Helicopter UH-1H 68-15663

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-15663
The Army purchased this helicopter 0569
Total flight hours at this point: 00000917
Date: 05/06/1970 MIA-POW file reference number: 1612
Incident number: 70050610.KIA
Unit: B/158 AVN
South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: XD968382 (To see this location on a map, go to https://legallandconverter.com/p50.html and search on Grid Reference 48QXD968382)
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Reference Notes. Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Also: 1612 ()
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:

REFNO Synopsis:
SYNOPSIS: On May 6, 1970, CW2 Richard C. Worthington, pilot; WO1 Robert L. Kirk, co-pilot; SP4 William C. Weiss Jr., crew chief; and SP4 Frank S. Hernandez, gunner; were the crew of a UH1H helicopter (serial #68-15663) which was in a flight of several other helicopters laying a smoke screen on a landing zone near enemy positions in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. During the mission this helicopter had a mid-air collision with another helicopter and crashed. A survivor from the other helicopter stated that Worthington's helicopter skid had struck the main rotor of his helicopter. He indicated that he had not seen any hostile fire. A search team was sent to the site on the same day (May 6) and found 2 bodies which were identified as the remains of WO Kirk and SP4 Weiss. There were no signs of anyone having left the crash site area. It was believed that there was no survivors of the crash. (NOTE: the crew and occupants of the second helicopter apparently survived the crash. While damage to a rotor blade generally means a subsequent crash, the aircraft may have been flying at a low enough altitude to lessen the impact.) Hernandez and Worthington were classified Killed/Body Not Recovered.

War Story:
Mid-air with 66-16707. The mission as I remember was part of an on going operation called "Project Delta" which was the prelude to and the recon for "Lam Son 719", the Laotian invasion. On that day the plan was to insert a large force of ARVN on a hill top near the Laotian border . The plan was to prep an adjoining hill top with artillery CS gas while "smokies" laid down cover for us to insert on the hill without the gas. Some one f**cked up and arty prepped the wrong hill. None of us had gasmasks and we were going into the LZ at least 3 abreast.... no one could see and it is a testimony to the skill of the pilots and crew that more of us did not die in that cloud of gas. All the while this is going on the "smokies" were doing their job weaving the smoke under us as we flew in and out of the LZ. I think that we flew in from the east and coming out did a u turn and exited back the way we came. As we were coming out we crossed over the smokies as they were flying north to south weaving, one behind the other. I heard my CE yell "NO SHIT" and looked to the rear and saw the lead Smokie going nose first into the trees the trailing ship looked like it went nose up almost in a flare and rolled to the right and into the trees. I it was obviously a mid air but I don't know who was trailing who... but the following ship struck the tail rotor of the lead ship. It is my opinion that the CS gas and the tactical confusion that day were the direct cause of the mid air. I do not recall any significant enemy fire that day although it certainly was a possibility. Ted Irvine

This record was last updated on 01/08/2005

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Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023

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