Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-16784
The Army purchased this helicopter 0867
Total flight hours at this point: 00000479
Incident number: 68050909.KIA
Unit: A/227 AVN
UTM grid coordinates: YD237677
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Also: OPERA (Operations Report. )
Loss to Inventory
AC WO1 MCNEIL DONALD K KIA
P WO1 YOUNG MARK DOUGLAS KIA
The following is from a Facebook discussion.
This helicopter was shot down when it overflew the unit LZ and crashed into a paddy dyke. The doorgunner and crewchief were thrown out. The pilot aircraft commander were killed despite the grunts efforts to rescue them.
The aircraft went down at 237677. The report of the tail boom getting shot off is consistent with a discussion I had with an Alpha company soldier.
C/1/5 had moved several hundred yards when their contact occurred. The aircraft overflew Charlie Co at that point which may not have been the location they expected to find the intended LZ. They may have been surprised by the companies location and due to the low ceiling, they passed them and tried a quick turn. Frankly I do not know their intended destination just that they were shot down proximate to the battle between C/1/5 and the NVA.
The aircraft went down the morning of 5/9/68 as it approached C/1/5. A major battle with the NVA had started just before this helicopter arrived (some say within a minute and some say 15-30 min) and at the start of the battle. The CHARLIE Commanding Officer was shot (eventually five times) and two RTOs were immediately KIA. That probably prevented a warning to the helicopter crew. The aircraft flew directly over the company and started a sweeping turn directly over the NVA position. One soldier said the firing at the company stopped and was all focused on the Huey. The aircraft went down immediately and bust into flames. One witness said he saw the gunner and crew chief jump out. There was too much damage and fire to get the Pilot and aircraft commander out.
Charlie company lost 11 KIA and 44 WIA representing half of the company including two platoon leaders. The NVA used flamethrowers on our troops in this battle which was one of the few recorded incidents of their use in VN.
This record was last updated on 03/02/2013
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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017
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