Helicopter AH-1G 67-15765


Information on U.S. Army helicopter AH-1G tail number 67-15765
The Army purchased this helicopter 1068
Total flight hours at this point: 00000506
Date: 08/18/1969
Incident number: 690818221ACD Accident case number: 690818221 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: B/1 AVN 1 INF
This was an Operational Loss caused by unknown by Other with the mission function of Armed Helicopter (having primary weapon subsystems installed and utilized to provide direct fire support)
The station for this helicopter was Phu Loi in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: XT583402
Casualties = YES . . Number killed in accident = 2 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 1
Search and rescue operations were Not Required
costing 578001
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center AVDAC database. Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Army Aviation Safety Center database. Also: OPERA (Operations Report. )
Loss to Inventory and Helicopter was not recovered

Crew Members:
P CW2 AUTEN NORMAN DWANE KIA
P WO1 HODGSKIN JAMES G JR KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
O3 DUFUS, LCO, G


Accident Summary:

 AT APPROXIMATELY 0151 ON THE MORNING OF THE 18TH OF AUGUST 1969, A LIGHT FIRE TEAM WAS SCRAMBLED FROM COMPANY B (GS) TO A LOCATION 8 KILOMETERS NW OF THE "MUSHROOM". THE LFT UNDER THE CONTROL OF CW2 AUTEN ARRIVED ON STATION AT APPROXIMATELY 0206 AND TOOK UP A CIRCULAR ORBIT SOUTH OF FSB MONS' 10 WHERE THEY MADE CONTACT WITH "BANDIT YANKEE". "BANDIT YANKEE" INFORMED THE LFT THAT THEY HAD INCOMING FIRE AND A SMALL GROUND PROBE APPROX 20 MINUTES EARLIER. THE ORBIT THAT THE LFT ESTABLISHED WAS APPROXIMATELY SE OF ALL THE ILLUMINATION. SOME TIME SHORTLY AFTER ARRIVAL ON STATION AND SETTING UP THEIR ORBIT ARTILLERY ILLUMINATION STOPPED. AT THIS TIME THE LFT COMMANDER CW2 AUTEN REQUESTED FURTHER ILLUMINATION OVER THE CONTACT AREA. THE GROUND ELEMENT, "BANDIT YANKEE" INFORMED THE LFT COMMANDER THAT THEY WOULD TRY TO GET FURTHER ILLUMINATION FROM FSB MAHONE. A "SHADOW" AIRCRAFT BEGAN DROPPING FLARES OVER THE CONTACT AREA. THE LFT THEN MOVED TO THE NORTH OF THE AREA SETTING UP A LEFT HAND ORBIT AT APPROXIMATELY 2000 FEET. ARTILLERY ILLUMINATION BEGAN FALLING CLOSE TO THE SOUTHERN BOUNDARY OF THE LFT'S ORBIT SO THEY MOVED FURTHER NORTH APPROX 1 1/2 KILOMETERS AND CLIMBED TO APPROX 2300 - 2400 FT IN A LEFT HAND ORBIT. AFTER ESTABLISHING THEIR THIRD ORBIT, FROM ALL INDICATIONS IT APPEARED THAT THE LFT COMMANDER'S AIRCRAFT STARTED FIRING ROCKETS. IT WAS AT THIS MOMENT, THAT THE WING SHIP OBSERVED FIRE IN THE COCKPIT. AN ILLUMINATION ROUND WAS FALLING AWAY FROM THE AIRCRAFT. THE SHIP CONTINUED TURNING TO THE SOUTH. IT APPEARED TO BE IN AUTOROTATION. A CALL WAS MADE BY THE WING SHIP TO THE LEAD AIRCRAFT. THEY RECEIVED A TRANSMISSION FROM WO1 HODGSKIN, "WE'RE GOING DOWN JIMBO". NO TRANSMISSIONS WERE MADE BY MR. AUTEN. THE FLAMES INCREASED AS THE AIRCRAFT DESCENDED UNTIL IT EXPLODED ON IMPACT IN A WOODED AREA. THE AIRCRAFT CRASHED ON A GENERAL HEADING OF 135.\\


War Story:
A good friend of mine was KIA on 8/18/69 when his Cobra was shot down. JAMES G JR HODGSKIN: Jim and I roomed in the same Hootch in the 1st Inf. Div. at Phu Loi. We were in the Rebels Gunship Platoon. We were the Southeast unit of the Confederate Air force. I remember when he and I were initiated as honorary Confederate Col's. One of the requirements was to drink a jalepeno mint julep. We were sick as a dog the next day but flew anyway. One of Jim's flight school buddies in the "Gunslingers" platoon, the next company over, had been killed when his gunship was shot down over the Saigon River. Jim escorted the body home. When he came back he talked of driving his Corvette and listening to the song "Good Morning Star Shine" from Hair. One night Rebel 21's light fire team was scrambled to a 1st Inf Div. fire support base under attack. Norm Auten (Rebel 21) was in the back seat of the lead cobra gunship and Jim was in the front seat. Sometime during the fire fight Norm's gunship was hit by an illumination round and Norm was killed instantly. Jim called over the radio that he was going to try and land the gunship. Jim fought to land the cobra but it burned up when it hit the ground. Norm and Jim's ship crashed just above an area called the "mushroom". Aviators in Nam named land marks from the sky so they could be used as references. i.e., Mushroom, Onion, Angeles Wing, Parrot's Beak, Pigeon Head, Fish Hook. The Mushroom is a feature on the Saigon River, a little below Dau Tuiang, that looks just like a big mushroom. maybe a 1/4 mile above the mushroom the cobra hit. There seems to be a phenomenon that when a cobra crashes and burns the residual of the fire leaves the out line of a perfect cross that can be seen from the air. Such was the case with Norm an Jim's cobra. From: "Bill Perrot"

This record was last updated on 04/15/2004


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