Helicopter UH-1H 68-16520

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-16520
The Army purchased this helicopter 1269
Total flight hours at this point: 00000154
Date: 03/18/1970
Accident case number: 700318091
Unit: D/1/1 CAV
The station for this helicopter was Chu Lai in
Number killed in accident = 0 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 0
costing 6504
Source(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Army Aviation Safety Center database.

Crew Members:

Accident Summary:


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-16520
The Army purchased this helicopter 1269
Total flight hours at this point: 00000263
Date: 04/17/1970
Unit: D/1/1 CAV
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was UNK
This was a Recon mission for Armed Recon , Infra-red.
While in Scout Area this helicopter was at Level Flight at 2000 feet and 080 knots.
South Vietnam
Helicopter took 1 hits from:
Small Arms/Automatic Weapons; Gun launched non-explosive ballistic projectiles less than 20 mm in size. (5.6MM)
The helicopter was hit in the Left Side
Systems damaged were: UNK
The helicopter Continued Flight.
The aircraft continued and accomplished all mission objectives.
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center Helicopter database. Also: BDART, 01891 (Battle Damage Assessment and Reporting Team Report. )

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-16520
The Army purchased this helicopter 1269
Total flight hours at this point: 00000564
Date: 08/10/1970 MIA-POW file reference number: 1655
Incident number: 70081010.KIA
Unit: D/1/1 CAV
UTM grid coordinates: YC700000
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. Also: 1655 ()
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:

REFNO Synopsis:
CROWLEY, JOHN EDWARD Name: John Edward Crowley Rank/Branch: E4/US Army Unit: Troop D, 1st Squadron, 1st Cavalry, 23rd Infantry Division (Americal) Date of Birth: 25 September 1949 (Sodus NY) Home City of Record: Williamson NY Date of Loss: 10 August 1970 Country of Loss: Laos Loss Coordinates: 152149N 1073055E (YC700000) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 3 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1H Other Personnel in Incident: CW2 William E. Boyle; WO Gary B. Smith; SP4 Jesus O. Alvarez (all rescued); passengers from MACV-SOG team (unnamed - rescued) REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: WO Gary B. Smith, pilot; William E. Boyle, aircraft commander; SP4 John E. Crowley, crew chief, SP4 Jesus O. Alvarez, door gunner; and an unspecified number of passengers were in a UH1H helicopter (tail #68-16520) on a classified "Prairie Fire" operation in the lower panhandle area of Laos. "Prairie Fire" teams performed deep penetration missions of strategic reconnaissance and interdiction which were also called, depending on the time fram, "Shining Brass" missions. The missions operated under MACV-SOG (Military Assistance Command, Vietnam Studies and Observation Group). MACV-SOGG was a joint service high command unconventional warfare task force engaged in highly classified operations throughout Southeast Asia. The 5th Special Forces channeled personnel into MACV-SOG (although it was not a Special Forces group) through Special Operations Augmentation (SOA), which provided their "cover" while under secret orders to MACV-SOG. When the helicopter was about 25 feet above the ground, it suddenly lost power and crashed. No reason for the crash could be determined. Crowley and one passenger were trapped inside the aircraft. A medic from another helicopter entered the wreckage and managed to free the passenger, but noticed that Crowley was firmly wedged between the aircraft and the ground. After two or three minutes of effort, the medic gave up trying to free him. The medic determined that Crowley was dead, as there was no pulse, and he could get no response from him. All personnel were extracted and another rescue team was inserted just before dark, but was unable to get back to the wrecked aircraft because of enemy activity. The second team was extracted the next day, and no further efforts were made to go back to the crash site. Crowley was flying in support of an exceedingly dangerous mission. For every insertion like the one of August 10, 1970 that was detected and stopped, dozens of other commando teams safely slipped past NVA lines to strike a wide range of targets and collect vital information. The number of MACV-SOG missions conducted with Special Forces reconnaissance teams into Laos and Cambodia was 452 in 1969. It was the most sustained American campaign of raiding, sabotage and intelligence-gathering waged on foreign soil in U.S. military history. MACV-SOG's teams earned a global reputation as one of the most combat effective deep-penetration forces ever raised.

This record was last updated on 05/25/1998

The following is crew member information for this incident:

Name: SP4 John Edward Crowley
Status: Remains were returned on 1998 from an incident on 08/10/1970 while performing the duty of Crew Chief.
Age at death: 20.9
Date of Birth: 09/25/1949
Home City: Williamson, NY
Service: regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: D/1/1 CAV
Major organization: 1st Cavalry Division
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 08W-099
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 68-16520
SSN: 093389897
Country: Laos
MOS: 67N20 = UH-1 Helicopter Repairer
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: vehicular accident
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: crew chief
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 12/28/1969
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
The initial status of this person was: missing in action - bonified
Length of service: *
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - died while missing
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Presbyterian
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 04/26/2002

The following is Goldbook information on US Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-16520
It is provided here as an ESTIMATE of the history of this helicopter and is not intended to be the final authority.
This helicopter was purchased by the US Army in 1269.
Please provide any additional information on this helicopter to the VHPA.

DATE  FLT HRS    UIC      UNIT          AREA          POST          COUNTRY
196912   0    0 W0Y6AA OS TO CONUS      ITR CONUS                   AVCOMITR
197001   0    0 W0Y6AA OS TO CONUS      ITR CONUS                   AVCOMITR
197002  46   46 WACYD0 D 111 CV AMD     VIETNAM                     RVN     
197003 108  154 WACYD0 D 1-1 CAV AMD    VIETNAM                     RVN     
197004 109  263 WACYD0 D 1-1 CAV AMD    VIETNAM                     RVN     
197005  83  346 WACYD0 D 1-1 CAV AMD    VIETNAM                     RVN     
197006 112  458 WACYD0 D 1-1 CAV AMD    VIETNAM                     RVN     
197007 106  564 WACYD0 D 1-1 CAV AMD    VIETNAM                     RVN     

Please send additions or corrections to:

Gary Roush

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Printed from databases on: 05/31/2005

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