Information on U.S. Army helicopter OH-6A tail number 68-17329
The Army purchased this helicopter 1069
Total flight hours at this point: 00001335
Incident number: 72102629.KIA
Unit: D/17 CAV
UTM grid coordinates: BS576814
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Also: OPERA (Operations Report. )
Loss to Inventory
P 1LT FLORENCE DEXTER BUSH KIA
OB SSG GOODNO KEVEN ZANE KIA
While hovering near an NVA flag that was wired to the top of a tree, a booby trap was command detonated. The detonation killed the gunner outright and blew holes in the fuel cell causing the massive fireball that consumed the aircraft. Florence died three days later as a result of being burned over 90% of his body. from Mike Sloniker, October 1998. I was with D Trp 17th CAV, we orig. were D Troop 1/1 CAV attached to the 196th LIB when I got there on second tour Jan 72..Sometime in the spring/summer D Troop 1/1 CAV stood down and they renamed us D Troop 17th CAV...same call sign: Sabre. I was a gun pilot and I believe Dexter was the Scout Platoon leader at the time...I've forwarded your note onto four other D Troop guys who are not on the net...they may be able to add some info. I think the incident happened a week or so earlier and he died in Japan later. Here's the story as best as I can remember...we were based at Danang AFB at the time and were restricted to 4 hours flight time a day doing the usual Cav Mission, even though were had stopped inserting the Blues to check out anything. Dexter was hovering beside a flagpole with an NVA flag, when they detonated a mine or bomb. Got him and his gunner. At the time the Paris peace talks were going on and all kinds of NVA and ARVN flags were popping-up on hills all over the place because there was some rumor that South Viet Nam would be divided-up based on who held what. The previous day, I'd been AMC of the team that was working in the same general area and had sent the team (huey, two loaches and other cobra) back up to DaNang to refuel, rearm and get some lunch, while I gave the unit we'd been working with, our spot reports. About a half hour later I took off to catch-up with the team and heard them talking on the radio about picking-up "something"....when I found out what the "something" was I told them to get the f*** out of there and and get back to DaNang for the next mission. The next day they were back in the same area and tried to snatch an NVA flag when the bomb was blown....I was with a different team up north. I think one or two of the other guys I forwarded your orig. note to, were there....so they would be better with the actual happenings that day. BTW I don't know if you have Dexter's service record, but he had received the usual awards and had been in a few other "hairy" situations, ie: saved a Cobra gunner (Rich Cunnaire) during or at the end of the 72 Easter Offensive, when one of our Cobras was shot down...Chuck Dean the A/C was killed in that one, Aug 72. I wasn't on that one, but from what I remember he and his wingman (Doug Brown, 2nd tour loach pilot) had to hover behind a hill, dropped off there gunners who got Cunnaire back to the loach. Any questions, drop a note BC and we can discuss in more detail. Bob Whitford, July 1999.
This record was last updated on 07/25/1999
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Date posted on this site: 05/26/2019
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