Name: CW2 Harold Lee Eckert, Jr.
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 04/18/1969 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 21.9
Date of Birth: 05/25/1947
Home City: Hershey, PA
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: A/159 ASHB 101 ABN
Prior Unit: 242 ASHC 1968
Major organization: 101st Airborne Division
Flight class: 67-15
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 27W-108
Short Summary: 30 cal hits in fuel tank near LZ Thor, Pike, Lash north of Da Nang with CWO Davis. Ran out of fuel, crashed & burned trying to return.
Aircraft: CH-47B tail number 67-18536
Call sign: Pachyderm
Service number: W3157534
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 062B = Helicopter Pilot, Utility and Light Cargo Single Rotor
Primary cause: .30 Caliber
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: pilot
Started Tour: 05/01/1968
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
Length of service: 03
Location: Thua Thien Province I Corps.
Additional information about this casualty:
What happened to Harold Lee Eckert, Jr."Weird Harold" was an ambush at LZ "Thor". We had been re-supplying the LZ's along the east side of the A Shau Valley for some time. "Thor", "Pike" and "Lash" were the fire bases that controlled the southern third or so of the A Shau. "Thor" was the furthest south. We had started early in the morning to get the "red-legs" enough ammo to last them through another night. "Weird Harold" took the "long haul" from "Birmingham", a re-supply and refuel area west of Hue, to "Thor". In the late morning, on yet another final approach, "Charlie" jumped him. When they were close enough to be committed to set the load down the stuff hit the fan. In addition to the .30 caliber hits they took an RPG in the left main fuel cell. The JP-4 didn't go off, even when it hit the engine. There was so much fuel it literally drowned the #1 engine. The only message we received was Harold saying "I'm hit!" We think he was taken out by the gun fire. The aircraft lost rotor RPM and started to settle in. #2 wasn't able to recover and the RPM dropped below stability level, then the blades folded - again from low RPM. The "Hook" fell the last 30-50 feet and rolled into a ravine full of "Punji" stakes. By the time we could get the area secured and a rescue team in the entire crew was dead. They were probably dead already anyway. information from Harry R. Nevling "Pachyderm"
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - killed
single male U.S. citizen
Religion: Brethren (Dunkers)
Burial information: CONOY CEMETERY, LANCASTER, PA
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 01/04/2003
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Date posted on this site: 05/26/2019
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