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Goldbook information on UH-1H 66-16282

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 66-16282
Date: 11/17/67
Accident case number: 671117271 Total loss or fatality Accident
Number killed in accident = 1 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 1
costing 3000
Source(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Army Aviation Safety Center database.

Crew Members:
AC W1 MAURER F

Passengers:
X1 NO NAME, PAX, A;


Accident Summary:

An ARVN soldier stood up under the rotor blade four feet from the end of the blade. The impact was fatal and a four inch hole was made in the blade.


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-16282
Date: 02/19/68 MIA-POW file reference number: 1054
Incident number: 68021942.KIA
Unit: 57 AHC
Laos
UTM grid coordinates: YB665498
Casualties = 03 BNR, 01 DIN, 02 W . .
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: 1054, SOG Vol III by Saal P:237+ , SOG by Plaster P:200+ ()
Summary: Shot down and crashed during Recon Team extraction. SSG Zabitosky won the Medal of Honor for rescuing the pilots.
Loss to Inventory
Crew: DYE,MELVIN C; GLOVER DJ GRIFFITH RS

Crew Members:
P WO1 COOK JOHN W KIA
CE SSG DYE MELVIN CARNILLS BNR
G SSG GRIFFITH ROBERT SMITH BNR
AC CPT GRIFFITH R WIA

Passengers:
SFC GLOVER DOUGLAS J, AR, PX, BNR; SSG Zabitosky Fred W, AR, PX, WIA;


REFNO Synopsis:
SYNOPSIS: Melvin Dye was the engineer and Robert Griffith the door gunner aboard a UH-1H helicopter performing an emergency extraction mission in Laos. They were extracting a reconnaissance patrol team consisting of three U.S. Army Special Forces personnel and three indigenous personnel. The aircraft carried a crew of four. Douglas Glover was one of the Special Forces personnel aboard. As the helicopter picked up the team four miles inside Laos west of Dak Sut, it received a heavy volume of small arms fire. It is not known whether the aircraft was hit by hostile fire or hit a tree, but it nosed over, impacted the ground and exploded, bursting into flames. The pilot, co-pilot WO Cook and one passenger Special Forces Sergeant Fred W. Zabitosky managed to leave the aircraft. Because of the fire and exploding small arms ammunition, rescue attempts for the others were futile. Cook died later in Japan from burns. Zabitosky was awarded the Medal of Honor. See Zabitosky's story in Vietnam magazine February 1996. There were six U.S. and three indigenous personnel aboard the helicopter. When search teams reached the site the same day, they could not account for the other U.S. personnel. Five were accounted for, but could not be recovered because of intense heat


War Story:
Special Forces Staff Sergeant Fred W. Zabitosky was at the end of a normal six-month active mission cycle with FOB 2 based at Kontum. He was the One-Zero, team leader, of RT Maine but on this mission was helping SSG Glover become the new team leader, so 'Zab' was the One-One, assistant team leader. On 18 Feb., RT Maine was inserted into 'The Bra,' the river curve where Highway 110 split eastward from Highway 96, the Ho Chi Minh Trail's major north-south route. Their mission was to learn whether the NVA were pulling back, reinforcing or resupplying their Tet offensive activities in the Central Highlands. Not long after their insertion, they made and broke contact. There were at least two other RTs active in this same area, so they had to wait their turn for airstrikes and worked their way back to the LZ. The NVA had set up 12.7mm guns around the LZ and the USAF Covey FAC could see at least four NVA companies converging on the LZ. The NVA launched two assaults on the nine-man team's position but were stopped by napalm, cannon fire, and the team's weapons. Covey had the team run 150 yards to an alternate LZ. The first slick lifted out one SF and two Yards which left Zab, Glover and four Yards still on the ground. The NVA then struck in four successive waves which were all stopped but the team was almost out of ammo. It was now or never. The second slick went in as gunships and jets blasted the area. Both the NVA and Maine seemed to be racing for the helicopter. The door gunners and the SOG men were shooting like mad. Zab recalls that the NVA were so close that blood from one he shot splatted the Huey. They were 75 feet up and almost clear of the LZ when an RPG blast rocked the Huey, spinning the tail boom into the main blades. Zab came to about 20 feet from the Huey and rolled clumsily on the ground to extinguish his burning clothes. The Huey had snapped in two just behind the pilots' section and burned furiously. The troop compartment lay on its side and Zab heard the final cries from the three Americans and four Yards in the burning wreckage. Zab moved away from the wreckage then looked back to see the pilots still strapped in the burning nose section. He returned, opened the door and grabbed the semiconscious WO Cook and pulled him out. Everything was burned off the man except his leather gun belt. The pilot was still inside. Zab could feel his flesh burning as he undid the pilot’s harness. The fuel cells exploded in the other section and blew both Zab and the pilot clear. Overhead SF medic Luke Nance had watched these events in horror but had seen Zab. The pilot made a couple of passes and confirmed there were survivors. This ship landed. Together Nance and Zab carried and dragged the two burned pilots to the Huey and they escaped. SSG Fred Zabitosky received the Medal of Honor for his actions that saved the lives of two 57th AHC pilots. Sadly, WO Cook passed away ten days later in Japan due to burn related injuries.

