Helicopter UH-1H 66-01022

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 66-01022
The Army purchased this helicopter 1266
Total flight hours at this point: 00001500
Date: 02/12/1970
Incident number: 70021212.KIA
Unit: 174 AHC
Number killed in accident = 0 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 0
costing 0
Source(s) from which the incident was created or updated: War Story as related by a witness.
Summary: Hit by automatic weapons fire while on a two ship lift. See details at http://www.174ahc.org/174ahc3.htm#CPTGibbons

Crew Members:

War Story:
 Cpt John Gibbons was killed by hostile fire as Aircraft Commander of a Dolphin UH-1H inserting troops in a hot LZ. Died of head wound; no other injuries in the aircraft. Was very well liked. Source: Rick Diamond, May 90 and Jack Dotterer Jun 91. Gibbons was seated left as A/C of UH-1H 66-01022- Source: Warren Hewetson, June 2006. "The Co-Pilot was WO1 Robinson. ‘Gibby’ was A/C flying left seat. It was a two-ship movement of troops from one location to another. ‘Gibby’ was Platoon Leader and he was also Flight Leader this day. They were “climbing out” of the area. The C/E spotted a military age male standing out in the open. The man seemed to have produced an AK-47 from under his clothing. The C/E said the man just “swept up” toward the aircraft on full automatic. One of the rounds hit Gibbons in the left side under his armpit and three other rounds hit behind his left ear of his helmet. Gibbons slumped forward and his right foot went forward and the aircraft went out of trim & drifting towards the other ship. Robinson grabbed the flight controls. Two (or more) rounds had come through the radio console & his cyclic disabling his radio. His C/E and Door Gunner left their stations to pull Gibbons back into cargo and apply some first aid. They managed to make it back to the 11th Brigade Medevac area. Either the C/E or the Gunner had to make the radio transmissions to Duc Pho Tower (see correction below). By the time that they got the aircraft down, ‘Gibby’ had died due to loss of blood and the nature of his wounds.”- Comments from WO1 John Bailey (a "close" 174th friend of Gibson’s) to Warren Hewetson, June 22, 2006. Andy Anderson adds this additional comment and correction to Hewetson- June 24, 2006: " I was flying in an adjoining AO and monitored the radio traffic of the incident on the tower and company frequencies. CPT Gibbons was the A/C, but he was actually the Assistant Platoon Leader. Russ Lay was the 2nd Platoon Leader at the time. Gibbons used the call sign 'two six alpha'. I think that the aircraft involved was zero two two (That has been confirmed. See above). The pilots in the second aircraft called the approach to the medevac pad rather than the crew on Gibbon's ship. Robinson was the P-Pilot in the right seat. I know that he was badly shaken by the experience, but I believe that he eventually resumed regular flying duties." - Andy. From: http://www.174ahc.org/174ahc3.htm#CPTGibbons

This record was last updated on 09/08/2009

This information is available on CD-ROM.

Additional information is available on KIAs at http://www.coffeltdatabase.org

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: 11/13/2023

Copyright © 1998 - 2023 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association