Helicopter OH-6A 67-16679


Information on U.S. Army helicopter OH-6A tail number 67-16679
The Army purchased this helicopter 0369
Total flight hours at this point: 00000886
Date: 05/07/1971
Incident number: 71050710.HEL
Unit: A/1/9 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 050 knots.
Classified
UTM grid coordinates: WU599118
Count of hits was not possible because the helicopter burned or exploded.
Small Arms/Automatic Weapons; Gun launched non-explosive ballistic projectiles less than 20 mm in size. (7.62MM)
causing Fragmentation Damage.
Systems damaged were: PERSONNEL
Casualties = 02 DOI, 01 KIA . .
The helicopter Crashed. Aircraft Destroyed.
Both mission and flight capability were terminated.
Burned
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:
P 1LT BENGTSON FRANK WALTER KIA
PP WO1 MEYER DAVID PAUL KIA
G SP4 ROTHEL LARRY WAYNE KIA


War Story:
To: Frank Bengtson

Sent: Friday, June 04, 2010

My name is Doc Schweitzer and I knew your Dad in Viet Nam. When I first saw his name in Jim's email I remembered a happy go lucky guy with an incredible grin like a cheshire cat. Nothing bothered him and he was always ready for whatever the challenge was - fun, games or chasing bad guys.

I was his hi-bird the day he was shot down. We were working the Chup rubber plantation in search of an NVA Division. You would think that would be an easy thing, but it wasn't. The bad guys w ere masters of camoflage. One minute your Dad was circling an area of concern, talking on the radio, then they plunged into the trees. No radio call or warning of any kind. Initially we (myself and our C&C (command and control) aircraft) thought he might have crashed because we recieved no fire from the ground. When we put Infantry troops on the ground to secure the aircraft and crew and they reached the scene, all inside had been killed. Other than the obivious scene depicting an interaction between us and them, there was no evidence on the ground to say how many were there or where they went after this event. They were there and then they were gone. We did find the division later, but by accident when we could do nothing about it, but that's another story.

I realize this is hard for you and I wish I could help you more. I went through the pictures I have, but I wasn't a shutterbug and I didn't find any of your Dad.

Take care and God bless you.

From: Doc Schweitzer

Sent: Mon, March 25, 2013

My name is John Donnnelly and I was a scout pilot with A Troop, 1st of the 9th Cav., in Vietnam in 1971. I was good friends with a fellow scout pilot by the name of Frank W. Bengtson who was killed along with his gunner and observer on May 6, 1971, on a mission I was scheduled for, but could not take due to downed radios. When I was trying to find another Loach to take, he volunteered to take it. Frank's nickname there was "animal" and there is a great story about that which I will not get into. In any case, animal and I roomed together, drank and got high together and fought off the rats together in Tay Ninh. His death affected me profoundly and I still think of him often. I had to gather his belongings to send back to his family and I found a beautiful poem that he had written which basically predicted his death. I have always regretted that I did not copy it down. Over the years I have thought about trying to contact his family but was never sure if they would welcome that. If his family ever contacts your organization (VHPAFamily Contacts Committee), I would very much like to get together with them to let them know what a good friend and great guy he was.

Thanks for all that you do to help veterans, and the families of those who died, make contact.

From: John Donnelly

This record was last updated on 02/10/2018


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Date posted on this site: 05/26/2019


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