This record was last updated on 06/14/98


The following is crew member information for this incident:


Name: WO1 John W. Cook
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 02/19/68 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Died 10 days later on 02/29/68.
Age at death: 21.2
Date of Birth: 12/13/46
Home City: Long Beach, CA
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 57 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 67-17
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 42E-003
Short Summary: Shot down by B-40 or RPG. Pulled out by SF SGT Zabitosky. Died in Japan later of burns. CPT R. Griffin AC. 1st 57 AHC pilot KIA
Aircraft: UH-1D tail number 66-16282
Service number: W3157737
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 062B = Helicopter Pilot, Utility and Light Cargo Single Rotor
Primary cause: B-40 or RPG
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Started Tour: 11/13/67
"Official" listing: ground casualty
Location: Pleiku Province II Corps.
Military grid coordinates of event: YB665498
Reason: burns
Casualty type: Hostile - died of wounds
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: battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: warrant officer
This record was last updated on 01/30/98



Name: SSG Melvin Carnills Dye
Status: Body Not Recovered from an incident on 02/19/68 while performing the duty of Crew Chief.
Declared dead on 10/28/77.
Age at death: 20.7
Date of Birth: 05/22/47
Home City: Carleton, MI
Service: regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 57 AHC
Major organization: USARV
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 40E-019
Short Summary: Shot down after picking up a Special Forces Recon team. Pax Douglas J. Glover and gunner Robert S. Griffith also killed.
Aircraft: UH-1D tail number 66-16282
SSN: 406629829
Country: Laos
MOS: 67N40 = UH-1 Helicopter Repairer
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: small arms fire
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: crew member
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 03/25/67
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
The initial status of this person was: missing in action - bonified
Length of service: *
Military grid coordinates of event: YB665498
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - died while missing
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: battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 07/26/97



Name: SFC Douglas J. Glover
Status: Body Not Recovered from an incident on 02/19/68 while performing the duty of Passenger.
Declared dead on 11/12/76.
Age at death: 24.8
Date of Birth: 05/02/43
Home City: Cortland, NY
Service: regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: SPECIAL FORCES
Major organization: Special Forces
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 40E-021
Aircraft: UH-1D tail number 66-16282
SSN: 120341457
Country: Laos
MOS: 11BS = Infantryman
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: small arms fire
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: passenger
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 09/13/67
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - non-aircrew
The initial status of this person was: missing in action - bonified
Length of service: *
Military grid coordinates of event: YB665498
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - died while missing
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: battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 07/26/97



Name: SSG Robert Smith Griffith
Status: Body Not Recovered from an incident on 02/19/68 while performing the duty of Gunner.
Declared dead on 10/22/74.
Age at death: 25.1
Date of Birth: 12/26/42
Home City: Hapeville, GA
Service: component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 57 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 40E-032
Short Summary: Shot down after picking up a Special Forces Recon team.
Aircraft: UH-1D tail number 66-16282
SSN: 260662768
Country: Laos
MOS: 11B4F = Infantryman
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: small arms fire
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: door gunner
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 12/01/67
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
The initial status of this person was: missing in action - bonified
Length of service: *
Military grid coordinates of event: YB665498
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - died while missing
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: battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 07/26/97


The following is Goldbook information on US Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-16282
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 .
Please provide any additional information on this helicopter to the VHPA.

DATE  FLT HRS    UIC      UNIT          AREA          POST          COUNTRY
6802   0    0 WAX5AA 57 AHC           VIETNAM                     LA

Printed from databases on: 08/27/00