Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1B tail number 64-13935
Date: 09/26/1966 MIA-POW file reference number: 0474
Incident number: G509ACD Accident case number: G509
Unit: 114 AHC
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was LOSS TO INVENTORY
for Close Air Support
While in Target Area this helicopter was Attacking at 0750 feet and 070 knots.
UTM grid coordinates: XR735693
Helicopter took 2 hits from:
Small Arms/Automatic Weapons; Gun launched non-explosive ballistic projectiles less than 20 mm in size. (7.62MM)
The helicopter was hit in the Armament system causing a Fire.
Systems damaged were: ARMAMENT, PERSONNEL
Casualties = 01 INJ, 03 DOI . . Number killed in accident = 3 . . Injured = 1 . . Passengers = 0
The helicopter Crashed. Aircraft is later recovered by any means other than its own power.
Both mission and flight capability were terminated.
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. Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center Helicopter database. Also: 0474, UH1P1, 00646, CASRP, STMNT, FM232, CRAFX (Crash Facts Message. Casualty Report. )
Loss to Inventory
P MAJ DUPRE NORMAN LEE KIA
P CPT MOSBURG HENRY LEE BNR
G SP4 PHILLIPS MARVIN FOSTER RR
CE SP4 PYSTOR RICHARD H RES
Capt. Henry L. Mosburg was a pilot assigned to the 114th Assault Helicopter Company. On September 26, 1966, he was assigned a combat assault mission in the Delta region of South Vietnam over Vinh Binh Province. He departed with a crew of four, including himself. On the second pass on a target near the mouth of the Son Co Chien River, Mosburg's aircraft was fired on by small arms. As the aircraft prepared for a third pass, it was noticed that one of the helicopter's rockets was on fire on the left side of the aircraft. Observers watched the tail section of the aircraft fall away, causing the helicopter to fall toward the water in a steep spin. The helicopter landed on its right side in approximately nine feet of water. One person (unnamed) was rescued, and one body was recovered. Mosburg was not found, nor was his gunner, SP4 Marvin F. Phillips. An exhaustive ocean search was made surrounding the crash area, but no trace of Phillips or Mosburg was ever found. Because of the over-water area, it was considered that the two were killed, and that it would be impossible to recover their remains. Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 June 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews.
ACFT WAS ENGAGING HOSTILE TARGET AND RECEIVING SA FIRE CE SAW ONE ROCKET 275 PROJECTING HALF WAY OUT ONE TUBE WITH FLAMES FROM THE AFT END OF THE MODULE AND LFT SIDE OF ACFT ENTIRE TAIL SECTION SEPARATED ACFT SPUN INTO THE SEA UNCONTROLLED CE ONLY SURVIVED CABIN WAS RECOVERED BUT NOT WEAPONS OR REST OF THE ACFT TWO BODIES NOT RECOVERED
On 26 September 1966, between 1300 and 1430 hours, RVN Time, while piloting the rigging helicopter for the 611th Transportation Company (DS), Vung Tau, RVN, APO 96291, I witnessed four (4) members of the above unit successfully perform an extremely hazardous and difficult rigging and hook-up and recovery of UH1-B Gun Ship of the 114th Armed Helicopter Company, Soc Trang, RVN. During Combat Assault conditions in and around the area of Bo Dong, South Vietnam, Delta Region of the Megong river basin, We landed on the east beach of Bo Dong and in the Vinh Binh Province, while under survelience by the enemy, located approximately 200 yards to the west. The recovery crew consisted of five (5) US Army military personnel: CW3 Devon L Nooner W2206510 765th Trans Bn (ADS) Pilot Capt Clifford J. Browning 05405560 611th Trans Co OIC PFC Jim F. Rigelsky RA17682804 611th Trans Co Rigger PFC Donald L. Merz US55840955 611th Trans Co Rigger PFC Carl G. Leach RA1680082 611th Trans Co Gunner Upon landing on the beach, the rigging crew took off their combat clothes and entered the South China Sea and began to swim to the downed aircraft with rigging straps and turn-buckles necessary to lift the downed Gun Ship from the waters. They saw the rotor blades of the armed helicopter just barely out of the water, as the 4 to 5 foot waves broke over them. Their mission was to recover the wreckage, armament and the remains of the helicopter. Viewing the situation, they stripped off their clothing and protection and went into the rough seas, carrying safety straps and rigging equipment to ready the helicopter for airlift by a CH-47 helicopter (Chinook) orbitting the area. At the time of this operation the seas consisted of 4 to 5 foot waves and a very fast north to south currents. The downed helicopter was submerged in nine (9) feet of water to add to the existing conditions. The rotor wash of the recovery ship CH-47 Chinook, 147th Trans Co, Vung Tau, created an almost impossible situation for those in the water. After rigging was accomplished they returned to shore to help with recovery of armament and the remains of the helicopter, armament and the pilot, who was still strapped in the pilot seat, Major Norman Lee Dupree. Major Dupree's remains were airlifted to the Hospital located at Vung Tau Airfield. Disregarding their own safety in shark infested waters and the enemy, Viet Cong and NVA along the coastline, this resulted in the recovery of one United States Army Aviator and the armament of the helicopter and a very badly damaged helicopter, that could possibly be used again for combat situations. Had this crew not been as skilled physically to withstand the adversities encountered in their desire to complete the mission, the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army would have, at low tide that night, doubtlessly taken the weapons and the US Soldier/Aviator from the helicopter. Note: I reviewing the statistics of Major Dupree, it indicated that the cause of death was not combat related. I will bear witness that Major Dupree should have been awarded the Silver Star for bravery for actions of avoiding capture of both himself and the fighting machine he was piloting. The aircraft had been severly damaged by machine gun fire and before he would allow the enemy to capture either himself or his armed helicopter, he chose to crash at sea, knowing the enemy did not have the means to recover the aircraft or his remains. DEVON L. NOONER CW4 RETIRED USA at NoonDev@aol.com
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