Helicopter AH-1G 67-15821


Information on U.S. Army helicopter AH-1G tail number 67-15821
The Army purchased this helicopter 1168
Total flight hours at this point: 00001234
Date: 06/26/1970
Incident number: 70062677.KIA
Unit: C/2/20 ARA
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was LOSS TO INVENTORY
This was a Recon mission for Armed Recon
While Enroute this helicopter was at Level Flight at 1300 feet and 100 knots.
Cambodia
UTM grid coordinates: XU759454
Count of hits was not possible because the helicopter burned or exploded.
Small Arms/Automatic Weapons; Gun launched non-explosive ballistic projectiles less than 20 mm in size. (7.62MM)
Systems damaged were: TAIL ROTOR, PERSONNEL
Casualties = 01 KIA, 01 WIA . .
The helicopter Crashed. Aircraft Destroyed.
Both mission and flight capability were terminated.
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, JSIDR, CASRP, FM385 (Operations Report. Joint Services Incident Damage Report. Casualty Report. )
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
AC WO1 NABOURS JIMMIE FLOYD KIA
P MELTON JAMES C


War Story:
WO1 Jimmie Floyd Nabours lost the 90 degree gear box from his AH-1. Hit the trees at 140 knots, according to his co-pilot who survived the invident. His co-pilot was located very quickly and evaced to the aid station at Quan Loi. Almost 4 hours later Jim was located and removed from what was left of his helicopter where he had been hanging upside down since the impact. Even though he was alive he had suffered a head injury from which he never recovered and passed from this earth on 30 June 1970. I was his friend. Gary A. White, CW4, USA (RET) December 1998.

I was the co-pilot on this mission which cost Jimmie Nabours ("Gomer") his life. I had been in country only two weeks.

Our wingship AC that day was WO1 Jim Moran.

I graduated from flight school with class 69-26, finishing my 2nd phase at Hunter AAF, instead of Ft. Rucker. After graduation from flight school, I (along with all of the commissioned officers in my class) was assigned to Ft. Riley, KS in August 1969. I served 7 months there and then went to Cobra School in mid-April 1970. I extended my leave to witness my daughter's birth in May 1970 and left for RVN in early June 1970. I was assigned to C Battery, 2/20 ARA, 1st Cav. Because I had over 2 years in grade as a Captain, I was assigned to the position of Section Leader.

As I said earlier, I had only been in country 2 weeks. On 26 June 1970, I was flying as co-pilot with Jimmie Nabours as AC. We were on Red "hot" Team status that morning. When the alert siren sounded, I ran and met Gomer at the ship. We were airborne immediately and with Jim Moran flying as our wing ship, we headed from Quan Loi to Cambodia. When we arrived on station to blow a weapons cache, our Cobra received heavy ground fire which we believed to be .51 caliber. As numerous rounds struck our tail rotor, Gomer instructed me to "get the MayDay call; we're going down". I began to do so, looking down at the map in my lap to give our exact position. When I looked up during the spin, we were already going into the trees. I was knocked unconscious and awoke as the medic strapped me onto the jungle penetrator for the ride up to the hovering Dustoff.

I awoke again enroute to to 93rd Evac and inquired about Gomer. They told me he was still pinned in the ship and that the medic could not unpin him. The report referenced above says that I (copilot) was evac'd to the aid station at Quan Loi. That's not true. I went to 93rd Evac, where my broken leg and ankle were set in plaster, a laparotomy was done to confirm that I had not ruptured my spleen and my cuts were all cleaned and sutured. I learned that Gomer died 4 days later, but I never had a chance to see him as he was in intensive care. I departed RVN for the hospital in Camp Zama, Japan on July 1st, left Camp Zama on July 3rd for Ft. Gordon, GA and spent the next 4 months recuperating there before resuming active duty in November 1970.

I know most of this detail is extraneous, but I wanted to set the record straight about the crash and my medevac to Long Binh, not Quan Loi where our unit was stationed.

It proved to be an exciting and catastrophic couple of weeks for me. Jim Nabours was scheduled to leave for R&R shortly after this fateful mission, but, of course, he didn't make it. I hope this helps. If you need further information, please email or call me.

From: Jim Melton

This record was last updated on 11/17/2012


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