Pacific Stars and Stripes information
for HMH-463

For date 680116

HMH-463 was a US Marine Corps unit
Primary service involved, US Marine Corps
Thua Thien Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Phu Bai
Description: The following is an edited version of an article titled "Fog Foils Copter Rescue Teams." Quang Tri (AP) - Marine rescue teams were frustrated by bad weather again Sunday in their efforts to reach a downed helicopter with 41 men aboard on a hazardous hill 15 miles southwest of Quang Tri. The helicopter, a CH53, crashed into the 3,300 foot hill last Monday while flying from Dong Ha to the Marine Base at Da Nang. If there are no survivors, it would be the worst helicopter crash on record. Marine spokesmen said observers flying over the site of the crash just beneath a ridge line in extremely heavy jungle, reported the craft appeared to have burned upon impact. No sign of life was reported. The wreckage was first spotted by an aerial observation plane during a short break in the weather Wednesday. Since then rescue operations have been thwarted by heavy, low hanging clouds and dense ground fog. Marine spokesmen said. The first rescue teams to penetrate the weather will have to be lowered into the site by lines from hovering helicopters because of the thick jungle, the spokesmen reported. Engineers in the crews then will attempt to clear the underbrush and trees with dynamite for landing sites. The CH53 is the largest helicopter the Marine Corps has in South Vietnam. The 92 foot long craft is capable of carrying up to 50 men and can haul 16,000 pounds of equipment using slung under its belly. The 36 men and five crew members aboard at the time of the crash are considered a normal load, a CH53 pilot said.

The source for this information was 6801pss.avn supplied by Les Hines

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Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021