Helicopter UH-1B 62-01907


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1B tail number 62-01907
Date: 02/07/1965
Incident number: 0B453ACD Accident case number: 0B453 Total Loss Accident
Unit: 119 AHC
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was LOSS TO INVENTORY
for Troop Extraction , Hot Area.
Unknown this helicopter was on Take-Off at UNK feet and UNK knots.
South Vietnam
Count of hits was not possible because the helicopter burned or exploded.
Explosive Weapon; Non-Artillery launched or static weapons containing explosive charges. (MORTAR)
Systems damaged were: PERSONNEL
Casualties = 01 DOI, 01 INJ . . Number killed in accident = 1 . . Injured = 2 . . Passengers = 0
The helicopter Crashed. Aircraft Destroyed.
Both mission and flight capability were terminated.
costing 193648
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Army Aviation Safety Center database. Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center Helicopter database. Also: OPERA, UH1P1, 01500, CRAFX, CASRP (Operations Report. Crash Facts Message. Casualty Report. )
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
P CPT MARKOS GEORGE KIA
P W1 JL IRWIN
CE E4 JA HLAD


War Story:
Markos was a pilot in the third (armed) platoon also serving as the platoon Armament Officer in charge of the Armament systems on the gun ships. I joined the 3rd platoon in December 1964, just after I got Aircraft Commander orders flying slicks in the 2nd platoon. I had to start all over in the 3rd platoon and I flew with everyone, including Markos, while training.

On February the 7th, 1964 I was in Saigon picking up armament parts for the platoon as I had been selected to replace Markos as the platoon armament officer. I had a slick for transportation of the parts. I was with the Company Awards Officer, another Warrant, Le Roy Spivey. We returned about midnight to Pleiku (Holloway) with the aircraft full of all aluminum rocket pods with built-in intervalometers--both high reliability mods to the tubes. I was very proud to have wrangled them out of the supply depot in Saigon. The aircraft was so full the Crew Chief and Gunner rode lying down on top of the tubes that filled the interior--a situation they had volunteered for since the alternative was to leave some tubes behind.

We went to bed shortly after arriving and about 02:00 I awoke hearing a funny "Thump" sound some distance away. After about three of them, I figured out that the sound was mortar tubes. Shortly thereafter the first rounds hit, first in the enlisted hooch area and seconds later all around my Hooch and over the Gun Ship area and Officer Hooch area.

After a lot of scrambling, which is another story, Markos and I ended up in one of the Slicks parked next to the Guns, almost all of which had been Satchel charged. After a cursory inspection for satchel charges we loaded up--crew members were out helping sort things out and all were ready to go get 'em. We picked up a crew chief and a gunner and left. The mortar attack had stopped but it seemed like every gun at Holloway was firing--mostly into the air when we took off. Markos was flying after I had started and run up, and he took off while I was strapping in. Just about the time I finished locking the seat belt together, the aircraft yawed and Markos lowered the power and we hit the ground just about simultaneously. The aircraft bounced high and rolled over, coming down on the right side, upside down. Markos was thrown out of the aircraft and the gunner was trapped under an auxiliary fuel cell in the cabin and the Aircraft was on fire in the engine area. The crew chief, Jerry Hladd and I got the gunner out of the aircraft and set up his M60. We located Markos and administered first aid including resuscitation and then planned how to get back inside to get him help. I started for the camp with Jerry looking after Markos, but I could not do it due to leg injuries that I just began to feel. Jerry volunteered to go back--which was about like walking into a gigantic firing squad--every thing on the perimeter was firing out. Subsequent examination indicated some kind of tail rotor damage/failure had started the problem. I never saw the aircraft again. By the time I got out of the hospital, it had been removed.

Markos was severely injured and died later that day in the hospital at Nha Trang. He had been due to rotate home in about three weeks. He was Tarrant County, Texas (Fort Worth) first Vietnam casualty. We had about 125 wounded and nine dead that night, including about 75 percent of the company/battalion medics who lived in the same barracks and took a direct hit. One of the ironies of war.

Jerry was a hero that night, volunteering to go back into the camp to get help for Markos--all of this while they were shooting at anything and everything whether it moved or not--and, of course, we were on the outside trying to get back in.

From: Jim Erwin

This record was last updated on 03/03/2009


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