Helicopter UH-1D 66-16433


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-16433
The Army purchased this helicopter 0567
Total flight hours at this point: 00000498
Date: 05/30/1968
Incident number: 68052727.KIA
Unit: 45 MED
South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: XT999847
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

Crew Members:
P MAJ BALLINGER WILLIAM JOSEPH KIA
P 1LT EPHLAND GUY BERNARD JR KIA
CE SP4 MATTE ALAN LOUIS KIA
MD SGT RUCKER KENNETH RAY KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
CPT PRIOR ANTHONY GEORGE, AR, PX, KIA


War Story:
Dustoff 46, Major Ballinger died along with his Pilot, 1Lt Guy Bernard Ephland, Crew Chief, Spec 4 Alan Lewis Matte, and Medic, Spec 4 Kenneth Ray Rucker, while on a night hoist extraction of a US Army Green Beret Captain. The UH-1D was hovering at tree top level, hoisting the patient who was in a Stokes stretcher. It is my understanding that the aircraft was hit by an RPG. My information is based on my contact with the crew the day of their death. It was my practice to volunteer to fly "patient protector" with crews from 4th Plt 45th Dustoff, during their 3-day rotations to Quan Loi, Vietnam. On this specific mission Major Ballinger refused to allow me to accompany them on this mission. I will never forget the words, "No, you can't go, this ones to dangerous." I often wonder, what if he had said 'Yes'. Had he let me go...........well? With much gratitude and respect, William James Gunner, Quan Loi Tower 2-12/68 (aka WmJPalmer@Yahoo.com)

This record was last updated on 09/14/2006


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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