Helicopter UH-1C 66-00596


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1C tail number 66-00596
The Army purchased this helicopter 0966
Total flight hours at this point: 00000215
Date: 05/06/1967
Incident number: 67050666.KIA
Unit: 119 AHC
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was LOSS TO INVENTORY
for Close Air Support
While in Target Area this helicopter was in Orbit at 0075 feet and 085 knots.
South Vietnam
Count of hits was not possible because the helicopter burned or exploded.
Small Arms/Automatic Weapons; Gun launched non-explosive ballistic projectiles less than 20 mm in size.
The helicopter was hit in the Engine Compartment
Systems damaged were: ENGINE, PERSONNEL
Casualties = 03 DOI, 01 INJ . .
The helicopter Crashed. Aircraft Destroyed.
Both mission and flight capability were terminated.
Burned
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, LNOF, 72635, CASRP, CRAFX, STMNT, FM232, KIA db MGL (Operations Report. Lindenmuth Old Format Data Base. Crash Facts Message. Casualty Report. )
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
AC WO1 BULLINGTON JAMES ALLEN KIA
P WO1 KEARNEY TIMOTHY WILLIAM KIA
G SP4 GUPTON RICHARD CHARLES KIA
CE EBERT MIKE RES


War Story:
13 Apr-16 May. Operation OMEGA. This operation ran concurrently with PRAIRIE FIRE but cost the 119th much more. On 6 May Crocodile 596 was lost with 3 KIA. WO Bullington(A/C),WO Kearney (P), and SP/4 Gupton(G) were lost supporting other ships of the 119th in route to pick up a Special Forces team. Mike Ebert was the only survivor of the crash. The crew of the helicopter that pulled Ebert out were WO William Dobbs AC, James L. Daniels P (later KIA), Tom Frankenfield CE, and Jim Bradfield (? spelling) G. from Mark S Herring, 119th AHC 1970, grubfish@email.msn.com We were a flight of two slicks and two gunships supporting the 5th Special Forces who would be inserted in five man teams looking for Chinese advisors to capture. We were enroute at tree top level at cruise speed to extract a five man Special Forces team when a puff of smoke came out of 596's engine. At the same time, all panel caution lights came on and one of the pilots called a Mayday. Mr. Bullington did a good job crash landing the helicopter into the trees considering the circumstances. The helicopter hit the ground hard with sufficient forward motion to close both doors trapping the gunner and crew chief. Ebert's M-60 machine gun which was on a bungee cord flew up and hit him in the face breaking his nose. There was a large explosion and then rockets began cooking off. The transmission wall was on fire so Ebert used his "chicken plate" to shield him from the flames while he tried to get out. He called for Gupton but there was no answer. Ebert tried to break out the plexiglass window but was unsuccessful. Finally he notice a small hole that had been knocked in the bottom of the door and he managed to wiggle out through it. He had no weapon since he was not carrying a side arm. While standing on the ground, Ebert noticed that the greenhouse was at eye level indicating a very hard landing. He ran all around the helicopter and realized none of the others got out of the burning helicopter. He then started waving at the other helicopter. Frankenfield dropped a survival pack to Ebert which contained a survival radio. Ebert established radio contact and informed them that he was the only survival. Since the slicks had Maguire rigs with them, they used one to extract Ebert. The rig got stuck on a tree and Ebert shook the tree to get it free. The rescue helicopter could only get within 75 feet of the ground. Ebert finally grabbed the rig and just as he was climbing on, he was pulled out and hauled to an LZ about a mile away where he than got on board. Injuries were burns on his arms and legs and a broken nose. The gunner Gupton was an armorer and not a regular gunner. He was ordered to go on this mission because of a shortage of gunners. from Mike Ebert and Tom Frankenfield at the June 1999 VHCMA reunion in Denver, CO.

This record was last updated on 06/26/1999


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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