Name: WO1 Edward Bruce Melody
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 02/23/1970 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 21.7
Date of Birth: 06/03/1948
Home City: Fayetteville, AR
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 162 AHC, 164 CAG
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 69-41/69-39
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 13W-049
Short Summary: Hit in the head and killed by a single round while the ship was orbiting at 1500 feet on a last light mission.
Aircraft: UH-1H
Call sign: VULTURE
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 100B = Utility/Observation 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: pilot
Started Tour: 01/20/1970
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - pilot
Location: Phong Dinh Province IV Corps.

Additional information about this casualty:
He was the copilot of a slick accompanying gunships on a last light recon south of Can Tho. He was hit in the head and killed by a single round while the ship was orbiting at 1500 feet. He was the only one on the ship who was hit. from Stan Gause, December 2000.

WO Edward B. Melody, in country only 2 months, was killed on February 23rd as pilot of a slick accompanying a Copperhead fire team on a Last Light Recon south of Can Tho near Phung Hiep. The AC, Cpt Matt Fleming, was flying in a right orbit at 1500 feet and WO Melody was looking out the window at the ground. Suddenly a machine gun opened up from somewhere below and a round hit WO Melody in the left eye, killing him instantly. It was the only round to hit the ship. I WAS IN OPERATIONS WHEN CAPT. FLEMING GOT BACK TO THE UNIT, THE CO WAS 'VERY PISSED' WITH HIM FOR NOT FOLLOWING COMPANY S.O.P.!! CW2 Eric W. Bray, 12/69-12/70 Can Tho, RVN

The ground fire did down the helicopter and the controls were shot and jammed which resulted in a crash landing. Mr. Melody was also killed prior to the crash. I am sorry but I cannot account for descriptions of an event from individuals who were not present We were picked up by a Medivac helicopter.

To the best of my knowledge, aside from the US crew of the helicopter, the others on the aircraft were all ARVN officers. I am sure I would have remembered if another US officer was on board. However, I you could let me know which unit then LT Denton was assigned to and that information might help.

In any event, other than Mr. Melody, no others were hurt wounded in the event.

Subsequently, I was awarded a Cross of Gallantry by the Republic of Vietnam for the same event.

From: Matthew Fleming

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 10/24/2008

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Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023

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