Helicopter UH-1H 67-17706


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 67-17706
The Army purchased this helicopter 0868
Total flight hours at this point: 00001743
Date: 04/17/1970
Incident number: 700417351ACD Accident case number: 700417351 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: A/25 AVN 25 INF
The station for this helicopter was Cu Chi in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: YT004054
Number killed in accident = 10 . . Injured = 1 . . Passengers = 8
costing 725945
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Army Aviation Safety Center database. Also: OPERA (Operations Report. )
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
AC WO1 HARIG DEAN ALLEN KIA
P WO1 SIMEONOFF FREDERICK M KIA
CE SP4 HUNTER WILLIAM KENNETH KIA
G SGT MARSH FREDERICK CURTIS KIA
PP CW2 CROSS ALVIN EUCLID KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
E6 DP OUELLETTE, PAX, D
SGT TUGGLE JACK DE WAYNE JR, AR, PX, KIA
CPT ANDREWS HOWARD RIVERS JR, AR, PX, KIA
PFC LANDRY HOWARD DENNIS, AR, PX, KIA
SP4 WEIK MICHAEL JOSEPH, AR, PX, KIA
CPT ZONNE ROBERT JOHN, AR, PX, KIA


Accident Summary:

 ON THE DAY OF 17 APRIL 1970, UH-1H, 67-17706, A COMPANY, 25TH AVIATION BATTALION WAS ASSIGNED DIVISION COURIER AIRCRAFT. THE PRIMARY MISSION OF THIS AIRCRAFT WAS TO FLY THE DIVISION COURIER WHILE INTERJECTING PASSENGER PICK UP AND DROP OFFS DURING THE COURIER RUN. WHILE ON IT'S FINAL MISSION OF THE DAY, THE AIRCRAFT WAS FLOWN TO II FIELD FORCE (RED CARPET HELIPAD) ARRIVING AT 1712 HOURS (LOCAL) TO PICK UP THE DIVISION LNO OFFICER AT 1800 HOURS. DURING THE HOUR GROUND TIME AT II FIELD FORCE, WO HARIG, SIMEONOFF, AND CW2 CROSS, DEPARTED THE AIRCRAFT AND WENT TO THE II FIELD FORCE OFFICER'S CLUB, LOCATED APPROXIMATELY ONE BLOCK FROM THE HELIPAD, FOR SUPPER. ALL THREE RETURNED TO THE AIRCRAFT AT APPROXIMATELY 1800 HOURS. THE CREW AND PASSENGERS DEPARTED RED CARPET HELIPAD AT 1812 HOURS TO RETURN TO CU CHI BASE CAMP.\\ OUT OF THE SOUTH AT 7 KNOTS, VISIBILITY WAS APPROXIMATELY 15 MILES, SKY CONDITION WAS 4,000 SCATTERED WITH A TEMPERATURE AND DEWPOINT SPREAD OF APPROXIMATELY 32/24.\\ IN TAB 8. AT APPROXIMATELY 1825 HOURS WHILE FLYINT AT AN ALTITUDE OF APPROXIMATELY 70 FEET AGL, THE AIRCRAFT STRUCK TWO STRANDED STEEL CABLES, PHOTOGRAPH #1 (TAB 9). THE FIRST STRIKING THE CENTER OF THE NOSE OF THE AIRCRAFT CUTING THE RADION COMPARTMENT COVER IN HALF, PHOTOGRAPH #2 (TAB 9), THEN SLIDING UP OVER THE ROOF OF THE AIRCRAFT CUTTING THE UHF ANTENNA AND AIR VENTS. PHOTOGRAPH #3 (TAB 9), THEN INTO THE CONTROLS OF THE AIRCRAFT CUTTING THE FORE AND AFT, AND LATERAL CYCLIC SERVOS, PHOTOGRAPH #4 (TAB 9), THIS TENSION ON THE MAST OF THE AIRCRAFT GAVE IT AN EXCESSIVE NOSE HIGH ATTITUDE AT WHICH TIME THE MAIN ROTOR BLADE STRUCK THE WIRE, SHATTERING THE BLADE AND BREAKING THE WIRE, PHOTOGRAPH #5 (TAB 9), WHILE THE SECOND WIRE, WHICH WAS JUST GROWING TAUT, PULLED THE AIRCRAFT INTO A NOSE LOW ATTITUDE, BROKE DUE TO STRESS FROM THE WEIGHT AND VELOCITY OF THE AIRCRAFT AND THE AIRCRAFT WENT INTO THE RIVER VERTICALLY, NOSE FIRST.\\ IT IS SUSPECTED THAT AS THE AIRCRAFT WAS SINKING, THREE BODIES FLOATED TO THE SURFACE OF THE RIVER. ONE WAS SSG QUELLETTE WHO WAS RESCUED BY THE VIETNAMESE, STATEMENT #1 (TAB D), ANOTHER WAS HUNTER, THE ONLY NEGRO ON BOARD, AND THE THIRD PERSON UNKNOWN.\\ FIFTEEN MINUTES AFTER THE ACCIDENT OCCURED A U.S. HARBOR CRAFT TUG BOAT ARRIVED AT THE SCENE AND PICKED UP SSG QUELLETTE, STATEMENT #2 (TAB D), AND TRANSPORTED HIM TO THE OLD FRENCH PIER LOCATED NEXT TO THE CO GI DO BARGE SITE. SSG QUELLETTE WAS THEN TAKEN TO THE 24TH EVACUATION HOSPITAL BY AMBULANCE AND ADMITTED AT 1900 HOURS.\\


