Helicopter UH-1C 66-00613

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1C tail number 66-00613
The Army purchased this helicopter 0966
Total flight hours at this point: 00000558
Date: 09/03/1968 MIA-POW file reference number: 1270
Incident number: 68090333.KIA
Unit: 191 AHC
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was LOSS TO INVENTORY
for Close Air Support
Unknown this helicopter was at Level Flight at UNK feet and UNK knots.
South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: XS777697 (To see this location on a map, go to https://legallandconverter.com/p50.html and search on Grid Reference 48PXS777697)
Helicopter took 1 hits from:
Small Arms/Automatic Weapons; Gun launched non-explosive ballistic projectiles less than 20 mm in size. (7.62MM)
causing a Fire.
Systems damaged were: PERSONNEL
Casualties = 03 KIA, 01 WIA . .
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: Defense Intelligence Agency Reference Notes. Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center Helicopter database. Also: 1270, OPERA, UH1P3, 24701 (Operations Report. )
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:

REFNO Synopsis:
SYNOPSIS: On September 3, 1968 Sgt. Frazier was a crewman aboard a UH1C helicopter (tail #66-66613) which crashed and exploded in South Vietnam. The site was inspected within 8 hours of the crash. All personnel aboard are accounted for except for Sgt. Frazier. The crash site was inspected on May 7 and 8, 1973 by JCRC and positively identified as being the aircraft and site associated with Frazier's death. No remains were recovered. On June 29, 1973, JCRC concluded that no remains were recoverable, as remains were destroyed by explosive ordnance, aircraft fire or removal from site by other means. JCRC recommended that no further operations be planned to recover Frazier unless new information became available and that the case be closed. Several reports have been received concerning the location of remains which may relate to Sgt. Frazier, but to date, no positive correlation has been made, nor have any remains been recovered.

War Story:
From: Annual Supplement History of the 191st Assault Helicopter Company 214th Combat Aviation Battalion 1st Aviation Brigade, 1 July 1968 - 31 December 1968, prepared by First Lieutenant Carl L. Radtke, Unit Historical Officer, Approved by MAJ John A. Petric, Commanding, Dong Tam, Republic of Vietnam, APO 96370, page 19: The company suffered the loss of three crew members on 3 September when their ship was shot down while supporting a combat operation near Rach Kein. The aircraft, a UH-1C gun ship, was being used to suppress known enemy positions when it came under intensive enemy fire and crashed at 103441N 1063728E. Killed were: CPT David C. Burch, WO1 Ronald M. Cederlund, and SGT Paul R. Frazier. According to the history supplement, SP5 Heinmiller the crew chief survived, however, eye witness Victor Milford says that SP4 Edward Davis, door gunner, was the sole survivor. SP5 Heinmiller was not involved and was killed on a later tour. Davis was burned in the crash and evacuated to Fort Sam Houston Texas, the burn hospital.

CW2 Richard VanDusen and I visited SP/4 Davis a few hours prior to his flight back to the U.S. As far as I know he survived with some scaring from his burns. The conversation Mr. VanDusen and I had with Ed Davis at the hospital in Siagon was informative. Ed stated they had some Charlies in spider holes and CPT Birch was trying to position the aircraft for the best shot. Ed's M60 jammed, while he was trying to unjam it, he looked up in time to see one of the Charlies sit up in his spider hole and fire his AK47. Charlie sprayed the aircraft with his weapon and both CPT Birch and Mr. Cederland were killed instantly. He said he saw a piece of the back of CPT Birch's flight helmet come flying off. The aircraft nosed into the ground and he was thrown (blown) clear of the crash in the fireball. He woke up to see an OH6 making an approach to his location. As soon as the OH6 was close to his position, he got to his feet and dove into the passenger area of the OH6 amid intense enemy fire. He was burned over most of his body but the last I heard was recovering well in Texas. That was in 1968; we have not stayed in touch. According to Mr. VanDusen at the time, he said CPT Birch made the mistake he cautioned each new aviator: "Don't ever hover".

From: Victor Milford, CW4, USA(ret)

On September 3, 1968 I was in route to my A.O. at Tan An when I received a report of a downed C model gunship and was asked to begin a search for the downed aircraft. The smoke from the burning UH1 lead me straight to the crash site. On approach to the crash site it was clear that the pilot and co-pilot were already dead and still strapped in their seats. There were two trails leading away from the burning aircraft. We spotted one soldier face down about 100 feet from the UH1. I made an approach to his location and picked him up under fire (Charlie was in the open and advancing toward the downed gunship). We evacuated him to an open rice paddy about a mile from the crash site where one of our UH1Hs could pick him up and evacuate him to a field hospital. As soon as we saw the UH1 on approach we returned to the crash site to look for the other soldier. I followed his trail to the edge of a small river lined with small one man bunkers where we took a round through the rotor blade. I made a forced landing about 300 yards away on the other side of the river where we made field repairs to the rotor using a hammer and roll of duck tape. The vibrations had smoothed out enough to make the OH6 flyable and we returned to the crash site to continue the search. By that time Charlie had left the area and there was no sign of the other soldier.

About a month later I was contacted by an Army investigator about the incident and learned that Ed Davis was the specialist that I picked up, Captain Burch and WO Cederlund were both KIA and that Sgt Paul Frazier was MIA. I believe Sgt Frazier was later presumed dead and as far as I know his body was never recovered. I have often wondered about Ed Davis and have tried to get information as to what happened to him and whether or not he survived. The last I knew he was in a burn unit stateside.

I am absolutely certain that Sgt. Frazier did not die in the initial firefight or in the crash of the UH1C. I would not have returned to that bunker complex without any cover or any backup if I had not seen a very clear path leading away from his side of the UH1C and his helmet in that path approximately 50 feet from the aircraft. When I returned to the bunker complex after dropping off Spec Davis the enemy had withdrawn from the open area where the UH1C crashed and I followed Frazier’s trail to the bunker where my aircraft was hit. I would not have gone back to that bunker complex a third time after making field repairs to my LOH if I had not thought there was a chance of saving Sgt. Frazier. It is and was my opinion that Sgt. Frazier was either killed by the enemy as they advanced on the downed aircraft and his body removed from the field or more likely that he was taken prisoner and died from his wounds.

Russ Scudder, Silver Spur 17 I was an OH-6 Scout Pilot in Vietnam.

This record was last updated on 10/15/2014

This information is available on CD-ROM.

Additional information is available on KIAs at http://www.coffeltdatabase.org

Please send additions or corrections to: The VHPA Webmaster Gary Roush.

KIA statistics

Return to the KIA name list

Return to the KIA panel date index

Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023

Copyright © 1998 - 2023 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association