Helicopter UH-1H 68-16330

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-16330
Date: 04/03/1972 MIA-POW file reference number: 1814
Incident number: 720403031ACD Accident case number: 720403031 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 37 SIG BN 1 SIG BDE
The station for this helicopter was Da Nang in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: YD330530 (To see this location on a map, go to https://legallandconverter.com/p50.html and search on Grid Reference 48QYD330530)
Number killed in accident = 2 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 0
costing 385345
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: 1814 ()
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:

REFNO Synopsis:
 South Vietnam Douglas L. O'Neill Allen D. Christiansen Edward W. Williams Larry A. Zich (1814)

On April 3, 1972, CW2 Zich and three other servicemen were on board a UH1H helicopter on an in-country flight in the area of Quang Tri City, Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. The aircraft never returned from its mission and there were no initial reports of the aircraft's possible crash site. They were initially declared missing in action.

In July 1974 U.S. intelligence received hearsay information on a helicopter crash site and dead crew which might have correlated to this incident;however, this incident was approximately 20 kilometers from the suspect area of loss. In January 1980 another report was received about the explosion of a helicopter and the location of remains associated with its crew but it could not be specifically correlated to this loss incident.

There were no reports from returning U.S. POWs that CW2 Zich or other crewmen had been seen alive in captivity. After the end of hostilities all were declared dead/body not recovered.

Accident Summary:

Aircraft missing. Hue GCA lost radio contact at 1000 hours, aircraft location unknown.

War Story:
From: https://dpaa-mil.sites.crmforce.mil/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt00000001UVOEA2

On October 25, 2022, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) identified the remains of Chief Warrant Officer 3 Larry A. Zich, missing from the Vietnam War.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Zich entered the U.S. Army from Nebraska and served in the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 37th Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade. On April 3, 1972, he was the copilot of a UH-1H Iroquois (tail number 68-16330, call sign "Cavalier 70") with a crew of four that departed Marble Mountain, Da Nang, South Vietnam, on a combat support mission to Quang Tri City, South Vietnam. During the flight, the pilot told a Hue/Phu Bai Ground Control Approach (GCA) controller that he was lost, and believed they were near Quang Tri. Following the transmission, the GCA controller could not locate the helicopter on the radar and reported the team missing. When the helicopter failed to appear at any of the air bases in South Vietnam, an aerial search was initiated but found no sign of the missing aircraft or crew. On April 11, 1988, the Defense Intelligence Agency received human remains from a Vietnamese refugee. Reportedly, the remains belonged to individuals who died in an aircraft crash and were buried in Quang Nam Province. These remains were then sent to Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii, for further study. The laboratory analysis and the totality of the circumstantial evidence available established an association between one set of these remains and CW3 Zich.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Zich is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Additional info is at....http://www.pownetwork.org/bios/c/c153.htm

Short Extract: On April 3, the day Nail 38 was shot down, a UH1H "slick" went down in the same area carrying a crew of four enlisted Army personnel. They had no direct connection to the rescue of Bat 21, but were very probably shot down by the same SAM installations that downed Bat 21. The helicopter, from H/HQ, 37th Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade, had left Marble Mountain Airfield, Da Nang, on a standard resupply mission to signal units in and around Quang Tri City. The crew, consisting of WO Douglas L. O'Neil, pilot; CW2 Larry A. Zich, co-pilot; SP5 Allen D. Christensen, crew chief; and SP4 Edward W. Williams, gunner; remain missing in action.

I was the unit Tech Inspector at the time, and was supposed to be on that flight that day, filling in for Christensen. We were a small Avn. Detatchment with 3 or 4 hueys, a couple OH-6s, and a few OH-58s. And not enough pilots or CEs to man all the birds. Though I know I flew with all the pilots, I don't specifically remember either O'Neil or Zich, other than dream shadows. The Detachment disbanded shortly after the accident.

Dave Brown, CW4, Ret., RVN '68-69, '72-'73

This record was last updated on 03/25/2023

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Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023

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