To a Fellow Stagecoach Crew Member
An American Hero
You are not forgotten
Remembering An American Hero
As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.
May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.
With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir
Summary of Mid-Air Collision
On April 19, 1968, two helicopters from the 155th Assault Helicopter Company, 52nd Combat Aviation Battalion, a UH-1H and UH-1D, collided in mid-air, resulting in the deaths of eight U.S. Army personnel and eighteen ARVN soldiers. The aircraft were involved in an ARVN troop lift in the Phu Bon Province (II Corps) near Cheo Reo. The two aircraft departed the airfield with the ARVN troops to conduct a combat assault. Observers say they saw the aircraft collide from approx 1500 feet. Both aircraft crashed and burned and were totally destroyed. There were no survivors on either ship. The two aircraft involved were UH-1D tail number 66-16441 from Ban Me Thuot, crewed by pilots WO1 Paul N. Larson and WO1 Herbert R. Hayashida, crew chief SP4 John R. Brooks, and gunner SP4 Oren B. McCarroll. They were carrying nine ARVN troops. The second aircraft, UH-1H tail number 67-17255, was crewed pilots WO1 Willis W. Smith Jr. and 1LT Dennis E. Painter, crew chief SP5 Janis Miculs, and SP4 Frank L. Freedle. Their helicopter was carrying nine ARVN’s also. [Taken from vhpa.org]