Helicopter CH-47A 64-13124

Information on U.S. Army helicopter CH-47A tail number 64-13124
The Army purchased this helicopter 0465
Total flight hours at this point: 00001051
Date: 04/19/1968 MIA-POW file reference number: 1134
Incident number: 68041920.KIA
Unit: A/228 AVN
This was a Combat Loss caused by being shot down by Ground Fire with the mission function of Logistics Cargo
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was LOSS TO INVENTORY
This was an Unknown mission for Unknown , Sling Loading.
While on Landing Zone this helicopter was Landing at UNK feet and UNK knots.
South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: YD290105 (To see this location on a map, go to https://legallandconverter.com/p50.html and search on Grid Reference 48QYD290105)
Unknown groundfire.
causing a Fire.
Systems damaged were: PERSONNEL
Casualties = 02 INJ, 03 MIA . .
Search and rescue operations were Not Required
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: Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center AVDAC database. Defense Intelligence Agency Reference Notes. Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center Helicopter database. Also: 1134, CRAFX, CASRP (Crash Facts Message. Casualty Report. )
Loss to Inventory and Helicopter was not recovered

Crew Members:

REFNO Synopsis:
Personnel In Incident: Douglas R. Blodgett; William R. Dennis; Jesus A. Gonzales (missing from CH47A, coordinates YD290105 pilot and co-pilot survived); Michael J. Wallace, Anthony F. Housh; (missing from CH47, coordinates YD291087-LZ Tiger; pilot, co-pilot and gunner survived); Arthur J. Lord; Charles W. Millard; Philip R. Shafer; Michael R. Werdehoff (missing on CH54, coordinates YD255095-LZ Tiger) .SYNOPSIS: On April 19, 1968 three Army helicopters were shot down in the A Shau Valley of South Vietnam. All three were making supply runs to Landing Zone Tiger in Quang Tri Province. Five men survived the three crashes, and nine men remain missing. The CH47A on which Douglas Blodgett was a crewman, William Dennis was flight engineer, and Jesus Gonzales was crewchief was resupplying ammunition at the LZ when it received small arms fire from the ground and crashed. The pilot and co-pilot were able to crawl away, but the rest of the crew was never found. They were declared Missing In Action. The CH47 on which Anthony Housh was flight engineer and Michael Wallace was crewchief was hit by 50 calibre and 37 mm ground fire on its approach to the LZ. Housh and Wallace jumped from the aircraft from an altitude of 50-100 feet above the jungle canopy. The others were rescued. No trace of Housh and Wallace was ever found. They were declared Missing In Action. The CH54 "Flying Crane" on which Arthur Lord was aircraft commander, Charles Millard pilot, Arthur J. Lord co-pilot, Michael Werdehoff flight engineer, and Philip Shafer crewchief was carrying a bulldozer into the recently resecured LZ Tiger when the aircraft was hit and crashed. All the crew were classified Missing In Action. Thorough searches for the 3 helicopters were not immediately possible because of the enemy situation. A refugee later reported that he had found the wreckage of two U.S. helicopters, one with 3 sets of skeletal remains, in Quang Tri Province. The U.S. Army believes this could correlate with any of the three helicopters lost on April 19, 1968, but no firm evidence has been secured that would reveal the fate of the nine missing servicemen.

War Story:
This web site ( http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/6652/mia1.html ) has some info as far as co-ordinates ( Loss Coordinates: 162248N 1070700E (YD290105) ) of the crash of 64-13124. Some information is wrong, Dennis Williams was a friend of mine. He was a black guy from Pittsburg. Jesus Gonzales was of Mexican descent (the website has both born in Mexico. I'm not sure if Jesus was a citizen or not (not that it matters) I do know that non-citizens were drafted. Blodgett was an FNG and I didn't know him at all. I've heard different accounts of the crash, that it exploded at 2000 feet, rolled inverted and crashed in the jungle. Other accounts of it going down in flames, and rolling inverted as it hit. From the units experience with the downing of 63-14107 down near Vung Tau around Aug 1967, I'd say that if it caught fire, the guys in the back didn't have much chance. 107 was slinging a 105, and caught fire. The 105 wouldn't punch off, and they wound up landing on it. The entire cargo area was on fire, but the 3 crewmen managed to put the RH lower crew door down, and they all 3 rode down on the step out of the flames. One of my friends, SP/4 Parks got an army commendation medal with a V for getting the machine guns off the burning hook. He also burned his hands some, and got an article 15 for not wearing his leather flight gloves. LOL, an "atta boy" and an a "oh shit" for the same action.... I don't know the names of the pilots. I've never understood the deal with them. They said all they remembered was being on the ground upside down, and releasing their seat belts and falling on the roof of the control cabin. They hid for about 2 days and depending on the story made their way to LZ Tiger following the sound of chainsaws. Other accounts say the chainsaw sound was AK-47s firing full auto. What was odd was that they only stayed in company for 2 or 3 days, and then they disappeared. I don't know if they were too scared to fly or if they went somewhere for a debriefing. Normally it seemed like guys that got shot down went right back to flying. I'm not picking at them, for I have absolutely no idea of why they left, just that is was odd seeming for them to leave like that. I knew Dennis at An Khe, and he had volunteered to fly, but was turned down. We were on so BS detail cleaning ditches, and he said "I wouldn't fly now if they begged me" I told him I thought if he got a chance to fly he would. Well he got a chance to fly, and he took it. He was the only black crewmember in the unit. About 2 weeks before the shootdown, a round came up as passed close enough to the skin of his forearm to leave a welt, but not break the skin. An inch higher, and he might never have know he had a close call, and inch later, and he'd been medevaced to Japan. He commented that if anything like that happened again he'd quit flying. Well it did, and he has been in the A Shau for 37 years. Up till 2004 I was in an Air Guard unit, and our Life Support guys would get tasked to go to crash sites in SE Asia to find KIA pilots etc. They got tasked because they would be best qualified to recognize parts of ejection seats, oxygen masks etc. Apparently the wreckage of 124 was not "worked" as it was lying in a stream bed. That seems an odd reason to not look, as I've seen pictures of sites the Life Support guys worked on downed fighters where in Laos or N. Vietnam they had a couple of acres of crash shit cleared, and then dug down 20 or 30 feet to find the engine core....Seems like searching a streambed would be a LOT easier. I don't fault my units guys, they didn't pick the sites they worked, and they were damn proud whenever they managed to locate pieces or parts that identified a KIA pilot. Wade O'Hara Kane, wadeohkane@alltel.net Company A, 228th AVN BN (ASH) 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) June 1967-June 1968 Door gunner on 64-13137 Aug 1967 to Nov 1967 Crewchief on 64-13140 Nov 1967 to June 1968 Occassional Ramp gunner various Company A Chinooks

This record was last updated on 10/24/2005

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Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023

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