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
Final Mission of U.S. Army helicopter UH-1B tail number 64-14095
There are three accounts for this incident: First Account - On July 20, 1966, U.S. Army helicopter UH-1B tail number 64-14095 from the 68th Assault Helicopter Company was operating in Long An Province, South Vietnam on an air mobile assault mission. The crew included aircraft commander CW2 Daniel A. Lambdin, pilot CW2 Ronald J. Kinkeade, crew chief SP4 David A. Dillon, and gunner SP4 Walter R. Tate Jr. During the landing approach, the helicopter was hit by enemy gunfire, exploded and crashed. An immediate search of the area was conducted and the remains of 3 crewmembers were recovered and identified. SP4 Dillon's wallet and ID card were found in the vicinity of the wreckage. An investigative board report indicated that Dillon's position on the aircraft was on the left door, which was the primary point of contact of the explosion which involved white phosphorous. No remains were found that could be identified as those of Dillon. A second, unsuccessful search was made. The area of the crash was in a rice paddy. When JCRC teams went back in December 1973 for follow-up, they were assaulted and one of the team members was killed. This was one of the last searches made by such teams in South Vietnam. Second Account - This was the 68th Assault Helicopter Company's first combat loss. The aircraft was hit by an RPG right at Dillon's position. There were very little remains. We spent a whole day in the recovery operation. (Submitted by James Cook, who was the 68th AHC's CO at this time, July 1999) Third Account - On December 15, 1973, an OSD-DPMO team was preparing to excavate the crash site of this UH-1B (tail number was 64-14095) that had been shot down during an air assault on July 20, 1966. All four crewmen were killed, and the remains of three were recovered shortly after the crash. The team was in the process of searching for the remains of the fourth person, crew chief SP4 David A. Dillon, when they were ambushed, killing the Vietnamese pilot. Three other Vietnamese survived. The aircraft was hit by a rocket while off-loading passengers and equipment in a rice paddy about 12 miles south of Saigon. The sortie was in support of the Four Party Joint Military Team (FPJMT) and Joint Casualty Resolution Center (JCRC) effort to recover the remains of American airmen lost earlier in the conflict. The aircraft was unarmed and clearly marked as FPJMTJCRC. (From Paul Mather OSD-DPMO and Dave Rosenau) [Taken from vhpa.org]