Incident Date 19651208 HMM-364 UH-34D 145768+ - Mechanical failure, Crash at Sea
Corle, John Thomas Cpl Gunner HMM-364 MAG-36 1965-12-08 (vvm 04E:001)
MAG-36 Command Chronology - December 1965
8 December 1965 - One HMM-364 aircraft, participating in a three aircraft administrative flight from DANANG to CHU LAI, suffered an engine failure at coordinates BT225550. The pilot made an autorotation into the surf. Upon landing, large waves tipped the aircraft forward into an inverted position. All four crewmembers were seen exiting the downed aircraft by one of the pilots of the other aircraft.
These aircraft proceeded to rescue the two pilots first because they were in the heaviest surf. The lead aircraft by this time was in position to rescue the crew chief (the gunner was not seen again after his exit from the aircraft), but was unable to lift the man out of the water due to an inoperative rescue hoist. In a heroic, desperate and successful attempt to save the man, the gunner in the aircraft hung by his legs from the landing gear and held the man partially out of the water until the wing aircraft was in position for a hoist pickup. As the hoist was being commenced by the other aircraft, the rescue sling broke. The man was able to hold fast to the sling while the pilot air taxied to the beach.
Both aircraft landed on the beach and the crew chief was rescued from the surf and placed aboard the lead aircraft. During this entire rescue operation, enemy small arms fire was received from a nearby tree line. The pilot and the crew chief of the lead aircraft removed its mounted M-60 machine guns, set them up on the beach and returned the fire. The pilot of the wing aircraft turned its tail toward the tree line and thus allowed both his crew chief and gunner to utilize their M-60's for return fire without removing them from the aircraft.
After the eenemy fire was suppressed, both aircraft proceeded to search for the lost gunner. However, a low fuel state forced them to return to Ky Ha with negative results. Two aircraft committed to MAG-12 for SAR duty were later utilized to search for the gunner but were forced to abandon the search when intense enemy small arms fire was again encountered. One of the aircraft received a hit as a result of the fire.
Comment on Incident
Aircraft lost power and crashed in the South China Sea - UTM grid coordinates BT281411. Cpl. Corle exited the aircraft but was lost at sea. The other crewmembers were rescued. Capt. James E. Givan, Pilot, 2nd Lt. William T. Holmes, Copilot and Sgt. Gerald V. Glenn, Crew Chief all survived the crashSubmitted by: N/A, 20030802
CORLE, JOHN THOMAS
Name: John Thomas Corle
Branch/Rank: United States Marine Corps/E4
Unit: HMM 364 MAG 36
Date of Birth: 29 December 1941
Home City of Record: PITCAIRN PA
Date of Loss: 08 December 1965
Country of Loss: South Vietnam/Over Water
Loss Coordinates: 154409 North 1082818 East
Status (in 1973): Killed In Action/Body Not Recovered
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH34D #145768
Other Personnel in Incident:
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews and CACCF = Combined Action
Combat Casualty File.
Cpl John Thomas Corle