Helicopter UH-1D 66-16185

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-16185
The Army purchased this helicopter 0367
Total flight hours at this point: 00003496
Date: 03/20/1971 MIA-POW file reference number: 1731
Incident number: 71032010.TXT
Unit: B/101 AHB 101 ABN
UTM grid coordinates: XD515352 (To see this location on a map, go to https://legallandconverter.com/p50.html and search on Grid Reference 48QXD515352)
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: 1731, Al Fischer ()
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:

REFNO Synopsis:
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. 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, begun January 30, 1971, was called Operation DEWEY CANYON II, and was conducted by U.S. ground forces in Vietnam. The ARVN were halfway on February 11 and positioned for the attack across the Laotian border. On 8 February, ARVN began to push into Laos. The NVA reacted fiercely, but the ARVN held its positions supported by U.S. airstrikes and resupply runs by Army helicopters. President Nguyen Van Thieu ordered a helicopter assault on Tchepone, and the abandoned village was seized March 6. Two weeks of hard combat were necessary for the ARVN task force to fight its way back to Vietnam. Towards the end of the removal, a helicopter from Company B, 101st Aviation Battalion was lost. Flown by Maj. Jack L. Barker, the UH1H (serial #66-16185) was attempting to land to extract ARVN troops about 20 miles west of Khe Sanh. During the attempt, the aircraft came under enemy fire and was seen to spin, explode, and catch fire, then to break up in the air. No signs of survivors were seen. The crew aboard the aircraft were PCF John J. Chubb, Sgt. William E. Dillender, and Capt. John F. Dugan. Because of the presence of enemy forces in the area, no subsequent search could be made for survivors. 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.

