Helicopter OH-6A 67-16230


Information on U.S. Army helicopter OH-6A tail number 67-16230
The Army purchased this helicopter 0868
Total flight hours at this point: 00000839
Date: 11/02/1969
Incident number: 691102151ACD Accident case number: 691102151 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: B/7/1 CAV
South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: WS858275
Number killed in accident = 3 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 0
costing 262555
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Army Aviation Safety Center database. Also: OPERA (Operations Report. )
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
P WO1 STOKKERMAN JON WILLIAM KIA
OB PFC WILLIAMS JOHNNY KIA
CE SP4 SAUNDERS KEITH FRANK KIA


Accident Summary:

 At approximately 0500 hours on 2 November 1969, the pilot preflighted the aircraft and took off with the rest of the scout section for a flight to Chi Long, RVN. Take off was at approximately 0520 hours. At approximately 0530 hours, WO1 Stokkerman radioed his lead and informed him that he was returning to Vinh Long with a chip detector light on. At approximately 0540 hours, WO1 Stokkerman again radioed and stated that his TOT was going "out of sight" and that the aircraft was vibrating severely and that he was going to attempt to land at SADEC helipad. This was the last radio call made by Mr. Stokkerman. A witness on the ground at SADEC stated that he had observed the aircraft circling with its landing lights on as if looking for a place to land. He stated that the aircraft was heading about 310 degrees and that flames were coming out of the rear of the aircraft. He stated that at this time the engine quit and the flames stopped, and that he lost sight of the aircraft as it went into the trees. The aircraft hit the top of a tree approximately 60 feet high and fell to the ground striking a hootch and coming to rest in approximately 8 feet of water. The impact of the aircraft with the concrete floor of the hootch was at approximately 45 knots airspeed, causing all crew members to lose their helmets. The crew was found strapped in their seats by CPT Brundage.

Editor's note: The last two sentences of the above official accident summary are not correct per 1LT Leonard Ganz who found and recovered the bodies by making repeated dives into the canal. 1LT Ganz received a Soldiers Medal for heroism for his actions. The VHPA has a copy of the award citation verifying LT Ganz's version of the events.


War Story:
The report of the crash of the LOH 10 on 2 November 1969 needs to be corrected. The crew consisted of:

P WO1 STOKKERMAN JON WILLIAM KIA
OB PFC WILLIAMS JOHNNY KIA
CE SP4 SAUNDERS KEITH FRANK KIA

None of the crew lost their helmets and I have no idea who Cpt. Brundage is/was.

My name is Leonard Ganz, I was a 1st LT with Advisory Team 65, MATS 94 in Sadec. I, along with Chief Petty Officer (corpsman) LE Wood were the first on the scene to take action. Three Swift Boats were already there, but no crew members took action.

I exited the Boston Whaler we arrived on and got on top of the platform that formerly held the hooch that was destroyed in the crash. All 3 crew members were on board as the helo sank below the surface. I did not know they were deceased so I immediately attempted to unlatch Stokkerman’s seat belt, it was broken. I grabbed my KaBar and cut him out. As I placed him on the deck I listened for a heart beat, but Wood informed me he was dead.. Wood had brought body bags, which I was unaware of. Freaked me out.

Next up was Saunders, same deal on the seat belt, had to cut him out. His right eye socket was destroyed. Not pleasant. I thought they were in a Loch (they were) until I spotted Williams helmet in the rear. I had to cut him out as well. At that point (never having seen 3 people in a Loch, I thought it must be a slick and started to search for the 4th crew member. I made repeated dives in to the wreckage with bare feet so I could feel for the body (which did not exist) as there is zero visibility under the water in the Delta.

The reason the crews from the Swift boats were hesitant was because of the leaking JP4. They warned me off, but I could only think about recovering those guys.

I was awarded a Soldiers Medal by the base commander and I can send you the orders as proof that my story is correct and accurate.

From: Leonard Ganz April 2018

I have no idea who CPT Bundage was or is. I was the coordinator of the rescue/recovery of the crew. All 3 had helmets on and in tack. Sadly, they were killed on impact.

I was with HM3 LE Woods who was the corpsman for the Sa Dec Navy base. Together we extracted the crew, the seat belts needed to be cut as the crash broke the locks and they would not open. We zipped them in body bags and returned to the Navy Base.

The base commander had me return to the site after showering (jet fuel leaking in the river) and later put me in for a Soldiers Medal. Orders are attached so you know my story is accurate and correct.

If you could kindly remove CPT. Bundage and his incorrect comment from the record I would appreciate it.

From: Leonard Ganz May 2019

Editor's Note: We do not change official records, however, we do provide corrections through additional information.

This record was last updated on 05/26/2019


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Date posted on this site: 05/26/2019


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