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USMC/COMBAT HELICOPTER & TILTROTOR ASSOCIATION - KIA DATABASE
USMC/COMBAT HELICOPTER ASSOCIATION
Brothers (& Sisters) Killed in Action in USMC Helicopters or while assigned to USMC Helicopter or Tiltrotor Squadrons in Vietnam



690115   U.S. ARMY     Vietnam

Incident Date 690115 U.S. ARMY UH-1H (USA) UH-1H 66-16205 Hostile Fire, Crash

[CREW]
Corwin Jr., Francis Henry SP4 Crew Chief HHC/212 CAB/1stAVBGDE 690115 (vvm 34W:006)
Currence, William Allen Capt Pilot HHC/212 CAB/1stAVBGDE 690115 (vvm 34W:006)
Slayton, Ronald Dennis SP4 Gunner HHC/212 CAB/1stAVBGDE 690115 (vvm 34W:010)
Swidonovich, Nicholas John 1stLt Co-Pilot HHC/212 CAB/1stAVBGDE 690115 (vvm 34W:010)

[PASSENGERS]
Kansik, Frederick Daniel LCpl Passenger RadioOper/3rdMarines 3rdMarDiv 690115 (vvm 34W:008)
McClintock, Ted Ernest SgtMaj Passenger SgtMaj/3rdMarines 3rdMarDiv 690115 (vvm 34W:009)
Spark, Michael Melvin Col Passenger CO/3rdMarines 3rdMarDiv 690115 (vvm 34W:010)
Whisman, Ermil Lee LtCol Passenger CO/1/12 3rdMarDiv 690115 (vvm 34W:012)


KANSIK FREDERICK DANIEL : 2451578 : USMC : LCPL : E3 : 2531 (field radio operator) : 23 : LIVONIA : MI : 19690115 : hostile, crash, land : Passenger : body recovered : Quang Nam (Da Nang) : 00 : 19450204 : Cauc : Catholic/married : 34W : 008

MCCLINTOCK TED ERNEST : 338430 : USMC : SGTMAJ : E9 : 9999 : 47 : SEATTLE : WA : 19690115 : hostile, crash, land : Passenger : body recovered : Quang Nam (Da Nang) :26 : 19220110 : Cauc : Protestant/married : 34W : 009 : SILVER STAR 15JAN69

SPARK MICHAEL MELVIN : 049041 : USMC : COL : O6 : 9906 : 41 : NEW YORK : NY : 19690115 : hostile, crash, land : Passenger : body recovered : Quang Nam (Da Nang) :22 : 19270609 : Cauc : Protestant/married : 34W : 010 : SILVER STAR 15JAN69

WHISMAN ERMIL LEE : 053166 : USMC : LTCOL : O5 : 0802 (ARTY): 39 : LEXINGTON : KY : 19690115 : hostile, crash, land : Passenger : body recovered : Quang Nam (Da Nang) :22 : 19290124 : Cauc : Protestant/married : 34W : 012


From "US Marines in Vietnam - 1969":
While on visual reconnaissance south of FSB MAXWELL on the 15th, [during the Assault on Base Area 112] an Army UH-1H helicopter received automatic weapons fire causing it to crash and burn. On board were Col Michael M. Spark; the regimental SgtMaj Ted McClintock; the commanding officer ofthe 1st Bn, 12th Marines, LtCol Ermil L. Whisman; and Col Spark's radio operator L/Cpl Frederick A. Kansik. All including the crew, were killed. Col Paul Lafond assumed command of the 3rd Marines, while LtCol Roddy Moss took over 1/12.
Submitted by Alan H Barbour, Historian, USMC/VHA

Personal Narrative:
We were on patrol, I was with C Co 1/3 coming off a hill, we saw the huey hit and go over us and crash on the other side of the hill we were on.

May they rest in peace

Submitted by John O'Brien, Eyewitness

First Hand Narrative:
In researching the death of my fellow Marines who were KIA'd on 15 Jan 1969 west of An Hoa, I find there was some confusion as to the aircraft involved:

As head of the TACP (Tactical Air Control Party) my group was responsible for all regimental air support. As was generally the case the Army provided us with two CC (Command and Control) helicopters for our daily use and did so on this day. The TACP had direct control of these aircraft and would dispatch them on various missions throughout the day.

During the operation we had established a radio relay on the ridge west of our An Hoa base of operations as the battalions could not communicate directly with the command bunker due to the mountain range. I was part of the three man relay unit selected from the command bunker and assigned to the relay. I was talking to the CC Birds when they were hit, caught fire and crashed.

