Helicopter CH-47A 64-13157


Information on U.S. Army helicopter CH-47A tail number 64-13157
The Army purchased this helicopter 1065
Total flight hours at this point: 00002452
Date: 05/10/1972
Incident number: 720510031ACD Accident case number: 720510031 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 362 ASHC
This was a Accident incident. This helicopter was LOSS TO INVENTORY
The station for this helicopter was Long Thanh North in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: YT168032
Number killed in accident = 34 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 29
costing 3218117
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Army Aviation Safety Center database. Also: OPERA, Mike Sloniker (Operations Report. )
Summary: Material failure of a blade retaining pin. 5 crewmen and 27 soldiers were lost.
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
P CPT TOMLIN BARRY COLEY KIA
P 1LT HARRELL SAMUEL KIA
CE SP4 ELENBURG ALVIN ROBERT KIA
G SP4 NEISS TERRY DUANE KIA
C SP5 MUSTIN LARRY STEVEN KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
SP4 HENSON FRANK THEODORE, AR, PX, KIA
CPT ROSENBERG KENNETH, AR, PX, KIA
SP4 HENAGHAN WILLIAM FREDERIC, AR, PX, KIA
SP4 SHIKO RAYMOND JOSEPH, AR, PX, KIA
PFC LYDIC DAVID ALLEN, AR, PX, KIA
SP4 HOWELL DONALD EDWARD, AR, PX, KIA
SP4 JACKSON FREDDIE, AR, PX, KIA
SP4 SULSER DAVID WESLEY, AR, PX, KIA
PFC PHILLIPS DEAN ANTHONY, AR, PX, KIA
PFC BOWERSOCK STEVEN EDWARD, AR, PX, KIA
SP4 RIDGEWAY RICHARD, AR, PX, KIA
SP4 SAULSBERRY CLARENCE L JR, AR, PX, KIA
PVT RAY JACKIE, AR, PX, KIA
SP4 LAHNER THOMAS ALLAN, AR, PX, KIA
PVT GROOVES JAMES DOUGLAS, NOT, A
PFC CARR CLINT EDWIN, AR, PX, KIA
SGT BURNETT EDWARD DENZEL, AR, PX, KIA
SGT FREITAG DIETER KUNO, AR, PX, KIA
SGT JENSEN JAMES CHRISTIAN, AR, PX, KIA
PFC WOOD THOMAS EUGENE, AR, PX, KIA
SGT BOATRIGHT WILLIAM ARVEL, AR, PX, KIA
SP4 DUNNING DENNIS GYMAN, AR, PX, KIA
SP4 AGUILAR OSCAR, AR, PX, KIA
SP4 MONTELEONE GARY ROBERT, AR, PX, KIA
SGT AGUILAR MIKE JOHN, AR, PX, KIA
PVT RIVERA-AGOSTO EFRAIN, AR, PX, KIA
SP4 FLORES DAVID CRUZ, AR, PX, KIA
PFC SABLAN JOHN TENERIO, AR, PX, KIA
PFC HAYES DALE LAMONT, AR, PX, KIA


Accident Summary:

AT 1023 HOURS CPT TOMLIN (AC) AND 1LT HARRELL (P) WERE ENROUTE FROM BIEN HOA TO VUNG TAU IN AIRCRAFT SN 64-13157 WITH A LOAD OF TROOPS FOR THE R&R CENTER AT VUNG TAU. THEY HAD CALLED FOR A CLEARANCE THROUGH THE LONG THANH NORTHER ARMY AIRFIELD TRAFFIC CONTROL AREA AND WERE AT 2000' HEADING FROM NORTH TO SOUTH. AT 1025 HOURS, LONG THANH TOWER RECEIVED A RADIO CALL FROM AN AIRCRAFT IN THE VICINITY THAT A CH-47 HAD CRASHED TO THE NORTHEAST OF THE AIRFIELD AND HAD EXPLODED ON IMPACT. AIRCRAFT NEAR THE SCENE REPORTED THAT THEY COULD SEE NO SURVIVORS AT THE CRASH SITE. RESCUE EFFORTS BEGAN IMMEDIATELY UPON RECEIPT OF THE REPORT OF THE ACCIDENT.\\


