Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-16567
The Army purchased this helicopter 0667
Total flight hours at this point: 00000537
Date: 04/19/1968 MIA-POW file reference number: 1133
Incident number: 68041989.KIA
Unit: B/229 AVN
UTM grid coordinates: YD296087
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. Also: OPERA (Operations Report. )
Loss to Inventory
P WO1 BRANAUGH LARRY JAMES KIA
P WO1 WARD RICHARD A
Passengers and/or other participants:
SP4 WILBURN JOHN EDWARD, AR, PAX, BNR
WILBURN, JOHN EDWARD Name: John Edward Wilburn Rank/Branch: E4/US Army Unit: A Company, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Air Cavalry Division Date of Birth: 12 February 1944 Home City of Record: Luther OK Date of Loss: 19 April 1968 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 162211N 1070836E (YD291105) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 3 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1D Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: On April 19, 1968, SP4 Wilburn, a member of Company A, 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry, 1st Air Cavalry Division, was participating in a combat assault mission into the A Shau Valley, South Vietnam. The helicopter in which he was a passenger was hit in the tail section by hostile anti-aircraft fire and started to spin. This caused Wilburn to fall out of the left door of the helicopter from an altitude of between 3000 and 4000 feet. No search was possible because of the tactical situation, the nature of the terrain, and difficulty of establishing a reasonable geographic location at which he fell out of the aircraft. John E. Wilburn is listed among the missing because his body was never found. Others who are missing do not have such clear-cut cases. Some were known captives; some were photographed as they were led by their guards. Some were in radio contact with search teams, while others simply disappeared.
SP4 John E. Wilburn fell out of this helicopter at 3,000 to 4,000 feet at approximate grid coordinates YD291105. The helicopter was hit in the tail section causing Wilbur to fall out. All others on the helicopter survived the crash and were picked up. WO1 Larry J. BRANAUGH took off his chicken plate after landing and was hit in the chest with a 50 cal round and died the next day in a hospital.
This record was last updated on 01/26/2016
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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017
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