On this particular day the CC Birds did come from the Army. They came under heavy close range 12.5mm anti aircraft fire.

A sad day for all!

Submitted by Robert Record, Cpl, HQ CO, 3rd MARINES, 3rdMARDIV, Head of the TACP, 3rd Marines

VHPA Information for Jan 1969:
Incident Date 690112
006 CPT William Allen Currence P HHC/212 CAB UH-1H 66-16205
010 1LT Nicholas John Swidonovich AC HHC/212 CAB UH-1H 66-16205

Incident Date 690114
003 WO1 Richard Philip Yanchuk, Jr. P A/377 ART 101 ABN UH-1H 66-16172

Incident Date 690115
006 SP4 Francis Henry Corwin, Jr. PX 212 CAB
010 SP4 Ronald Dennis Slayton G 212 CAB
004 CPT Bruce Gregory Bowles OB 198 BDE 23 INF OH-6A 67-16189
005 1LT Jan Paul Christensen OB 198 BDE 23 INF OH-6A 67-16189
011 1LT Deane Arthur Taylor, Jr. P 198 BDE 23 INF OH-6A 67-16189
006 1LT Sterling Edward Cox P C/7/17 CAV AH-1G 67-15651
009 WO1 James Birch Petteys P C/7/17 CAV AH-1G 67-15651

Defense Intelligence Agency Information:
Helicopter or incident 66-16205
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Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-16205
The Army purchased this helicopter 0367
Total flight hours at this point: 00000615
Date: 01/12/1969
Incident number: 69011222.KIA
Unit: HHC/212 CAB
South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: ZC108396
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Also: OPERA (Operations Report. )
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
P CPT CURRENCE WILLIAM ALLEN KIA
AC 1LT SWIDONOVICH NICHOLAS JOHN KIA

This record was last updated on 08/12/1901
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The following is crew member information for this incident:
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Name: CPT William Allen Currence
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 01/12/1969 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Died 3 days later on 01/15/1969.
Age at death: 25.0
Date of Birth: 01/10/1944
Home City: Santa Clara, CA
Service: IN branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: HHC/212 CAB
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 68-10/68-14
Service: IN branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 34W-006
Short Summary: Shotdown 12Jan69 supporting 5th Marines in contact west of Hoa An I Corps. 5th Marines CO, SGM, & RTO on board. W/N.J. Swidonovich.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 66-16205
Service number: O5327035
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 1981 = 19 Rotary Wing Aviator (Unit Commander)
Primary cause: Hostile Fire
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: pilot
Started Tour: 12/11/1968
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - pilot
Length of service: 04
Location: Quang Nam Province I Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - killed
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Religion: unknown or not reported
The following information secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: officer
This record was last updated on 04/26/2002
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Name: 1LT Nicholas John Swidonovich
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 01/12/1969 while performing the duty of Aircraft Commander.
Died 3 days later on 01/15/1969.
Age at death: 23.1
Date of Birth: 12/12/1945
Home City: New York, NY
Service: IN branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: HHC/212 CAB
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 68-510/68-16
Service: IN branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 34W-010
Short Summary: Shot down 12Jan69 supporting 5th Marines in contact west of Hoa An in I Corps. Had 5th Marine CO, RTO, & SGM on board. W/W.A. Currence.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 66-16205
Service number: O5340976
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 1981 = 19 Rotary Wing Aviator (Unit Commander)
Primary cause: Hostile Fire
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: aircraft commander
Started Tour: 09/11/1968
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
Length of service: 02
Location: Quang Nam Province I Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - killed
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Religion: unknown
The following information secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: officer
This record was last updated on 04/26/2002

Response to errant DIA Report:
The Defense Intelligence Agency report contains several errors.

The information states that 212 CAB was in support of the 5th Marines and that there was a CO and a SgtMaj on board (see above). I have investigated the issue and have confirmed that the only loss for the Marines of a Regimental CO and SgtMaj was on the 15th, and that they were both from the 3rd Marines. Therefore, I would conclude that the original report by the Defense Intelligence Agency had errors specifically the date [12 Jan 1969 --> 15 Jan 1969], supported unit [5th Marines --> 3rd Marines], and location [Hoa An --> An Hoa].

From DIA report:
"Short Summary: Shot down 12Jan69 supporting 5th Marines in contact west of Hoa An in I Corps. Had 5th Marine CO, RTO, & SGM on board. W/W.A. Currence."

The actual location of the incident was 20 clicks west of An Hoa, in Base Area 112, near FSB Maxwell at ZC 108-396.

