Helicopter AH-1G 67-15679


Information on U.S. Army helicopter AH-1G tail number 67-15679
The Army purchased this helicopter 0768
Total flight hours at this point: 00000634
Date: 07/15/1971 MIA-POW file reference number: 1760
Incident number: 71071510.KIA
Unit: A/2/17 CAV
This was a Combat Loss caused by being shot down by Ground Fire .50 cal to 20 mm in size with the mission function of Armed Visual Reconnaissance
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was REPAIRED IN THEATER
for Close Air Support
While Enroute this helicopter was at Level Flight at UNK feet and UNK knots.
North Vietnam
Helicopter took 1 hits from:
Small Arms/Automatic Weapons; Gun launched non-explosive ballistic projectiles less than 20 mm in size.
causing an Explosion.
Systems damaged were: ENGINE
Casualties = 01 DOI, 01 MIA . .
Search and rescue operations were Terminated
The helicopter made a Forced Landing. Aircraft is later recovered by any means other than its own power.
Both mission and flight capability were terminated.
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center AVDAC database. Defense Intelligence Agency Reference Notes. Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center Helicopter database. Also: CASRP (Casualty Report. )
Helicopter was recovered

Crew Members:
AC CPT TAYLOR TED JAMES BNR
P 1LT BECKER HOWARD JOHN JR KIA


REFNO Synopsis:
 AH-1G pilot - had engine failure following being struck by heavy machine gun/AA fire. Autorotated into Da Krong River, which was at flood stage, muddy following heavy rains. Rescue Huey hovered at scene and recovered Taylor from water, who stayed on skid. while attempting to rescue co-pilot Howard Becker, both were lost in water and drowned. Taylor's body never found. from D. Bresnahan 5 July 1993 SYNOPSIS: Capt. Ted J. Taylor was the pilot of an AH1G Cobra gunship (serial #67-15674) that departed Quang Tri on July 15, 1971 on a combat assault mission. His destination was Red Devil Road in South Vietnam. As Capt. Taylor's helicopter started to descend, an explosion occurred. Noticing his instruments were still in normal operating range, he decided to head for Forward Base Sheppard. He then reported that he had overshot Sheppard and was going to go on to Vandergrift, rather than circle around. Taylor was proceeding down the Quang Tri River when his aircraft engine failed. Taylor successfully autogyrated into the river, and he and the crew got afely out of the aircraft. They were standing at the tail section still wearing their body armor when the chase ship came to pick them up. During the rescue attempt, as Capt. Taylor was being pulled off the helicopter skid, a strong river undertow sucked him under water. He was not seen after that moment. Search efforts in and along the river were unsuccessful in locating either Taylor or his body.


War Story:
10 May 2000 Jennifer, (daughter of Howard Becker) I'm Joe Sheridan.....From 9/7/70 until 9/5/71 I was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam with A Troop 2nd 17th Air calvalry, in Quang Tri, Vietnam. I had the priviledge of flying with, and knowing your father quite well. We did fly several missions together and spent many casual hours during our spare time speaking very specifically about you. I also have a son, Joe, born while I was in Vietnam. ( he will be 29 June 1, 2000) Your father was so incredibly proud of you, and so anxious to return to your Mom and you. You were constantly on his mind and the reason he kept hope and purpose. I must say that "Beck"....thats what I called him.......was very talented and very brave. He flew several very challanging missions and always....ALWAYS.....dealt with adversity like a real warrior. Although 30 years have passed I clearly remember the day, circumstances, and mission you're dad and Ted were on. They were in an AH1G Cobra, on July 15, 1971. Ted ( also had a child born just before his passing) was the aircraft commander and Howard was the experienced co-pilot on that mission. The aircraft was on its' way out to the AO (area of operation) The aircraft was hit my enemy fire at approx 2000 ft. above ground level by 37mm antiaircraft fire.( the fiercest groundfire the enemy had to fire at us) The round hit the engine and forced the aircraft into emergency autorotation. Ted quickly sought a safe landing spot, and professionally and with no panic, your Dad began to break out the glass canopy with his survival knife. The other Cobra on the mission flew right up next to your Dad's wounded aircraft and tried to convince Ted to land on the road (path) adjacent to the Bong Song River. This great pilots name was Herb Hood ( I have his tel #) Ted felt that the river landing would be safer so he opted for the river. In hindsight now, it would have been better to land on the road, but Ted thought the rotor blade would hit the steep slope of the mountain and cause even more trouble. Unknown to anyone, the current was greater than expected, and as the aircraft softly plunged into the river it was quickly engulfed with rushing, speedy currants, tipping the 54 Ft. aircraft on its side and eventually upside down. The log bird ( Huey ) was quickly and professionally at a 10 ft. hover right over your Dad'd downed bird ready to wisk them to safety. ( Capt. Curry and Marco Frye were pilots). Briefly Ted and you're Dad clung to the skids of the tumbling Cobra. I have to be honest with you here, although it may be painful.............In Ted and Howard's moments of terror, preceeding the emergency landing, they forgot one thing......they forgot to ( or were unable to ) remove their heavy bullet proof vests. Howard did his job in getting the glass canopy out of the way; but, the currant was so great and the weight of the bullet proof vest, boots, gear and flight suits proved too cumbersome to easily get into the rescue ship. AT THIS POINT OF THE STORY I'D ASK THAT YOU PAY CLOSEST ATTENTION TO: Under the very worst of circumstansces, with no immediate regard to his own safety or health you're father clung to a totally spent comrade named Ted Taylor. In a valient and heroic effort to save his drowning friend, your Dad lunged repeatedly into the raging water to save Ted. Safety was at hand, and Howard's arm actually was near the safety of the skid of the rescue chopper. The weight, the repeated attempts to save his friend, and the raging waters made it impossible to gain hold. Ted and Howard plumented down the river and, regretfully, Ted was never found. The next day, after exhaustive search of the river we found your Dad. I do believe it is proper for me to tell you........and I take this as a responsibility......and a distinct priviledge........You see, you're father died a true hero. He was an example of all that was good about being a helicopter pilot and soldier. It is his example that moved the emotions of an entire unit. His behavior moved the entire 101 st aviation brigade to speak of him often and with deep respect; and for those of us who knew him and flew with him, it was a pleasure and an honor to have been his friend and comrade. I'm grateful I can relate this true story to, you, his daughter. He loved you so much and you were always on his mind. Take solace in knowing that you're Dad was a man of honesty, integrity, and he earned, by his example, the respect of every one of us who flew with him. More should know this story of unusual bravery under the very worst of condidtions. I think of him often....I will never forget him. Respectfully Joe Sheridan A Troop 2/17 ac 1970/71 On that day ( 7/15/71) I was " Spare 53" ( call sign) located in Dong Ha ( 5 mi. from Quang Tri)..on the radios listening and responding to every aspect of the mission. I actually heard the communication of the choppers and all pilots.A month later my tour was over and I came home. When faced with adversity in this challanging world, over the years, I've thought often how fortunate I am, and how I have reason only to be thankful........and how terribly I miss guys like Ted Taylor and Howard Becker Note: Tail number is incorrect in the Refno.

This record was last updated on 04/15/2004


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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