Information on U.S. Marine Corps helicopter CH-46A tail number 152569
Incident number: 67083111.KIA
The station for this helicopter was Quang Tri in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: YD468553
Casualties = 05 KIA . .
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Also: OPERA, HMM-262 Historian Neil Allen (Operations Report. )
Summary: Disintegrated in the air due to aft plyon structural failure while moving the aircraft and a med-evac to LPH-10.
Loss to Inventory
AC MAJ MOYER LAWRENCE RICHARD KIA
CP 2LT MERRIMAN JOHN DAVID KIA
CE GSG LAJEUNESSE CLEMENT FOSTER KIA
C LCP LAYMON MICHAEL DIGNON KIA
Passengers and/or other participants:
PFC ENGESSER DANNY WRAY, MC, PX, KIA
There is not a lot of information on this particular incident. From the combat chronology and other sources I have created the following narrative. This was a sad day. Since we had already had more than one CH-46 disintegrate in the air, everyone was waiting for the other shoe to drop. Many had long suspected there were problems with the structural integrity of the CH-46A, especially the aft pylon. As we continued to fly missions in support of BELT DRIVE, the lead aircraft on a med-evac mission, BuNo 152469 en route to the LPH-10, broke up in the air and the whole crew died along with the one embarked med-evac. There were no survivors. The pilot was Major Lawrence Moyer, co-pilot 2LT John Merriman, the Crew Chief was GySgt Clement Lajeunesse and the gunner was LCPL Mike Laymon. The med-evac was PFC Danny Wray Engesser. A similar accident took place at Marble Mountain the following day when another CH-46A lost its tail just as it touched down at Marble Mountain with no serious injuries to the crew. Major Moyer’s mission was primarily an administrative move to the carrier, so there was not a full crew aboard. The aircraft crashed into the sea. The cause of the crash was determined by the inspection of all CH-46As following the crash on 1 September mentioned above. As a result, all Alphas were then sent to Okinawa to have a pylon fix. Shortly after this time we did begin to have a normal crew size of five; pilot, copilot, crewchief, and two gunners. For the most part we did not have dedicated medi-evac aircraft. The nearest aircraft to the casualty was detached from its regular mission to handle the evac. We found that we could get the casualties to the aid station quicker this way than if the med-evac had to be launched from a remote base, as we would have thirty or so aircraft airborne from our group and in the general area at all times. The gunners all received first aid training before being assigned to an aircraft and performed some amazing life-saving feats. On assault landings, one or more primary med-evac aircraft were dedicated and they did have a corpsman aboard, as did those aircraft dedicated to med-evac outside of normal operating hours. Sometime, if things were expected to be really hairy, the squadron surgeon would accompany a flight. Submitted by Neil Allen, HMM-262 historian, October 1999.
The station for this helicopter was Quang Tri in HMM-262 went afloat 23 August and was stationed aboard USS TRIPOLI (LPH-10) at the time of the incident.
This record was last updated on 05/11/2007
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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017
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