Information on U.S. Army helicopter AH-1G tail number 67-15554
The Army purchased this helicopter 0368
Total flight hours at this point: 00000756
Incident number: 700502191ACD Accident case number: 700502191 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 235 AVN
This was an Operational Loss caused by an accident by Mid-Air Collision with the mission function of Armed Helicopter (having primary weapon subsystems installed and utilized to provide direct fire support)
The station for this helicopter was Can-Tho in Cambodia
Casualties = YES . . Number killed in accident = 2 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 0
Search and rescue operations were Not Required
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center AVDAC database. Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Army Aviation Safety Center database. Also: OPERA (Operations Report. )
Summary: Mid-air with VNAF UH-1H 68-15794.
Loss to Inventory and Helicopter was not recovered
P WO1 PARKER DONALD LEE KIA
P 1LT RICE FRANK LATIMER JR KIA
ON 2 MAY 1970, WO1 DONALD L. PARKER AND 1LT FRANK L. RICE, JR. WERE PILOTING THE NUMBER THREE AIRCRAFT IN A HEAVY FIRE TEAM (HFT) OF AH-1G AIRCRAFT IN SUPPORT OF UNITS OF THE ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM (ARVN). THE HFT, LED BY 1LT DAVID C. GARDNER, DEPARTED CAN THO ARMY AIRFIELD AT 0640 HOURS AND FLEW TO MOC HOA, RVN, WHERE THEY LANDED TO RECEIVE THE MISSION BRIEFING. AT APPROXIMATELY 0900 HOURS, THE HFT DEPARTED MOC HOA AND PROVIDED ESCORT FOR FOUR INSERTIONS MADE BY VIETNAMESE AIR FORCE (VNAF) UH-1H AIRCRAFT. AT APPROXIMATELY 1300 HOURS, THE HFT WAS SCRAMBLED TO AN AREA TWENTY-FIVE MILES NORTHEAST OF MOC HOA. AN INFLIGHT MISSION BRIEFING FROM TICKET 61 (THE SUPPORTED UNIT) WAS RELAYED TO THE SECOND AND THIRD AIRCRAFT BY 1LT GARDNER OVER THE VHF RADIO. THE MISSION WAS TO PLACE FIRE ON AND DESTROY A FORTIFIED ENEMY POSITION WHICH WAS DELAYING THE ARVN UNIT. THE EXACT POSITION OF THE TARGET WAS NOT KNOWN TO THE HFT WHEN THEY FIRST ARRIVED IN THE TARGET AREA AND LOSS OF COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE SUPPORTED UNIT REQUIRED THAT THEY MAKE AN S-PATTERN WHILE WAITING TO RE-ESTABLISH RADIO CONTACT. THE SUPPORTED UNIT OBTAINED A DIFFERENT RADIO AND COMMENCED COORDINATION FOR THE ACTUAL AIR STRIKE TO INCLUDE CONFIRMATION OF ITS LOCATION. AT THIS TIME, THE HFT ENTERED A RIGHT-HAND ORBIT AT 1,500 FEET AND REMAINED IN ORBIT FOR APPROXIMATELY SIX MINUTES. WHILE THE AIRCRAFT WERE ORBITING THE TARGET AREA THE CO-PILOT/GUNNER OF THE LEAD AIRCRAFT, LTC THEODORE E. MATHISON, SIGHTED A LONE UH-1H HELICOPTER AT APPROXIMATELY THE SAME ALTITUDE AND ABOUT ONE MILE EAST OF THE HFT'S ORBIT AND CALLED IT TO THE ATTENTION OF THE PILOT, 1LT GARDNER. AT THIS TIME,THE NUMBER TWO AIRCRAFT WAS SLIGHTLY TO THE LEFT AND FROM 150 TO 200 FEET FROM THE LEAD AIRCRAFT. THE NUMBER THREE AIRCRAFT WAS NOT VISIBLE TO THE LEAD AIRCRAFT AT THIS POINT. WHILE THE HFT WAS ORBITING THE TARGET AREA, THE GROUND UNIT WITHDREW TO A SAFE DISTANCE AWAY FROM THE ENEMY BUNKER. THE SUPPORTED UNIT THEN CLEARED THE HFT TO FIRE ON THE TARGET AND MARKED THE BUNKER WITH 106MM RECOILLESS RIFLE FIRE. THE UNIT ALSO REQUESTED THAT ALL RUNS BE MADE FROM EAST TO WEST. THE HFT CONTINUED ITS ORBIT, TURNING THROUGH NORTH TO AN EASTERLY HEADING TO LINE UP FOR THE FIRST RUN, WHEN AN UNDENTIFIED GROUND STATION REPORTED THAT TWO AIRCRAFT HAD BEEN SHOT DOWN. THE CREW MEMBERS OF THE LEAD AND NUMBER TWO AIRCRAFT THEN OBSERVED ONE UNIDENTIFIABLE AIRCRAFT BURNING ON THE GROUND AND ANOTHER AIRCRAFT, A UH-1H, IMPACTING. LTC MATHISON AND 1LT GARDNER SIGHTED SEVERAL PIECES OF WRECKAGE FALLING TO THE GROUND AND REALIZED THAT A MID-AIR COLLISION HAD OCCURRED. SEVERAL LARGE EXPLOSIONS FROM THE UNIDENTIFIED AIRCRAFT INDICATED THAT IT WAS A GUNSHIP. A RADIO SEARCH, INITIATED BY 1LT GARDNER, REVEALED THAT VIPER 32, THE NUMBER THREE AIRCRAFT, WAS MISSING AND WAS PRESUMED TO BE THE BURNING AIRCRAFT. THE AIRCRAFT WAS LATER POSITIVELY IDENTIFIED AS VIPER 32, ARMY AH-1G, SN67-15554. GROUND UNITS MOVED IN TO SECURE THE ACCIDENT SCENE AND RESCUED FROM THE VNAF AIRCRAFT THE LONE SURVIVOR, THE VNAF UH-1H MECHANIC, THE SURVIVOR WAS EVACUATED WITHIN A FEW MINUTES BY MAJOR GARY O. LOZIER, WHO WAS FLYING A UH-1H C&C AIRCRAFT AT 2,200 FEET DIRECTLY OVERHEAD AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT. THE HFT REMAINED IN THE AREA FOR A FEW MINUTES LONGER AND THEN, DUE TO LOW FUEL, RETURNED TO MOC HOA.\\
On May 2 General Thanh was killed in a helicopter accident. It was on the second day of the attack. I had been in my helicopter overhead, observing. When I landed by helicopter at a refueling point established by the 164th Aviation Group, I found that the VNAF helicopter being used by General Thanh, IV Corps commander, was being refueled. Thinking that I might be useful, I offered to accompany him. We took off. General Thanh, speaking in Vietnamese, became fully occupied directing operations on the ground. He had no need for my advice. When we returned to refuel, I bade him goodbye, boarded my own helicopter and took off. In a few minutes I heard “Mayday, Mayday” on my radio. General Thanh’s helicopter and another helicopter had collided in midair. I landed beside his burning helicopter and saw his charred body in the seat that I had occupied a few minutes earlier. From: LTG John H. Cushman Editor's note: This match up is an educated guess. The mid-air was likely with VNAF UH-1H 68-15794 . GBR November 2017.
This record was last updated on 11/12/2017
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Date posted on this site: 05/26/2019
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