Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-16199
The Army purchased this helicopter 0869
Total flight hours at this point: 00001252
Incident number: 71042310.KIA
Unit: B/2/17 CAV 101 ABN
UTM grid coordinates: YC476923
Casualties = 02 KIA . .
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Also: OPERA, Fred Behrens (Operations Report. )
Summary: Believed to be the B/2/17th Cav Huey shot down in a ridge in the A Shau Valley in which CPTs Collum and Speidel died.
Loss to Inventory
P CPT COLLUM WILLIAM EDWARD KIA
P CPT SPEIDEL LOUIS JOHN KIA
I am looking for the C troop pilots/aircrew who inserted D troop on April 24, 1971, near the eastern rim of the Ashau Valley. Also the recovery team who extracted the pilots from the B troop ship, and rigged the 326th medivac for extraction on the 25th. Additionally, anyone who has first hand knowledge of this mission to share, including photos. A short synopsis of the mission: Ranger Radio Relay team CUBS was inserted near the east side of the Ashau on April 23, 1971,and made contact seconds after insertion while moving off the LZ. The team leader [Duren] was wounded and a B trp. ship [68-16199] went back into the LZ an hour later with a new team leader [Vodden]. It deposited him on the LZ where he was also soon wounded, and then was shot down while leaving the LZ. It crashed over the east side of the ridge line and turned up side down, trapping the pilot and co-pilot in the wreckage [Collum & Spiedel]. A medivac [Eagle Dustoff 913 Berhens and Madison] came in and successfully extracted the wounded original team leader and a wounded door gunner from the B troop ship. It returned a short time later to extract more wounded and was shot down [66-16588] on the LZ, two KIA [Speer & Brummer] and 1 killed later [Medina]. The survivors had no radio contact through the night, and the next morning [24th] D troop was inserted into a hot LZ, just north of the team's position. About this time a member of the radio relay team was shot [Sly] while trying to retrieve a radio from the LZ. He died shortly after recovering the radio. They finally had commo., and started working the guns around their location. D troop made an attempt to reach the team, but was ambushed while attempting to do so, and had 5 KIAs [Chenault, Vollmer, Wilson, Taft and Soto-Figueroa] and 14 wounded. At some time on the 24th B2/502 was inserted, and later reinforced with the remainder of the 502 and A1/327. Finally on the 25th a rescue team lead by the Ranger C.O. [Ohle] and 4 volunteers reached the team and wounded survivors, and affected an extraction. Isako Malo was captured and a POW for two years, James Champion is listed as MIA. All in all, a major effort by all involved. Total of killed, missing, captured and wounded far surpassing any other Ranger related contact. I'd like confirmation of all the locations, and will send copies of 1:50,000 maps of the area for reference. I also have a ton of 2/17 reports for 69, 70 & 71 to help jog the memory. I believe the Joint Task Force - Full Accounting has the last known location of the MIA wrong. None of the accounts of this action in any book about L Company are correct, and I would like to rectify that situation. from Randy White, January 2001, L/75 LRRP 101st Abn 1970.
This record was last updated on 01/20/2001
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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017
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