Helicopter UH-1D 65-12885


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 65-12885
The Army purchased this helicopter 0966
Total flight hours at this point: 00002326
Date: 02/27/1970
Incident number: 70022777.KIA
Unit: 336 AHC
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was LOSS TO INVENTORY
This was a Recon mission for Unarmed Recon
While in Operations Area this helicopter was in Orbit at 0300 feet and 040 knots.
South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: WR662572
Count of hits was not possible because the helicopter burned or exploded.
Explosive Weapon; Non-Artillery launched or static weapons containing explosive charges.
causing an Explosion.
Casualties = 04 DOI, 02 KIA . .
The helicopter Crashed. Aircraft Destroyed.
Both mission and flight capability were terminated.
Burned
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center Helicopter database. Also: OPERA, LNNF, CASRP, CRAFX, FM385, JSIDR (Operations Report. Lindenmuth New Format Data Base. Joint Services Incident Damage Report. Crash Facts Message. Casualty Report. )
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
G SP4 MCCORMICK RONALD LEE KIA
G SP5 PROCTOR DANIEL VAUGHAN KIA
CE SP5 STAFFORD RONALD WADE KIA
C SP4 SWARTZ GARY LEE KIA
AC CW2 CONNELLY RICHARD JOHN KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
WO1 PACE JAMES TAYLOR, AR, P , KIA


War Story:
I was a crew chief from the 336th AHC operating out of Soc Trang. This ship was from the 336th, knew the crew well.. my ship replaced this ship after the accident. This ship was assigned to the 336th AHC 2nd flight platoon night ops. Ship call sign Lucky Strike. Its mission was night recon, airfield defense, outpost support. The ship was outfitted with the Firefly system, consisting of a light cluster and 50 cal on the Pilot’s side, with two additional crew members on the left side with 60s. The crew was well seasoned, had been in many a fire fight, and had very impressive results in stemming enemy night activity in and around Soc Trang. The night of the crash, Lucky Strike was on patrol, being supported by a chase ship that flew above them at approximately 1000 / 1500 feet agl normal operating procedure; they reported that at the time of the incident, Lucky Strike was on the deck, light on, when the crew noticed a person running. (Remember this was at night, in a bad area, with curfew in effect) they then flew in to investigate. When they were near the area where the person was seen, the ship was hit by what was thought to be B40 rockets. The ship exploded and crashed immediately; with no further communication.... the chase ship contacted the Soc Trang duty officer Guardian Angel and 336th Operations. Warrior 6 (336 company commander) along with a heavy fire team ( 3 T-Bird gun ships) were scrambled, and responded to the crash site. All 336 Slicks were put on stand by for possible troop insertion. While in the crash area investigating, one of the gun ships took fire and crashed, killing the door gunner. The three remaining crew members were picked up. It was obvious to all that were there that the area had been setup as an ambush site, within a U shaped tree line.. Warrior 6 knowing there was hope for the crew of Lucky Strike, ordered all aircraft from the area, fearing more loss. The plan was to bring in troops at first light, in a couple hours, to secure the crash site. Slicks on stand by were ordered down, crews returned to barracks. we in the 2nd flight platoon knowing of the crash waited to hear if there were survivors, then the call came that all had perished. We had lost 6 from our platoon, and one from the Thunder Birds Platoon. A sad night for the 336 family for sure. Just wanted to give full account of what happened that night to the best of my recollection, and to make known to all who read this, of how much these crew members were respected and missed by all of us who knew them. More on the 336AHC website. From: Tom Feigel, Crew Chief 336 AHC I was the Viking’s senior fireteam lead. On the night Lucky Strike went down, we were returning with a heavy fireteam after a really long, really bad day supporting ground troops south of Camau, deep in the Umin forest. We were dog tired, short on fuel and all of our ships were shot up pretty good as well. I’d just called over the Tigers tail for landing instructions at Soc Trang when I saw tracer fire off to the north. At almost the same time, I saw a bright orange flash at around 300’AGL. The explosion momentarily silhouetted the Huey’s airframe. I called the tower to ask who they had up on firefly- the answer was Lucky Strike. I told the tower that Strike had just exploded in mid-air and the scramble the T-Birds. I knew there was nothing we could do to help the crew of Strike, so I sent our light team on into land. I made a couple o passes, on the deck blackout, over the area where the wreckage was burning on the ground but didn’t take any fire or see anyone on the ground to engage. The T-Birds were up and on scene in no time. I briefed T-Bird lead on what I had seen and went on in to refuel. Before we got into our revetment, I heard on guard that one of the T-Birds was down. Not sure how Super Slick fit into the picture: don’t think I talked to them on the radio and probably fortunate we didn’t have a mid-air over the crash site since I was on blackout and totally focused on the wreckage. The next morning we were back to Camau, We never discussed what happened that night in the air or on the ground, and I had blocked out that memory. However,Some memories never go away, for me Lucky Strike is one I’ll always carry. Roger Tunnell Viking 21 Fire team lead………. Soc Trang Army Air field

