DUNEMAN ALLEN EUGENE

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Name: WO1 Allen Eugene Duneman
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 11/27/1968 while performing the duty of Aircraft Commander.
Age at death: 25.9
Date of Birth: 01/19/1943
Home City: Magnolia, IA
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 187 AHC, 269 CAB
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 68-501
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 38W-073
Short Summary: While flying flare ship, a flare ignited onboard and burned through controls. Gary Roush picked up bodies in a CH-47. W/Ritzau.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 65-09620
Call sign: Crusader 29
Service number: W3160178
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: 05/03/1968
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - pilot
Length of service: 06
Location: Tay Ninh Province III Corps.

Additional information about this casualty:
"At Tay Ninh, everybody was scurrying to get other birds to go back out to help, and I found out that both Al Duneman and Lt. Ritzau's helmet mike cords had been shot apart, so neither could talk with anybody. Hueys aren't like movie soundtracks - you can't hear people talking over the engine and transmission noise. Ritzau had been shot in the hand, but Al was looking for another bird. I took a D-model with a bunch of crew chiefs back to recover the aircraft I'd been flying, because I knew where it was. It got damaged, too, and I had to turn it over to maintenance when I got back. They told me my own bird would be out of its 100 hour, and ready to fly in an hour. I went to tell Operations, and they decided to rig my bird to drop flares, to illuminate LZs the flight would be going into that night. I had nothing else to do while they got it ready, so I went to the Mobile Unit Surgical Hospital next door, to see if my roommate, Bob Trezona, was going to make it. They were cutting off his lips when I got there, so I went back to our company area. My helicopter was lifting off as I walked up, and I was really mad about that. Duneman had convinced the Captain in Operations that since I'd been shot down twice, and he'd only been shot down once, he should get to fly the mission. Ritzau wanted to go with him, and did, even with his hurt hand. The helicopter he was flying was 056. It started out as a D-Model, but had recently been rebuilt, and upgraded with a new -13 engine. All our birds were named, and it had Shay painted on the left pilot's door, after my future ex-wife. I'd let my crew chief name his side, and he had Angel painted on the right door. I hated that, because it seemed too sweet, but he flew with me, too, so I didn't complain to him. Duneman's own bird was named War Monger, because that was when all the media were calling us that, and it seemed like a big joke to us. A flare ship took a fifth crewman, to toss out the magnesium parachute flares. The mission required flying at a certain height above the ground. If dropped from too high, the flare wouldn't provide the optimum illumination for the flight, and if too low, would burn out on the ground, where it did no good. The pilot knew flare ignition and burn time, and how far it should fall during that time. Then to be precise, he would watch the burn time of the first flare, and adjust so that the flare burned out while in the air, but didn't burn out too high. He also had to judge the wind correctly, so that the flares would illuminate the right place, but the parachutes wouldn't fly into the light path of the other aircraft. I wasn't flying that night, mainly because there weren't any more flyable aircraft in our unit. Older guys in their mid-twenties probably also noted that I was in a state of mild shock. But I couldn't sleep, and I was afraid to be alone, so I went to Operations, and listened to the flight's radio transmissions. They were south of Dau Tieng. I don't remember what time it was that Duneman called "Flare ship's receiving fire", but it was a very calm statement. His next call was the same. A couple of minutes later, his last transmission was to our commander, Crusader Six, and was, "Six, I'm on fire! I'm on fire!" They crashed into thick single canopy regrowth jungle, and the flight path at time of impact seems to have been very steep. The fifth crewmen had jumped from the aircraft at some point before impact. There was nothing salvageable on the aircraft. I have a bit of the crash scene on 8mm that I transferred to videotape. All it shows is a burned helicopter in trees and brush." Taken from Ronald N. Timberlake's letter to Al Duneman's widow, Mrs. Theresa Losure at her request.

Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - killed
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Religion: Lutheran (Missouri Synod)
Burial information: FT SNELLING NATIONAL CEM, MINNEAPOLIS MN
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 07/25/1998


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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