Helicopter UH-1D 66-16260


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-16260
The Army purchased this helicopter 0467
Total flight hours at this point: 00001886
Date: 11/15/1969
Incident number: 69111515.KIA
Unit: 71 AHC
South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: BT179466
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center Helicopter database. Also: OPERA (Operations Report. )

Crew Members:
P 1LT ROMERO WALTER DAVID KIA
AC GWYNN EDWARD R RES
CE SP4 RANKIN JOHN ROBERT KIA


War Story:
Although this helicopter was written off because of this incident, it was later rebuilt and returned to service.

From http://www.njvvmf.org bio for RANKIN: "The following account of John's last mission is a compilation of information told to me by the pilot of his Huey, Warrant Officer Edward Gwynn, and other men who served with him in Vietnam. "On November 15, 1969, a Huey aircraft, piloted by WO Gwynn, with co- pilot Lt. David Romero, crew chief John R. Rankin, and one other crew member were on a re-supply mission. They were carrying infantrymen, ammo, water and food. The flight was to the north of Chu Lai with their destination about fifty miles from base. When within six tenths of a mile from the landing zone, the Huey was hit by small arms fire from the ground. The disabled ship came down and rolled on its side. "Everyone on board survived the crash landing without obvious injury. John stood up to look around outside and was hit with a single shot by small arms fire from the surrounding jungle. He was hit in his mid- section and fell back inside. At this time the ship came under fire. The men on board with John applied compression bandages to his wound to stop the bleeding. A message was sent out to report the shoot down and that they were under fire. The pilot was wounded by shrapnel from a rifle grenade during the attack. Lt. David Romero organized the crew and passengers into a defensive group. They were able to hold out for the thirty minutes it took for the rescue choppers to arrive. During that time, John slipped away, peacefully. "The rescue Hueys arrived and held off the attacking force. While doing that, the rescuers were able to place John's remains and all of the survivors on board the ships. On the return trip to base at Chu Lai, Lt. Romero, who had up to this time seemed unhurt, turned his head, fell unconscious and died. Later it was determined that he had probably broken his neck when the ship crashed."

This record was last updated on 07/21/2007


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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