Helicopter AH-1G 68-17035

Information on U.S. Army helicopter AH-1G tail number 68-17035
The Army purchased this helicopter 0269
Total flight hours at this point: 00001150
Date: 03/17/1971 MIA-POW file reference number: 1728
Incident number: 71031728.KIA
Unit: A/1/9 CAV
UTM grid coordinates: XU487457 (To see this location on a map, go to https://legallandconverter.com/p50.html and search on Grid Reference 48PXU487457)
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: 1728 ()
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:

REFNO Synopsis:
 Personnel in Incident: Capt. David P. Schweitzer (rescued); 1Lt. Lawrence E. Lilly (missing). Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 30 June 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. SYNOPSIS: On March 17, 1971, Capt. David P. Schweitzer, pilot and 1Lt. Lawrence E. Lilly, co-pilot, comprised the crew of an AH1G helicopter (serial #69-17935 (NOTE: this tail number is wrong)) conducting a visual reconnaissance mission. As the aircraft was near a landing zone at grid coordinates XU488458, it was hit by enemy fire of the F-21B Infantry Regiment, 5th Viet Cong Division and forced to the ground. The LZ was deep inside Cambodia in the Snuol District of Kracheh (Kratie) Province, near Seang Village. Rescue efforts were successful in extracting Capt. Schweitzer, but due to heavy enemy fire, they were forced to leave the area before Lilly could be extracted. Lt. Lilly was last seen by U.S. personnel lying on his back wth his shirt partially open and blood on his chest and neck. He was observed being fired upon by Viet Cong forces. In mid-April 1971, a report described two U.S. personnel onboard a helicopter shot down in this region getting out of the helicopter and climbing a tree, and firing upon enemy forces. One of the crewmen was shot to death, and the other was captured by Viet Cong soldiers of the 6th Company, 2nd Battalion, F21B Infantry Regiment. The report continued that both crewmen were caucasian and had light complexions. The source described the POW and said that he was later told that the dead airman had been cremated by Cambodian villagers who had come to salvage parts from the aircraft. Joint Casualty Resolution Center (JCRC) evaluated the report and concluded that it could possibly relate either to Lilly's incident or another the same day at the same location. An ARVN ground unit entered the battle area to try to rescue Lilly, but found him dead. The unit came under heavy fire, and in the course of the battle, the body was lost to the enemy. Lilly's remains were never recovered.

War Story:
There is little I could add to what is on this record. I got the story about a month after he died, while it was still "classified". The incident of the KIA and POW pilots can not be Larry from the facts I got at the time. Also, the force that went in on the ground and found Larry dead was not ARVN, but Nung CIA mercs. That could still be classified, but I doubt it. The battle where they lost his body took place between midnight and 1AM. Most of the Nungs were also lost. The main reason his AC got out and he didn't was that the AC was shielded to some degree by the wreck of the Cobra as he ran to the rescue ship. Since Larry had to exit the other side of the aircraft, he was not shielded at all. From: Gene A. Kennedy, Gunrunner 31, 1970 1971, February 2002.

Editor's note: The JTA searched this grid coordinates and did not find anything so the grid is not correct. Need more information. GBR December 2010.

This record was last updated on 12/03/2010

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Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023

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