Incident Date 19690727 HMM-364 CH-46A - BuNo 154018+ (YT-10) - - Hostile fire, systems malfunction, uncontrollable crash
Sanders, Daunt Brunell 1stLT Co-Pilot HMM-364 MAG-16 1969-07-27 (vvm 20W:060)
McDaniel, John Thomas Cpl Crew Chief HMM-364 MAG-16 1969-07-27 (vvm 20W:059)
Harris Jr., John Henry Cpl Gunner HMM-364 MAG-16 1969-07-27 (vvm 20W:057)
Hackworth, Charles Lehman HM1 Corpsman-Crew Corpsmen MAG-16 1969-07-27 (vvm 20W:057)
Gramlick, Michael F LCpl Gunner HMM-364 MAG-16 1969-07-27 (vvm 20W:056)
Gibel, Raymond GySgt Gunner HMM-364 MAG-16 1969-07-27 (vvm 20W:056)
Armenio, Robert William 1stLT Pilot HMM-364 MAG-16 1969-07-27 (vvm 20W:053)
NVA, POW (captured) Passenger 1969-07-27
Storm, Ralph Dorman Cpl L/3/5 (KIA prior to flight) 1969-07-27 (vvm 20W:061)
Du Charm, Paul Medore PFC Passenger L/3/5 (prisoner escort) 1969-07-27 (vvm 20W:055)
Scharf, Ronald James PFC Medevac BattF/2/11 1stMarDiv 1969-07-27 (vvm 20W:061)
Barickman, Leon Ross LCpl Passenger L/3/5 (prisoner escort) 1969-07-27 (vvm 20W:054)
Epilogue – from HMM-364 website
Eye witnesses to the crash indicate it probably was due to both hydraulic boost systems being shot out which caused the aircraft to crash uncontrollably. Colonel Schoener indicates that to this day he has a vivid memory of his last face to face meeting and conversation with Lt. Armenio.
Roger Birmingham, former LCpl. USMC was a Squad Leader with Lima Co. 3/7 and was present when YK-10 was shot down. I hate to keep adding to these but I have some more eye witness information on Lt. Armenio's death. My best friend, Roger Birmingham, was a LCpl with Lima Co, 3/7 and they were there when we lost Lt. Armenio. After several days of heavy fighting they found that the gooks had heavy caliber weapons and communication wire running from their shooting holes. The army had been patrolling the area from the air and Fox Co 2/7 walked into a hornets nest. They had 70-75 % casualties when they called for a medevac and that was Lt. Armenio. He never had a chance.
Shot Down on Emergency Medevac Mission - The HMM-364 Command Chronology states: "On 27 July 1969 at 1530 hours, 17 miles SW of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, RVN. Crew of YK-10 (bureau number 154018) of HMM-364 flying on an emergency medevac mission. Upon departure from the pick-up zone the aircraft received intense small arms fire and automatic fire. Aircraft impacted uncontrollably, exploded and burned. Aircraft consumed by fire. All crew and Passengers were killed. Eleven lives were lost." Eye witnesses of the crash indicate it probably was due to both hydraulic boost systems being shot out which caused the aircraft to crash uncontrollably.Submitted by: Charles J. "Chic" Schoener, Colonel USMCR(Ret), 20030821
We were returning to MMAF from a resupply when we heard an aircraft was having problems, a CH-46 with medevacs and hydraulic system damage due to ground fire. We flew to the grid and observed the H-46 attempting a roll on landing on top of a plateau. Radio transmissions indicated hydraulic failure and flight control problems. As we hovered I observed the H-46 approach the hillside and abruptly drop below the rim and fly directly into the hillside. Aircraft rolled to bottom of the ravine and burst into flames.
I attempted to lower my gunner on the hoist for survivors. JP [jet fuel] was burning and ammo cooking off. The entire aircraft burned in a matter of minutes. No survivors were recovered. The pilot of the aircraft had indicated via radio that he was loaded with medevacs. Darkness was setting in and we were advised to return to Marble, which we did. I was unaware of the squadron this aircraft was assigned to.
This crash happened on Operation Durham Peak on 7/27/69.
Medavac chopper was called in after our point man was shot and killed; another grunt, Ralph Storm, made a rescue attempt but was also shot and killed. My fireteam leader, Leon Barickman, whom was suffering from a terrible leg infection, was taking the chopper back to the rear to seek treatment; he was also aboard and killed on impact.
I was a part of the retreval team that made our way to the crash site down the mountain. Our company was Lima 3/5 out of Combat Base An Hoa (not Lima 3/7 as posted by another commenter). I still find it extremely painful to relive this day in my head. These were brave men both on the ground and in the Medavac crew them came to our aid that day.
There was a whole chain of events leading up to the crash that played out on the ground prior to the crash. Prior to the 46 landing directly at the site of the battle, we were under fire not only from the NVA but also some short rounds from a Cobra gunship that was putting suppressing fire on the enemy position.
If I can help anyone reading this, contact me. I will tell you the story of that day on the mountain and the brave Marines both on the ground and in the air who lost there life.
Would appreciate any pictures of him from personal files. Thanks.
I served a full tour with Lima Co. 3/5 and Operation Durham Peak was my last operation. I helped carry Cpl. Storm's body down and into the medevac chopper. As I jumped off and it started lifting off, I could see the dust flying off the side as it was taking small arms fire. My buddy, Ronald Scharf, was in the chopper and had the biggest grin as he was giving me the thumbs-up. The image still haunts me even after all these years.
Also, I was in the rescue squad that was sent down to see if there were any survivors, then I assisted in the retreiving the bodies. Ultimately, I rotated out of the bush on the same morning the bodies went out.
I had some concerns if it would be appropriate but I went ahead and posted 2 pictures, 1) the actual crash site of the medevac chopper and 2) picture of Ronald Scharf KIA (left) and myself. We were radiomen and became close buddies as a result.
I had the opportunity of fighting beside some to the bravest and most loyal Marines. But deservingly so, I admire our Navy Corpsmen and the brave men that came to our rescue, the medevac crews. There are few words that express the feelings that a grunt had when he heard the words, "Corpsman Up" or "Popasmoke" then "Medevac chopper in-bound". Even today, when I hear the sound of chopper blades, my mind goes rushing back to those dreadful days.
I have some 240 pictures taken during my tour of duty. Several of them were taken during Operation Durham Peak. Please feel free to contact me if I can help in bringing some closure to that terrible day.
Daunt Sanders graduated from Seattle University, Seattle WA, Class of 1966 with a B.A. in Psychology.
He is remembered at http://www.facesfromthewall.com
My wife was born after her father, 1stLT Daunt Brunell Sanders was KIA during this incident (co-pilot). Did any one know him while he was over there that might contribute to helping her understand what he was like?
LCpl Michael F Gramlick
Cpl John Henry Harris Jr.
1stLt Daunt Brunell Sanders, HMM-164
1stLt Robert William Armenio
Cpl John Thomas McDaniel
I failed to include Ronald Scharf's picture.
Stay Low, Semper Fi,