Helicopter UH-1H 68-15391


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-15391
The Army purchased this helicopter 0570
Total flight hours at this point: 00000662
Date: 02/25/1972 MIA-POW file reference number: 1799
Incident number: 720225051ACD Accident case number: 720225051 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 62 AHC
The station for this helicopter was Marble Mountain in Over Water
UTM grid coordinates: BT008901
Number killed in accident = 7 . . Injured = 3 . . Passengers = 6
costing 510445
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. Army Aviation Safety Center database. Also: 1799 ()
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
AC WO1 GUNNELLS WILLIAM ASHLEY KIA
P O2 RJ WEMHOFF
CE E4 JC MCEWEN
G SP4 CLARKE DAVID ERROL KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
THIEU ND, , PX, KIA
DONG NH, , PX, KIA
SOAN PD, , PX, KIA
COL SMARR ALBERT WARD JR, AR, PX, KIA
MAJ MORGAN WILLIAM JOOR, AR, PX, BNR
MAJ KREASSIG RM, PX, RES


REFNO Synopsis:
SYNOPSIS: William J. Morgan was a passenger aboard a UH1H helicopter (tail #69-15391) that crashed in the Da Nang Harbor on February 25, 1972. The helicopter was recovered on March 17, and all personnel aboard the aircraft were accounted for except Maj. Morgan. It was concluded that his body drifted from the aircraft and either out to sea or to the beaches of nearby Mui Da Nang island. A further search at the main harbor was not feasible, and Maj. Morgan was listed as dead, remains non-recoverable. No enemy action is associated with the loss. Search and recovery efforts in Vietnam were the best and most successful ever seen in wartime. They were so successful, in fact, that the numbers of those remaining missing in action were dramatically reduced over previous wars.


Accident Summary:

Upon lift off from the destroyer helipad, the helicopter executed a right pedal turn causing the tail rotor to impact the guard rail on the next higher deck. Impact caused the tail rotor to separate from the aircraft and strike the main rotor, which in turn severed the tail boom. The helicopter crashed in the water inverted and sank. Four of the ten personnel aboard exited the helicopter. One was struck by the main rotor and killed. Three were recovered by swimmers from the destroyer.


War Story:
I was on the USS Craig (2/25/72) when the slick, 68-15391, from the 62nd AHC took off had a tail strike and crashed in the DaNang harbor, killing one pilot, Wm A Gunnells and one crew member, David E Clark. I was taking pictures (film confiscated by accident board) and remember it pretty well. Mark Attebury, marka@sonic.net , March 1997

This record was last updated on 09/20/1998


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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