ROBERT D BLACK JR
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HONORED ON PANEL 5W, LINE 39 OF THE WALL

ROBERT DENNIS BLACK JR

WALL NAME

ROBERT D BLACK JR

PANEL / LINE

5W/39

DATE OF BIRTH

06/30/1945

CASUALTY PROVINCE

QUANG NGAI

DATE OF CASUALTY

01/11/1971

HOME OF RECORD

TALLAHASSEE

COUNTY OF RECORD

Leon County

STATE

FL

BRANCH OF SERVICE

ARMY

RANK

CWO

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT FOR ROBERT DENNIS BLACK JR
POSTED ON 3.26.2017
POSTED BY: Lucy Conte Micik

THANKS

DEAR CHIEF WARRANT OFFICER BLACK,
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AS AN UTILITY/OBSERVATION HELICOPTER PILOT. IT HAS BEEN FAR TOO LONG FOR ALL OF YOU TO HAVE BEEN GONE. WE APPRECIATE ALL YOU HAVE DONE, AND YOUR SACRIFICE. WATCH OVER THE U.S.A., IT STILL NEEDS YOUR COURAGE.. GOD BLESS YOU. MAY THE ANGELS BE AT YOUR SIDE. REST IN PEACE. MANY OF US HAVE BEGUN OUR JOURNEY TO EASTER. AND YOU ARE ALL IN OUR PRAYERS.
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POSTED ON 9.13.2016
POSTED BY: wkillian@smjuhsd.org

Final Mission of WO1 Robert D. Black Jr.

Final Mission of WO1 Robert D. Black Jr.
WO1 Robert D. Black Jr. was a utility/observation helicopter pilot assigned to Headquarters & Headquarters Company (HHC) 11th Brigade, 23rd Infantry. On January 11, 1971, he was flying a U.S. Army OH-6A “Loach” helicopter (tail number 69-16030) on a mission to drop personnel off at Bravo Company’s location when his helicopter went down shortly after taking off, crashing in the Song Tra Khuc River. The Battalion logs entry for January 11th contain the following: “B Company watched as a Brigade L.O.H. (light observation helicopter) went down in the river. They searched the area and found the pilot’s helmet and map but did not find the pilot, WO1 Robert D. Black.” A CH-54 Flying Crane was sent in to recover the downed OH-6A and was shot down. The following is a description of a recovery attempt made by fellow pilot Art Magee: “The river was quite swollen with what appeared to be a very fast current. With help from the guys in the field, I was able to find the aircraft. It was laying on its left side facing north. There was about a foot or so of water covering the ship and I could make out outline of it and could clearly see the red fire extinguisher that was mounted on the aft outside part of the front right seat. The water wasn’t clear enough to see in the ship itself. My crew chief said if I could get close he would try to check the inside of the ship. Because of the reflection of the sun in the water, I had to hold about a 10 foot hover a little to the east of the ship and descend with the crew chief on the right front skid. The first two times he attempted to grab enough of Bob’s ship to hold on, the current tore him off and I’d have to hover down river to pick him up. On the third try he was able to hold on long enough and feel below the surface enough to determine that Bob was not still strapped into his seat. We then flew down river a mile or so and started looking for Bob. As we worked our way back upstream, I recall we recovered his flight helmet (chin strap still fastened) and a map. We started running out of gas and daylight at this point and headed back to Duc Pho." The following day, B Company continued its search for the missing L.O.H. and encountered three Viet Cong with M-16 rifles whom they engaged with small arms and M-79 fire. Later, they found parts of the L.O.H. but did not find the pilot. It was believed that the aircraft went down due to a power failure as opposed to being shot down. Art Magee continues: "As to the cause of the accident, there were some reports from the ground unit he had just taken off from and there was some small arms fire from the north side of the river, and I recall a recovery ship (the CH-54) having some problems on the north side, but nothing was ever conclusive. I spent quite a bit of time hovering over the accident site and received no fire. To my knowledge, Bob received no gunshot wounds. I saw the aircraft in Chu Lai after they recovered it, and to be honest with you, there wasn’t much left of the cockpit area and I suspect the injuries he suffered in the crash were either fatal or debilitating to the point that self-rescue was not an option. I don’t know if Bob was a swimmer, but the current was very strong." During this period of time a crew of engineers were taken out to the Song Tra Khuc River to retrieve the body of the Loach pilot. It was found on some rocks in the river, so they went out in a raft to get it. Around lunch time the engineers had gotten the body and called in a chopper to pick it up. The chopper picked up the body, one of the engineers, and the raft. It left the other three men, without weapons, to be picked up later. At 3:00 PM the engineers had been waiting for four hours, and decided, for some reason, to get into a sampan they had found and start floating down the river. At about 6:30 PM the commanding officer of the engineers, noticing that his three engineers hadn’t returned, called 4/11 to see if they knew where they were. 4/11 did not know, believing they had been picked up at 11:00 AM. At about 7:00 PM, 4/11 staff were getting ready to play some bridge when they got a radio call from the three engineers. It was getting dark and they wanted someone to come get them. The caller was using the wrong call sign, however, which raised doubts as his true identity. Also, they still thought the engineers had all been picked up as one of their companies out there had seen the helicopter go in and thought they had all gotten on. Suspecting a trap, the engineers were asked who was playing in the Super Bowl. They didn’t know! That made everybody very leery of the caller. At about this point, the Battalion commanding officer (CO), LTC Luke, asked the guys to give their names in the clear to check their identities. But by this time the CO of the engineers had called the helicopter pilot and found that he hadn’t picked them up, so the bird took off to find them. Satisfied that they were Americans, Battalion staff tried to get them going towards one of their positions near where they were. Their people were shooting up flares to guide the engineers in. What happened next is tragic. They walked into an ambush, Viet Cong or ARVN, it was never determined, and one of the engineers was critically wounded. One of the guys cried on the radio that, "they’d shot the sergeant and were coming this way!” He died before the helicopter was able to get him out. (Note: identity of the KIA sergeant is unknown) [Taken from coffeltdatabase.org and vhpa.org]
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POSTED ON 2.23.2014
POSTED BY: Curt Carter ccarter02@earthlink.net

Remembering An American Hero

Dear CWO Robert Dennis Black Jr, sir

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

Curt Carter
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POSTED ON 1.14.2011
POSTED BY: Robert Sage

We Remember

Robert is buried at Maple Hill Cemetery, Huntsville, Madison,AL. BSM ARCOM PH
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POSTED ON 1.3.2011

Remembered

Remembered
Rest in peace with the warriors.
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