Helicopter UH-34D 150572

Information on U.S. Marine Corps helicopter UH-34D tail number 150572
Date: 03/31/1965
Incident number: 65033102.KIA
Unit: HMM-163
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was LOSS TO INVENTORY
for Air/land Assault
While on Landing Zone this helicopter was on the Ground at 0000 feet and 000 knots.
South Vietnam
Small Arms/Automatic Weapons; Gun launched non-explosive ballistic projectiles less than 20 mm in size.
Systems damaged were: PERSONNEL
Casualties = 01 KIA, 03 WIA . .
Aircraft Destroyed.
Both mission and flight capability were terminated.
Destroyed by friendly forces
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center Helicopter database. Also: OPERA, NSC (Naval Safety Center. Operations Report. )
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:

War Story:
INCIDENT 65033102.KIA In support of the ARVN operations, the Marine pilots flew both resupply and strike missions. The strike missions produced the only significant enemy contact experienced by Marines during this period. On 31 March, the group flew helicopter support for ARVN Operation QUYET THANG 512. A force of 17 UH-34Ds from HMM-163, two UH-34D SAR/maintenance helicopters from HMM-162, and seven U.S. Army Bell UH-1 'Huey' gunships was assigned to lift 465 troops of the ARVN 5th Airborne Battalion. The air task force was to move the ARVN paratroopers from the vicinity of Tam Ky in Quang Tin Province to a landing zone about 25 miles south of Da Nang. The enemy shot down one of the Marine UH-34Ds, whose pilot, 1LT Dale D. Eddy, "was wounded in the neck and initially believed KIA." Eddy's copilot, 1LT James E. Magel, also wounded, was able to make his way to another helicopter, but then died. According to Ewers, Eddy's crew chief, sergeant Cecil A. Garner, "himself wounded, took his M-60 machine gun with him and joined the fire fight on the ground." Another pilot from HMM-163, MAJ Bennie H. Mann, Jr., landed his craft in the face of the heavy enemy fire and rescued Garner and Eddy. According to Ewers, Mann's crew chief, SSG Stanley J. Novotny, "somehow found the strength single handedly to lift the conscious but paralyzed" six-foot, 200-pound Eddy out of the downed craft. Mann was awarded the Navy Cross and Novotny received the Silver Star for the rescue. Despite heavy enemy opposition, HMM-163 continued to make three lifts into the zone until the entire 5th Airborne Battalion had been landed. All told, 25 Marine helicopters and 10 U.S. army helicopters took part in the operation. Nineteen of the aircraft sustained battle damage. Two Army UH-1s, in addition to the Marine UH-34D, also were shot down. The Army craft were later recovered but Eddy's aircraft was a complete loss. The Marines suffered a total of 19 casualties including the two killed while two U.S. Army personnel required hospitalization. from "The 9th MEB in Vietnam" Navy Cross Awarded To Pilot Saving Eddy NAVY CROSS Citation for Major BENNIE H. MANN, JR., USMC, HMM-163, 31 March 1965 ?For extraordinary heroism as a Helicopter Aircraft Commander and Division Flight Leader with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE in Quang Bin Province, Republic of Vietnam, on 31 March 1965. Participating in a seventeen-aircraft flight transporting assault troops of the Fifth Vietnamese Airborne Battalion, Major Mann along with the entire mission, was scheduled to make three assault landings into an area defended by an estimated force of two companies of insurgent communist (Viet Cong) guerrillas. During the first landing, his aircraft was hit in the engine compartment by intense enemy automatic weapons fire. Although he was experiencing aircraft power and control malfunctions, he continued to lead the attack a second and third time into ever increasing hostile fire. When, after lifting off from the third assault landing, he saw a downed aircraft and wounded crewmen under enemy attack in the landing zone, he unhesitatingly turned his aircraft around and braved the intense enemy onslaught for a fourth time in order to rescue the crew of a stricken helicopter. Displaying exceptional leadership and courage, he directed the rescue efforts, and when his crewmen and copilot were taken under fire by the nearby enemy, he fearlessly hovered his helicopter between the enemy and the crewmen in order to shield their rescue efforts. As a result of his courageous actions, inspiring leadership, and extraordinary airmanship, Major Mann contributed significantly to the successful assault mission and to saving the lives of several of his fellow Marines. His heroic conduct and selfless devotion to duty reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

This record was last updated on 09/28/2002

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