Helicopter UH-1C 66-15025

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1C tail number 66-15025
The Army purchased this helicopter 0267
Total flight hours at this point: 00000188
Date: 12/15/1967
Incident number: 67121515.KIA
Unit: B/3/17 CAV
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was LOSS TO INVENTORY
for Close Air Support
While in Target Area this helicopter was Attacking at 0200 feet and UNK knots.
The station for this helicopter was Tay Ninh in South Vietnam
Helicopter took 2 hits from:
Small Arms/Automatic Weapons; Gun launched non-explosive ballistic projectiles less than 20 mm in size. (7.62MM)
The helicopter was hit in the Left Side
Systems damaged were: PERSONNEL
Casualties = 02 KIA, 02 INJ . .
The helicopter made a Forced Landing. Aircraft Destroyed.
Both mission and flight capability were terminated.
Down in Trees
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, 74489, CRAFX, FM232, CASRP, Paul Fleming (Operations Report. Lindenmuth Old Format Data Base. Crash Facts Message. Casualty Report. )
Summary: Sustained major damage from an explosion on the nose and enemy machinegun. Heavily damaged when they crashed into trees. Two EM died.
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:

War Story:
Paul H. Fleming recalls: I remember this incident well! At that time B/3/17th Cav's base camp was Suoi Da (XT3357) on QL 13 west of Nui Ba Den. This was a last minute, scratch mission. Most of B Troop was out working an AO some place. Our Operations came looking for crews to man two gunships to respond to a contact (XT385860) on secondary route 246 near Bo Tuc, east of Katum going toward An Loc. Like the others on that mission, I had the day off. As I remember, when we had 8 guys for the two UH-1Cs, we launched. WO1 James F. Horan was the AC. I had joined B Troop from the 334th gun company as part of the infusion, DEROS shuffle. Anyway, when we arrived over the battle we learned the ARVNs were on one side of the road and the NVA on the other. The vegetation had been cleared about 75 yards on both sides of the road that was cut through very heavy jungle. A FAC had some artillery going in and directed us to make our runs east to west breaking short of where the rounds were landing. We had just about expended all our ordinance and I seem to recall that the FAC had directed an air strike from some F100s to come in after we were done. We were making about 400 yard gun runs. I remember the lead ship had fired and made his break. We were well into our firing run when I saw this F100 pass about 80 yards directly over us and on our same heading. I could see all sorts of stuff coming off the F100. I'd guess it was spent shell casings. I don't think it was CBU bomblets; but I don't know for sure. Almost immediately after that there was one or two major explosions. The one that sticks out most clearly in my mind was possibly on the nose of the Huey itself. This blast could have been caused by something for the F100 or something that the bad guy shot at us - I don't know for sure. We lost intercom so Jim and I started yelling at each other. I remember hearing our lead shouting over the radio that he needed a MEDEVAC and to get the Air Force out of there!! He was excited! Jim was flying and it was obvious that we were going down. He turned left to put us down on the ARVN side of the road. As we crossed the road, an enemy machinegun really stitched us up good. I remember working with Jim but there was no lateral cyclic control. We crashed into the trees on the edge of a small opening but as I recall, a stand of bamboo kept us from actually hitting the ground. I remember the blades were gone and the cockpit was all messed up! The transmission had broken loose and was laying almost between us. The engine was still screaming and I remember finding the fuel shut-off value which was no where near its normal position. I pulled it and was surprised that it worked because the engine shut down. I don't know how I got out of the wreck but I did. I remember working on Reichelt's injuries and could hear Jim wrestling to get out of the wreckage. Then he and I started working on Aguayo who had some serious injuries. We hadn't been on the ground more than about 20 minutes when an American infantry force arrived - it was our Blues! I remember they were lead by this SSG who really had he stuff together! We were in his element and he took charge of a very messy situation! A few minutes later one of our LOHs came in and we loaded Aguayo in it. A second LOH came in. We put Reichelt in it. I noticed there was no way to secure him; so I jumped in to hold him down. I remember holding his belt loops to a D-ring on the floor with my hands. I think the Scout pilot's name was Gary but I don't recall his last name. With his observer and the mini-gun, there were now four of us on that OH-6A. Gary took off and I noticed that he seemed to be doing clearing turns. I thought - No, we don't need to make any clearing turns now! Then I realized what was going on - Gary had lost tail rotor control. I knew this wasn't good and that we were going back into the bamboo. Basically we made about a 100 foot hovering autorotation and crashed very near the Huey. The LOH turned on its side. I don't think anyone receive any new injures in this crash. When we collected ourselves on the ground, I remember Gary saying that he knew they had loaded one man but didn't realize I was also in the LOH. I guess the decision was made not to send anymore aircraft into that location because the grunts helped us walk out. Soon the fire fight was all but over. The Air Force was bombing the crud out of the bad guys. I remember the bombs landing so close that we were lifted into the air with each explosion. I got to view the battle field from these frequent airborne trips. Eventually we got to a place where a medevac slick took Reichelt and me to an aid station. The place was a mad house - there were lots of wounded. I had two wounds in my left arm that I knew weren't too serious, I went to get these treated. When I returned to the area where the seriously wounded were, I learned that both Aguayo and Reichelt had died. I don't know if they died from gunshot wounds, crash injuries, had bled to death or what. After action report: Our UH-1C was really messed up. I have a photo that I think one of our Scout pilots took of a Chinook lifting out the gunship and the LOH beneath it - piggy back style. I am certain the Huey was written off as destroyed. Check out our B Troop website . Jim wasn't seriously injured and was back flying in a few days. This was my fourth time being shot down and my wounds took a few days to heal. I transferred to HHT and was soon flying UH-1Hs for them. If anyone wants to chat about this event or anything else about B Troop or HHT, I'm at . Submitted to the VHPA in May, 2001.

This record was last updated on 05/10/2001

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Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023

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