Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 67-17399
The Army purchased this helicopter 0468
Total flight hours at this point: 00001254
Date: 05/13/1969 MIA-POW file reference number: 1440
Incident number: 69051329.TXT
Unit: 129 AHC
UTM grid coordinates: BR621418
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: 1440 ()
Loss to Inventory
CE SSG BROOKS JOHN HENRY RALPH BNR
G SP4 GOONAN PAUL EDWARD JR KIA
P WO1 STOWE JEFFREY CHARLES KIA
P WO1 WITMER KENNETH EUGENE KIA
SYNOPSIS: On May 13, 1969, SP4 John H.R. Brooks was the crew chief aboard one of three helicopters assigned the task of inserting Republic of Korea soldiers into Binh Dinh Province, South Vietnam. While approaching the landing zone (LZ), the three aircraft came under enemy fire, and during the insertion, SP4 Brooks' aircraft was hit, spun in the air and crashed. Three of the 9 Koreans aboard the aircraft survived, evaded capture and were able to link up with Korean and American units the next day. One evadee reported that one Korean was killed in the helicopter and the American who was firing the machine gun on the left side of the helicopter was also killed. After the helicopter crashed, he saw the same American pinned under the helicopter. (This should be the door gunner.) The next day the bodies of all the other American crewmen except Brooks were found. Equipment thought to belong to Brooks was discovered near the burned helicopter. There was no sign of Brooks. Members of the crash site team agreed that while at the crash site a Korean soldier who had been in the helicopter reported that he had seen one American and two Koreans running down the hill from the crash site. No U.S. bodies were found down the hill; all of them were found at the top of the hill where the crash occurred. Crew members of the other aircraft reported seeing what they felt was SP4 Brooks exit the aircraft after it crashed and burned, yet there was now no sign of him.
The following is from Dennis N. Lockard: WO1 Kenneth Eugene Witmer, WO1 Jeffrey Charles Stowe, SP4 Goonan, and SP4 John H. Brooks were supporting the Koreans who had contacted the NVA the day before while attacking a convey headed for An Kea. The NVA were heavily entrenched on a mountain top. Lt. Murphy (Chalk 1) terminated at a hover and dropped 6 Koreans. CW2 Lockard terminated at a hover at a lower LZ and dropped 6 Koreans. WO1 Witmer terminated on the ground at Murphy LZ and hit a land mine. Pulled pitch and crashed down the valley. The gunner Goonan was trapped under the aircraft at the left door gun position. The two pilots ran up the hill and got shot. Two Koreans were seen running down the hill with crew chief John H. Brooks. Brooks was never found. Three Koreans evaded and connected with friendly forces the next day.
This record was last updated on 05/25/1998
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