Helicopter OH-6A 67-16037

Information on U.S. Army helicopter OH-6A tail number 67-16037
The Army purchased this helicopter 0568
Total flight hours at this point: 00001481
Date: 03/20/1971
Incident number: 71032014.KIA
Unit: C/16 CAV
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was LOSS TO INVENTORY
This was a Recon mission for Armed Recon
While in Operations Area this helicopter was Unknown at 0050 feet and 020 knots.
South Vietnam
Count of hits was not possible because the helicopter burned or exploded.
Explosive Weapon; Non-Artillery launched or static weapons containing explosive charges. (B-40 RKT)
Systems damaged were: PERSONNEL
Casualties = 02 KIA . .
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 Helicopter Loss database. Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center Helicopter database. Also: OPERA, LNNF, CASRP (Operations Report. Lindenmuth New Format Data Base. Casualty Report. )
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:

War Story:
On March 20, 1971 CW2 Billy Royal and SP4 Beardsley were flying as my wing ship on a "sneaky Pete". One of those missions that the scouts flew fast and straight in really bad guy country only stopping if we found something of real significance. While flying along a canal bank I found a village with people in it that didn't belong there. This was a free fire zone and supposedly all friendlies had been pulled out. When we spotted the people scattering, I swung back around to get a better look and told Billy to stay back until we could determine what was what. When I came back over the village my CE (sorry but I can't for the life of me remember who that was) were caught in an aerial ambush. We were low and slow and VC/NVA opened up with what seemed like the whole world. I called taking fire and shoved the nose extremely over. Billy ignoring my advice to stay clear came roaring in to draw the fire off of us. The last thing I saw was his aircraft erupt in a huge ball of fire and exploding. The explosion combined with the attitude of our aircraft (full lateral cyclic along with full opposite pedal so the gunner could still shoot below us) damn near pushed us into the water. We recovered with the skids in the canal at about 50 knots. Every time a scout went down the other one stayed right on top of him to cover while C&C attempted rescue. This time it was glaringly obvious that there was no one left to recover. We went to altitude and waited while the guns pounded the area. I never did get a lot of feed back about the insertion that followed or the condition of the bodies. Speculation was that he took a B40 rocket in the belly --fuel tank-- and along with the 40 lbs or so of C4 they were carrying caused that aircraft to explode so violently. I down deep didn't want to know, I just wanted to remember Billy as he was. A good friend. Billy was roommates with CW2? Wisser and CW2 Bob Parsons. Billy was the kind of guy that everyone liked and his death got under my skin pretty deeply. Even without the reminders of news letters and seeing his name on the "Wall" at Rucker I think about him occasionally and remember that he and Beardsly were responsible for bailing my miserable ass out of that ambush.--at the cost of their lives. from Frank Ziebert, Sep. 97.

This record was last updated on 05/25/1998

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Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023

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