Unit Operations
1970

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1970 Annual Supplement

HISTORY OF THE 187TH ASSAULT HELICOPTER COMPANY

11TH COMBAT AVIATION BATTALION

1ST AVIATION BRIGADE

1 JANUARY 1970 - 31 DECEMBER 1970

Prepared by: Warrant Officer Dale B. Edwards

Approved by: Joe D. Carothers, MAJOR. INFANTRY

TAY NINH, REPUBLIC OF VIETNAM APO 96289

The year 1970 began with the "Crusaders" still supporting the 25th Infantry Division, and other units of the III Corps area. Then during the middle of the year quite a change took place. The "Crusaders" found themselves flying into Cambodia. 24 April 1970 found the "Crusader" ships involved in Cambodia. The 187th air lifted units of three divisions of ARVN into Cambodia over the next several days. On 1 May 1970, "Crusader" ships were in Cambodia, supporting American and ARVN ground troops. This was the start of the "OFFICIAL" invasion of Cambodia in search of COSVN. The 187th was the first assault helicopter company in the 1st Aviation Battalion to go into Cambodia. While in Cambodia, the "Crusaders" had an impressive record of approximately 6000 hours flown. Throughout the time in Cambodia, the "Crusaders" did not have one casualty or injury due to combat. At the end of the Cambodia campaign, the "Crusaders" were proud of their record. During the months after Cambodia, due to the U. S. troop withdrawals, the 187th has kept its original home. On 7 December 1970, the 187th was reassigned to the 11th Combat Aviation Battalion, "Red Dog". The "Crusaders" of the 187th Assault Helicopter Company still remain at Tay Ninh at the base of the "Black Virgin Mountain", and will continue on to support the units of the III Corps operational area.

JANUARY - 70 Go Top

1 Jan 70 - Aircraft #868 (AH-1G) developed a hydraulic failure and made a running landing on Tay Ninh West active. Aircraft was landed without further damage.

3 Jan 70 - Aircraft #836 (AH-1G) made a precautionary landing to Tay Ninh East airfield when loss of transmission oil pressure was noted. Aircraft landed without further damage.

8 Jan 70 - Aircraft #552 (UH-1H) received intense automatic weapons fire while single ship in vicinity of XT 2860. Aircraft received one hit, and continued the mission.

10 Jan 70 - Aircraft #767 (UH-1H) received light automatic weapons fire while single ship in vicinity of XT 3635. Aircraft received five hits, continued the mission.

12 Jan 70 - UH-1H Unknown # - short shaft problems. Maintenance flew to the field and fixed the problem. Mission aborted.

24 Jan 70 - Aircraft #444 (UH-1H) received small arms fire vicinity XT 9748. Aircraft received one hit, Schluter wounded, continued the mission. (Schluter and Cumpston pilots.)

26 Jan 70 - Aircraft #305 (UH-1H) received light small arms fire while in the flight in vicinity of XT 0256. Aircraft received one hit through the vertical fin and continued the mission. Tail boom replaced. (Stratton and Cumpston pilots.)

29 Jan 70 - UH-1H 67-17767 - entire flight took 12.7mm ground fire, one a/c hit (round through roof above crew chief's position), mission continued (Pojanowski and A/C CWO Dave Bieshline pilots.  Thomas E. Stino Crew Chief)

Details of incident by Tom Stino, crew chief:
On the 29 Jan 70 incident I submit the following:   I was the crew chief, the aircraft was 67-17767 and it was a .51 round that came up between my legs, through toe, open (non existing) door and exited through the cabin roof just a 'c' hair from my helmet.   The A/C was CWO Dave Bieshline and the rotor head was not hit. No 12.7mm bricks were fired that day.  Thanks Mike for the data as it has answered all of my lingering questions as to what happened after I left. More friends were lost, but now I know and this should help me to deal more effectively with my combat demons.
By the way, I was the crew chief of 767 and I quit flying 1 day before those guys bought it. I was scheduled to be on that flight that day.

Tom Stino

FEBRUARY- 70 Top

22 Feb 70 - Night Hawk #778 received intense automatic weapons fire vicinity XT 2226 while on a mission. Aircraft received two hits from 51 caliber, and mini gun. The mission was completed, and there were no injuries.

24 Feb 70 - UH-1H Unknown # - blade strike in LZ, mission aborted (Miliziano and ? pilots)

26 Feb 70 - Aircraft #383 (UH-1H) had engine failure on takeoff from LZ. Aircraft landed with no further damage to the aircraft or the crew.

