Incident 72102617.KIA

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number
Date: 10/26/1972
Incident number: 72102617.KIA
Unit: H/17 CAV
South Vietnam
Casualties = 01 KIA, 01 WIA . .
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Also: Vic Antienowicz, Mike Lynch ()
Summary: Huey was severly damanged by enemy rocket explosion on the Kontum Airstrip.

Crew Members:

War Story:
1Lt Pedrosa was a Lift pilot who joined H Troop in late August. He always flew on the right side. He was a friendly guy and spent a lot of time with the EM. I remember him sharing his letters with me while I was cleaning the guns on my Huey. He had grown up in a rough section of Queens in New York City. He had a habit of walking out toward the flight line and giving a thumbs-up sign to each team left for the OA. I'd say we had become lax when we staged at Kontum because we didn't use the old revetments that were still there. We just parked out in the open. My Huey was lifting off. We were only about 20 feet in the air. LT Pedrosa walked out in front of his Huey to give us a thumbs-up. I remember seeing his Cav hat on the front of the Huey. You could hear the swish of the in-coming rocket. He must have heard this as well because I watched as he turned to get his hat and start moving for cover then BANG. I literally watched body parts fly. I yelled at my pilots to land back to help with the wounded, but we continued with this mission. The Huey was blown over on its left side. Mike Lynch took a photo of the Huey which is on his website. I know SP4 Larry Neal was wounded in the same blast and was later evaced to the States because of these wounds. I seem to remember that some others were wounded in this incident but I can't recall their names. I also didn't recall the tail number of this Huey. To this day, whenever I think of LT Pedrosa I always think - if he just hadn't walked out to the flight line to give us a thumbs-up, maybe he'd be alive today. But there is a bright side to this sad story. Several years ago I left a note at The Wall mentioning him. To my great surprise, an official from Carlos' school in the Queens contacted me. He said that the school had plans to erect a plaque to commemorate him for getting an education, getting out of the 'rough neighbor' and becoming an officer in the Army and a pilot. However, they had no details about what sort of a person he was and how he died. Naturally, I was honored to help. Submitted by SP4 Victor "Chuck" Antienowicz and SP5 Mike Lynch via the 7/17th Cav Association October, 2000.

This record was last updated on 10/15/2000

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Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023

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