War Story:
Earlier in the day, the crew of #68-16492 (Al Fischer, Kingsman 18, WO Edward R. Cash, SP4 Lyle C. Smith, and SP4 Roger L. Perales) were shoot down and crashed on FSB Delta 1. After some time, they contacted Kingsman 69, CWO Bill Singletary in 185 on the radio. He had been Chalk 6 in the initial flight of the day. Kingsman 69's crew members were WO Joe St. John, CE Sergeant Bill Dillender, and door gunner PFC John Chubb. Singletary's bird had also been hit going into the original PZ and couldn't make the PZ. After identifying where the downed crew was, Singletary and St. John were told the situation on Delta 1 was getting very hot with small arms and mortars and that they should break off and not risk it. Singletary replied with a chuckle and said he would come in low level from the north. Al Fischer distinctively remembers hearing both the bird and the shooting increasing steadily as Singletary approached. As the downed crew came aboard Singletary pulled in all the power he had and nosed over staying as low as possible until they broke free of the small arms fire. All six in back were firing. We returned to where the Kingsmen birds were to sit at Khe Sanh. After landing Singletary's bird #185 was Red X-ed due to extensive battle damage. Later in the day, Major Baker took 185 since it had better Red Xs that his bird. This is how 185 departed on the mission were it was lost. Submitting by Al Fischer in March, 1996. About Jack Barker. I went to the Infantry Officers Advance Course with him just prior to both of us going back to Viet Nam for second tours. We were both fixed wing aviators who had gone through a "Q" Course. I went through the course set up in Schleissheim, Germany, and I'm not sure where Jack went through. Anyway, I hadn't seen him since we graduated from the IOAC (Infantry Officers Advanced Course( in June of 1970, until that morning just before the first lift. We went into that LZ that morning with three or four companies and when we made it back to Khe Sanh from the first lift we were only able to put together a total of about ten or twelve flyable aircraft from all the companies together. I think Jack was the only one left flyable from his company and I think we had about four flyable Dolphins left when the word came down that we were going to make another attempt to get into the LZ. I'm pretty sure I was Chalk 6, flying 30 second separation, single ship LZ, and I was either the first or second aircraft behind Jack. I saw him get hit in the LZ when we were about 500-1000 feet descending, and about that time "Big Ben" the General in charge called it off, saying we were suffering excessive losses. WELL, NO SHIT!!! That should have been recognized after the first attempt that morning, but I can tell you that I don't know of anybody who refused to go back into the LZ. I don't believe that happened. If that had happened it would have been big news. I can tell you that I had probably made my piece as we were descending into that LZ because I was sure we wouldn't make it out of there. Thank God for small favors. From Dale Spratt, commander of the 174th Aslt Hel Company who was in the air behind Barker when he went in. The families have been " "OFFICIALLY NOTIFIED" by the Army. The remains of Major Jack Barker, B CO, 101st, AVN BN, 101ST ABN DIV, along with his crew Capt. John Dugan, SGT. William Dillender, and PFC John Chubb have been repatriated, and positively identified. They were engaged in operation "Lam Son 719" when their huey was shot down on a rescue mission March 20, 1971, at LZ BROWN. At this time the family knows that he will be buried in Arlington, possibly near his birthday of March 22, 2006. No hard date until after his son Michael meets with the Army Casulty office to finalize things. I know a lot of you guys flew that mission, and some of you knew or served under the major. Anyone who wants further updates as we get them feel free to contact me, Jack Middleton, at slugger332002@yahoo.com . You guys take care, and may God hold you closer than most Respectfully, Jack Middleton (for the Waycross Georgia Barker clan) Chubb will be buried in Inglewood, Calif., on Feb. 18, 2006. Barker, Dugan and Dillender will be buried on April 12, 2006 in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington. D.C. On Wednesday, April 12, 2006 the crew of Kingsmen 185, shot down on 3/20/71 over Laos was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery. The crew was Major Jack Barker (our C.O.), Captain John Dugan, Sgt. Bill Dillender and PFC John Chubb. The search for the crew, their family backgrounds, and the circumstances of their loss, was detailed in the book "Where They Lay" by Earl Swift. 23 Former Kingsmen from all over the country, as well as veterans from many other units, where in attendance. The families of the crew were amazed by this outpouring of support, and we, in turn, were humbled to be in their presence. A "visitation" was held at a funeral home in Arlington the night before the burial. This afforded many of us an opportunity to meet the family members, and share some of our remembrances of the crew. Michael Barker, the son of Jack, was 1 1/2 years old when his father was killed. He bears an uncanny resemblance, both physically and in mannerism, to his father. Austin Dillender, the 16 year-old nephew of Bill Dillender, is Bill re-incarnated. The visitation was continued by some at the infamous Red, Hot & Blue. The burial ceremony began at the Old Post Chapel at Ft. Myer, which adjoins the western perimeter of the cemetery, and is home to the "Old Guard." The chapel service was standing room only, with families seated in pews, and veterans standing along either side. A single flag-draped casket (containing the actual remains of the crew) was front and center in the Chapel. After the chapel service, it was taken by horse drawn caisson to the graveside in section 60, where the three other flag draped caskets awaited. The graveside services were extremely moving. Each of the four caskets had it's own honor guard, there was a band, and of course, the rifle squad. There was also a fly-over of 4 Blackhawks in a slow, diamond formation. Following the graveside ceremony, we gathered at Spates Hall on Ft. Myer for a reception with the veterans, families, and guests. I would publicly like to thank Mike Sloniker for his advice and guidance which helped us (the Kingsmen) do what we needed to do logistically. Mike also put us in touch with former Blue Star Tom Edmonds, whose experience and ability to recon the area as a local were invaluable. The following day, services were held just below the Tomb of the Unknowns for Mike Novosel, Vietnam medevac pilot and Medal of Honor winner. All of this, coupled with trips to the Wall, and a first reunion of sorts to some who came, made this a very memorable week. Joe Kline CE B/101 AHB Kingsmen 70-71 Gilroy, CA

This record was last updated on 02/14/2006

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