Helicopter UH-1H 68-15661


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-15661
The Army purchased this helicopter 0569
Total flight hours at this point: 00000676
Date: 11/15/1969
Incident number: 69111555.KIA
Unit: 174 AHC
South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: BS475724
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

Crew Members:
AC WO1 WILSON ADAM KIA
P WO1 REGALADO RICARDO WAYNE KIA
CE SP4 HODGKIN FOREST CLAYTON KIA
G SP4 DUCOMMUN RONALD LLOYD KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
SGT GUNDERSON JAMES JOHN, AR, PX, KIA


War Story:
The 174th was enroute to resupply my infantry unit (B-3-1, 11th LIB). My platoon (3rd) was told to leave the CP and patrol the lower area because there were too many people on the hill. We left the hill heading down to a valley for a recon. We heard the chopper come in, land, then take off. I remember wanting to hurry back just in case I had a couple letters in that red mail sack that the birds would drop off.

The chopper took off as we were walking down the hill, when we heard the sound of someone popping smoke. Watching the departing chopper leaving the area, the chopper flew towards the smoke. We then heard the sounds of AK fire. The chopper appeared to make a sputtering sound, lean to the side and someone appeared to fall out while going down. We rushed to the site to secure the chopper and assist the crew. Unfortunately, all were deceased.

The chopper was turned to a white ash by the fire. As a result of the bad whether, we were told to stay with the downed bird for the night until another chopper would retrieve the bodies the following day.

It was a pretty scary night. We were on the side of a hill and heard gooks attempting to reach the chopper most of the night. I noticed while attempting to place one of the bodies in a bodybag, the name on the dogtag laced into his boots was the name "James Gunderson." Gunderson was a former infantryman assigned to my unit. He had obtained a job in the rear and just hitched a ride out to see his old unit.

I mentioned the incident to my former CO (Capt Fahel) at a recent Americal Hill 411 reunion. He remembered. I think the pilot was checking out the smoke in efforts that someone on the ground may have needed assistance.

From: Charles Mankin

This record was last updated on 10/25/2011


Additional information is available on CD-ROM.

Please send additions or corrections to: The VHPA Webmaster Gary Roush.

KIA statistics

Return to the KIA name list

Return to the KIA panel date index

Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


Copyright © 1998 - 2017 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association