Helicopter UH-1D 66-00819


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-00819
The Army purchased this helicopter 1066
Total flight hours at this point: 00001368
Date: 06/04/1969
Incident number: 69060444.KIA
Unit: A/101 AVN
South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: BT266225
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Also: OPERA, Op LAMAR PLAIN (Operations Report. )
Summary: Hit by an unidentified type explosive round, crashed, killing all five passengers aboard.
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
AC CPT FUCHS GREGORY GERALD KIA
P WO1 SHOLAR EDWIN FRANKLIN KIA
CE SP4 BARNES RICHARD LEIGH KIA
G SP4 ROBERTS STEPHEN LORD KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
SP4 JENNINGS ROBERT LEE, AR, PX, KIA


War Story:
The Op LAMAR PLAIN report states: At 1455H, a UH-1H from A/101 AHB vic BT265125 was hit by an unidentified type explosive round from an undisclosed location and crashed, killing all five people on board. The mysterious incident was immediately investigated but the findings were inconclusive.

I was the Flight Operations NCOIC and was in Flight Ops with MAJ Wall and CPT Dreves when we heard a cry for help come over the FM radio. Minutes later we got a call confirming that the aircraft 66-00819 had crashed and was on fire. An aircraft was readied and we immediately flew to the crash site. MAJ Wall the Company CO piloted and CPT Dreves flew co-pilot. I was a rated crew chief so I flew as the door gunner. When we reached the crash site the aircraft was pretty much gone and the bodies had been recovered by Pilot Ed White and his crew and placed on his aircraft fur transport to Graves Registration. After further inspection it was learned that part of the crew chiefs body were missing. After Ed White took off I, and several others, began a sweep of the crash area to try and locate the missing remains. After about 20 minutes we located the missing remains on the side of a hill and I placed them in a plastic bag and we flew them back to Graves Registration. The crew chief had apparently tried to jump from the aircraft before it crashed but the main rotor blade (Which had detached from the aircraft due to the explosion) had caught him and decapitated him before he ever hit the ground. A later investigation did reveal that a grenade being handled by the door gunner had exploded while the aircraft was in flight. Shrapnel had apparently penetrated the transmission, which caused it to seize up and the main rotor blade assembly snapped off in flight. I think it was one of the toughest days I had ever seen my unit go through and the memorial service we held back at camp later on was even tougher. I've enclosed a picture I took of the chicken plate and flight helmet that was worn by the door gunner when the grenade exploded. We brought it back to Flight Operations as part of the crew's effects. They were great young men and Comancheros to the end. From: Timothy Moore, Comanchero 3M

This record was last updated on 04/18/2009


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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