Incident Date 19700428 HML-167 UH-1E 151280+ - Crash
Bugman, David Charles Cpl Crew Chief HML-167 MAG-16 1970-04-28 (vvm 11W:063)
Cpl. Bugman was an APD "people sniffer" operator. HML-167 had this as a regular mission. I had flown the mission only a few days before with Cpl. Bugman. We would fly the UH-1E at tree top level over areas where we would believe there was enemy activity. Since this mission was flown at very low level, and over rough terrain there was little room for any error. The information collected from the APD would be used to call in air strikes, or arty. David was the only marine killed in the crash. The two pilots were pulled out, and one had to be med-evac to Japan. I do not recall the names of the two pilots.
The mission was flown in one of the squadron slicks. The APD operator was a Huey Crew Chief that had been checked out on how to run the machine. I flew this mission many times as both the sniffer bird, or gunbird covering the APD aircraft. The squadron lost an APD aircraft on 28 April 1970 when it crashed in the mountains. The APD/crew chief David C. Bugman was killed in the crash, but the 2 pilot were picked up, and were med-evaced out of country due to their injuries.
The APD was set up in the back where the jump seat should have been. They had a long tube that ran under the pilot's seat to an air scoop in the chin bubble. You'd fly low and slow (tree top level) the APD would pick up the smell of human activity. You'd have to be careful not to fly over the same area twice because; the burned jet fuel in the air would give you a false reading on the machine.
As for the gun cover we would use 2 types of cover on the APD mission:
1. Used most often was the standard combat spread.
2. One gunbird in trail of the APD bird about 1/4 mile behind and about 500 feet above. With the other gunbird about 1,000 AGL in a very loose trail keeping the other 2 aircraft in sight. It was up to the section leader to make that call. My guess is that they were using number 2 that day.
I've included a picture of David; I'm not sure exactly when or where it was taken, but I thought it would be nice to have a picture of him here.
To Elizabeth: I am from Erie and was a friend of Dave's while we were stationed at New River in North Carolina in 1969 before he went to Vietnam. He was a great guy and good friend - we made many weekend trips from NC to Erie - I dropped Dave off at your white house on Route 5 in Fairview. I was discharged in Feb 70 and was greatly saddened the day my dad showed me the news about Dave in the Erie Times. Anyway, please know he'll never be forgotten. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.Submitted by: Bill Gaerttner, Friend of Dave Bugman, 20130403