Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-16693
The Army purchased this helicopter 0867
Total flight hours at this point: 00002255
Date: 06/30/1970 MIA-POW file reference number: 1645
Incident number: 70063030.KIA
Unit: B/227 AVN
UTM grid coordinates: YU372568
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: 1645 ()
Loss to Inventory
CE SP5 BURGESS JOHN LAWRENCE RR
AC 1LT DOUGLAS LESLIE FORREST JR KIA
AC 1LT DYER RICHARD KIA
G PFC GOOSMAN JOHN RES
Passengers and/or other participants:
SFC COLON-DIAZ JUAN, AR, PX, KIA
SYNOPSIS: On June 30, 1970, SP5 John L. Burgess was the crew chief of a UH1H helicopter on a command and control mission when it was hit by enemy fire, crashed, and burned near the Cambodia/South Vietnam border in Phuoc Long Province, South Vietnam. The other individuals aboard the aircraft included 1Lt. Leslie F. Douglas, Jr., 1Lt. Richard Dyer, SFC Juan Colon-Diaz, and PFC Goosman. PFC Goosman, who was thrown clear of the aircraft (he was probably the door gunner), was the only survivor of the crash. PFC Goosman later stated that he pulled the aircraft commander clear of the aircraft, but because of the fire, was unable to free any of the crew members or the one passenger from the aircraft. Goosman was able to determine that no one else had survived the crash. He remained at the scene of the crash site until friendly troops arrived to secure the aircraft wreckage. The remains of the four crew members were placed in four body bags and evacuated. Major Knudson, who arrived shortly after the crash, landed in a secure LZ adjacent to the crash and picked up Goosman and the 4 body bags. They were transported directly from the crash site to medical facilities located at Camp Gorvad, Phuoc Vinh, South Vietnam. Graves Registration at Camp Gorvad forwarded the four body bags to the mortuary at Than San Nhut to undergo autopsies. At the mortuary, as identification was conducted, it was determined that they only had 3 sets of remains rather than four. While processing the remains at the mortuary, it was discovered that one of the body bags contained portions of the upper torso and another bag contained portions of the lower torso of the same individual. After this discovery, they were combined and positive identifications made of the three individuals, Douglas, Dyer and Colon-Diaz. Than San Nhut Mortuary never received any remains correlating to SP5 Burgess, and it was believed that the remains of Burgess were either burned beneath the wreckage of the aircraft or incinerated in the fire which engulfed the aircraft after it crashed. The mortuary suggested another search of the crash site area, but additional searches were not considered possible because of enemy presence in the area. When a final review of aerial photographs was made in 1973, there was no evidence of the crashed aircraft.
I was not thrown from the aircraft. I was still in the gunners well when the aircraft was smashed in the trees. I freed myself from the wreckage and I got LT Douglas out of the pilot's seat. I carried him about 50 feet from the crash site as I returned to the aircraft, it caught fire and I was not able to get anyone else out. I returned to LT Douglas and I held him in my arms until he died. From John Goosman.
This record was last updated on 06/26/2013
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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017
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