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
Crash Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1C tail number 66-00496
WO1 Robert L. Banks (KIA) was pilot and CW2 William D. Perkins Jr. (KIA) was aircraft commander. Other crew members included SSG Randall D. Howell (KIA) and SP4 Everett P. Runnells (KIA). The aircraft had been doing troop insertions and doing gunship cover. CW2 Perkins was 3 to 4 days from DROS and swapped gunships with Will Hingston and left a rubber plantation outside of Tay Ninh and was enroute to Saigon for DROS paperwork when tail boom came off. CW2 Perkins was Hingston's mentor and good friend. WO1 Banks was Hingston's classmate. (Information from Will Hingston) The aircraft lost its tail boom and went in. The aircraft hit flat. Bill the crew chief and gunner were in the aircraft as Bob got out and away. Bob returned to help the others. While there the aircraft exploded killing all four. The accident investigation board said that a rocket pod came loose and hit the tail boom. Information from Paul W. Beverung. [Taken from vhpa.org]