Helicopter UH-1D 65-09711


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 65-09711
The Army purchased this helicopter 0366
Total flight hours at this point: 00000433
Date: 11/11/1966
Incident number: 66111101.KIA
Unit: 281 AHC
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was UNK
This was a Logistics Support mission for Resupply , to Forward Area.
While in Operations Area this helicopter was Landing at 0000 feet and 000 knots.
South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: YA605514 (To see this location on a map, go to https://legallandconverter.com/p50.html and search on Grid Reference 48PYA605514)
Helicopter took 11 hits from:
Small Arms/Automatic Weapons; Gun launched non-explosive ballistic projectiles less than 20 mm in size. (7.62MM)
Systems damaged were: FUEL SYS, STRUCTURE, TRANSMISSION, FLT CONTROLS, PERSONNEL
It is unknown or not reported if the self sealing fuel tank developed a leak.
Casualties = 02 KIA . .
The helicopter Continued Flight.
The aircraft was diverted prior to accomplishing any mission objectives.
Repaired at PLEIKU
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center Helicopter database. Also: UH1P1, 00845, DYNAL, CASRP, Task Force Prong after action report (Casualty Report. )
Summary: Aircraft took hostile fire during emergency resupply mission.

Crew Members:
AC MAJ CARTWRIGHT ALVIN W
G SGT LEONARD HENRY THOMAS KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
1LT HESS PAUL J, AR, PX, KIA
CPT SINCERE CLYDE J JR, AR, PX, RES


War Story:
II CTZ MOBILE STRIKE FORCE – TASK FORCE PRONG

On the early morning of 11 November someone, (I cannot recall who) rushed in to my “hootch” and informed me that “Jake” and the 3d MF Company had been hit and hit hard by a large force of NVA. I immediately rushed over to the “B” Company CP and requested a “chopper” to return to the field. Fortunately, Major Al Cartwright, a senior pilot from the 281st Army Helicopter Company in support of the 5th SFG(A) and further assigned to support “B” Company, 5th SFG(A) was on the helio-pad. He stated that he was willing to take me and as much ammunition as possible to the besieged MIKE FORCE Company. During the hurried loading of the chopper, 1st Lt. Paul Hess, assigned to “B” Company, 5th SFG(A) as an Assistant S4 requested permission to accompany the flight. I agreed and he assumed a position next to Sergeant Hank Leonard in the right side gun seat section of the chopper. I briefed Major Cartwright as to the location where I had been lifted out of the dry lake bed on the afternoon of 10 November. As we approached the same northeastern dry lake area that I had departed on 10 November Major Cartwright contacted the 3d MF on the ground and requested that they “pop smoke”. The 3d MF “popped” “yellow smoke”. Yellow Smoke was identified and acknowledged by Major Cartwright. However, unknown to either Major Cartwright or myself, the 3d MF Company during the course of the battle had been pushed back toward the southern portion of the dry lake due to continued assaults by the NVA. As a result, Al Cartwright had over flown the 3d MF Company. Ironically this is where the second “happenstance” of this battle occurred.

The NVA had also popped “yellow smoke”. Inasmuch as the 3d MF Company did not have visual contact with the NVA element that had popped the “yellow smoke”, they therefore could not warn us in time to the fact that we had already passed their perimeter location and were flying into danger. Just as the chopper was preparing to hover in the vicinity of the area where I had lifted off the day before, all hell broke loose. The helicopter was riddled by heavy machine gun fire.5 Unbeknownst to me at that moment, both Hess and Leonard were killed immediately. The co-pilot was wounded and I believe the door gunner on the left side of the helicopter was also slightly wounded. The chopper was shaking terribly and obviously was in danger of crashing.

Major Cartwright yelled to me that our only chance of surviving was to “lighten up”. I took that to mean – “get out before we crash”. I jumped out and crossed under the chopper. It was at that moment that Hess’ M-16 with three magazines taped together fell on the ground next to me.

From: “TASK FORCE PRONG”, 8-12 November 1966, By Clyde J. Sincere Jr., et al

This record was last updated on 05/05/2020


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Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021


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