Helicopter AH-1G 67-15862


Information on U.S. Army helicopter AH-1G tail number 67-15862
The Army purchased this helicopter 1268
Total flight hours at this point: 00001553
Date: 09/17/1970
Incident number: 70091717.KIA
Unit: A/3/17 CAV
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was LOSS TO INVENTORY
This was a Recon mission for Armed Escort
While On Target this helicopter was Attacking at 0500 feet and 150 knots.
South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: XU819119
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. (12.7MM)
The helicopter was hit in the Cockpit
Systems damaged were: PERSONNEL, ARMAMENT, TAIL ROTOR, FLT CONTROLS
Casualties = 01 DOI, 01 INJ . .
The helicopter Crashed. Aircraft Destroyed.
Both mission and flight capability were terminated.
Burned
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, CRAFX, FM385, CALTR, CASRP (Operations Report. Joint Services Incident Damage Report. Crash Facts Message. Casualty Report. )
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
P WO1 BARNETT THOMAS MARTIN KIA
AC CW2 TOMS RUSSELL D JR RES


War Story:
I was a scout pilot in A Troop when your uncle and my friend, Tom Barnett, was flying Cobras in the weapons platoon. I was there when Tom died. This is my recollection:

In about the August to September 1970 timeframe, we were flying visual reconnaissance (VR) missions out of Quan Loi, which was northwest of Saigon near the Cambodian border. The normal VR mission configuration was one scout and one gunship, which was called a pink team. On the day that Tom died, we were encountering the lead elements of a NVA unit north of Quan Loi. I was in one pink team and your uncle was in another. He was flying as copilot (front seat) with CW2 Dave Toms and their scout pilot was WO1 Lou Chadara. Your uncle's team got into contact with a well dug-in NVA unit with three .51 cal machine guns. The gunship from my team and your uncle's ship engaged the position repeatedly. My team's gunship got shot up pretty bad and had to break station. Another gunship joined your uncle's. As your uncle's Cobra was breaking after completing a devastating rocket attack, the NVA gunners hit their engine, rocket pods, and ammunition bay.

CW2 Toms did a magnificent job in getting the aircraft on the ground in a controlled crash given the fact that the cockpit was filled with smoke. Both your uncle and CW2 Toms were hurt pretty bad on impact. One of our slicks, with ARPs on board, landed to assist the extraction of the crew in the downed gunship; WO1 Chadara in his OH-58 also landed to help extract the crew. An E-6 [SSG Parsell] and a couple of other guys pulled both your uncle and CW2 Toms out of the burning Cobra---a couple of them were injured when a few of the rockets cooked-off in the tubes. They flew both injured pilots back to Quan Loi. A Special Forces A-team medic was at our location and he tried everything that he could to save Tom,but he couldn't; he was too badly injured as a result of the crash. CW2 Toms did survive, but it took him a long time to recover.

By the way, even as your uncle's aircraft was still burning in the clearing, more Silver Spur gunships arrived and they finished the mission by eliminating the NVA unit.

Tom was a good friend and was always a great guy to be around. Because the scouts and the guns had such a close working relationship, we also got together after the flying was done for the day. Everyone liked and admired your uncle, not only for his professional skills as a pilot, but because of his great sense of humor and positive outlook. SGT Neal, it was a pleasure and honor to serve with your uncle and I will never forget him. As for Tom's DFC, I will ask Roger Young, who is our Troop's webmaster, historian, and friend, to check with his sources to see if anyone has a copy of the original orders.

From: Tom White, Silver Spur 13

I'm afraid I don't have a copy of Tom's (Barnett) DFC. I will ask the other troopers that we are in contact with if they might just have a copy -- probably unlikely -- but certainly worth a try.

Sgt. Neal, my recollection of the tragic loss are very similar to my good friend, Tom White. I was a scout crew chief at the time.

I was one of those who helped to carry your uncle from the location where the Special Forces A-Team medic was working on Tom to the medevac chopper. We exchanged a few short words and at the time he was very alert, conscious, and your uncle was more concerned about CW2 Toms than himself. When we loaded your uncle aboard the chopper he did not appear to be in any pain.

I did notice your uncle's chest had been injured, probably by the gunsight when the Cobra made a very hard landing. It was a shock to all of us when we got the word later that your uncle had passed away some days later. I took a rubbing of your uncle's name the last time I was in D.C. on Veteran's Day, 2000. I and other fellow 3/17th troopers placed a wreath at the Wall in honor of our fallen troopers. Your uncle's name was included in the laminated dedication that we had placed in the middle of the wreath.

Tom was very well liked and respected by all who had the honor of serving with him. As long as those like Tom White and myself are still around, your uncle and our other fallen brothers will not be forgotten..... God Bless, and I want to personally thank you for serving our beloved country.

From: Roger "Bear" Young

My account of Dave Toms (Moose) and Tom Barnett is a little different. As I remember it, the Slick that Tom White talks about was me. We scrambled and I was the only one that made it to the crash scene. I was the AC and I had with me a brand new Capt just assigned to the unit. I can not remember his name but he later took over as Commander of A troop.

I had with me on the slick the ARP leader and 5 grunts. Can not remember the LT's name. My AC went directly to the scene and dropped off the troops right on the Cobra, which was burning at that time. Charlie had got delayed and arrived later.

The scout landed and went to assist the ARPs extract the men from the bird. I took off and circled the scene waiting for the extraction. Red Horse 6 came on and landed and his bird was the aircraft that Tom and Dave were transported back to Quan Loi.

When they were in route to Quan Loi, I landed and picked up the ARPs and their LT. The ARP leader and the scout pilot both received awards for their action. (Soldiers Medal for both and a Purple heart for the scout for burns received. Moose and Tom were transported back to a base and were later transported to 24th Evac. Tom died of his wounds received in this action.

The 51 site that the Cobra had engaged was later destroyed and numerous KIA's claimed in the battle were notated. Red Horse 6 and his Copilot also received medals for their actions My account is a bit different but together they tell the story.

From: Pat Ramsey, Spur 29

Source: http://northwestvets.com/spurs/barnett.htm

This record was last updated on 11/17/2011


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