Helicopter OH-6A 67-16335

Information on U.S. Army helicopter OH-6A tail number 67-16335
The Army purchased this helicopter 0968
Total flight hours at this point: 00000748
Date: 11/19/1970
Incident number: 70111919.KIA
Unit: C/7/17 CAV
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was LOSS TO INVENTORY
This was a Recon mission for Unarmed Recon
While in Operations Area this helicopter was Unknown at 0050 feet and UNK knots.
South Vietnam
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)
causing a Fire.
Systems damaged were: PERSONNEL
Casualties = 02 DOI . . Number killed in accident = 0 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 0
The helicopter Crashed. Aircraft Destroyed.
Both mission and flight capability were terminated.
costing 0
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, LNNF, JSIDR, CASRP, FM385 (Operations Report. Lindenmuth New Format Data Base. Joint Services Incident Damage Report. Casualty Report. )
Summary: The LOH had climed to altitude after receiving fire in the OA. Suddenly it burst into flames and exploded.
Loss to Inventory and Helicopter was not recovered

Crew Members:

War Story:
CW2 John Grisard and WO1 Stan Struble were together in an OH-6A working a sweep through the Soui Cau Valley when they blew up in mid-air at tree top height. We believe this was either the result of an RPG or tracers to the fuel tank. CW2 Grisard was a "bored Cobra pilot" that wanted to fly Scouts. Struble was an experienced Scout pilot training "Griz." They had had mechanical trouble that morning and were very late getting to the AO. They then replaced me as wing LOH after my ship was shot up and I lost all communications and instrumentation. The Blues were inserted and the remainder of the day was spent recovering their bodies. It was several months before we went into the Soui Cau again. Submitted by Malcolm R. Doremus, August, 1996. The pilots in C Troop had spoken of the Sui Cau Valley since my arrival in July. Their stories led me to believe that this valley located to the WSW of LZ Uplift was bad news. November 19th would be the first time the unit had worked the area since I arrived in country. We staged out of Uplift and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. The pink teams would go out and work the AO as usual. I was WO1 Tony Miller's front seater, still waiting on an in-country transition. CW2 John Grisard was flying with WO1 Stanley Struble as part of his check out as a new Scout pilot. John was on his second tour. He had flown Cobras on his first tour, was a Cobra IP at Ft. Stewart and was assigned to C Troop as a Cobra pilot. John was an excellent pilot and was extremely knowledgeable concerning the aircraft and tactics. John was also my roommate since I had arrived in country. However, there must have been a problem within the gun platoon for John to volunteer to fly Scouts. The Scouts detected lots of sign of fresh activity in the area once they began working the AO. They continued working the area still finding signs of bad guys when I detected a green tracer climbing toward our Cobra. I informed Tony and he in turn notified the Scouts. It was time to refuel so the Scouts were called and we returned to Uplift. After refueling, we found out that one of the Scouts had taken fire, but WO1 Doremous had been unable to tell us because his UHF had been shot out. We returned to the AO after refueling and the Scouts began working the area again. Grisard and Struble were flying the lead Scout ship. Again they radioed that there were fresh signs of activity and Miller told the Scouts to climb to altitude so that the situation could be assessed. As the LOHs began their climb out Grisard and Struble were on our right side, and I watched them closely. Grisard radioed that they "took a lot of fire as we flew over the blue line." It was not clear whether he took the fire while he was still down low or on the climb out. That was his last transmission. Grisard and Struble's OH-6 was about 100 hundred yards to our right, slightly lower and almost even with our Cobra. Suddenly the nose of the LOH tucked about five to ten degrees and a small tongue of flame came out from under the aircraft. The next instant the aircraft burst into a ball of flame and began its plummet to the ground. I was dumbfounded as I watched. The aircraft was completely engulfed in flames. We were probably about 500-1,000 feet AGL, and it took a few seconds before it impacted. When the aircraft hit it looked as if the flames made a large splash. A lone rotor blade fluttered to the ground like a falling leaf as Tony Miller shouted over the radio to launch the Blues. Those of us who witnessed the crash knew that there was no chance of survivors due to the fire and the violent impact. The Blues were inserted probably less that five minutes later. There was some distance between the LZ and the crash site and it took some time for them to reach the wreckage. However, the Blues did their customary great job and got there as quickly as possible. The situation was developed further tactically and C Troop was credited with some KIAs. This was no consolation considering we had lost one OH-6 and two good friends. Submitted by WO Hubert M. "Mike" Cochran Dec, 1996.

This record was last updated on 02/28/2000

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