Click here for more information about this incident

Name: CW3 Dean Richard Lange
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 09/03/1969 while performing the duty of Aircraft Commander.
Age at death: 31.2
Date of Birth: 06/05/1938
Home City: Nebraska City, NE
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: C/228 AVN 1 CAV
Major organization: 1st Cavalry Division
Flight class: 63-5W
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 18W-028
Short Summary: While hovering to extract ARVNs, died instantly when the warhead of an unexploded B-40 rocket passed through his upper body.
Aircraft: CH-47B tail number 67-18473
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 100B = Utility/Observation Helicopter Pilot
Primary cause: Hostile Fire
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: rockets or missiles or torpedoes
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: aircraft commander
Started Tour: 02/14/1969
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
Length of service: 12
Location: Phuoc Long Province III Corps.

Additional information about this casualty:
I was the C Company, 228th Operations Sergeant at the time of CW3 Lange's death, and I remember that day very well. I recall that, when CPT Mohler walked into Operations after the incident, his face was still as white as a bed sheet. Gary Myers' account is the most accurate and complete of any I have ever read and CPT Mohler's heroism and skill during the action cannot be over emphasized. He had to, within a split second, take the controls away from Lange's dead body and recover the aircraft while at a low hover in an extremely hostile environment. Crimson Tide 473 was on a final extraction mission from a hot LZ. I later wrote a scathing after action report, that I'm sure has been lost in the annals of the Army, in which I recommended that Chinooks never be employed in final extractions from a hot LZ. As a sidelight, I recall that CW3 Lange had been the Class A agent (pay officer) for C Company just three days previous. I have photos of 473 being lifted out by the CH-54 Sky Crane. Every time the crane would try to pick up 473, it's blades would cone way up. The crane had to burn-off much of its fuel before he could struggle into the air with the Chinook, but he made it. I recall another action during our excursion into the Laos sanctuaries that CWO Bob Barr ("Cowboy Bob") [I think that I have the name right], lifted off of an extremely hot LZ with 74 dead and wounded ARVNS aboard his B model Chinook. Even though the NVA "stitched" his aircraft up the side with 7.62 fire, Bob was able to get the aircraft, crew and load to safety. From: Bill Lee, 1SG (Ret), Crimson Tide 40

Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - killed
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Religion: Lutheran (Missouri Synod)
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 06/10/2012

This information is available on CD-ROM.

Additional information is available on KIAs at

Please send additions or corrections to: The VHPA Webmaster Gary Roush.

KIA statistics

Return to the Helicopter Pilot KIA name list

Return to the KIA panel date index

Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023

Copyright © 1998 - 2023 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association