Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 67-17595
The Army purchased this helicopter 0668
Total flight hours at this point: 00000448
Date: 10/03/1968 MIA-POW file reference number: 1297
Incident number: 68100322.KIA
Unit: 117 AHC
UTM grid coordinates: WT971754
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: 1297 ()
Loss to Inventory
AC CPT FRAME ARTHUR T RES
P WO1 BIXLER MARTIN EDWARD KIA
CE SP4 SMITH ROGER LEE BNR
G SP5 MCCAFFERTY MICHAEL LESTE KIA
Passengers and/or other participants:
CPT MANN JAMES EDWARD, AR, PX, KIA
DAVIS, AR, PX, RES
SYNOPSIS: On October 3, 1968, SP4 Roger L. Smith was the crew chief aboard a UH1H helicopter (serial #67-17595) on a command and control mission in Phuoc Long Province in the general vicinity of Phuoc Binh. There were a total of six individuals aboard the aircraft. When Smith's helicopter was flying over an operations area, the aircraft was hit by hostile ground fire, crashed and burned. Of the six aboard, five were recovered, although public record does not indicate whether they survived or were dead. Information allegedly obtained from witnesses indicates that Smith's remains are probably still at the crash site and under the aircraft's transmission. The site was not revisited. A great deal of information relating to this case was still classified as late as May, 1988.
On October 3, 1968, a battalion of Special Forces had come into heavy contact about twenty miles northwest of Tay Ninh along the Cambodian border. An emergency lift of ammunition was requested and CPT Arthur (Tom) Frame the Air Mission commander at Tay Ninh volunteered to take it into the midst of the battle. As he came to a hover over the trees on the ammunition drop his hydraulics and tail rotor were shot out and he crashed into the trees. The crew chief, Specialist Roger Smith was killed instantly in the crash as the aircraft rolled on the left side. CPT Frame was trapped in the wreckage and his pilot Warrant Officer Martin Bixler and gunner SP5 Michael McCafferty came around to pull him out. They pulled him from the wreckage but before they could be picked up, Warrant Officer Bixler and Specialist McCafferty were killed by the enemy raging fire. CPT Frame was dragged away from the contact area by one of the Special Forces personnel and was picked up some hours later when the action subsided. Captain Frame was awarded the Silver Star for refusing to leave his aircraft before he got the passengers out of the cabin area. For their heroic actions, Specialist McCafferty and Warrant Officer Bixler were awarded the Silver Star posthumously. from Annual Supplement History of the 117th Aviation Company (AMBL LT) 222nd Combat Aviation Battalion 12th Combat Aviation Group, First Aviation Brigade, 1 January 1968 - 31 December 1968, Prepared by 1LT David A. Coon, Unit Historical Officer, Approved by: MAJ Lynn B. Knisely, Long Binh, Republic of Vietnam, APO 96279.
This record was last updated on 03/06/2016
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Date posted on this site: 05/26/2019
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