SCHUNEMANN JAMES EDWARD
Name: CW2 James Edward Schunemann
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 03/20/1970 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 22.2
Date of Birth: 01/09/1948
Home City: Manchester, NH
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 135 AHC, EMU
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 68-513/68-23
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 12W-026
Short Summary: Small arms fire. 135 AHC avionics officer.
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 100B = Utility/Observation Helicopter Pilot
Primary cause: Small Arms Fire
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: small arms fire
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: pilot
Started Tour: 05/19/1969
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - pilot
Length of service: 02
Location: Dinh Tuong Province IV Corps.
Additional information about this casualty:
I remember Jim getting hit with a single small arms round behind his chicken plate. He had to help his co-pilot out of the aircraft because the round that hit Jim had first gone through both of Bob Schmidt's legs. Submitted by Steve Sartor, 5TH VHPA REUNION.
The tenth anniversary of the Vietnam Memorial piqued my interest and my memory. James Edward Schunemann and I served together in the RVN in the 135 AHC at Bearcat. The information about his death is incorrect. I arrived in RVN in May of 69, Jim had been at the 135th for about 6 months. I was assigned to his slick platoon and flew with him as peter pilot. He was responsible for preparing me, in no small way, for the year to follow. After becoming an AC myself, we flew together in the 2nd platoon until he left for his 30 day leave stateside prior to beginning his second tour. Upon his return, I had transfered to the Gun platoon, made AC, and became the scheduling officer.
Jim was assigned to the Avionics section as OIC. This managed to bore him to tears, so he came to me often to fly guns. On march 20, 1970, we were flying together in a Charlie model as lead in a light fire team. Our mission was to support an insertion of an ambush team late in the afternoon. Enroute to the proposed LZ, we happened on a campsite in a treeline, and observed stacked rifles, a cookfire and uniformed Vietnamese. The C&C concluded that they were not friendly, and cleared us to engage. The bad guys on the ground, as it turned out were NVA, something you didn't see in IV Corps. After doing a fair amount of damage, we took a single round through the open door on the right side of the cockpit. The round passed through both of my legs, across the cockpit, and through Jimmie, and embedding itself in the armor plate on the other side of the copilot seat. My wingman told me later that the aircraft had rolled to about 115 degrees, before I recovered. The impact had thrown me over onto the radio consule, and my right leg into the cyclic. I flew about 5 klicks and landed, the slicks picked us up and transported us to an aid station. Jim died in surgery. Submitted by Bob Schmit, "Taipan 22" 5 Dec 1992.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - died of wounds
single male U.S. citizen
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 01/09/1997
Additional information is available on CD-ROM.
Please send additions or corrections to: The VHPA Webmaster Gary Roush.
Return to the Helicopter Pilot KIA name list
Return to the KIA panel date index
Date posted on this site:
Copyright © 1998 - 2019 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association