Information on U.S. Marine Corps helicopter UH-1E tail number 151884
Incident number: 67012715.KIA
Casualties = 01 KIA . .
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Also: OPERA (Operations Report. )
Summary: Tail rotor hit dike and crashed while trying to land in 0/0 weather.
Loss to Inventory
AC 2LT RINGENBERG JEROME JOSEPH KIA
P CPT BRADLEY CHRISTOPHER M
We were returning from Khe Sanh area to Dong Ha. Dong Ha was 0/0. We could not land and elected to try to reach Quang Tri Army compound. Our A/C (the lead one) effected a safe landing with barely more than fumes in the tank. The second A/C was very close behind in the fog. When we touched down, visual contact was lost with the second A/C. The crew of our A/C immediately deplaned and ran out to recover the crew of the second A/C, stopping only long enough to be warned by the guard tower sentry that the RF/PF owned the night and we would be shot by him if we proceeded. We told him to do what he had to do and proceeded to recover the crew. Lt. Ringenberg was KIA because he failed to fasten his seat belt causing his head to impact the cyclic when the A/C clipped the rice paddy dike. We recovered the body and the three WIA were carried to the dispensary at Quang Tri. When daylight came, an H-34 brought us some JP in 55 gallon drums so we could resume our mission. LCpl Everett Dupee, who worked in S-4, was the gunner in the second A/C. Don't recall the crew chief names in either A/C, although I am sure both crew chiefs as well as Dupee and myself were all from the same hooch. Ironically, Dupee had shoved me aside so he could be the gunner on the second A/C. I think about that a lot. I don't know if anyone told us the second A/C had crashed. Just as we deplaned, we observed the running lights/rotating beacon disappear and proceeded to check out the situation on foot. I'm sure it wasn't the sentry. He's the one who was going to shoot us for leaving his perimeter. I always remembered that they had hit a rice paddy dike. It took a month to get that slop off my boots. Submitted by Cpl. James E. Shriver, Gunner on lead A/C As I remember, Capt Al Barbour was the Flight Leader for a flight of 2 VMO-2 Huey gunships. Capt Chris Bradley was Pilot in Command of the 2nd aircraft. Both had flown from Marble Mountain to support Marines at Khe Sanh. Both had been on the 20 minute fuel warning for over 20 minutes when they arrived at Quang Tri in marginal weather. The first Huey managed to land but Chris Bradley went IFR at less than 20 feet altitude and subsequently crashed into a Vietnamese grave. Jerry Ringenberg was killed on impact. Submitted by Ron Osborne, VMO-2 Squadron Pilot
This record was last updated on 11/18/2013
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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017
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