Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-15671
The Army purchased this helicopter 0569
Total flight hours at this point: 00002042
Date: 07/18/1971 MIA-POW file reference number: 1761
Incident number: 71071824.KIA
Unit: C/101 AVN
UTM grid coordinates: YC697557
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: 1761 ()
Loss to Inventory
P WO1 ASTON JAY STEVEN BNR
P CW2 CUSTER CLEMENT R RES
SYNOPSIS: WO1 Jay S. Aston was the pilot and aircraft commander of a UH1H helicopter (tail #68-15671) on which his co-pilot was CW2 Clement R. Custer assigned an extraction mission on July 18, 1971. Aston and Custer, together with another helicopter providing support, were to pick up four friendly personnel from a classified area. At the point of extraction near the Laos/South Vietnam border, ground fire was received upon lift off. The aircraft was hit, and was seen by the second helicopter to roll to the right and crash inverted into the trees. The helicopter went down in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam due east of the Laotian city of Ban Bac. Custer was knocked unconscious from the crash. WO Aston, shot in the head, was pinned in the wreckage of the helicopter, and it was impossible to free him. Sgt. Richmond, the medic with the team to be extracted, determined that Aston was dead, because of a massive head and neck injury with extensive bleeding and lack of vital signs. Sgt. Richmond was unable to extricate Aston's body, which was pinned in the twisted wreckage of the helicopter. Sgt. Richmond, CW2 Custer and the remaining team members were successfully extracted. Because special equipment was needed to recover Aston, his body was left behind for later removal. Because of enemy activity, however, Aston's body was never recovered.
This record was last updated on 08/22/2000
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Date posted on this site: 05/26/2019
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