375

Historical Data Display for Aircraft 69-15375

Model: UH-1H
Date Purchased: May 1970
Service with Rattlers & Firebirds: From Jul 1970 To Jul 1970
Flight Hours: Beginning 0 / Ending 48 -> Hours Flown: 48

Aircraft Accident/Incident History

Date: 15 Aug 1970
Description:
Total flight hours at this point: 48
MIA-POW file reference number: 1657
Incident number: 70081525.KIA
Unit: 71 AHC
Laos
UTM grid coordinates: YC509163
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: 1657 ()
Loss to Inventory
Crew: BECKER, JAMES CHRISTOF;

Crew Members:
G SP4 SCHMIDT PETER ALDEN BNR
P 1LT BECKER JAMES CHRISTOF BNR

SYNOPSIS: On August 15, 1970, 1Lt. James C. Becker, pilot; CW2 Raymond W. Anderson, aircraft commander; SP4 Michael D. Christ, crewchief; and SP4 Peter A. Schmidt, door gunner; were flying a UH1H helicopter (tail number 69-15375) on a reconnaissance team extraction mission in Laos. Because of the difficult terrain in the area of the planned extraction, the recon team was to be lifted out by ladder. The helicopter hovered 50 feet over the pickup zone and dropped the ladder from the right side of the aircraft. Five of the team members climbed onto the ladder, and the helicopter began to lift off. At about 100 feet the aircraft began to receive small arms fire and crashed. The five team members were stripped off the ladder by the trees as the helicopter descended. After the crash, CW2 Anderson checked the two crewmen on the right side of the aircraft, noticing that 1Lt. Becker was upright in his seat, however, it seemed that he had hit his head into the overhead instrument panel in the force of the impact. Becker's helmet was gone, and there was blood on the floor. CW2 Anderson stated that Becker did not appear to be breathing. Anderson then unsuccessfully attempted to free Schmidt from the right gunnel. He noted no blood on Schmidt, but stated that Schmidt did not appear to be breathing. SP4 Christ checked SP4 Schmidt and noticed that he was breathing, and in short gasps, and was losing a great deal of blood. Christ had dislocated his collarbone, so was unable to free Schmidt from the wreckage. Christ and Anderson returned to the pickup zone and were extracted. No attempts were made to return and recover Becker and Schmidt because of the location and hostile forces in the area. Although no other personnel are listed as missing from this incident, the fate of the team members on the ladder remains unknown. They were either recovered (dead or alive), or were indigenous personnel (and would not be listed on U.S. casualty lists).

Aircraft Assignment History

DateUnitAreaPostCountry
70-0771 AHC AM DIVVIETNAMRVN
70-06OS TO CONUSITR CONUSAVCOMITR
70-05OS TO CONUSITR CONUSAVCOMITR