fire
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: small arms fire
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: co-pilot
Started Tour: 11/27/1969
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
Length of service: 03
Location: Kien Hoa Province IV Corps.

Additional information about this casualty:
Robert De Vinney had been in our unit less than one month when he was killed. I don't recall that we had flown together before this day. Earlier that morning, our aircraft had sustained enough battle damage that they flew a replacement ship out for us to continue the mission. We were flying as the wing ship on a PHAMTON 3 mission. On these missions two Cobras would escort a Command and Control Huey that had an American Advisor and an ARVN officer. Basically, the C&C ship would direct us to an area, identify the target, and declare it a free-fire zone. We would shoot it up. After taking all the hits earlier in the day, we decided to 'play by the book' and not go lower than 1500 feet AGL. We were working an area east and north of Soc Trang where the river empties into the ocean. I remember the lead Cobra made a gun run and we came in behind him to cover and engage the target. As we were pulling up, a single AK round entered the front canopy on the left side and hit Robert in the head. I could see blood splattered on both sides of the canopy near his helmet and he wouldn't answer when I talked to him on the intercom. I immediately flew toward the hospital at Binh Thuy pulling in all the power I could. I even jettisoned my rocket pods to give us a little more speed. When I landed on the hospital pad, several guys ran out and recovered Robert from the aircraft. As they did I noticed the round was protruding from the rear of his helmet. After they closed the canopy, I flew the ship back to Can Tho and landed on the maintenance pad. Later that day I learned for someone in the company that Robert had passed away while in a DUSTOFF ship heading to Saigon. Needless to say but I remember the events of this day very clearly! Submitted to the VHPA by George A. Caldwell in September 2002.

Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - killed
single 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: battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: warrant officer
This record was last updated on 09/12/2013

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Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021

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