Brothers (& Sisters) Killed in Action in USMC Helicopters or while assigned to USMC Helicopter or Tiltrotor Squadrons


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Incident Date 19841121 HMH-464 CH-53E - BuNo 161253 [ EN-21] - - Mechanical failure of tail rotor while transporting a 155mm howitzer

McEneany, Scott A. LCpl Crew HMH-464 MAG-16/MCAS New River 1984-11-21
Jones, Brian R. Capt. Pilot HMH-464 MAG-16/MCAS New River 1984-11-21
Kaiser, Kevin J. PFC Passenger "B" Bty/1stBn/10thMarines 1984-11-21
Wells, David D. LCpl Passenger "B" Bty/1stBn/10thMarines 1984-11-21
Williams, Ricky C. Cpl. Passenger "B" Bty/1stBn/10thMarines 1984-11-21

Personal Recollection

Facts from a Marine you named as a survivor and the only living CH-53E pilot from a class A mishap.

1) Tail rotor drive was lost while transitioning to a hover out of ground effect with an M-198 howizter. Only the 53E could lift this gun and that's what we had on the main hook.

2) Electric pickle did not work. I blew the emergency pickle. If you have to ask what the pickle is, you ain't a Marine helicopter pilot.

3) We spun and that was how most of the injuries were incurred.

4) I (me, myself and by myself personally) shut off all three engines (which is how I sustained my injuries) causing the rotation to stop accelerating and the helicopter to yield to gravity.

5) My assumption is that the fire started after we smacked the ground with an estimated 20g of force. This impact with the ground is what I assume caused fuel to leak out and ignite in the presence of the hot engines. Yes, the cabin was on fire. I saw it.

6) At the Naval Hospital, one of the Marines was dropped by a Corpsman, collapsing his other lung.

7) When I get to my records I'll try to get you the Bureau and tail number. Some things are a blessing to be able to forget.

Submitted by: Thomas A. Weber, Jr., Surviving Co-Pilot, 20120327

Personal Records

Update to last submittal.

1) Brian Jones was a Captain in the Marines.

2) Bureau number was 161253

3) Tail number was EN 21

Source: Reference for #2 and #3 is
Submitted by: Thomas A. Weber, Surviving Co-Pilot, 20120327

Personal Recollection

My ITS Platoon was training about 100 yards from the crash. And it was a crash. I and my fellow Marines watched as the helo went to drop the Howitzer. We had never seen it done before. The helo went to drop it and it seemed they thought the clamp or pickle released. It didn't. I actually saw the line go loose and then tighten and it seemed to pull the helo to the ground. The helo went to its side...and it appeared to chop the tail. The helo was in flames. Many Marines ran to the helo in an effort to help, including my Platoon Sgt, Sgt. Wolf. I will never forget the crash or the Marines that died. Semper Fi Marines....

Submitted by: Patrick Brogan aka Panella, My Platoon was about 100 yards from Crash training, 20160512

News Article

Camp Lejeune, NC Helicopter Crash, Nov 1984

Camp Lejeune, N.C. (AP) -- It will take four to six months to determine what caused one on the Marines' newest and largest helicopters to burst into flames and crash, killing six servicemen and injuring 11 others, including two from Pennsylvania, a Marine spokesman said.
Capt. Dave Winston, aviation safety officer for Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 464, said it would take four to six months to determine what caused the fire and crash of the CH-53E Super Stallion Monday afternoon.

Seventeen soldiers were aboard the huge helicopter when it caught fire and hit the ground Monday afternoon while lifting a heavy artillery piece, a 155mm howitzer.
Rescuers found three of the dead Monday and the other three Tuesday morning, said Capt. Norma Stewart of New River Air Station.

The burned and mangled wreckage was surrounded by guards Tuesday. The helicopter was broken in two, with the rear section twisted and one engine lying on the ground. The rotors were snapped off.
Bits of burned debris were scattered around the flat landing zone, and the howitzer the helicopter was lifting sat upright, but tilted.

Camp Lejeune spokesman Capt. Craig Fisher said some of the 11 injured suffered bruised internal organs, but "most are fractured bones, arms and legs. People are in serious condition, but the prognosis is good."

