Information on U.S. Army helicopter OH-6A tail number 67-16193
The Army purchased this helicopter 0768
Total flight hours at this point: 00001095
Date: 10/18/1970 MIA-POW file reference number: 1668
Incident number: 70101818.KIA
Unit: C/1/9 CAV
UTM grid coordinates: YT178415
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: 1668 ()
Loss to Inventory
OB SP6 STRAIT DOUGLAS FRANK BNR
CE SGT BAILEY RAE ARVID KIA
P WO1 CAHILL WILLIAM JOSEPH KIA
South Vietnam Douglas F. Strait (1668) On October 18, 1970, Specialist Fourth Class Strait and two others were in an OH-6A observation helicopter on a flight to Phuoc Vinh Province. Their helicopter was hit by hostile groundfire and crashed 28 kilometers northeast of Tan Uyen. The remains of two of the crewmen were later recovered as well as three crew helmets. One was badly burned, one was destroyed and one was undamaged. There were ground signs suggested the third crewman may have been captured. Specialist Straight was initially declared missing. In November 1975, he was declared dead/body not recovered. He was not reported alive in the Vietnamese prison system. In 1983, U.S. intelligence received information about the crash site of a U.S. aircraft and buried remains in the where area Specialist Strait was lost, but this report could not be correlated specifically to Specialist Strait. SYNOPSIS: On October 18, 1970, WO1 William J. Cahill, pilot; SP4 Douglas Strait, observer; and SP4 Ray E. Dailey, gunner, were the crew of an OH6A helicopter (tail #67-17193). The aircraft was part of a flight of 2 helicopters on a reconnaissance mission in Binh Tuy Province, South Vietnam, about 30 miles northeast of the city of Xuan Loc. While attempting to mark an enemy target, the aircraft was hit by small arms ground fire and crashed into an area of 100-foot trees and heavy jungle. Due to the dense vegetation and the onset of darkness, the aircraft was not seen on the ground, but the post-crash fire was. Shortly after impact, the aircraft exploded violently, clearing 35 meters of undergrowth and creating a 4 foot wide by 3 foot deep crater. Attempts to contact the downed crew members by radio were unsuccessful. On October 19, a search and recovery element entered the crash site area and located the body of SP4 Dailey about 100 meters west of the crash site. Cahill's body was found east of the crash site. One M16 rifle, one M45 caliber pistol, one M79 grenade launcher and 3 flight helmets were located in the immediate crash site area. One helmet had been destroyed by fire, and one by the explosion. The third helmet was in good condition, indicating that either it or its wearer was thrown clear of the aircraft. The weapons were either in poor condition or completely destroyed. The aircraft was scattered over an area of about 50 meters. During the search, no sign of SP4 Strait was found. On October 27, a U.S. element discovered an aviator's boot print intermingled with those of an enemy force about 800-900 meters north of the crash site. Whether the footprints were made by Strait or an enemy wearing an aviator's boot is unknown. Because no remains were found for Strait, and one helmet was found in good condition, and U.S. aviator boot prints were found near the crash site, the possibility exists that Strait survived the crash to be captured.
This record was last updated on 05/25/1998
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