Information on U.S. Marine Corps helicopter UH-34D tail number 148781
Date: 10/08/1963 MIA-POW file reference number: 0019
Incident number: 63100808.KIA
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Reference Notes. Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Also: OPERA (Operations Report. )
Loss to Inventory
AC CPT HARRIS WILLIAM THOMAS KIA
CP 1LT LESSIG DANIEL KEPNER KIA
CE SGT JAMESON LARRY DUANE KIA
RS LCP RITCHEY LUTHER EDMOND JR RR
MD HM3 DENTON MANUEL REYES RR
Passengers and/or other participants:
LT FARRELL BRUCE CHARLES, NA, FS, KIA
Manuel Reyes Denton Luther E. Ritchey (0019) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Lance Corporal Luther E. Ritchey, Jr. was attached to HMM 361, Marine Air Group 16. Hospital Corpsman Third Class Manuel Reyes Denton was a crewman assigned to the First Marine Air Wing, Fleet Marine Force Pacific. On October 8, 1963, the two were crewmen aboard a Marine UH34D helicopter conducting a search mission for a downed friendly aircraft. Denton and Ritchey's aircraft crashed some 43 miles west of Da Nang, South Vietnam in a mountainous jungle terrain, in what was then hostile territory. The exact cause of the accident is unknown (according to the Navy), although Joint Casualty Resolution Center had some evidence that an air collision occurred prior to the aircraft crashing. Denton and Ritchey were initially placed in a casualty status of Missing and later changed to Reported Dead. Since their remains were never recovered, they are listed among the unaccounted for servicemen from the Vietnam war.
Two UH-34Ds were searching for a downed Vietnamese Air Force T-28 aircraft piloted by a U.S. Air Force Captain with a Vietnamese observer. Editor's note: Although the reports do not state this, it appears that they may have had a mid-air. One pilot had a fragment wound causing the official report to state they were both probably shot down, but this could not be determined for sure.
This record was last updated on 08/05/2008
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