Gold Book data

 

 

Helicopter or incident 62-01961


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1B tail number 62-01961
Date: 03/09/64
Incident number: 07839ACD Accident case number: 07839 Total Loss Accident
South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 2 . . Injured = 2 . . Passengers = 0
costing 193648
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 O3 IE GREELEY
CP CW C DANIEL
CE SP5 WRIGHT WYLEY JR KIA
G PFC SHEA JOHN FRANCIS KIA

This record was last updated on 05/25/98

 


The following is crew member information for this incident:

 


Name: PFC John Francis Shea
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 03/09/64 while performing the duty of Gunner.
Age at death: 20.9
Date of Birth: 03/29/43
Home City: Willimantic, CT
Service: component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 560 MP CO
Major organization: other
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 01E-045
Short Summary: Volunteered to be a door gunner with the 114 AHC from the 560th Military Police Company.
Aircraft: UH-1B tail number 62-01961
Service number: 51499184
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: *
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: drowning*
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: door gunner
"Official" listing: ground casualty
Location: Unknown Province
Reason: drowned or suffocated
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died while missing
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Roman Catholic
The following information 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 06/16/01

 


Name: SP5 Wyley Wright, Jr.
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 03/09/64 while performing the duty of Crew Chief.
Age at death: 32.3
Date of Birth: 12/07/31
Home City: Jacksonville, FL
Service: regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 114 AHC
Major organization: other
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 01E-046
Short Summary: CE E5 WRIGHT G E3 SHEA killed. P O3 GREELEY CP CW DANIEL survived.
Aircraft: UH-1B tail number 62-01961
Service number: 14287491
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: *
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: drowning
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: crew chief
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
Length of service: 14
Location: Unknown Province
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died while missing
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Negro
Relgion: Methodist (Evangelical United Brethren)
The following information 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 07/12/96

 


The above information provided by the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association.

*Lacking the incident data.  I will relate what was told of this incident to Vinh Long personnel in Jan 66.  This  aircraft went down in the Mekong River outside of  Sadec.   Charles Klotz

The following is from the 114th Avn. Co history book, Knights over the Delta, by Steve Stibbens, editor:

Comments by George Young, CO of the 114th Avn Co.:

They talk about the loneliness of command.  Only time I got lonely was when I had to write those letters of condolence.  The rest of the time, I was surrounded by people.  Things came up.   But they were always resolved.

    My first casualty was hard.  They all are but I had awfully mixed feelings about the first one.  I was a tragedy.  It involved the Defense Secretary McNamara and General Maxwell Taylor.  Of course, I couldn't tell people like McNamara and Taylor were they could go.  I had personal feelings that we had no business being out there in that area that day.  But we were there.

     We got the mission and we flew the mission.  I had been in command about five days on March 9, 1964 and it was still the old company and they had not had a casualty, except for Carl Ballard, who was killed accidentally on the runway a year earlier.  They had done these VIP flights hundreds of times and were just following orders.  Unofficially, later on when some analyzing took place, the man flying that ship was kind of green.  Even though he had been there and was getting short, he was  kind of 'hot-rodding' it.

     It was determined that his turn was too steep.  He pulled too many Gs and it just got away from him.  What made it really bad was that these two people in back [SP5 Wylie Wright, PFC John Shea] were tied in by their 'monkey straps' so they could stand out on the skids.  They just couldn't get un-strapped when the aircraft went down and they drowned in the river.  You know, we never came up with anything better than that 'monkey strap.'

     That was my first next-of-kin letter.  It really hurt to write those letters but I did them.  Wrote them out in longhand then the clerk typed them up and I signed them.  That's something that never changes.  When you lose somebody like that, it's always the same heartbreak.  I always wrote the next-of-kin letter.