Information on U.S. Army helicopter OH-6A tail number 67-16639
The Army purchased this helicopter 0269
Total flight hours at this point: 00000210
Incident number: 69071515.KIA
Unit: C/1/9 CAV
UTM grid coordinates: XT837514
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Also: OPERA (Operations Report. )
Loss to Inventory
P 1LT HANSEN JOHN CURRIE KIA
John Hansen and John Powell were flying a First-light mission in the AO. As they were flying toward the AO, a patrol of the other guys was spotted. John rolled "hot", engaged and the patrol scattered. "Little Bird" then became the "Hunter", a back pack was found. John landed his bird next to the pack, and as the crew chief (name I do not remember) was leaning out of the bird to pick up the pack, a soldier from the other side stood up just a few feet in front of the little bird and opened fire with an AK-47. I recall someone saying the guy was approx. 20 feet in front of the little bird. Regardless of the distance, he did not miss. The month of July, 1969 was the longest and most horrible month I have spent in my lifetime. Its funny how I am remembering little things which occured during that month. As an example, The night before, John H. was in his houch, playing a guitar like he was playing a banjo. He was really bending the strings; it sounded really good - it was the first time I had heard a guitar played that way. Anyway, John was Calvalier 15 when I arrived in country. I became cavalier 15 after John. We lost a large number of very brave young men during that month. John had been in country long enough to have proven his bravery over and over again. (The number of losses totaled around 10, does not include the ones medivaced.) Julie, you mentioned John Powell must have been the best cobra pilot in the unit. You must have been listening to John - just kidding a little. I flew many missions with John as my high bird. I cannot verify his being the best cobra pilot but I can verify he was the "Fastest Draw". If the little bird called "taking fire", he had better be pulling pitch and hauling "a..", because John had already punched off a pair of rockets - and he made no secret of the fact he used the little bird as a target or reference point to place supressive fire. Thanks John. David was still in lift platoon when John went down. The Blues were inserted and it is a highly probability David flew on that misson. I'm getting behind on trying to send information I remember. One quick little story, The very first pilot I flew with in country was John Anderson. John was a character - he never met a stranger. I think he knew everyone at Phouc Vinh - that includes other units also. He was that type. He enjoyed a philosophical discussion. When we started out on the mission (as I said, my first) I had no maps, etc. We were going over to A Troop to help them out - seems they had been hit pretty heavy recently. I was a little concerned - I had noticed John did not have a map either. I asked him if he knew where we were going - he assured me he did. After the second time I asked and he reassured me, we took off. To make a long story short, we finally make our destination - by taking the senic route, across the "angels wing" (Cambodia) and areas to the south. Will continue to write more later. With caring memories of all the brave young Cavaliers. Cecil Smith Cavalier 15/56-C, August 1999.
This record was last updated on 08/23/1999
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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017
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