Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 66-16539
The Army purchased this helicopter 0667
Total flight hours at this point: 00000376
Incident number: 67111455.KIA
Unit: 170 AHC
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was LOSS TO INVENTORY
This was a Logistics Support mission for Resupply , to Forward Area.
While on Landing Zone this helicopter was on the Ground at 0000 feet and 000 knots.
Helicopter took 1 hits from:
Explosive Weapon; Non-Artillery launched or static weapons containing explosive charges. (81MM RR)
The helicopter was hit in the Main Rotor Blade System
Systems damaged were: MAIN ROTOR SYS, PERSONNEL
Casualties = YES . .
Both mission and flight capability were terminated.
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, UH1P2, 74074 (Operations Report. )
Loss to Inventory
P WO1 ROLAND LARUS WAYNE KIA
AC HARRIS AL INJ
CE HARRILLA JOE
G PARADISE GEORGE
Passengers and/or other participants:
LTC BENLAP, AR, PX,
Thirty one years ago today the crew of 539 was as follows Al Harris (AC) nickname Roger Ram Jet, currently living (I believe) in Texas near San Antonio. Larus W. Roland (Peter Pilot). Gunner was George Paradise approximately a month in country currently living in CA. The crew chief was Joe Harrilla (Kid). We were flying C&C that day for 3/8th, flying LTC Belnap call sign was "saber" (Later was killed 1/68 I believe in helicopter crash). Company A 3/8th on hill 724 radio Saber that they had broken contact and were in dire need of water. Saber ordered us to take him back to hill 1335 and strip the radio off and load up with water containers. Now Al Harris was DEROS the next day, but this did not hesitate on what we had to do, and everyone knew there was no such thing as breaking contact the NVA at Dakto. Hill 724 was a one ship LZ, almost a vertical decent through the trees. The report said we had just landed, but you could not land there because of stumps and debris. The next thing I knew I heard the engine screaming with an over speed. Everything seemed to go into slow motion, as I looked up front I saw Larus going through the front windshield and Al Harris going out the left door. At that very instant flames were rolling through the middle of the ship and the ship was rolling over. After the ship came to rest I crawled out. I couldn't walk, but I could crawl really good. I was trying to crawl up the hill to get to the good guy when I came upon Larus. His left leg was broken and sticking through his pants, but other than that could not see any other wound at that time. He asked me if everyone else had gotten out of the ship OK, and I said I wasn't sure. When I looked in his eyes (they were blue) they looked dull, so I thought he was in shock. I then found he was bleeding badly from the base of the skull. We laid in that LZ for about 4 to 5 hours. After being medivaced out to the battalion aid at Dakto they medivaced us to the 71st Evac. Larry Schultz was the crew chief on the ship that took us out #170. The grunts said that we had three B-40s shot at us. Joe Harrilla, 13 Nov 98.
This record was last updated on 11/14/1998
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Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021
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