Helicopter CH-46A 152529


Information on U.S. Marine Corps helicopter CH-46A tail number 152529
Date: 06/11/1969
Incident number: 69061111.KIA
Unit: HMM-165
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was LOSS TO THEATER
This was a Miscellaneous mission for Administration
While Enroute this helicopter was at Level Flight at UNK feet and UNK knots.
South Vietnam
Helicopter took 1 hits from:
Small Arms/Automatic Weapons; Gun launched non-explosive ballistic projectiles less than 20 mm in size. (7.62MM)
The helicopter was hit in the Engine Compartment causing an Explosion.
Systems damaged were: PERSONNEL, HYDRAULIC SYS, ENGINE, FUEL SYS
Casualties = 03 DOI, 02 INJ . . Number killed in accident = 0 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 0
The helicopter Crashed. Aircraft Destroyed.
Both mission and flight capability were terminated.
Burned
costing 0
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, NSC, JSIDR, CH46, John Dullighan (Boeing Tech Rep) (Naval Safety Center. Operations Report. Joint Services Incident Damage Report. )
Summary: Aircraft was hit by heavy machine gun fire while descending through 1500 feet on approach to Camp Evans. Caught fire in the air. Crashed
Loss to Inventory and Helicopter was not recovered

Crew Members:
G PFC RILEY THOMAS JOHN KIA
AC 1LT CURTIS TERRY M RES
CP CIV PIERCE DAVE KIA
CE LCP CAMPBELL RONALD STEVEN KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
PFC DIXON, MC, PX, RES


War Story:
On June 11, 1969, about noon, I was flying as HAC on a single ship CH-46A (baby Chinook) when we were hit by a twin-mount taking out both engines and setting the back end afire. I crashed on the West side of the road near a bridge over Highway 1 about 8 miles north of Hue City. I was carrying a passenger, Marine PFC Dixon, a Canadian, who was the youngest of five brothers in RVN at the time. He was going to visit one of his brothers, and Army pilot, who was flying DUSTOFF out of Camp Evans before departing RVN as a "sole surviving son." My crew chief threw PFC Dixon out of the "Frog" at approximately 60 feet above ground because his clothes were engulfed in flames. I am the only crew member who survived as the crew chief died eight days following the impact (broken back and pneumonia form lung burns) the rest died in the crash. I would like to find the DUSTOFF pilot and crew that witnessed the "dying" Marine helicopter going down in flames. This brave crew landed as soon as possible, picking up those of us he could find and taking us to Camp Evans. My back was fractured and my liver ruptured, so I was bleeding internally, and the doc said 5 more minutes and I would have bled to death. I truly owe my life to these men whom I have never met. PFC Dixon's brother came to see me at the MASH-type unit at Camp Evans; but I remember very little from that encounter because of my poor condition. I do remember that he thanked me for saving his brother's life. I still remember saying something like, " I wish I had never given him a ride." I was given the name, Ed Reeves of VHPA, but I do not know how to contact him. If you can be of any direct help or can lead me to someone who might help me locate a pilot named DIXON (I hope I've spelled it right), or any of the crew who flew the DUSTOFF that picked me up on 11 June 1969, I would appreciate it very much. Of course, I saw the accident photos that showed the damage to the right engine. We were hit by at least two rounds, because the hydraulic line and engine damage shows more than one entry. I thought the rounds were larger that small arms. I was told there was a twin-mount that had gotten a UH-1 the late afternoon or evening before (not on my Intel report on 11 Jun). The same guy was suspected of getting me. The mount and crew were destroyed the afternoon of 11 Jun (according to a field grade that visited me in the hospital). I was flying at 1500 feet MSL (I had just leveled off from a descent from 3500 feet) and I was pedaling at about 110 knots. (VNE was about 130 at my high gross weight...I was carrying a spare main transmission strapped to the cargo deck in the back). The squadron is Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 165 (HMM-165), The White Knights. The squadron stands to this day. I was their guest of honor last November at their Marine Corps Birthday Ball Celebration in Anaheim, California. The squadron has since moved to MCAS Miramar, California. Skip Curtis, Then 1stLt Terry M. Curtis USMC, now Colonel USMC Retired, January 1999.

This record was last updated on 08/24/2000


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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