28 Feb 70 - Aircraft # 68-15552 (UH-1H) - tail boom struck stump in grassy LZ, mission aborted at base camp, tail boom replaced (Stratton and Champion pilots)

28 Feb 70 - UH-1H 66-00997 - on final to PZ, ARVN soldier ran through tail rotor while a/c was still at hover. ARVN killed, tail rotor and gear box separated, a/c rolled over sweeping remaining ARVN off dike. One killed, 8 injured (7 ARVN, 1 US (Stratton). A/C destroyed (Stratton & Champion pilots)

MARCH- 1970 Go Top

12 Mar 70 - Aircraft #444 landed near land mine at XT 3495. No hits were received, and the mission was completed.

Aircraft #192 - (Account by SP5 Bruce Anderson)  I was in AC # 192 when the down wash from the main rotor set off a tilt rod mine just behind the tail rotor.  We were trail in a flight of 4.  At least one grunt was hit in the legs.  The ship had about 5000 holes in it.  In the confusion (all cockpit lights were green,) the pilot Cpt Hargroves pulled with the flight but was unable to stay airborne due to damage to the tail boom.  Fuel was pouring out of huge holes in the fuel tank.  Cpt. Hargroves, the pilot, myself and our gunner John Smith ended up in a field by ourselves.   There were woods all around us.  A Snake circled above us for cover.  We were there for quite a while.  Eventually, troops arrived so a recovery team could take the ship home.  We stayed at a fire support base till the end of the day when we were picked up and flown home to Tay Ninh.  The ship was toast and never flew again.

14 Mar 70 - Aircraft #444 while single ship on takeoff from confined area, experienced a possible transmission seizure at 75 feet. Aircraft landed hard, and rolled on it's side. No injuries were sustained. Scott and ? pilots.

APRIL- 1970 Go Top

10 APR 70 - Aircraft #762 (UH-1H) received intense automatic weapons fire while single ship in the vicinity of WT 9671. Aircraft received five hits, and was unable to complete the mission.

21 APR 70 - Aircraft #411 (UH-1H) had an engine failure at an altitude of 3 feet and 20 knots forward airspeed in POL at Tay Ninh.  Pilot landed the aircraft without further damage.

27 APR 70 - (The following was submitted as a first person account since the official records do not record this incident) 

Regarding my incident( Charlie, most likely would call it an Intentional) took place on 27 April 70 @ about 0530.  I was pre-flighting an aircraft for the good old early morning Ash @ Trash when according to Richard Daniel , who was pulling Officer of the Guard, Charlie decided to take a pot shot, as in One 122 rocket.  When it hit I was on top checking the rotor head.  At this point things get real confused.  I remember flying through the air and landing real hard.  I then only remember having my clothes cut off and  feeling  Some amount of discomfort.  Later that day I was transferred to Cu Chi, then to Long Bien on later to Camp Drake, Japan for about 6 weeks.  After 3 more operations I was shipped back to the world, a few more times on the table and  medically retired in 1971.  Mike, I was very lucky and try to remember that every day.  I know it is hard to believe, but I have no complaints as to the care Uncle Sam has provided me.  I just regret not getting to fly more and not getting any of my gear back.  That's the way it was.
Take care,   Jeff Pepper (187th AHC for a while) 

MAY- 1970 Go Top

6 May 70 - Two aircraft received moderate small arms and automatic weapons fire in the vicinity of WT 9675. The aircraft took three hits between them, but continued the mission.

8 May 70 - While working single ship psyops mission, in the vicinity of WT 7769, a UH-1H received intense automatic weapons fire taking eight hits. The mission was completed. (Cornelius and ? pilots.)

10 May 70 - Aircraft #762 (UH-1H) while working single ship over Cambodia/VN border, received intense automatic weapons fire in the vicinity of WT 9671.  The aircraft received five hits in the engine oil return line, starter generator cooler line, two in engine deck, synchronous elevator, left fuselage, VHF receiver/transmitter, and left cargo door.  Forced to land (in VN across the border), mission completed after maintenance came to down site and repaired damage. (Stratton and ? pilots)

11 May 70 - Aircraft #383 (UH-1H) while working single ship received moderate automatic weapons fire in the vicinity of WT 9365.  The aircraft received five hits, and completed the mission.

14 May 70 - A bad day for the "Crusaders". Aircraft #767 (UH-1H) was on single ship mission in Cambodia.   During a storm the ship crashed killing all four of the crew, and three passengers.

Killed in this incident were:

CPT Thomas John Larkin II
- Aircraft Commander
WO1 Raymond Henry Krug Jr. - Pilot
SP4 Kent Childs Taylor
- Gunner  
PFC Charles Douglas Blair
- Crew Chief


Earlier in the day aircraft #857 (UH-1H) experienced an engine failure returning from a PZ and landed near FSB Wood North.  No one was injured although the aircraft was damaged. (Pilots: Scudder and ? )

26 May 70 - Aircraft #411 while single ship received moderate automatic weapons fire in the vicinity of XT 4087.  The aircraft received two hits, and the mission was completed.

