Crash Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 67-17767
The crew consisted of aircraft commander CAPT Thomas J. Larkin II, pilot WO1 Raymond H. Krug Jr., crew chief SP4 Kent C. Taylor, and gunner PFC Charles D. Blair. The flight was on single ship mission in Cambodia to do a visual recon. The flight originated at approximately 1400 hours 14 May 1970 at Tay Ninh, RVN. The aircraft was flown to Tay Ninh east where one American advisor, MAJ James R. Barton, and two ARVN officers boarded. While on return from the recon, the aircraft commander was in contact with a MAJ Shen and trying to home to his position during bad weather when contact was lost at approximately 1615 hours. MAJ Shen was unable to reestablish contact and notified the 187th AHC operations personnel of this. They were also unable to contact the aircraft and a search was initiated. The wreckage was discovered at 1800 hours. Analysis of the wreckage and wreckage distribution indicates that the main rotor struck the tail boom three times. The first strike was just in front of the 42 gearbox, severing the tail rotor drive shaft and cover. The second strike completely severed the tail boom at the synchronized elevators, and the third strike partially severed the tail boom a few feet aft of the tail boom attaching points. Each strike resulted in mast bumping and the last in mast separation. The aircraft entered a near vertical descent (very little forward airspeed) rolling to the left, struck the ground on its left side and bounced to a final resting point on its left side approximately 10 meters to the NE of the initial impact point. The main rotors continued on after separation to land 80 meters NE of the main wreckage. During the tail boom strikes, or just after, one tail rotor blade struck the leading left edge of the vertical fin, just above the 42 gearbox and partially severed the vertical fin causing the other tail rotor blade to be thrown from its grip. After being severed, the tail boom continued on to land approximately 28 meters to the west of the tail boom's final position. The aircraft did not burn. All personnel aboard the helicopter suffered fatal injuries in the crash. [Taken from vhpa.org and 187ahc.net]
If I should die...remembrances for MAJ. James Raybon BARTON, USA...who made the ultimate sacrifice!!
Well done, thou good and faithful servant
Jim was the battery Maintenance Warrant Officer and worked 24/7 to keep the bugs out of the brand new HAWK air defense missile system. Always with a big grin, he loved the Army and his work.
We became close friends during our 45 mile commutes between housing area and battery site, and I never met a more devoted Christian man, husband, and father (of two children, I believe).
In 1964 Jim and his wife, Doris, opened his home in El Paso to my family of seven while we located rental housing for our assignment to Fort Bliss.
We later went separate ways in our careers and were never assigned together again.
In 1970 I learned of Jim's death and tried to locate Doris, but was unsuccessful. We are all better for having known Jim and his family.
I look forward to renewing our family relationship by contacting his daughter through this website.
"If you are able, save for them a place inside of you....and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go.....Be not ashamed to say you loved them....
Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own....And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind...."
Quote from a letter home by Maj. Michael Davis O'Donnell
KIA 24 March 1970. Distinguished Flying Cross: Shot down and Killed while attempting to rescue 8 fellow soldiers surrounded by attacking enemy forces.
We Nam Brothers pause to give a backward glance, and post this remembrance to you, one of the gentle heroes lost to the War in Vietnam:
Slip off that pack. Set it down by the crooked trail. Drop your steel pot alongside. Shed those magazine-ladened bandoliers away from your sweat-soaked shirt. Lay that silent weapon down and step out of the heat. Feel the soothing cool breeze right down to your soul ... and rest forever in the shade of our love, brother.
From your Nam-Band-Of-Brothers