Incident Date 19671108 HMM-363 UH-34D 148058+ / YZ-62 - Hostile Fire
Cauthern, Roger Robert Cpl Crew Chief HMM-363 MAG-16 1967-11-05 (vvm 29E:047)
HMM-363 Command Chronology for the period 1 Nov - 30 Nov 67
Submitted by: N/A, 20030815
CO: LtCol R. Lewis, Jr
XO: LtCol F.E. Allgood
OpsO: Maj M.E. Salter, Jr.
8 Nov 1967:
Five aircraft flew out of Chu Lai in support of the ROK Marines. Three aircraft flew 11 missions moving 3 U.S. passengers, 3 ARVN passengers, 91 ROK passengers, 57 VN civilian passengers, 1 U.S. Med-Evac, 2 ROK Med-Evacs and 45,000 pounds of cargo. One of the aircraft flew VIP chase moving 2 VIP's. YZ-62, BuNo. 148058, took fire at 0845H from moderate small arms fire at BS 777856. Three hits were received and the crew chief, Cpl. Roger R. Cauthern, 2163517/6332, was killed from the fire. Submitted by Rob Irvine, LtCol USMCR, cousin of Roger Cauthern
I was flying with Roger as his gunner on the day he was killed. I was new to the squadron and had met Roger only that morning. We loaded up the chopper and were enroute to Chu Lai to spend a few days down there for a mission. This was my first combat mission in VietNam!
While enroute to Chu Lai we were called in for an emergency med evac south of Da Nang. A patrol of Korean Marines was pinned down in a rice paddy and we responded to their position.
As we made our initial approach we started taking fire from a nearby tree line. The pilot waved off and climbed to a safe altitude. The pilot radioed the patrol to lay down protective fire as we made a second approach from a different direction. Just as we reached the zone we received more fire and I heard several rounds strike our aircraft. Roger was killed instantly and we had taken some hits right through the forward fuel tanks! Apparently, the same sniper that struck the men on the ground had zeroed in on us.
At this point we waved off and flew back to the ROK LZ to assess the damage. Although I didn't know Roger well I have thought of him and his family often. I have thought many times how that could have easily been me instead of him. It is with both pride and sorrow that I feel proud to have served with Roger and all the other fine men who sacrificed all in the name of freedom. Submitted by Dewey Steele, squadron mate/gunner, HMM-363.
FMF FPO SFRAN 96602
KIA. Died 8 Nov 67 Vicinity Quang Tin Province (04) Republic of Vietnam result missile wound to the head sustained when helicopter in which he was crew chief came under hostile weapons fire while on a medical evacuation mission.
DPOB 3 Nov 46, Greenwich, CT
I was flying in support of the ROC Marines the day before Roger and his helo flew down from Da Nang. We had been there about a week.
I twisted my ankle so bad that day and they had to cut my flight boot off. The flight that Roger took that day should have been our flight. I knew him very well. We lived in the same hut for several months. He was a great Marine. Not a day goes by I don't think about him and the rest of the HMM-363 Crew.
Roger was my cousin. I was only nine when he was killed. I remember going to his funeral. I always wondered how he died. It was interesting to read the comment on this site from the Marine who knew him. I have great respect for the WWII generation, but in my opinion, it was the men who fought in Vietnam who were our greatest generation.Submitted by: Robert Clifford, Cousin of Roger Cauthern, 20141022