War Story:
United 157 was part of a flight of four Chinooks that picked up infantry troops from the 3d Bde, 1st Cav at the Sandy Pad at Bien Hoa Army Base. The troops were being taken to Vung Tau for a three day incountry R&R. As 157 neared Long Thanh North airfield, other Chinooks in the flight described 157 as exploding like a lightbulb flash. Since there had been an increase in NVA activity at An Loc, the aircraft was thought to have been shot down. The remaining CH-47's sped from the area. It was learned later that the Chinook had a material failure of a blade retaining pin. 5 crewmen and 27 soldiers were lost. United 157, a CH-47A, was ahead of me at the Sandy Pad at Bien Hoa. It couldn't get all the grunts in it for their 3 day incountry R&R to Vung Tau, so we took some in our A/229 slick. I had an E-7 and some EM. The 47 was ready to depart before we were and departed Sandy southbound for Vung Tau. Because the 47 flies so fast, they were way in front of us when the retaining pin holding the blade into the hub failed, causing the blade to depart the aircraft. The AAAA soldier of the year was in one of the other United 362s hooks in the area. I have forgotten his name, but he was also AAAA aviator of the year in the 80's and is the only person to be both. I last saw him in 98 in the Belvoir commissary when he had returned from commanding an avn maint bn in Korea. He said it look like a flash bulb going off when the acft started to come apart at altitude. We thought the damn NVA had a 23MM or SA 7 that far south and just absolutely hauled ass out of there. If you thinks hooks can fly fast, watch them go to warp speed when they think the AAA is out and about. I have a count of 32 lost on 157 and the names of the 27 infantry linked with the names of the flt crew of 5 listed below: Incident Date 720510 017 SP4 Alvin Robert Elenburg CE 362 ASHC 1 CAV CH-47A 64-13157 018 1LT Samuel Harrell P 362 ASHC 1 CAV CH-47A 64-13157 020 SP5 Larry Steven Mustin C 362 ASHC 1 CAV CH-47A 64-13157 020 SP4 Terry Duane Neiss G 362 ASHC 1 CAV CH-47A 64-13157 023 CPT Barry Coley Tomlin P 362 ASHC 1 CAV CH-47A 64-13157 Tomlin was a twin. Both of them were at Rucker in Nov 70. I think they were retread warrants and were captains at the time. Those that have been with me at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Vets Day and Memorial Day have seen this picture that I put above the names of all 32 lost that day on May 10, 1972 over Long Thanh North and leave beneath panel 01 West next to the apex.. A and B 229th were immediately tasked to get into the crash site and assist with moving the casualties. We had some former 101st guys in the flights who had carried out the dead of the C/159 crash in Nov 71 in the Hai Vang pass. Their experience helped find the bodies und the aft pylon. The spread of bodies from one end to the other was one kilometer. I absolutely will never forget that day. That is why you guys see that memorial I leave at the VVM. As long as I breathe air, I will pay tribute to those poor bastards whose last thoughts prior to the quick ride down was the good time they were going to have at Vung Tau. Mike Sloniker

64-13157 was the tail number for the Chinook that crashed on May 10, 1972 , when 34 soldiers died. 5 were crew members of the Chinook from the 362nd Aviation Company, 21 were members of Skull platoon, including 3 from CP: Skipper, and both the company and battalion RTO's. 7 soldiers were from A Company, 1/12th Cav, and 1 trooper was from the 11th ARM Cav Regiment.

United 157 was part of a flight of four Chinooks that picked up infantry troops from the 3d Bde, 1st Cav at the Sandy Pad at Bien Hoa Army Base. The troops were being taken to Vung Tau for a three day in country R&R. As 157 neared Long Thanh North airfield, other Chinooks in the flight described 157 as exploding like a light bulb flash. Since there had been an increase in NVA activity at An Loc, the aircraft was thought to have been shot down. The remaining CH-47's sped from the area. It was learned later that the Chinook had a material failure of a blade retaining pin. 5 crewmen and 29 soldiers were lost.

This was my platoon. D Company, 2/8th Cav, 1st Cav Division is located on the web at http://angryskipperassociation.org/index.html

Thank you for what you do for our veterans. The stories behind this tragic event is quite profound and I thought it worth mentioning. The names of all those onboard sit at the upper left panel, at the apex of the Vietnam Memorial in D.C.

Robin D. Woo

This record was last updated on 02/04/2009


Additional information is available on CD-ROM.

Please send additions or corrections to: The VHPA Webmaster Gary Roush.

KIA statistics

Return to the KIA name list

Return to the KIA panel date index

Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


Copyright © 1998 - 2017 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association