| 67 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | Incident Index | Table of Contents |
|1968 Annual Supplement|
|1 Jan 1968 - The
187th gets a maintenance stand down, What a way to
celebrate the new year, Everyone enjoyed the relaxation
with the exception of the Maintenance personnel of
2 Jan 1968 - The Rat Pack gunships killed six Viet Cong when they responded to a call for gunship cover in the early morning hours at Fire Support Base Burt twenty five miles northeast of Tay Ninh. The base bad been hit by an enemy mortar attack and a ground attack was underway when the Rat Pack arrived on the scene and disrupted the enemy assault by 2 NVA Regiments. This was the battle of Soui Cut.
5 Jan 1968 - The Blackhawks became involved in a fierce battle with a large NVA force while on short final to an LZ, thirty five mikes northwest of Tay Ninh. Two helicopters were shot down by the heavy enemy automatic weapons fire. One crew member, SP5 Kenneth Scruton was killed. The three remaining crew, Warrant Officer Mercer, Warrant Officer Jordan and SP4 Seitz were down in an enemy infested area for two hours before they were rescued. The only weapon among them was one .45 caliber pistol. The Blackhawks continued the combat assault missions into the hostile area and later that afternoon, they returned for extractions. Again they received heavy enemy resistance. The flight was mortared while shut down at a nearby fire support base. Throughout the day, ten crew members were wounded and eleven aircraft sustained damage from the ballistic assault.
6 Jan 1968 - The 187th gels a maintenance stand down in an effort to repair the heavily damaged aircraft from the previous day's action.
9 Jan 1968 - While inserting troops in an LZ thirty two miles northeast of Tay Ninh, the 187th received heavy enemy anti aircraft fire. One gunship was hit by a 50 caliber round and wounded the pilot Warrant Officer Thomas Eatmon. The flight of troop carrying helicopters received air bursts while executing low level approaches into the LZ.
17 Jan 1968 - Warrant Officer John T. Jordan earned his second Oak Leaf Cluster to The Purple Heart. He was wounded twice by enemy ground fire within eleven days during the month of January and once in October 1967. On the 17th he was wounded in the leg by a .30 caliber round while flying on a general support mission at 2400 feet. After checking with the medical attendants at Dau Tieng he remarked that it was only a scratch and continued to fly his mission.
5 Feb 1968 - Submitted by Bob "Frenchie" Gibeault - Tet was very hot and info is incomplete for Feb: At 1220 hrs, a Rat Pack fire team on RRF was scrambled to support a Tac-E by 2/12th Infantry. Capt. Henry 'Stinger 95' was heavily engaged along Highway 1, in the Hoc Mon district against elements of the 271st, 272nd Main Force regiments as well as the 4th Go Mon battalion. At approximately 1816 hrs 'Stinger 95' reported a Rat Pack gunship in trouble. The gunner was wounded in the elbow and the rocket pods on the gunners side had to be blown due to heavy damage and fire. The gunner was taken to the 25th Div field hospital, and a another rocket pod was secured at Cu Chi. Rat Pack fire teams returned to the area of engagement and elements of 2/12th were able to withdraw from the enemy encirclement. 187th SGT. Rogers reported to battalion that no gun ships were available for the next day due to heavy damage. Crew chief on Bob's (Frenchie's) ship was Bob Icard. AC and PP unknown.
16 Feb 1968 - Major Russell J. Folta became the commander of the 187th Assault Helicopter Company. The Blackhawks conducted a combat assault mission in an area Five miles north of Saigon. The flight encountered enemy automatic weapons fire and Lieutenant Henry L Wyatt II escaped serious injury when a round penetrated the floor and lodged in a book under his seat entitled "The Source". He wrote to the author, James Michener, about the incident. Within a week he received a letter from the author and an autographed copy of the novel. The Tay Ninh Base Camp was hit by an enemy rocket and mortar attack that night. Three helicopters were damaged by flying shrapnel. One crew member Sp4 Dennis J. Lulof was killed and eight other Blackhawks were wounded. The attack continued until 0400 in the morning .