27 May 70 - Three aircraft in the flight received moderate automatic weapons fire in the vicinity of XT 2298.  Each aircraft received one hit, and all three missions were completed.

JUNE- 1970 Go Top

2 Jun 70 - Aircraft #519, and #363 (UH-1H) received one hit each when the troops they were carrying accidentally fired their M-16's into the rotor blades.  Both aircraft completed their missions without further incident.

3 Jun 70 - Aircraft #519 (UH-1H) received two hits from 51 caliber in the vicinity of XU 3114.  Aircraft was unable to complete the mission. Wilson and ? pilots.

Aircraft #305 (UH-1H) was shot at by an RPG while on the ground.   No hits to aircraft were sustained but pilot was struck in leg by shrapnel.   The mission was completed.

6 Jun 70 - Aircraft #193 (UH-1H) received light small arms fire in the vicinity of XT 3491. The aircraft took one hit and was unable to complete the mission.  While shut down inspecting the damage at XT 4194, aircraft #193 was shot at with an RPG, took one hit with no injuries.

7 Jun 70 - Two aircraft (UH-1H) received intense automatic weapons fire in the vicinity of LZ Red, took three hits between them, and both were unable to continue the mission.

(additional info on above incident) UH-1H 68-15467 - a/c took hits over Cambodia supporting 25th Inf Div. Bullets struck the tail boom and tail rotor drive shaft.   Mission aborted until maintenance came to the field (Cambodia) and repaired the aircraft (Pilots: Mike Stratton and ? )

9 Jun 70 - Aircraft #375 (UH-1H) received intense automatic weapons fire, took three hits, and was unable to continue the mission. (Pilots: John Campos and ? .)

Aircraft #787 (UH-1H) was on the ground when mortar hit near the aircraft.  Aircraft took one hit, and completed the mission.

10 Jun 70 - Aircraft #011 (UH-1H) received light small arms fire in the vicinity of XT 5948. No hits were sustained and the mission was continued.

13 Jun 70 - Aircraft #552 (UH-1H) while in flight took one hit from automatic weapons fire in the vicinity of XU 3405.  Aircraft was unable to complete the mission.

15 Jun 70 - Aircraft #375 (UH-1H) received light small arms fire in the vicinity of XT 3695. Aircraft took one hit, and continued the mission.

17 Jun 70 - Aircraft #552 received light small arms fire in the vicinity of XT 1846.  No hits were received, and the mission was continued.

18 Jun 70 - Three aircraft UH-1H #415 and two undocumented ships take small arms fire, and take six hits between them.  Only one mission was completed.

20 Jun 70 - Aircraft #193 (UH-1H) received moderate small arms fire in the vicinity of WT 9384.  No hits were taken, and the mission was continued.

24 Jun 70 - Aircraft #130 (AH-1G) received moderate small arms fire in the vicinity of XT 0268.  No hits were sustained, the mission was continued.

Aircraft #762 (UH-1H) had suspected short shaft failure.  Aircraft landed with no further damage.

26 Jun 70 -Aircraft # 68-15467 (UH-1H)- lost transmission oil pressure (filter gasket blew) on takeoff from Fire Base Crook.   Mission aborted until maintenance came to site and repaired ship. (Pilots: CPT Mike Stratton and ? )

JULY- 1970 Go Top

1 Jul 70 - Aircraft # (AH-1G) experienced collective hydraulic servo failure.  The parts separated.  Aircraft experienced extremely severe vertical vibrations and Pilot was forced to land in a remote site with collective frozen at flat pitch.  There were no injuries or damage to the aircraft but the mission was aborted.  Aircraft could not be fixed on site and was slung load back to Tay Ninh. (Pilots: AC/WO William "Mike" Hodges (Rat Pack "38"), Pilot/WO Curtis Walker.)  The Battalion CO sent a message that this type of mechanical failure had only happened three times in Viet Nam and this crew was the only one to survive the landing.

2 Jul 70 - Aircraft #281 (UH-1H) and aircraft #305 (UH-1H) were involved in mid-air collision while fully loaded with troops.  The collision caused the main rotor blade tips to be damaged on both ships. No injuries were sustained, and both aircraft returned to base with no further damage.

Aircraft #375 (UH-1H) received light small arms fire in the vicinity of XT 5272.  Aircraft received no hits, and continued the mission.

