Pacific Stars and Stripes information
HMH-463 was a US Marine Corps unit
For date 680115
Primary service involved, US Marine Corps
Incident reference: 68010863.KIA This information is available on CD-ROM.
Thua Thien Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Phu Bai
Description: The following is an edited version of the headline story titled "Down Near Viet DMZ No Sign of Life in Copter Crash"
Saigon (AP) - Monsoon rains and dangerous down drafts blocked search parties Saturday from flying into rugged terrain in the far north of South Vietnam where a big CH53 helicopter crashed Monday with 41 Americans aboard. An Air Force rescue helicopter crew that defied the heavy weather Friday and hovered over the crash site for a few minutes reported no sign of life. The U.S. Command disclosed Saturday that the helicopter had crashed Monday. The wreckage was first spotted Friday. It declined to gave a detailed report because "additional information might endanger the lives of the survivors, if there are any." Communist guerrillas are known to operate in the area. Aboard the CH53 when it flew out of Dong Ha, 11 miles south of the Demilitarized Zone, Monday were 36 marines, including the five-man crew, three sailors, one soldier and one civilian employee of the U.S. Army's post exchange system. Marine officers said the hump-backed helicopter - largest troop carrying chopper in service in Vietnam - crashed into the almost vertical side of a mountain while heading toward Phu Bai, 49 miles south of Dong Ha. If all of the occupants were killed it would be the most disastrous helicopter crash of the war. About 1,250 Allied helicopters have been shot down, shelled or accidentally crashed in South Vietnam, but the U.S. Command did not have statistics available immediately on other heavy-casualty crashes.
The source for this information was 6801pss.avn & paper source documents supplied by Les Hines
Additional information is available on CD-ROM.
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