Helicopter CH-46A 153379


Information on U.S. Marine Corps helicopter CH-46A tail number 153379
Date: 12/28/1969
Incident number: 69122864.KIA
Unit: HMM-364
South Vietnam
Casualties = 10 KIA . .
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Also: OPERA, POPASMOKE INCIDENT (Operations Report. )
Summary: Ran into Hai-Van Pass at night under IFR conditions
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
AC 1LT BUTLER CHARLES KING KIA
CP 1LT HIGGINS WILLIAM PATRICK KIA
CE SSG SWAIN ROBERT RAY KIA
G PFC BEADNELL WILLIAM LEE KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
PFC ALDERMAN JAMES MURIEL, MC, PAX, KIA
CTC GATES ROBERT SIDNEY, MC, PAX, KIA
LCP PENCE JAMES HOWARD, MC, PAX, KIA
LCP SHELTON LESLIE LEWIS, MC, PAX, KIA
MGY STORM EDWARD REYNOLD, MC, PAX, KIA
SSG WALSH RICHARD DAVID, MC, PAX, KIA


War Story:
The POPASMOKE incident reads: Ran into Hai-Van Pass at night under instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). They were coming back from Phu Bai and had filed an IFR flight plan. They were experiencing radio problems and were cleared at 5,000 feet mean sea level but read back and flew the flight at 3,000 feet MSL. Da Nang Approach Control made numerous attempts to alert the crew to their mistake and transmitted on all UHF frequencies at their disposal, including Guard, with transmissions such as, "Swift #__ Turn left, you have a mountain at your 12 o'clock, distance 2 miles!" The crew never responded and flew into Hai-Van Pass under IMC conditions, impacted the terrain and all aboard were killed instantly. Information provided by Walt Wise, 1stLt. USMCR; Terry D. McDade, Sgt. USMC; William N. "Pappy" Hill, MGySgt USMC(Ret)

This record was last updated on 08/07/2000


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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