unit history information
for 57 AHC
FOB II

For date 680219


57 AHC was a US Army unit
FOB II was a US Army unit
Primary service involved, US Army
Incident reference: 68021942.KIA This information is available on CD-ROM.
Kontum Province, II Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Kontum
Description: The 57th Assault Helicopter Company unit history states that as a result of all the flying and deferred maintenance caused by Tet, the daily requirement for the FOB mission of 11 slicks and 6 guns was cut in half. The operation continued on a limited basis through the third week of Feb when it went back into full swing. The 57th's first combat aviation casualty occurred on the 19th. A 10 man FOB II LRRP was surrounded and called from extraction. Tac Air bombed and strafed the area before the slicks went in for the pick up. The first slick extracted half the team. The second ship, piloted by LT Richard Griffith and WO John Cook, followed and picked up the remaining 5. As they started out of the LZ they came under intense hostile fire. The ship burst into flames and plummeted to the ground. At this time the chase ship, piloted by WO John Herbold, descended into the area and was able to pick up LT Griffith, WO Cook, the crew chief and one member of the LRRP team, SGT Zabitosky. The remainder of the patrol and the gunner perished in the fire. WO Cook died two days later of the burns he had suffered in the fire. WO Herbold was later awarded the DFC for his heroism. Editor's Note: The Vietnam Era document spelled WO Cook's name as Cooke. It also indicates that the chase ship was able to extract the CE from the downed ship but the bodies of both the CE, SP4 Dye, and the gunner, SP4 Griffith, along with the LRRP team leader, SSG Glover, were not recovered. The chase ship carried an SF medic named Luke Nance who helped SGT Zabitosky get the two pilots to the chase ship. Luke Nance was extracted on the chase ship.
Comments: SGT Zabitosky, Fred W.; CMH Award; WIA; 1LT Griffith, Richard; AC; WIA; WO1 COOK JOHN W; Pilot; KIAOF; SP4 DYE MELVIN CARNILLS; CE; KIACM; SP4 GRIFFITH ROBERT SMITH; G; KIACM; SSG GLOVER DOUGLAS J; SF Team Leader; KIANOTCM; WO1 Herbold, John; DFC Award; ;

The source for this information was 57 AHC Ann Sup 1968 by 1LT Walters, etc.


Additional information is available on CD-ROM.

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Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021