Information on U.S. Army helicopter OH-6A tail number 67-16528
The Army purchased this helicopter 1268
Total flight hours at this point: 00000739
Date: 02/18/1971 MIA-POW file reference number: 1705
Incident number: 71021830.KIA
Unit: C/2/17 CAV
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was LOSS TO INVENTORY
This was a Recon mission for Unarmed Recon
While Enroute this helicopter was at Level Flight at 0030 feet and 080 knots.
UTM grid coordinates: XD465415
Helicopter took 4 hits from:
Small Arms/Automatic Weapons; Gun launched non-explosive ballistic projectiles less than 20 mm in size. (7.62MM)
causing an Explosion.
Systems damaged were: PERSONNEL
Casualties = 03 DOI . .
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 Reference Notes. Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center Helicopter database. Also: 1705, LNNF, CASRP (Lindenmuth New Format Data Base. Casualty Report. )
Loss to Inventory
OB SP4 ENGEN ROBERT JOSEPH RR
OB SGT LEWELLEN WALTER EDWARD RR
P WO1 CRANDALL GREGORY STEPHEN RR
CRANDALL, GREGORY STEPHEN Name: Gregory Stephen Crandall Rank/Branch: W1/US Army Unit: Troop C, 2nd Squadron, 17th Cavalry, 101st Airborne Division Date of Birth: 18 July 1949 (Oakland CA) Home City of Record: Tacoma WA Date of Loss: 18 February 1971 Country of Loss: Laos Loss Coordinates: 163910N 1062226E (XD465415) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: OH6A Other Personnel in Incident: Robert J. Engen; Walter E. Lewellen (both missing) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 September 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. REMARKS: CRASH BURN - NO SURVIV OBS - J SYNOPSIS: LAM SON 719 was a large offensive operation against NVA communications lines in Laos. The operation called for ARVN troops to drive west from Khe Sanh, cut the Ho Chi Minh Trail, seize Tchpone and return to Vietnam. The ARVN would provide and command the ground forces, while U.S. Army and Air Force would furnish aviation airlift and supporting firepower. The 101st Airborne Division commanded all U.S. Army aviation units in direct support of the operation. Most of the first part of the operation, which began January 30, 1971, was called Operation DEWEY CANYON II, and was conducted by U.S. ground forces in Vietnam. On February 8, 1971, early into the operation, a U.S. Army OH6A helicopter was shot down about 8 miles east of Tchpone. This aircraft, flown by W1 Gregory Crandall, pilot, SP4 Robert J. Engen, scout/observer, and Sgt. Walter E. Lewellen, crew chief, was conducting an aerial reconnaissance mission when Crandall radioed that he was under heavy enemy fire. As he maneuvered to evade the fire, the aircraft was seen to crash and catch on fire. There was one major and six secondary explosions. About March 7, an ARVN unit spotted the wreckage, but was unable to reach it to thoroughly investigate. It was never learned for certain that the crew perished. Losses were heavy in Lam Son 719. The ARVN lost almost 50% of their force. U.S. aviation units lost 168 helicopters; another 618 were damaged. Fifty-five aircrewmen were killed, 178 wounded, and 34 missing in action in the entire operation, lasting until April 6, 1971.
This record was last updated on 09/25/2013
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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017
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