Information on U.S. Marine Corps helicopter CH-46D tail number 153360
Incident number: 68022888.KIA
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was LOSS TO INVENTORY
This was an Unknown mission
While in Operations Area this helicopter was Attacking at 1500 feet and UNK knots.
Count of hits was not possible because the helicopter burned or exploded.
Systems damaged were: PERSONNEL
Casualties = 23 MIA . .
The helicopter Crashed. Aircraft Destroyed.
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, NSC, CASRP, KIAMAIN, USMC Hist Cntr Cas File, WALLCAS (Naval Safety Center. Operations Report. Casualty Report. )
Summary: Shot down enroute to Khe Sanh on a recovery mission, crashed, rolled down a mountain, exploded and burned.
Loss to Inventory
AC MAJ MEIXNER EDWIN GEORGE KIA
P CPT SEVELL ROBERT LEE KIA
CE CPL BENIGNI ALFREDO KIA
G CPL GARD DANNY D KIA
G SGT MCCABE MARC WAYNE KIA
Passengers and/or other participants:
CPL BRADLEY KENNETH ROBERT, MC, C , KIA
LCP CHRISTMAN RONALD S H, MC, C , KIA
CPL COOPER DONALD NATHANIEL, MC, C , KIA
LCP THOTLAND JOHN ALFRED, MC, C , KIA
SGT TOTH JOHN PAUL, MC, C , KIA
CPL TURNER WILLIAM OLIVER, MC, PX, KIA
BU1 SPILLMAN CHARLES OTTO, NA, PX KIA
CPT STULL JAY WEBSTER, MC, PX, KIA
PFC STANTON EMMETT CHARLES, MC, PX, KIA
SGT PARSONS CHARLES EDWARD, MC, PX, KIA
SGT MIKELS JAMES HERBERT, MC, PX, KIA
CPT ELLIS JOHN PATRICK, MC, PX, KIA
LCP DWYER MATTHEW MURICE, MC, PX, KIA
CPL DEMPSEY RONALD LEE, MC, PX, KIA
LCP COLES KYLE J, MC, PX, KIA
CPL CALDWELL ROBERT EDWARD, MC, PX, KIA
PFC BALADES DAVID ZAVALA, MC, PX, KIA
HN LABONTE DONALD ARTHUR, NA, PX, KIA
The HMM-262 Cmd Chron (Texas Tech 1201092039.pdf) reports the CH-46D incident as follows: "One (1) aircraft was show down by enemy fire while eroute to Khe Sanh, (XD916522) all twenty three (23) occupants on the aircraft were killed." The 3rd MarDiv ops log 28 Feb entry 154 at 1315H says "From 4th Marines: At [1229H] one CH-46 aircraft proceeding from Dong Ha to Khe Sanh w/ crew of 4 and 19 other personnel was downed by enemy fire in grid square XD9453 ... " Entry 155 says "Platoon from 3/9 reached downed acft. 1 survivor reported badly burned not expected to live." Entry 175 says in part "Lima 3/9 platoon inserted as reaction force moved bodies and survivor to LZ 100 meters from crash site. Extraction completed at 1650H. 22 dead, 1 medevac." It is clear there were 23 men on the helo, 22 were killed, and 1 survived the crash but was not expected to live. However, there is no known "Died of wounds received in helo incident" between 28 Feb and 31 Mar 68 inclusive. There are two possibilities: DD1300 for Donald Arthur LaBonte, 6857405 HN (E3) USN. LaBonte is in the CACCF as A2-D-7, died of wounds, small arms fire, ground. However, the DD1300 is specific in saying LaBonte was "Killed in action 28 February 1968 in the vicinity of Khe Sanh Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam as a result of wounds sustained when aircraft was hit by automatic weapons fire." The CACCF is correct in saying LaBonte died of wounds, but it is wrong in classifying his death as due to small arms fire in a ground engagement. Looking at it from a different direction, we have documented all personnel KIA on 28 Feb (except LaBonte), as well as one WIA who died 28 May 68. It seems clear that he was the badly burned survivor from 153360 From: Ken Davis
This record was last updated on 05/04/2009
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Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023
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