Helicopter AH-1G 67-15464


Information on U.S. Army helicopter AH-1G tail number 67-15464
The Army purchased this helicopter 0168
Total flight hours at this point: 00002466
Date: 03/06/1971 MIA-POW file reference number: 1718
Incident number: 710306111ACD Accident case number: 710306111 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: B/7/1 CAV
This was an Operational Loss caused by an accident by Missing in Flight with the mission function of Armed Helicopter (having primary weapon subsystems installed and utilized to provide direct fire support)
The station for this helicopter was Quang Tri in Laos
UTM grid coordinates: XD670470
Casualties = YES . . Number killed in accident = 1 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 1
Search and rescue operations were Terminated
costing 570633
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center AVDAC database. Defense Intelligence Agency Reference Notes. Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Army Aviation Safety Center database. Also: 1718 ()
Loss to Inventory and Helicopter was not recovered

Crew Members:
AC CW3 HUMMEL JOHN FLOYD BNR
P CW3 MILLINER WILLIAM PATRICK BNR


REFNO Synopsis:
SYNOPSIS: On March 6, 1971, WO John F. Hummel, pilot, and WO William P. Milliner, co-pilot, were flying an AH1G Cobra helicopter gunship (serial #67-15464) as the wingman in a flight of two helicopters returning from a combat support mission over Laos. While in route, the weather turned hazy. At about 2000 hours, the wingman notified his troop's forward operation at Khe Sanh, South Vietnam, that both gunships were planning to use a ground control approach (GCA). That was the last radio contact with WO Hummel's aircraft. The lead gunship contacted the Khe Sanh GCA and was told to climb to 5000 feet and make a left 360 degree turn to a heading of 020 degrees. The wingman was still with the lead aircraft at this time, but no radio contact could be established with him. Shortly after, the GCA control informed the lead aircraft to turn to a heading of 070 degrees at 4000 feet. After a descending turn was initiated, WO Hummel's aircraft passed over the top of the lead aircraft. This separation occurred in the clear, and then the flight leader entered the cloud layer so no further visual sighting of WO Hummel's aircraft occurred. The lead aircraft landed safely. Search and rescue efforts were begun for Hummel and Milliner, but had negative results. Hummel and Milliner were listed Missing in Action. Some years later, the Defense Intelligence Agency "rated" missing persons in Southeast Asia according to the degree of suspected enemy knowledge, using a scale of 1 to 5. Hummel and Milliner were classified "Category 1", meaning the U.S. had reliable information that the enemy knew the fate of Hummel and Milliner. Category 1 does not suggest whether an individual was alive or dead at the time this knowledge was obtained.


Accident Summary:

 ON OR ABOUT 1900 HOURS 6 MARCH 1971, TWO AH-1G COBRAS WERE PROVIDING SUPPORT FOR THE EXTRACTION OF A DOWNED AIRCREW IN LAOS. THESE TWO AIRCRAFT WERE THE ONLY SHIPS REMAINING ON STATION DUE TO THE ADVESE WEATHER CONDITIONS AND DARKNESS. AT 1930 HOURS THESE AIRCRAFT, ^CALL SIGNS "CHOICE WRITER 25 AND 28"^, BROKE STATION TO RETURN TO KHE SANH. THE GUN LEAD, ^WRITER 28^, TOLD ^WRITER 25^ TO CHANGE TO THE HAM GNAI GCA FREQUENCY FOR THE PURPOSE OF MAKING A GCA APPROACH TO KHE SANH. THIS WAS THE LAST RADIO CONTACT ^WRITER 28 HAD WITH WRITER 25^. THE GCA OPERATOR INSTRUCTED THE FLIGHT TO CLIMB TO 5000 FEET AND TURN TO A HEADING OF 020 DEGREES, LATER GCA GAVE INSTRUCTIONS TO TURN TO 070 DEGREES AND DESCEND TO 4000 FEET. AT THIS POINT ONE OF THE PILOTS IN THE LEAD SHIP, WHICH WAS IN A DESCENDING RIGHTHAND TURN, OVSERVED ^WRITER 25^ PASS OVERHEAD, ON THE ORIGINAL HEADING OF 020 DEGREES. THIS WAS THE LAST REPORTED SIGHTING OF AIRCRAFT ^67-15464 (WRITER 25)^. AFTER LANDING ^WRITER 28^ WENT TO THE GCA SHACK TO INQUIRE ABOUT ^WRITER 25^ AND LEARNED THAT THE GCA OPERATORS HAD HAD NO CONTACT WITH ^WRITER 25^9 A RAMP CHECK WAS MADE WITH NEGATIVE RESULTS. THE AIRCRAFT WAS REPORTED AS MISSING AND A SEARCH WAS BEGUN.\\


War Story:
Hummel was the AC and Milliner was his front seat. Milliner wasn't Cobra rated. I do know that he was sent to our unit by mistake and volunteered to fly with Hummel while the paperwork was straightened out. They disappeared while shooting a GCA into Khe Son (sp?). from John Butler, Dutchmaster 37, jhbutler@mindspring.com I just read the comments about John Hummel and Bill Milner and the loss of Cobra 474 in Laos. I am in agreement with most of the description except part of the remarks made by Jack Butler about Bill Milner. His confusion is understandable as Milner had only been with the unit approximately one day. I was with B troop as a Huey pilot and had gone from Khe Sanh where the unit was assigned during Lam Son to Di An to pick up a replacement aircraft and then to Vinh Long where the squadron headquarters were to pick up some paperwork and complete some business for the unit commander. I additionally picked up Bill Milner who was a new replacement pilot who then accompanied me back with a stop at Tan Son Nhut for further squadron business. Accompanying us we also had a tech rep who was badly wounded by a rocket the day after arriving back at Quang Tri. I do not remember his name. He was medevaced back to the states. I do not believe that Milner was Cobra rated but flying in the front seat of a Cobra was a common practice for pilots in our unit to gain some SA before being placed into the slicks or the Loaches. I believe this, along with the flight with me, were Milner's total flying in country This accounts for Butler's confusion and I am probably one of the few pilots in the unit who ever met Mr. Milner. From: John Palmer

This record was last updated on 02/27/2007


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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