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Departed 02/17/1970

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Helicopter UH-1H 67-17175

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 67-17175
The Army purchased this helicopter 0168
Total flight hours at this point: 00001301
Date: 02/17/70
Incident number: 700217101ACD Accident case number: 700217101 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: B/123 AVN 23 INF
The station for this helicopter was Chu Lai in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 11 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 7
costing 750945
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Army Aviation Safety Center database. Also: OPERA (Operations Report. )
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
P WO1 BATEMAN JAMES TERENCE KIA
P 1LT RICHARDSON ARLEN DEL KIA
CE SP4 DRYE JACK LEE KIA
G SP4 MITCHELL JOHN LOUIS KIA
PX SP4 WILLIAMS THEODORE ALFORD KIA

Passengers:
SP4 BROWN KARL EUGENE, AR, PX, KIA; SP4 JAMES SAMUEL JR, AR, PX, KIA; CPL MITCHELL GEORGE GROVER, AR, PX, KIA; SP4 FREASIER THOMAS HALL, AR, PX, KIA; CPL MEANS RONALD LEE, AR, PX, KIA; SFC GORDON JAMES BERNARD L JR, AR, PX, KIA;

Accident Summary:

THE UH-1H AIRCRAFT, PILOTED BY 1LT RICHARDSON AND COMMANDED BY WO BATEMAN, WAS PART OF A RECONNAISSANCE TEAM FROM B COMPANY, 123D AVIATION BATTALION (COMBAT) THAT HAD BEEN ASSIGNED TO "VR" (VISUALLY RECON) THE GENERAL AREA SOUTH OF HILL 4-11 AND WEST OF QUANG NGAI (SEE TAB 10). THE TEAM CONSISTED OE TWO COBRAS, THE NUMBER ONE COBRA CONTAINING THE TEAM LEAD, A LIGHT OBSERVATION HELICOPTER (LOH), AND THE UH-1H "SLICK". THE PURPOSE OF THE SLICK WAS TO ORBIT ABOVE THE LOH AND THE COBRAS WITH SEVEN INFANTRY MEN ON BOARD, READY TO INSERT THE INFANTRY IF A SUITABLE OBJECTIVE WAS FOUND BY THE RECON TEAM. IT'S NORMAL CRUISING ALTITUDE WOULD BE 1500 FEET AGL. AT THE BEGINNING OF THE DAY THE UH-1H SLICK HAD DEPARTED CHU LAI TO JOIN THE REST OF THE TEAM AT QUANG NGAI AIRFIELD. THE FIRST FLIGHT LASTED 40 MINUTES. THE TEAM WAS BRIEFED, REFUELED AND DEPARTED QUANG NGAI AT 1030 HRS TO BEGIN THE VR. APPROXIMATELY HALFWAY THROUGH THE MISSION THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER CALLED THE TEAM LEAD AND REPORTED A LOSS OF TRANSMISSION OIL PRESSURE AND STATED HIS INTENT TO RETURN TO QUANG NGAI. HE RECEIVED AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FROM THE TEAM LEAD. THE SLICK WAS THEN AT APPROXIMATE COORDINATES BS5463 AND PROCEEDED IN A GENERAL HEADING OF NORTHEAST, TOWARD QUANG NGAI. HIS FLIGHT PATH PROBABLY CURVED TO AVOID VARIOUS HILL MASSES, WHOSE TOPS WERE OBSCURED ON THAT DAY (SEE TAB 3). AT APPROXIMATE COORDINATES BS 5666 THE SLICK WAS OBSERVED BY A FLIGHT OF HELICOPTERS FROM THE 174TH AVIATION COMPANY, WHO AT THE TIME WERE INVOLVED IN A COMBAT ASSAULT IN THAT AREA. THE FLIGHT WAS CLOSE ENOUGH TO THE SLICK TO IDENTIFY THE AIRCRAFT AS NOT BEING A 174TH AIRCRAFT BY VIRTUE OF DIFFERENT COLOR CODING ON THE TAIL BOOM. THE SLICK WAS HEADED GENERALLY NORTH, THE SAME DIRECTION AS THE 174TH FLIGHT, AND AT THE SAME ALTITUDE-1500 FEET MSL. THE SLICK WAS OBSERVED IN STRAIGHT AND LEVEL FLIGHT FOR APPROXIMATELY ONE MINUTE. APPROXIMATELY TWO MINUTES HAD ELAPSED FROM THE TIME THE SLICK FIRST REPORTED THE LOSS OF TRANSMISSION OIL TO TEAM LEAD UNTIL HIS SECOND CALL OF DISTRESS, DURING WHICH HE TRANSMITTED ALMOST CONTINUOUSLY, NEARING IMPACT WITH THE GROUND. THE SLICK WAS OBSERVED TO ENTER A GRADUAL RIGHT TURN, BEGIN WITH A DESCENT, AND INCREASE BOTH THE RATE OF TURN AND THE RATE OF DESCENT. HALFWAY THROUGH THE TURN, THE SLICK ENTERED A SPIN, DURING WHICH THE MAIN ROTOR BLADES WERE OBSERVED TO SLOW DOWN. AT AN ESTIMATED ALTITUDE OF FROM 400 FEET TO 700 FEET AGL, THE ROTOR BLADES STOPPED PERPENDICULAR TO THE FUSELAGE, AND THE SLICK ENTERED A FLAT SPIN, IMPACTING SLIGHTLY NOSE LOW AND IN A SLIGHT LEFT BANK. THE IMPACT FLATTENED THE HELICOPTER AND DROVE PARTS OF IT INTO THE GROUND. A FUEL SPRAY ERUPTED, AND IGNITED MOST OF THE WRECKAGE, TO INCLUDE MUNITIONS THAT WERE IN THE SLICK. AN ATTEMPT WAS MADE BY TWO OF THE 174TH AIRCRAFT TO LAND TROOPS CLOSE ENOUGH TO THE WRECKAGE TO MAKE A RESCUE ATTEMPT, BUT EXPLODING AMMO MADE ANY SORT OF RESCUE IMPOSSIBLE. THE AIRCRAFT IMPACTED ALMOST VERTICALLY, WITH VERY LITTLE DISTRIBUTION OF WRECKAGE (SEE TAB 9). TIME OF IMPACT WAS 1110 HRS, OBTAINED FROM SEVERAL VICTIMS WATCHES.\\

