Helicopter UH-1D 66-16183


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-16183
The Army purchased this helicopter 0367
Total flight hours at this point: 00000663
Date: 01/05/1968
Incident number: 680105071ACD Accident case number: 680105071 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 240 AHC
The station for this helicopter was Dong Tam in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: YT150018 (To see this location on a map, go to https://legallandconverter.com/p50.html and search on Grid Reference 48PYT150018)
Number killed in accident = 1 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 0
costing 270954
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 W1 GA UNDERWOOD
IP W2 KE LANCE
G PVT MOUNTS BOBBIE JOE KIA
CE SP5 REED FRANK


Accident Summary:

Aircraft making simulated servo failure approach when engine failed. Aircraft crashed causing major damage. Suspect failure of the duel engine driven fuel pump.


War Story:
Mr Lance was one of the more experienced pilots in the 240th AHC. I was a gunner/crew chief with the 240th AHC. I cannot remember all the guys I served with that year 9/67-9/68. I cannot even remember my first crew chief's name when I was gunner on Greyhound 592. But some things that happened are as clear as if they just happened yesterday. On the night of 3 January 1968 Bobbie Joe Mounts found out I had the next day off and asked me to fly in his place on 4 January 1968 so he could go into Bien Hoa with the other guys that were going into town that day. Mounts called me over to his tent to listen to his new Jim Reeves record and showed me how to lace up my boots and tuck in the strings so they would look neat like his boots. So 4 January 1968 I flew as gunner on helicopter 66-16183 with crew chief Frank Reed. It was a DCS (direct combat support) mission with a little ash and trash as we had to relocate some civilians with their pigs in a wooden crate. Cannot erase that memory of pigs on our helicopter. Then on 5 January 1968 I was back as gunner on helicopter 66-16592 and we were on a 10 helicopter CA (combat assault) mission that morning. We landed on this dirt road and walked up to a mess hall for a late lunch. After lunch SP/5 Frank Reed and PVT Bobbie Joe Mounts were sitting on my helicopter and shooting the bull while waiting for the pilots to finish their lunch. The first pilots out of the mess hall were Mr. Lance and Mr. Underwood. They stopped by my helicopter and told Reed and Mounts that they were flying back to Bearcat ahead of the group because Mr. Underwood was due a check ride. On the attached "after action report" it lists your dad as the IP (instructor pilot). That backs up my memory of him being one of the more experienced pilots. I watched as Mounts and Reed flew off on helicopter 66-16183 with Mr Lance and Mr Underwood. The other pilots came out about 20 minutes later. On the flight back to Bearcat we heard that 183 had gone down. My helicopter was the last one in the formation and we broke formation and flew down to the crash site. SP/5 Reed, Mr. Lance and Mr. Underwood all walked away from the crash with no injuries. But PVT Bobbie Joe Mounts did not have his seat belt buckled or he may have tried to jump. When we landed they had already covered his body with a poncho. They all felt so bad, but there was nothing they could do about it. We loaded Bobbie Joe Mounts on my helicopter and flew him to graves registration. The poncho did not cover his boots and I noticed how neat his boots were still tied. Two months later on 8 March 1968 just the opposite happened. The right door gunner jumped and survived. The other door gunner and 2 pilots that went down on helicopter 66-00705 did not survive. It does not list the gunner's name on the 8 March 1968 after action report and it does not list SP/5 Frank Reed on the 5 January 1968 after action report. Don't know how much your dad told you about his year with the 240th AHC. 35 of the men we served with that year are listed on the Vietnam Memorial Wall. Sorry I can't seem to remember more about Mr Lance. We all stayed in tents with wooden floors until the barracks were finished in the spring and summer of 1968. I became crew chief on Greyhound 185 in February, 1968. John Thrift From: Robert L. Eastburn

This record was last updated on 01/14/2011


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Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021


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