Information on U.S. Army helicopter OH-6A tail number 67-16224
Date: 10/17/1968 MIA-POW file reference number: 1305
Incident number: 681017151ACD Accident case number: 681017151 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: DIR ARTY 101 ABN
The station for this helicopter was Camp Eagle in Over Water
Casualties = 03 KIA, 01 INJ . . Number killed in accident = 3 . . Injured = 1 . . Passengers = 2
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: 1305 ()
Summary: Crashed about 500 meters from destroyer USS Eversole while returning to shore at night.
Loss to Inventory
P WO1 DAUGHERTY RALPH OLEN JR KIA
OB LCP MOORE DAN ROSS KIA
OB SGT ASHMAN ROBERT D RES
Passengers and/or other participants:
SP5 MASON JAMES PHILLIP, AR, PX, BNR
SYNOPSIS: On October 17, 1968, SP5 James Mason, passenger; WO1 Ralph O. Daugherty, pilot; Lcpl. Dan R. Moore and Sgt. Robert D. Ashman, observers; were flying onboard an OH6A aircraft, tail numberr 67-16224, on a support mission off the coast of South Vietnam. The helicopter had landed on the USS Eversole to pick up SP5 Mason to return him to his unit. At 1925 hours, the OH6 took off for unknown reasons, and crashed 500 meters from the USS Eversole. Rescue efforts began immediately, recovering Sgt. Ashman and Lcpl. Moore. Ashman and one of the rescuers reported seeing a third man in the water prior to his rescue. Extensive searches failed to locate Mason, but on October 28 the body of WO1 Daugherty was found on the beach in the vicinity some 13 kilometers from the crash site. Mason was never found, nor was any information learned pertaining to him or his fate. James Mason is listed with honor among the missing because no remains were found.
At 1715 hours on 17 October 1968, WO Daugherty took off on a Naval gunfire mission from division artillery operations. WO Daugherty was also requested to fly Specialist Mason out to the USS Eversole by the nglo after the completion of the naval gunfire mission. WO Daugherty landed on the USS Eversole, dropped off Sp. Mason and departed to shoot his mission. After completing the mission, WO Daugherty landed on the USS Eversole and secured the aircraft. The party returned to the aircraft and prepared to take off. Sergeant Ashman was sitting on WO Daugherty's left. Lance Corporal Moore was seated behind him in the back seat with Sp. Mason on his right. The aircraft lifted off at approximately 1925 hours. The surviving witness, SGT. Ashman, indicated that the aircraft took off straight up, turned 90 degrees to the right and accelerated forward. Seconds later the aircraft struck the water approximately 500 meters from the ship. The USS Eversole initiated recovery procedures immediately. Sergeant Ashman and Lance Corporal Moore were rescued from the water 20 minutes after impact. A third survivor was sighted, but sank before he could be recovered. The USS Eversole was joined in the search by the hospital ship, USS Repose, LCU 1485, and helicopters from the 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile). The body of the pilot was recovered at 0930 hours on 21 October 1968 at coordinates AU844059. Autopsies have been requested by the board on Warrant Officer Daugherty and Lance Corporal Moore but have not yet been received. Statements from witnesses aboard the USS Eversole have been requested through Navy channels but have not yet been received.
Tom Wolf was a sailor on the USS Eversole and witness this crash. He said that the helicopter crashed about 50 meters from the ship, not 500 meters. A rescue attempt was made very quickly because the ship was so close.
This record was last updated on 04/03/2006
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