This record was last updated on 09/20/98

The following is crew member information for this incident:

Name: WO1 James Terence Bateman
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 02/17/70 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 22.5
Date of Birth: 08/23/47
Home City: Portland, OR
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: B/123 AVN 23 INF
Major organization: Americal Division
Flight class: 69-11
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 13W-021
Short Summary: Transmission seizure in Quang Nghai area. All 11 on board killed. Co-pilot Arlen Richardson. Overrulled a red X. Aircraft destroyed.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17175
Call sign: Warlord
SSN: 541528400
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 100B = Utility/Observation Helicopter Pilot
Primary cause: A/C Accident
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: weapons
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: aircraft commander
Started Tour: 06/17/69
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
Length of service: 02
Location: Quang Ngai Province I Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Roman Catholic
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: warrant officer
This record was last updated on 07/29/95

Name: SP4 Karl Eugene Brown
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 02/17/70 while performing the duty of Passenger.
Age at death: 20.1
Date of Birth: 01/15/50
Home City: New York, NY
Service: regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: B/123 AVN 23 INF
Major organization: Americal Division
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 13W-022
Short Summary: Transmission failure killing all 11 on board.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17175
SSN: 072406675
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 11B20 = Infantryman
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: passenger
Started Tour: 08/24/69
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - non-aircrew
Length of service: 01
Location: Quang Ngai Province I Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Negro
Relgion: Baptist - other groups
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 07/29/95

Name: SP4 Jack Lee Drye
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 02/17/70 while performing the duty of Crew Chief.
Age at death: 21.5
Date of Birth: 09/02/48
Home City: Phoenix, AZ
Service: regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: B/123 AVN 23 INF
Major organization: Americal Division
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 13W-022
Short Summary: Transmission seizure in Quang Nghai area killing all 11 on board.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17175
SSN: 526786097
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 67N20 = UH-1 Helicopter Repairer
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: crew chief
Started Tour: 03/01/69
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
Location: Quang Ngai Province I Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Baptist - other groups
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 07/24/94

Name: SP4 Thomas Hall Freasier
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 02/17/70 while performing the duty of Passenger.
Age at death: 21.6
Date of Birth: 07/02/48
Home City: Fresno, TX
Service: component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 23 INF
Major organization: Americal Division
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 13W-023
Short Summary: Transmission failure killing all 11 on board.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17175
SSN: 467801369
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 11B20 = Infantryman
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: passenger
Started Tour: 07/30/69
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - non-aircrew
Location: Quang Ngai Province I Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Baptist - other groups
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 07/29/95

