Helicopter OH-6A 66-17779


Information on U.S. Army helicopter OH-6A tail number 66-17779
The Army purchased this helicopter 0368
Total flight hours at this point: 00000288
Date: 10/16/1968
Incident number: 68101666.KIA
Unit: ACT/11 ACR
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was LOSS TO INVENTORY
This was a Recon mission for Unarmed Recon
Unknown this helicopter was Unknown at UNK feet and UNK knots.
South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: XT838330
Count of hits was not possible because the helicopter burned or exploded.
Small Arms/Automatic Weapons; Gun launched non-explosive ballistic projectiles less than 20 mm in size. (7.62MM)
The helicopter was hit in the Cockpit
Systems damaged were: PERSONNEL
Casualties = 01 INJ, 01 KIA . .
The helicopter Crashed. Aircraft Destroyed.
Both mission and flight capability were terminated.
VUNG TAU recovered the helicopter.
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center Helicopter database. Also: OPERA, LNOF, 80420, CASRP, CRAFX (Operations Report. Lindenmuth Old Format Data Base. Crash Facts Message. Casualty Report. )
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
P 1LT CROWLEY JAMES ALLEN II KIA


War Story:
On October 16, 1968, a U.S. Army helicopter OH-6A (tail number 66-17779) from Air Cavalry Troop, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment was operating in the northeastern Binh Duong Province (III Corps), northeast of Lai Khe. The aircraft, flown by 1LT James A. Crowley II, was monitoring the 1st Squadron (Blackhorse) radio frequency about an active contact over an enemy bunker complex. Overhearing a pilot’s distress call, 1LT Crowey instinctively flew to the contact area to assist. As his ship approached the contact area, it came under hostile small arms fire and crashed on top of the bunker complex. The helicopter was right in the middle of the bunker complex resting nose first and leaning on its right skid that had, along with the left skid, collapsed on impact. The whole aircraft was smoking and the rear section was ablaze. Crowley’s crew chief was able to exit the helicopter, but Crowley was still strapped in his seat. Another helicopter crew landed nearby to assist and found Crowley alive but unable to talk. His right leg was broken and his foot was stuck under the floor pedal. Smoke increased in the aircraft and flames were about to consume the whole helicopter. Furthermore, enemy small arms fire from VC hiding in spider holes near the bunker complex was harassing the rescue crew. As Blackhorse pilot WO Mike Bates attempted to extract Crowley, he realized the desperate situation and finally wrenched Crowley’s leg to get him free. Successful, Bates put Crowley over his shoulder and headed back to his helicopter which was landed nearby. Crowley was laid on the cabin floor where his uniform was pulled down around his ankles. He was having trouble breathing and turning gray. On closer inspection, they located an entrance wound on his left buttock but no exit wound was found. Crowley was transferred to a medevac ship and sped to a MASH unit at Lai Khe, about five to seven minutes away. The injured crew chief would survive, but Crowley bled to death from internal injuries before he could be treated. [Taken from the book American Warrior by J.C. Bahnsen Jr.]

This record was last updated on 08/02/2015


Additional information is available on CD-ROM.

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: 09/23/2017


Copyright © 1998 - 2017 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association