Information on U.S. Army helicopter CH-47B tail number 67-18473
The Army purchased this helicopter 1267
Total flight hours at this point: 00000763
Incident number: 69090322.KIA
Unit: C/228 ASHB 1 CAV
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was REPAIRED IN THEATER
for Air/land Assault , Hot Area.
While in PickUp Zone this helicopter was on Take-Off at 0025 feet and 010 knots.
Helicopter took 2 hits from:
Explosive Weapon; Non-Artillery launched or static weapons containing explosive charges. (B-40 RKT)
The helicopter was hit in the Nose
Systems damaged were: PERSONNEL, HYDRAULIC SYS, STRUCTURE
Casualties = 01 KIA . .
The helicopter made a Forced Landing. Aircraft was capable of one time flight.
The aircraft was diverted or delayed after completing some mission objectives.
LZ CALDWEL recovered the helicopter. Repaired at PHUOC VINH
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center Helicopter database. Also: LNNF, JSIDR, CASRP, CH47, Gary A. Myers (Lindenmuth New Format Data Base. Joint Services Incident Damage Report. Casualty Report. )
Summary: While hovering preparing to depart, a B-40 rocket came through the nose but did not explode. It killed the AC. Also took SA hits in aft.
AC CW3 LANGE DEAN RICHARD KIA
P CPT MOHLER LARRY DEAN
FE SP5 P MCGOWAN
CE SP4 GA MYERS
473 was the lead ship in a flight of three C/228 CH-47s that were extracting ARVNs. I was the CE and manned the M-60 position at the right door. I believe the NVA started mortaring the PZ when we landed. I could hear loud explosions over the noise of the Chinooks. About the time that our aircraft was almost fully loaded, the ARVNs panicked and started charging the aircraft. While the gunner and I were getting the ARVNs seated, the FE, SP5 Pete McGowan, was standing on the ground near the back ramp. Somehow he stopped the mob and got back on the helicopter. As CW3 Dean R. Lange, the AC, picked the aircraft up to a low hover, a few ARVNs fell or jumped off. At about a 30 foot hover, he started a left pedal turn. I believe there was an obstacle of some sort that prevented us from departing straight out of the PZ. I was standing at the right door. The lower half was closed and the upper half was stored in its overhead track. My M-60 was pedestal mounted and pointed forward out the door. Like the other crew members, I was watching outside for any obstructions and talking to the cockpit. As we were making this turn, I saw an NVA soldier stand to our front. He was wearing a helmet and had something on his shoulder. There was a flash, then a puff of white smoke and I saw this corkscrew smoke trail coming at us. I could not swing the M-60 forward enough or had the time to return fire. The B-40 rocket came through the windshield but did not explode. It passed through CW3 Langeís upper body, killing him instantly. Then it went through the radio closet behind him and delivered a glancing blow to the left gunnerís helmet. It continued up to hit a major bulkhead then angled back and hit two ARVNs. It finally came to rest on the floor near the gunnerís feet. I can not remember the gunnerís name. He was knocked out or seriously dazed by the blow to his helmet because he fell to the floor. He survived. The two ARVNs were injured but I donít recalled how bad their wounds were. Because Mr. Lange was flying the aircraft, I am certain the impact of the B-40 warhead forced his collective hand back because the Chinook tried to stand up. I thought it was going to go all the way over on its back. CPT Mohler (I know he was a Captain and I think that is how to spell his last name), the other pilot, prevented this from happening. He got control of the aircraft, continued the turn and we departed. During this time we also took hits in the aft pylon. I managed to fire a few shots from the M-60 but donít think I did any major damage to the enemy. As we were departing I saw Mr. Langeís helmet rolling up against my feet. After about 30 seconds, I went into the cockpit and asked CPT Mohler if he needed any help. He was covered with blood and had shrapnel wounds but said that he had things under control. I remember seeing lots of warning lights on in the master caution panel and the cockpit was a mess. We had lost one of the hydraulic flight control systems and we had some problems with engine #1. We only flew about five minutes and stayed right on the trees. I think we landed at a small American LZ near Song Be. We found the B-40 warhead still smoking on the floor and threw it out. Pete McGowan and I loaded Mr. Lange into a body bag we got from the guys on the LZ. I remember they flew in a security force plus a maintenance team. We worked all that day and may have spent the night there, I donít know for sure. I know we changed an engine, repaired the flight controls, and used lots of 100 mph tape; then flew it home. I stayed with the ship the whole time. 473 stayed on the maintenance pad for several months. We cannibalized lots of parts off it. Finally they lifted it out with a Crane. Submitted by Gary A. Myers, Nov. 1996. We took two B-40s through the cockpit. One was stuck in the control closet. The aircraft was with C company while in Vietnam. It was shipped back to USA for repair do to structural damage. From Larry Mohler, 228thASHB, March 1999.
This record was last updated on 03/07/1999
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