Helicopter UH-1H 68-16375


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-16375
The Army purchased this helicopter 1069
Total flight hours at this point: 00000311
Date: 05/18/1970
Incident number: 70051818.KIA
Unit: C/158 AVN
South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: YD296161
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Also: OPERA (Operations Report. )
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
AC WO1 SAUNDERS NICHOLAS GABRIEL KIA
P WO1 COLE ROBERT KENNETH KIA
G SGT GRAY CARLTON COE KIA
CE EASTERLING RES

Passengers and/or other participants:
SP4 STONE HARRY J, AR, PX, KIA
1LT DARLING JOHN EDWARD JR, AR, PX, KIA


War Story:
I flew with the Phoenix from Feb70-Feb71 and I remember Nick Saunders. Nick's crew disappeared 18May70 after resupplying infantry near FSB Ripcord. We searched for days with no luck. Every time we were in the mountains, which was daily, we would keep an eye out for the wreckage but no luck. One day (after a considerable amount of time 10 days or so) a passing aircraft spotted the Crewchief on a ridge and from there the crash site was located. The crewchiefs name was Easterling. I do not believe any passengers were with Nick. After they departed the resupplied troops, they took fire while very low to the ground. They were shot down and Easterling was thrown (or jumped-?) from the aircraft prior to impact. The thick jungle broke his fall, saving his life. WO1 Nick Saunders, WO1 Robert Cole and Sp4 Carlton Gray were killed. I am familiar with the missions involving the CIA. They were missions with Special Forces SOG teams and involved cross border (Laos) operations. As I stated, I believe Saunders had no passengers. If he did (your Brother) they were NOT involved with any CIA stuff on this mission. It was just a simple infantry resupply that went bad. Someone is giving you bad info there. "Ken Mayberry" , October 1998.

This record was last updated on 11/30/1998


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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