Eyewitness report….American Mobile advisory Team in the Mekong Delta village of Tuan Tuc, south of Can Tho Lt William Ahearn letter…. The names of the ships vary: Tiger Surprise, Viking, T-Bird, Lucky Strike, Super Slick. Their jobs are the same, to hunt down VC, to break up any VC attack. I’ve never met any of them, yet their voices are very familier.we have used them in our area many times. We have heard their voices over the radio each evening, laughed many ,many times at their conversations with each other…their kidding , boasting about their ships, women, how much time left in country. They are a lively bunch of men. A call for help went out to two of those ships Lucky Strike and Super Slick. Romeo, the MAT five miles south of us , had two outposts under full attack. The VC were hitting the outposts with all they had, gunships were needed to save them. since it is all open flat land here, we could see the tracer bullets being exchanged between the VC and the outposts. We heard the call go out for gunships, and one passed right over us, he was soon over the battle area and his high-beam spotlight went on in search of the enemy. It went out as he began to receive enemy fire. The ship was Super Slick. Another ship passed overhead, and I hurried inside to the radio to listen”Romeo. Romeo – Lucky Strike, Lucky Strike! “Lucky Strike, this is Romeo , over” “this is`Strike, roger.. what have you got for me? Over this is Romeo two outposts under VC attack from the west over..Strike , roger out. Strike this is Super Slick over, hey Slick what’s happening? This is Slick, I’m at 900 and on blackout, received some automatic weapons fire from below over. this is Strike I’ll be coming in at 700 beacon on, I’ll try and find them.over. I went back outside to watch Strike put on his beam, before any lights came on , a huge red fireball appeared in the air and went groundward. It had to be one of the ships, I ran in and called Super Slick. This is gulf, did one of you just go down? Over. There was no immediate answer. gulf this is Super Slick, Lucky Strike was hit, blew up in the air. His voice was shaking, someone else called him and asked him if there were any survivors. Again no immediate answer. Then Slick broke in, negative, impossible for anyone to survive that. My men were yelling at me that it had to be one of the ships, I told them it was Strike. We stood there and looked out to where Strike had gone down. A lone red beacon flashed overhead…Super Slick. I know how they felt, there was nothing that could be done. A few minutes later the air was full of helicopters and another cry came on the radio..T-Bird 1 is down, he’s down, lets get in there. this time three men were picked up from another ship , a fourth man was crushed under the ship, which later blew up. Seven Americans killed in less than 20 minutes. Romeo, this is T-Bird 3 be advised we are going to blow this place to hell, and they did, ship after ship five to ten of them passed over the area and tossed in rockets and steady machine gun fire… then finally silence, I stayed outside alone and watched the many red beacons in that area, there were no more cries on the radio, no more rockets or bullets. I could still not grasp that Lucky Strike was dead. Lieutenant William Ahearn …American mobile advisory Team (MAT)

This record was last updated on 04/15/2009


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