Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1C tail number 66-15154
The Army purchased this helicopter 0667
Total flight hours at this point: 00000483
Date: 08/01/1968 MIA-POW file reference number: 1244
Incident number: 680801221ACD Accident case number: 680801221 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 240 AHC
The station for this helicopter was Bear Cat in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: YT467986
Number killed in accident = 4 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 0
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. Army Aviation Safety Center database. Also: 1244 ()
Loss to Inventory
AC WO1 FERNAN WILLIAM KIA
P CPT RUSSELL PETER JOHN BNR
CE SSG HASTINGS STEVEN MORRIS BNR
G SP6 FOWLER DONALD RANDALL BNR
South Vietnam Donald R. Fowler Steven M. Hastings Peter J. Russell William Fernan (1244) On August 1, 1968, Warrant Officer Fernan, First Lieutenant Russell, Specialist Fourth Class Fowler and Specialist Fifth Class Hastings disappeared while on board a UH-1C helicopter during a flight through bad weather in Song Be Province. A search for them was unsuccessful. On August 6, 1971 local woodcutters discovered the helicopter wreckage. Partial remains belonging to Warrant Officer Fernan were recovered, but none were recovered of the other three crewmen. The possibility that the other three crewmen might have survived arose due to the condition of the wreckage. The four crewmen were initially declared missing and, after the end of hostilities, were declared dead/body not recovered. They were not reported alive in the Vietnamese prison system. In June 1989, U.S. field investigators in Vietnam located six individuals who witnessed an American being captured after he was injured in an aircraft crash in 1968. The American was taken first to Bu Dang District Headquarters and then to the Phuoc Long Province POW camp. As a result of malaria, the prisoner was taken to Hospital 370 where he died one week later and was buried nearby. This report is viewed as possibly correlating to the fate of one of the aircraft's survivors. Additionally, a doctor recently interviewed in Vietnam identified the photograph of Lieutenant Russell as the patient brought to his hospital from a nearby POW camp. He stated that the American died at the hospital and was buried nearby. No reports correlated to other survivors.
The aircraft was on a combat support mission when it encountered a weather condition and went IFR. While trying to home on the command and control aircraft radio, contact was lost and the aircraft was never heard from again.
This record was last updated on 05/25/1998
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Date posted on this site: 05/26/2019
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