Helicopter UH-1D 66-16373


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-16373
The Army purchased this helicopter 0567
Total flight hours at this point: 00000206
Date: 09/02/1967
Incident number: 670902041ACD Accident case number: 670902041 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 2 SIG
South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 3 . . Injured = 3 . . Passengers = 2
costing 472154
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Army Aviation Safety Center database. Also: OPERA (Operations Report. )
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
P WO1 BOSLEY JAMES GILBERT KIA
P WO1 DANIEL JAMES LEE KIA
CE E4 DW KELMICK
G E4 JN ALLEN

Passengers and/or other participants:
LTC WILSON GAIL FRANCIS, AR, PX, KIA
O3 RK NANSTAD, PAX, D


Accident Summary:

The aircraft crashed while descending from a low cloud cover following inadvertant IFR entry. There was low ceilings and ground fog at the time.


War Story:
I was with Jim Bosley and James Daniel the night before their accident. I took photos as I came in to land at Jacksons Hole and have a picture of their aircraft with people around it, possibly them. This was one of my early missions,. It was extremely wet and foggy weather. There were a group of company or battlion officers who had come in from the field for a meeting. While they were there, their units began to be hit and they desperately wanted to get back. Bosley and Daniel were talked into trying to return them at night in heavy fog. They only got a mile or tow from the base before they flew into the ground. Both pilots and a colonel were trapped in the burning aircraft. The crew members both survived. I was co-pilot of the aircraft which returned their bodies back to Pleiku the following evening.

From: John A. Carrigan, 119 AHC, Jun 67-68, 717-790-9409.

I was the A/C with a personal call sign of “California Dreamer” (officially Gator 373), and this was my aircraft with nose art painted “California Dreamer.” (Name due to the popular songs by the Mamas and Papas of that time…California Dreaming, and my home of record in California).

I had been flying with Jim Daniel all day on 09/01/67 in various sorties. We were scheduled to RON at FB Jackson Hole that night, along with two gunships from the 119th AHC, to provide C&C if needed.

Late afternoon, we received a call from Opns that I was going to be pulled-off for a “special mission” back at Camp Holloway. I was to rendezvous with another 119th aircraft at Plei Djereng (SF Camp), where I would be replaced by another A/C (James Bosley). I was to fly back to base while WO1s Bosley and Daniel would RON as scheduled.

The Wx had been crappy all day with fog and low ceilings, so as a senior A/C my last words of advice to Bosley and Daniel was not to go up that night, no matter what the LtC or anyone else said. I was sent on a special flight with Dragon 6 for the next week, and only learned of the crash of the “California Dreamer” when I returned. Apparently they had been “talked into” going up shortly after midnight on 09/02/67.

As a side note, I received an email a few years ago from the door gunner, John Allen. He stated that although he and CE Klemich (sp?) were med-evac’d with burns and broken bones, he also had a bullet wound in his arm. His opinion is that Bosley and Daniel received small arms fire shortly after clearing the FB perimeter. The aircraft attempted to evade by turning away from the fire. Then, either the pilots got vertigo and flew into the mountain, or they had been hit with the enemy fire and were incapacitated…thus causing the crash.

From: Ron Corbin, “Gator 373” – “California Dreamer”, 119th AHC (1966-67)

This record was last updated on 01/30/2010


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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