Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-16442
The Army purchased this helicopter 0567
Total flight hours at this point: 00000446
Date: 02/02/1968 MIA-POW file reference number: 1024
Incident number: 680202171ACD Accident case number: 680202171 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: B/1/9 CAV
The station for this helicopter was Bien Hoa in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: AT960937
Number killed in accident = 5 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 3
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Reference Notes. Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Army Aviation Safety Center database. Also: 1024 ()
Loss to Inventory
P LTC BURNHAM DONALD DAWSON BNR
CE SSG PATTON KENNETH JAMES BNR
Passengers and/or other participants:
SFC ADKINS CHARLES LEROY, AR, PX, BNR
SFC PUGGI JOSEPH DAVID, AR, PX, BNR
SGM PRINGLE JOE HAROLD, AR, PX, BNR
SYNOPSIS: Donald Burnam was the pilot of a UH1H helicopter (#66-16442) that departed Camp Evans, Quang Tri, Republic of Vietnam for Chu Lai, Republic of Vietnam on February 2, 1968. Also aboard were SP4 Charles Adkins, SFC Joe Pringle, SSgt Joseph Puggi, passengers; and SP4 Kenneth Patton, crewchief. During a ground radar controlled approach to Da Nang Airbase, the controller lost radio contact with the helicopter and subsequently lost radar contact. The last positive position of the aircraft was 12 miles north of Da Nang. After attempts to contact Captain Burnham by radio failed, ramp checks were conducted by another pilot from his unit. Search of the area to the north of Da Nang failed to locate the missing aircraft. On May 28, 1968, a crashed and burned UH1H helicopter (tail #6442) was located in the appropriate vicinity and a search party recovered an ID tag belonging to SFC Pringle, several weapons, and some human bones. The ID tag and weapons were given to an unidentified major; subsequent attempts to trace the weapons have been unsuccessful. All human remains were given to the U.S. Army Mortuary at Da Nang, and subsequently determined unidentifiable. Search attempts terminated on 16 November 1972. Because of the density of the underbrush, no further remains were recovered. The crash site was photographed in July 1974, at which time it became known that parts of the aircraft had been recovered by a Vietnamese woodcutter. No evidence of human remains were found in the area. Donald Burnham's photograph was identified by a Vietnamese rallier as having been a prisoner of war. CIA analysis failed to determine why Burnham's photo was selected, as neither he nor the other crew were seen by returned POWs.
Aircraft lost radio contact with tower. Aircraft disappeared from radar screen. Aircraft found burned, cause unknown.
This record was last updated on 09/20/1998
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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017
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