Aircraft #411 (UH-1H) transmission separated while at hover in revetment, A/C destroyed. (Heubrock and ? pilots)

4 Jul 70 - Aircraft #193 (UH-1H) received light automatic weapons fire in the vicinity of YS 5268 near Bearcat and was forced to land.   Aircraft received over five hits, left floor fuel cell blown open, additional damage to left cargo door.  Shrapnel struck copilot (Lyons) in ankle. Mission aborted. Stratton and Lyons pilots.

19 Jul 70 - Aircraft #344 (UH-1H) received light small arms fire in the vicinity of XT 3964. No hits were taken, and the mission was completed.

23 Jul 70 - Aircraft #792 (UH-1H) received moderate small arms fire in the vicinity of XT 2396.  No hits were taken, and the mission was completed.

24 Jul 70 - Aircraft #787 (UH-1H) had an engine failure at a hover while at the "Black Jack" pad. Aircraft landed without further damage. Mission aborted. Melia and ? pilots.

26 Jul 70 - Aircraft #411 (UH-1H) received moderate automatic weapons fire, and took two hits in the vicinity of XT 4087.  Aircraft continued the mission.

AUGUST- 1970 Go Top

2 Aug 70: UH-1H Unknown # - a/c went down with short shaft problems, mission aborted (Pilots: John Campos, PP ?)

13 Aug 70 - Aircraft #305 (UH-1H) had an engine failure while at a hover at FSB Barbara. Aircraft landed with no further damage.

17 Aug 70 - Aircraft #281 (UH-1H) received intense automatic weapons fire while in flight in the vicinity of XT 6429 in the vicinity of the mushroom.  Aircraft took one hit, and was unable to continue the mission. (Pilots: Burrington and ? .)

20 Aug 70 - Aircraft #552 (UH-1H) received two hits from moderate small arms fire in the vicinity of XT 0575.  The mission was continued.

Aircraft #344 (UH-1H) had a short shaft failure working in the vicinity of Thien Ngon and was returning from single ship mission in Cambodia.  Aircraft went down in the trees and rolled on it's side.  No injuries were sustained. (Pilots: AC-WO Mark Rovere, PP ?)

(observers account of #344 incident)
The Aug 20, 1970, incident where the UH-1 had a short shaft problem and went into the trees:  I remember that incident. The aircraft commander was WO Rovere.  He was returning from Cambodia single ship and from what I remember there was a quick mayday call but that was it before they went into the trees.
Mike Stratton
Crusader 25

September - 1970Top

4 Sep 70 - Aircraft #370 (UH-1H) received light small arms fire in the vicinity of XT 0575. No hits were taken, and the mission was completed.

6 Sep 70 - Aircraft #868 (AH-1G) received moderate automatic weapons fire vicinity of XT 4690.  Aircraft took two hits, and was unable to continue the mission.

19 Sep 70 - Aircraft #279 (UH-1H) took one hit from M-79 Shrapnel when departing PZ. The mission was completed.

OCTOBER- 1970 Top

13 Oct 70 - Aircraft #577 (UH-1H) had an engine failure at a hover at FSB Pine Ridge. Aircraft was landed with no further damage.

21 Oct 70 - Aircraft #305 (UH-1H) was in PZ when PZ was mortared.  The aircraft received no hits, and the mission was continued.

25 Oct. 70 - Aircraft #415 (UH-1H) had an engine failure at a hover at Thien Ngon.  Aircraft was landed with no further damage.

November - 1970Top

3 Nov 70 - Aircraft #357 (UH-1H) received light small arms fire, received no hits, and the mission was continued.

20 Nov 70 - Aircraft #338 (UH-1H) received light small arms fire in the vicinity of XT 3135. Received no hits, and continued the mission.   Aircraft on DCS mission had hydraulic failure while on the ground at Bien Hoa.   The mission was not completed. The aircraft was repaired late that evening and flown back to the "Holy Land".

29 Nov 70 - Aircraft #515 (UH-1H) received light small arms fire in the vicinity of XT 1141. The aircraft received no hits, and continued the mission.

DECEMBER- 1970 Top

14 Dec 70 - Aircraft #046 (AH-1G) made a precautionary landing for a loss of transmission oil pressure.  When aircraft was about to touch down at abandoned FSB Jamie, a claymore mine was set off. The aircraft received numerous hits covering the entire left side of the ship. The aircraft commander was wounded in the leg.  Aircraft had to be slung load out do to extensive shrapnel damage which destroyed the canopy and caused severe fluid leakage. (Pilots: AC/CW2 Mike Hodges, Pilot/CPT James Siddons.)

25 Dec 70 - Christmas Day was a very light day for the 187th.  Only six ships were on missions.  The rest of the company was either working or preparing for the festivities.

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