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Name: CW2 Henry James William Tews
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 12/29/1968 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 22.7
Date of Birth: 04/11/1946
Home City: Shoshone, ID
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 174 AHC, 14 CAB
Major organization: 101st Airborne Division
Flight class: 67-13
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 35W-007
Short Summary: Transmission seized on maint flight out of LZ near dark LZ 25 miles w of duc pho, i Corps. unit maint officer was by himself.
Aircraft: UH-1D tail number 66-16811
Call sign: DOLPHINS
Service number: W3157437
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 062B = Helicopter Pilot, Utility and Light Cargo Single Rotor
Primary cause: A/C Failure
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: pilot
Started Tour: 09/28/1967
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - pilot
Length of service: 03
Location: Quang Ngai Province I Corps.

Additional information about this casualty:
Memory of a lost comrad. My name is Mark Lightner, I am a new member of the VHFCMA. I was in country from 3/16/68 until 2/2/70. I was assigned to the 174th AHC, 1st Aviation Brigade( and Americal Division) where I worked with the 452nd Signal Detachment, and later flew as a gunner with the 2nd flight platoon for a time. During my second year at Duc Pho, with the174th AHC, I was the NCOIC of the electric shop in the 409th TC Detachment, team leader of the recovery crew and ran the EM club. I am currently working on a masters degree at Western Washington University and work for the Veterans Educational Outreach Center, where I advise veterans in matters pertaining to veterans benefits and educational issues. I have often thought of the people that I served with while at Duc Pho and probably none more than those who didn't return. The following is a memory of one of those individuals that made the ultimate sacrifice; CW2 Henry Tews. In late March 1968, while working with the 452nd, I was performing an in-flight check of the avionics systems of a ship that was coming out of PE. Mr. Tews, who was our maintainence officer, was in the right seat, the team leader of the maintainence crew was in the left, while the other members of the maintainence crew and I were in the back. I had finished my job and was enjoying the ride, and the music from AFVN on the ADF, when Mr. Tews came over the intercom and instructed me to "tell everyone to put their seatbelts on, we just had a flame-out". I passed the order on to everyone in the back, which resulted in a good laugh all around. These guys knew that auto-rotation was part of the procedure and were getting a good laugh at the FNG (me) who was obviously in some state of deep concern over the loss of altitude we were experiencing. When we decended to an altitude that was below that of a normal auto-rotation, the maintainence guys finally awoke to the fact that we were not performing an auto-rotation, and in fact were going to crash into the South China Sea. As luck would have it, we rode an on-shore breeze and did a hard landing on the beach just east of LZ Bronco. No one had to swim for it, though some of us did get a little wet from the surf. Mr. Tews did a quick survey of the situation and quickly observed that his 38 revolver was the only weapon we had. As I was the only non-essential person, Mr. Tews handed me the 38 and instructed me to " go out there a few hunder feet and shoot anything that moves" As I sat crouched behind a bush looking for "anything that moved", I happened to notice that the revolver wasn't loaded. I quickly went back to Mr. Tews and informed him of the situation. He then proceded to go through his flight suit pockets looking for the ammunition. With a rather troubled look on his face, he informed me that " I must have left them in my other pants". Well, there we were in the middle of indian country without a weapon. Mr. Tews immediately got on the radio to the company and informed them of our plight. The Sharks were scrambled and we had gunship coverage within minutes. Thereafter,by order of Major Gibson, the CO, anyone leaving the company area was required to pack a weapon. For those who never had the pleasure of knowing CW2 Tews, he was a very caring, low key, down to earth individual who's Wyoming (actually he was from Idaho) roots were very evident in his demeanor; he sometimes wore cowboy boots with his flight suit. In short, a real good guy that related easily to all. My memory Mr. Tews is not one of a military man, but simply a memory of a good man. CW2 Henry Tews died later that year in a crash, while attempting to fly a helicopter, with mechanical problems, back to LZ Bronco at Duc Pho. From: mark lightner June 1997 Mark: I flew with Hank Tews in the 174th. You're right. Good guy. I have several pix of him on the front porch of the Shark hooch during one of our famous cookouts with steak and shrimp on the grill. Hank died trying to fly a Dolphin slick out of the mountains that had been shot down earlier in the day. John O'Sullivan was the AC. The ship got hosed pretty badly and they were trying to get a Hook in to lift it out. We were told they couldn't get a Hook in before dark so it was leave the ship in the mountains to get mortared or try to fly it out. Hank, being the maintenance pilot, said it would hold together long enough to crank, lift off and just drop out of the mountains down into Ha Than SF camp for the night where it would be somewhat secure. Unfortunately, the transmission siezed at about 1,000 feet and it dropped straight in. He almost made it. The hell of it was that Hank had just returned from his 30-day leave after extending for another six months. He didn't even have to be there. Good to have another 174th guy aboard. J.C. Pennington \/\/\/\/ Shark4 /\/\/\/\ 174th AHC 68-69 WORWAC 68-9 Buckeye Forever pen103@epix.net

Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - killed
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Religion: Methodist (Evangelical United Brethren)
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 06/30/1997

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Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023

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