Five of the six dead were identified as:
BRIAN R. JONES, 32, of Harlan, Iowa.
Lance Cpl. SCOTT A. McENEANY, 23, of Fairport, N.Y.
Pfc. KEVIN J. KAISER, 19, of Kenmore, N.Y.
Cpl. RICKY C. WILLIAMS, 23, of Sumter, S.C.
Lance Cpl. DAVID D. WELLS, 22, of Salem, Ind.
Fisher later said WILLIAMS and WELLS were listed as presumed dead because no positive identification had been made.
JONES was identified as the helicopter pilot and McENEANY as a member of the flight crew. The others were members of B Battery, 1st Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment.

The injured Marines were taken to the U.S. Naval Hospital on base, Lt. S. B. Jack said. The injured, all members of B Battery, 1st Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, and their conditions late Tuesday were:
Sgt. RANDY GOLDEN, 28, of Philadelphia, Pa., fair condition.
Lance Cpl. KENNETH JAMISON, 20, of Syracuse, N.Y., good.
Lance Cpl. MICHAEL WASHINGTON, 19, Tampa, Fla., good.
Pfc. ROBERT JOHNSON, 19, of Clermont, Pa., good.
Pfc. ANTHONY PISANI, 19, of Kingwood, Texas, good.
Pfc. JOHN REES, JR., 19, of Accokeek, Md., fair.
Pfc. LARRY D. HICKMAN, 20, of Chattanooga, Tenn., good.
Lance Cpl. JEFF STIDHAM, 20, of Wooster, Ohio, good.
1st Lt. THOMAS WEBER, 24, Denton, Md., good.
Lance Cpl. JEFF BALLARD, 20, Conroe, Texas, fair.

The eleventh injured serviceman, whose name has not been released, is in fair condition, officials said.
Maj. Anthony Rothfork, a Marine spokesman in Washington, said the helicopter crashed. But Lance Cpl. Greg Fedorev of New River Air Station just south of Camp Lejeune said he could not confirm that.
"There was a fire on board ... but as far as I know it hasn't been confirmed that there was a crash," said Fedorev.

Jack said military officials were calling the accident a "hard landing," but that it was not clear if the helicopter crashed.
"The fire broke out around 2:30 p.m. while the craft was over 'Landing Zone Penguin' at Camp Lejeune," Fedorev said.

The helicopter was on a routine training mission in support of the 1st Battalion, 10th Marines, Jack said.'The occupants of another helicopter flying nearby radioed the air station about the fire, Ms. Stewart said. Sgt. Ann Purcell of New River Air Station said the CH-53E commissioned in 1981 was the Marines newest and largest helicopter. Its capacity is 55 troops or 32,200 pounds, she said.

Source: The Indiana Gazette, Indiana, Pennsylvania, 1984-11-21 Posted July 12th, 2010 by Stu Beitler
Submitted by: N/A, 20110802

Personal Recollection

Not that it really matters, but the howitzer hanging under the helo was an M114, 155mm howitzer.

Submitted by: Steven Mayall, Was in the CH-53 following the one that crashed, 20150106

Personal Recollection

The name of the sixth Marine to die in the crash was Sgt. Tohill. Sorry, I don't know his first name. I was a PFC and wasn't privy to that information.

Submitted by: Steven Mayall, I was in the CH-53 following the helo that crashed, 20150106

David D. Wells was a friend of mine in Indiana. Great friend, great athlete, smart and squared away. A true inspiration to me. M.O. Dooley, USN Ret.

Submitted by: Neil Dooley, 20190610

I was at the 110 HQ when the crash occurred. I provided as much support to the staff as I could, including a sandwich run for the Battery CO. A couple months later the Col called me into his office and made a statement that changed my life. Mark, I know you are a writer. He handed me 18 citations that had been rejected by Division for actions during the crash. I had to validate and interview all the participants and rework all 18. I was able to cross-reference the interviews and substantiate the award of 8 commendation medals, 6 letters of commendation and 4 letters of appreciation.

Submitted by: Mark Swarthout, NGLO, 110 1984-1986, 20200710

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