l7 Feb 1968 - The 187th was
granted another maintenance stand down so that the
maintenance personnel could work on the damaged
helicopters. All other personnel spent the day filling
sand bags and digging deeper holes. Again that
night, the base camp was hit by a rocket and mortar
23 Mar 1968 - On this day an official ceremony was conducted to publicly announce the new name of the 187th Assault Helicopter Company. From this day on the unit will be the "Crusaders". Television and radio personnel covered the event and the 25th Infantry Division Band added to the pomp and circumstance. The 187th served as a Ready Reaction Force and the ceremony was interrupted when the flight received an urgent call to respond immediately to an assault mission near Phuoc Vinh, RVN. The "Crusaders" scrambled to their helicopters and departed for the mission which continued through the hours of darkness. The ceremony was never finished
27 Mar 1968 - The Crusaders flew combat Assaults around the Duc Hoa Area. They flew 304 sorties, carried 525 passengers and 5 tons of cargo, they did not encounter any enemy fire.
1 Apr 1968 - The Crusaders, working with the 199th Light, Inf. Brigade, flew 256 sorties and carried 302 passengers. The flight encountered light semi automatic fire from grid XT 300290. The Rat Pack was credited with 4 kills by actual body count and 1 estimated, with 9 structures and 7 sampans destroyed around the AP Bao area.
6 Apr 1968 - The Crusaders working with the 199th Lt. Inf. Bdg. had another long day, they flew 406 sorties, carried 669 passengers and 4 tons of cargo. The flight logged 119.1 hours.
11 Apr 1968 - The Crusaders had another long but fulfilling day. They worked with the 5th Ranger Group, 101st ABN, with II Field Forces as alt. The Crusaders flew 539 sorties, carried 531 passengers and 10 tons of cargo, logging 114.1 hours. The flight encountered heavy small arms fire but did not receive any hits. The Rat Pack was credited with 3 kills by actual count and 2 sampans destroyed.
12 Apr 1968 - A sad day for the Crusaders. While flying support for 3rd BDE. 25th Inf. Div., a Rat Pack gun ship received 6 to 7 .51 cal hits to the rear of the engine compartment. The ship went down and resulting in 3 KIA's and 1 WIA.
- WO1 Stephen John Eckle - KIA
29 Apr 1968 - The Crusaders worked again with the 3rd BDE 25th Inf. Div. in the Michelin Rubber Plantation east of Dau Tieng. The flight received light small arms fire resulting in 1 WIA who was medevaced to Long Binh. The flight flew 293 sorties, carrying 683 passengers.
1 May 1968 - The Crusaders supporting the 1 BDE 25th Inf. Div. flew 320 sorties, carried 617 passengers and logged 81.4 hours. The flight received one hit from small arms fire at XS 553937, West of Saigon at the horse shoe.
8 Apr 1968 - The Crusaders again supported the 1st BDE 25th Inf. Div. flying 349 sorties, carrying 429 passengers. The flight received 3 hits from light small arms fire in the Ap Ria between Trang Bang and Trung Lap, grid XT 542213.
11 May 1968 - The Crusaders flew 396 sorties, carried 744 passengers, logged 112.7 hours while supporting the 3rd BDE 25th Inf. Div. The flight received small arms fire from the Michelin Rubber Plantation grid XT 542539, resulting in 1 hit on a UH-1 aircraft.
14 May 1968 The Crusaders
supporting 1 BDE 25th Inf. Div and 3 BDE 25th Inf. Div.
Flew 275 sorters carried 814 passengers and logged 102.3
Although hit hard, the Crusaders lived up to their reputation and continued to fly support for the ground unit until late that night when the second tragedy struck.
The Crusader flare ship, UH-1H #65-09620 went down in flames killing all five people on board. When the flight finally came home, there were only five ships left in it.
Killed in action this day were:
James Gregory Brady
67 | 69
| 70 | 71
| 72 |
| Incident Index | Table of Contents | Top of Page |
All photographs or written matter contained within this site are the property of the individuals who graciously submitted them for your pleasure. No picture or writing contained within this site may be reproduced in whole or in part for any reasons without the express permission of its owner.
© 1997 2001 WMH