Incident Date 19671026 HMM-363 UH-34D 149325+ (YZ-64) - Hostile Fire, Crash
Clem, Edward Cpl Crew Chief HMM-363 MAG-16 1967-10-26 (vvm 28E:073)
Bennett, Ronald David Capt Pilot HMM-363 MAG-16 1967-10-26 (vvm 28E:072)
HMM-363 Command Chronology of 26 Oct 1967
Submitted by: N/A, 20030815
On mission 3011 at 1535H intense small arms and automatic weapons fire was received from XD116654. The aircraft while waving off was hit and crashed destroying the aircraft YZ-66 [destroyed previously on 9/2/67] BuNo 148056 [BuNo 149325]. The pilot Capt. Ronald D. Bennett 088775 USMCR and the Crew Chief Cpl. Edward Clem 1952686 USMCR were fatally wounded. The Co-pilot 2ndLt. Vernon J. Sharpless 0100680 USMC and the Gunner L/Cpl Howard J. Cones 2185419 USMCR were seriously wounded. YZ-75 BUNO 145779 received four hits when it went down into the zone in an attempt to pick up the survivors. The pilot Capt. Frank Grassi 089410 USMCR was wounded in the leg and arm while the corpsman from MABS-16 HM-3 De.B. Winter 9158493 USN received a minor injury. The Gunner Cpl. Larry G. Baysinger 2148278 USMCR received a minor shrapnel would in the leg.
HANK AMPARAN, COULD YOU PLEASE CONTACT ME ABOUT THE DEATH OF MY COUSIN, SGT. ED CLEM.
On the morning of 26 OCT 1967, 2nd LT. Seppo Hurme and myself were fragged to fly chase on Gen Hockmuth\'s huey (Army type). We were with HMM-361 at Marble Mountain. We had joined the Huey at Phu Bai, with stops at Dong Ha and Camp Carroll for the General.
While we were shut down at Camp Carroll, I noticed some smoke to the North and climbed in my H-34, turned on the radio and heard Capt Grassi. Since this was my old squadron, it meant a lot to me. I called my crew and told the Army pilot that we had an aircraft down, and to tell the General that we had gone to help.
Captain Grassi and the gunship went back to Delta Med to drop some medevacs. He briefed me on the situation. 1stLT Dick Erickson 095376 was the FAC at C2. We attempted an approach into the site, but received intense fire. LT Erickson told me that Capt Murphy had made it to the crew. Capt Murphy was cool. He had his radio and a 45 and the NVA were not trying to get them. I guess that it was one of those times that they were using the downed crew as bait for more aircraft. I called Plutocrat, the controlling agency, for air support. They sent us four flights of fixed wing, three with Mk 82\'s and one with smoke.
Capt. Grassi and the gunship came back and asked if I had gotten into the LZ. I responded that we had, but had received intense fire. He said that he had the gunship and would try. Both he and the gunship received hits and made it back to C2. I heard that the gunship barely made it over the mines around it. We picked up all of the wounded (I was thinking that the gunship pilot had been hit also?) and transported them to Delta Med.
Back on station, the situation was the same. The air support, F4\'s and one flight of A4\'s showed up. After the smoke flight, the Army huey showed up and said that Gen. Hockmuth sent him to see if he could help. I told him to stay low and make his approach from the south; I would act as a decoy and do a spiraling approach to draw their fire.
He made it into the LZ, made the pickup; but had taken hits, which put him down south of the pickup. We picked all up and took them to Delta Med. Myself and crew worked resupply and medevac single aircraft until late that night, when relief showed up. We had tried to get three Army hueys to stay up on the same freq., but they didn\'t. One more good deal! It was LT Hurme\'s second flight in country.
It was a long day from before daylight to after 2100. When we got back, the damage was checked. Among other things the vented area on the back was completely gone. Thank God they weren\'t all like that.
I never did find out how General Hockmuth got out of Camp Carroll - figured that being a General that he could take care of that himself. He was also killed in a flight later. If I\'m not mistaken, he was the ranking Officer killed in Nam (in a huey, I guess that he didn\'t trust the old H-34). Capt Bennett was a nice man, and a good Marine. Heck, they were all good. You couldn\'t serve with a better group of men than the Marines! They are always in my thoughts and prayers.
Saw the picture you posted of Ed Clem. He got out of the Corps and then came back in. He joined HMM-363 about in September. He got killed up at Con Thien on 671026. He got hit but we were told that when they crashed he broke his neck. He had made Sgt. before he got out the first time so we referred to him as Sgt. Clem. He was one hell of a nice guy with a great sense of humor.Submitted by: Henry "Hank" Amparan, HMM-363 (67-68), 20030815
Cpl Edward Clem, HMM-363
Cpl Edward Clem, HMM-363
My number is 909-797-8462, or you can contact me on the conputer at firstname.lastname@example.org
I never got a chance to meet my uncle. I have never heard any of the details about this incident. I would love to hear from any of the survivors.Submitted by: Robert Bennett, nephew, 20060206
I never met my uncle; my children ask questions about him. My father misses him deeply, but has very little information about his time in the Marines. Any information would be appreciated. Email has changed from previous post.Submitted by: Robert Bennett, nephew, 20080806