Also, there must have been at least a crewchief, if not a gunner, assigned to the UH-1H, who also died. The DIA report indicates two crewmembers KIA on 12Jan69. Two enlisted crew members were lost on the 15th from the same unit, with no explanation. The aircraft burned.

I have solid info that it was an Army UH-1H, and I see no other combinations. It would not be reasonable that the 5th Marines lost a CO and a SgtMaj as per the DIA report, three days before the 3rd Marines lost a CO and SgtMaj. All of my Marine historical resources indicate only one loss of that magnitude for the entire operation with Task Force Yankee. The official history "US Marines in Vietnam - 1969" gives the 3rd Marines loss an entire paragraph. Also, the 5th Marines CO was not lost in that tiome period. It was Col James B. Ord from 14Oct68 thru 22Mar69. No CO was killed from the 5th Marines. The 3rd Marines CO, Col Michael Spark, served from 4Nov68 and was replaced on 15Jan69 by Col Paul Lafond after being KIA.

CONCLUSION: The Army officers reported lost on 12Jan69 on the DIA report from 212th CAB were actually lost on 15Jan69 on this incident with the four Marines on board. I also believe that those Army SP4s reported lost on 15Jan69 from 212th CAB were serving as the crew on the same incident aboard UH-1H 66-16205.

Submitted by Alan H Barbour, Historian, USMC Combat Helicopter Association

FSB McCLINTOCK (YD 040-310):
From "Where we Were in Vietnam" by Michael P. Kelly - Near or possibly on Nui Gia. Apx 37 km SW Quang Tri, 15 km SSE Vandegrift CB, 5 km ESE FSB Mink, 5 km NW FSB Fisher, 10 km ESE FSB Whisman.

Named after SgtMaj Ted E. McClintock, KIA, SgtMaj of the 3rd Marine Regiment.

Submitted by Alan H Barbour, Historian, USMC/VHA

Personal Narrative:
LTC Whisman was the namesake of a Firebase south of Khe Sahn that I served on in May-June 1969 with 1st Bn, 12th Marines. Firebase Whisman may later have become known as Firebase Leatherneck. We occupied it during Operation Maine Crag. It was very near the Laotian border.
Submitted by Jim Noteboom, Marine

FSB WHISMAN (XD 973-333):
From "Where We Were in Vietnam" by Michael P. Kelly - On S slope of Dong Cho Mtn and immed SE Da Ban Heliport, apx 14 km SSW Vandegrift CB and 12 km SSE FSB Snapper. Built by 2/9 beginning 29MAY69 during OP CAMERON FALLS and attacked 1JUN69. Attack unusual in that NVA mounted assault within hours of FSB's completion.

Col Michael Spark, Regt CO 3rd Marines, LtCol Ermil Whisman, CO 1/12 and 3rd Regt SgtMaj Ted McClintock were shot down and KIA 15JAN69 near FSB MAXWELL during TF YANKEE (Base Area 112 attack). Separate FSB's later named to honor each.

On maps at page 65, 73 "US MARINES IN VIETNAM - 1969". Quang Tri Prov, I Corps.

DEFINITION - FSB - Fire Support Base - Firebase - A ground installation designed to house artillery units firing in support of other bases within its artillery range. Also housed infantry security and communications elements. From "Where We Were in Vietnam" by Michael P. Kelly

Submitted by Alan H Barbour, Historian, USMC/VHA

FSB SPARK (XD 875-238):
From "Where we Were in Vietnam" by Michael P. Kelly - In center of Vietnam Salient, apx 7 km SSW Lang Klung, 6km SE Lang Chei, 18 km SSE Khe Sanh CB and 54 km SW Quang Tri. Reactivated by 2/9 2JUL69 during OP UTAH MESA.

Named after Col Michael M. Spark, KIA, Regt CO 3rd Marines.

Submitted by Alan H Barbour, Historian, USMC/VHA

Supporting Information:
The 212 CAB is the 212th Combat Aviation Brigade of the 1st Aviation Brigade of the US Army.
Submitted by Alan H Barbour, Historian, USMC Combat Helicopter Association

Family Recollection:
I met Uncle Ted (McClintock) when I was about 10 years old. His presence was mighty. He left a huge hole in many hearts because of his sudden and heroic death among many other heroes. I miss not knowing him more and this report brings me a little closer to him. It is good to know that some souls remember the facts and the importance of the truth. Thank you.
Submitted by Joan Marie Eddins, Ted McClintock was Uncle Ted to me


USMC/COMBAT HELICOPTER & TILTROTOR ASSOCIATION