Name: SFC James Bernard Gordon L
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 02/17/70 while performing the duty of Passenger.
Age at death: 28.6
Date of Birth: 07/02/41
Home City: Washington, DC
Service: regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 23 INF
Major organization: Americal Division
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 13W-023
Short Summary: Transmission failure killing all 11 on board.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17175
SSN: 578528283
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 11B40 = Infantryman
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: passenger
Started Tour: 02/22/69
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - non-aircrew
Length of service: 10
Location: Quang Ngai Province I Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Roman Catholic
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 07/29/95

Name: SP4 Samuel James, Jr.
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 02/17/70 while performing the duty of Passenger.
Age at death: 22.3
Date of Birth: 11/06/47
Home City: New York, NY
Service: component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 23 INF
Major organization: Americal Division
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 13W-022
Short Summary: Transmission failure killing all 11 on board.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17175
SSN: 088363460
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 11B20 = Infantryman
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: passenger
Started Tour: 07/05/69
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - non-aircrew
Length of service: 01
Location: Quang Ngai Province I Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Negro
Relgion: Baptist - other groups
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 07/29/95

Name: CPL Ronald Lee Means (posthumously promoted)
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 02/17/70 while performing the duty of Passenger.
Age at death: 19.0
Date of Birth: 02/14/51
Home City: Raisin, CA
Service: regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 23 INF
Major organization: Americal Division
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 13W-024
Short Summary: Transmission failure killing all 11 on board.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17175
SSN: 556882266
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 45J20 = Aircraft Armament Repairman
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: passenger
Started Tour: 09/11/69
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - non-aircrew
Location: Quang Ngai Province I Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Protestant - no denominational preference
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 07/29/95

Name: CPL George Grover Mitchell (posthumously promoted)
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 02/17/70 while performing the duty of Passenger.
Age at death: 19.3
Date of Birth: 10/31/50
Home City: Dallas, TX
Service: component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 23 INF
Major organization: Americal Division
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 13W-024
Short Summary: Transmission failure killing all 11 on board.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17175
SSN: 458820213
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 11B10 = Infantryman
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: passenger
Started Tour: 06/15/69
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - non-aircrew
Length of service: 01
Location: Quang Ngai Province I Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Negro
Relgion: Baptist - other groups
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 07/29/95

Name: SP4 John Louis Mitchell
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 02/17/70 while performing the duty of Gunner.
Age at death: 26.7
Date of Birth: 05/23/43
Home City: Cincinnati, OH
Service: regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: B/123 AVN 23 INF
Major organization: Americal Division
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 13W-024
Short Summary: Transmission seizure in Quang Nghai area killing all 11 on board.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17175
SSN: 268342123
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 67A1F = Aircraft Maintenance Apprentice
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: door gunner
Started Tour: 08/03/69
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
Location: Quang Ngai Province I Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Negro
Relgion: Methodist (Evangelical United Brethren)
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 07/28/94

Name: 1LT Arlen Del Richardson
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 02/17/70 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 27.0
Date of Birth: 02/06/43
Home City: Lawrence, KS
Service: IN branch of the National Guard component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: B/123 AVN 23 INF
Major organization: Americal Division
Flight class: 69-36
Service: IN branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 13W-025
Short Summary: Transmission seizure in Quang Nghai area killing all 11 on board. Pilot James Terence Bateman. Aircraft destroyed.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17175
Call sign: Warlord
SSN: 511440662
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 1981 = 19 Rotary Wing Aviator (Unit Commander)
Primary cause: Transmission
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: pilot
Started Tour: 01/08/70
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - pilot
Length of service: 04
Location: Quang Ngai Province I Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Protestant - no denominational preference
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: officer
This record was last updated on 07/29/95

Name: SP4 Theodore Alford Williams
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 02/17/70 while performing the duty of Passenger.
Age at death: 20.8
Date of Birth: 04/20/49
Home City: Chicago, IL
Service: component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: B/123 AVN 23 INF
Major organization: Americal Division
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 13W-025
Short Summary: Transmission seizure in Quang Nghai area killing all 11 on board.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17175
SSN: 349440453
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 67Y20 = AH-1 Attack Helicopter Repairer
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: passenger
Started Tour: 01/26/70
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - non-aircrew
Location: Quang Ngai Province I Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Negro
Relgion: Baptist - other groups
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 07/29/95