Incident Date 19690323 HMM-161 CH-46D 154813 - Hostile Fire
Henricks, Charles Drayton 1stLT Pilot HMM-161 PROVMAG-39 1969-03-23 (vvm 28W:019)
I cannot remember the names of our crewmembers that day, but AC CW2 Tim Loomis, I and our medic and crew chief were on standby at Vandergrift. We were from the Army 237th MED DET (HA) stationed at Camp Evans, but we pulled standby at Quang Tri and sometimes Vandergrift. We were DMZ Dustoff covering I Corps from south of Evans to DMZ.
At morning briefing we found out about a hoist mission. Our ship had the hoist, but Lt. Henricks did not. He told us that this was a Marine in trouble and insisted on taking the mission. In the end we set up the hoist in Lt. Henricks ship and one of our crewmen [Spc5 John Taylor] went with them to teach their crew how to run it. We picked up one of their guys and a lot of the other missions.
I cannot remember how long we had been out when we heard the call that the Aircraft Commander had been killed. I always thought it was a sniper, but just read it was 50 cal. As A/C, 1stLt. Henricks was sitting on the right side of aircraft. As pilot I was sitting on the same side. All these years I have known I could have been me.
I was finally able to put this together from KIA reports from VietNam Helicopter Pilots Assn. 2000 Directory (page 186, column 3) and seeing the Popasmoke pages at the Vietnam Memorial yesterday [30 May 2001] and logging in to the website. This is all that I know about the incident. However, I have known since that day 31 years ago that the A/C of the Marine medevac was one of the bravest men I have ever met. He was the personification of what it means to be a Marine - Duty, Honor, Country. God Bless you for keeping these lines open; and keeping alive in memory all these brave, forever young, men. Submitted by Gary R. Yeck, Dustoff (medevac) pilot, 237th MED DET, US Army
Information on U.S. Marine Corps helicopter CH-46D tail number 154015
Incident number: 69032303.KIA
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was REPAIRED IN THEATER
This was a Rescue and Recovery mission for Medical Evacuation
While in PickUp Zone this helicopter was at Hover at 0030 feet and 000 knots.
Helicopter took 3 hits from:
Small Arms/Automatic Weapons; Gun launched non-explosive ballistic projectiles less than 20 mm in size. (12.7MM)
The helicopter was hit in the Cockpit
Systems damaged were: PERSONNEL, ENGINE
Casualties = 01 KIA . .
The helicopter Continued Flight.
The aircraft continued and accomplished all mission objectives.
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center Helicopter database. Also: NSC, CASRP, JSIDR (Naval Safety Center. Joint Services Incident Damage Report. Casualty Report.
P 1stLt HENRICKS CHARLES DRAYTON KIA