War Story:
I was assigned to B Company of the 720th Military Police Battalion in 1970. Our Tactical Area of Resposibility consisted of the 22 square miles in and around Long Bihn and Bien Hoa. My unit was not delegated with the kinds of duties all the other Military Police Units in Vietnam were performing. We were combat infantry MPs. Three platoons were tasked with the responsibility if setting up ambushes on the Viet Cong travelling on the Song Dong Nai River and it's tributaries. One platoon was assigned to PBR's (River Boats) to provide support for the ambush units and patrol the Song Dong Nai River. In April of 1970 a 25th Infantry Division Helicopter crashed into the Song Dong Nai River. At that time I was assigned to the PBR Platoon and we arrived at the scene of the crash within minutes. During the ensuing 24-36 hours, I was the NCOIC of three PBRs and crews directed to recover the bodies and documents on board the downed helicopter. It is my recollection that both pilots and nine others were killed one survived. A former member of my unit has been researching archives and military sources to capture the history of our Company and it was he (Tom Watson)who informed me that on April 17, 1970 Craft UH-1H 67-17706 was reported as a casualty resulting from Non-Hostile Action on Land in Bien Hoa Province. I received an email from Watson which his research revealed the names of the crew (5) and non crew members (4). I know it has been over 30 years but I was reasonably certain that 11 people lost their lives in this tragedy. This crash is listed as Crew Air Loss Crash On Land the helicopter went straight into the Song Dong Nai River. I am respectfully requesting any information associated with this incident as the memory of it, despite the passage of time, remains relatively clear. Naturally, if I can provide any information to anyone concerned about this particular incident, feel free to contact me. Fraternally yours, Robert Bogison, RBOGFONG@AOL.COM December 2001

Just a little more to the story. At the time of the crash, I was assigned to the 25th Admin company and on my way back to Cu Chi with another member of our unit. I believe his last name was Parks. We boarded the helicopter before all the pilots came back from the club. I chatted with one of the pilots, passenger Captain Zonne ( whom I served with in the 4/23 Mech) and I seem to recall a crew or ground member. Everyone was in a good mood. All was find when we departed and then within 90 seconds of being airborne, the pilot returned and instructed myself and the other member of the Admin Company to exit and get the next flight coming in, so that he would have additional seats to pick up passengers at his next stop. I had many close calls in Vietnam. Just lucky to be alive. James DeBiase

This record was last updated on 01/13/2011


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