Helicopter UH-1H 68-15564


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-15564
The Army purchased this helicopter 0469
Total flight hours at this point: 00000816
Date: 11/24/1969 MIA-POW file reference number: 1531
Incident number: 691124241ACD Accident case number: 691124241 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 187 AHC
The station for this helicopter was Tay Ninh in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 3 . . Injured = 3 . . Passengers = 2
costing 350757
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Reference Notes. Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Army Aviation Safety Center database. Also: 1531 ()
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
AC W1 RK HEIER
P CW2 COMER HOWARD BRISBANE JR RR
CE SP4 JONES JAMES RANDLE JR KIA
G SP4 YOUNG LAURENCE ATWOOD KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
E7 J PICHT, PAX, D
E7 G FREDETTE, PAX, D


REFNO Synopsis:
COMER, HOWARD BRISBANE JR. Name: Howard Brisbane Comer, Jr. Rank/Branch: W2/US Army Unit: 187th Aviation Company, 269th Aviation Battalion, 12th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade Date of Birth: 04 August 1945 Home City of Record: Jacksonville FL Date of Loss: 24 November 1969 Country of Loss: South Vietnam Loss Coordinates: 111445N 1060714E (XT223433) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 4 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1H Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing) REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: On November 24, 1969, WO Howard B. Comer was the pilot of a UH1H helicopter (serial #68-15564) on a general support mission when the helicopter crashed in the Van Co Dung River in South Vietnam. The helicopter and its passengers were recovered, but in spite of an extensive search, no trace was found of the pilot. Further search efforts were thwarted by the chief of the ARVN delegation to the 2-party military commission. The Tay Ninh Province chief was concerned about pressure on his province by hostile forces should he agree to assist in further searches for missing Americans. Several source reports were received regarding Comer's loss. One source reported that his father had possession of the remains of one U.S. GI and the father had the source memorize the information on the ID tag on Comer. The source provided information on the discovery of alleged remains and Comer's ID tag, which were alleged to be found near Cam Giang. Source provided information on the alleged discovery of the remains of Comer. A photocopy of the ID tag was provided. All information matched information given earlier by the source. In March 1985, a source relayed hearsay information regarding the recovery7 of U.S. remains from a helicopter crash in Vam Co Dung river near Tay Ninh city. This report was thought to possibly correlate to Comer. The same hearsay information was provided again in February 1986. Comer apparently did not survive the crash of his aircraft on November 24, 1969. Because his remains have never been located, he is listed with honor among the missing.


Accident Summary:

 THE AIRCRAFT CARRIED A CREW OF FOUR AND TWO PASSENGERS. IT HAD LOGGED FIVE AND ONE HALF HOURS OF FLIGHT IN DIRECT COMBAT SUPPORT OF MACV ADVISORY TEAM 90. BEFORE RETURNING TO TAY NINH, WHICH WOULD HAVE COMPLETED A ROUTINE FLIGHT THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER ELECTED TO FLY OVER THE NAVAL PATROL BASE AT BAN KEO, AND DROP LEAFLETS, THE SUBJECT MATTER OF WHICH WAS THE ARMY - NAVY FOOTBALL GAME RIVALRY. THE PILOT MADE THE INITIAL THREE LOW CIRCLING PASSES OVER THE PATROL BASE. LEAFLETS WERE DROPPED DURING THE FIRST TWO PASSES. THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER THEN TOOK THE CONTROLS TO MAKE ANOTHER LOW PASS TO DETERMINE THE REACTION OF THE PERSONNEL ON THE GROUND. THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER MADE THIS PASS FROM NORTHEAST TO SOUTHWEST PASSING CLOSE TO THE PATROL BASE'S SEARCH TOWER, AND SIMULATING WHAT THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER LATER CALLED " A GUNSHIP ROCKET RUN ". AS THE AIRCRAFT CONTINUED ON AN APPROXIMATE 45 DEGREE DIVE ACROSS THE BASE TOWARDS THE VO CO DUNG RIVER, THE PILOT TOLD THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER TO CHECK HIS AIRSPEED. THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER DID SO, NOTING AN INDICATED AIRSPEED OF 110 KNOTS. THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER THEN NOTICED THE RIVER APPARENTLY RUSHING TOWARDS HIM AND HE REALIZED THE DANGEROUS PROXIMITY OF THE AIRCRAFT TO THE WATER. APPLYING AFT CYCLIC AND INCREASING HIS COLLECTIVE PITCH HE ATTEMPTED TO PULL OUT OF THE DIVE. BY THIS TIME THE AIRCRAFT'S SKIDS WERE ALREADY IN THE WATER AND THE SHIP PITCHED FORWARD AND SANK IN AN INVERTED POSITION IN APPROXIMATELY 50 FEET OF WATER. THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER AND THE TWO PASSENGERS ARE THE ONLY THREE KNOWN SURVIVORS. THE CREW CHIEF AND GUNNER WERE RECOVERED DEAD, AND THE PILOT IS STILL MISSING.\\

This record was last updated on 09/20/1998


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