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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



691010   HML-367     Vietnam

Incident Date 691010 HML-367 UH-1E 152438+ Hostile Fire, Crash

[CREW]
Hesson, Danny Robert LCpl Gunner HML-367 MAG-36 691010 (vvm 17:061)
Rhodes, James Lawrence 1stLt Pilot HML-367 MAG-36 691010 (vvm 17W:064)
Siler Jr., Manley Eugene LCpl Crew Chief HML-367 MAG-36 691010 (vvm 17W:064)


HESSON DANNY ROBERT : 232789798 : USMC : LCPL : E3 : 6319 : 20 : PARKERSBURG : WV : 19691010 : hostile, crash, land : Crew : body recovered : Quang Tri :02 : 19481210 : Cauc : Protestant/single : 17W : 061

RHODES JAMES LAWRENCE : 331364577 : USMCR : 1stLT : O2 : 7563 : 24 : KANSAS : IL : 19691010 : hostile, crash, land : Pilot : body recovered : Quang Tri :04 : 19450327 : Cauc : Protestant/married : 17W : 064

SILER MANLEY EUGENE JR : 529662405 : USMC : LCPL : E3 : 6242 : 20 : ODESSA : TX : 19691010 : hostile, crash, land : Crew : body recovered : Quang Tri :02 : 19481120 : Cauc : Protestant/single : 17W : 064


After Action Report HML-367 10 OCT 1969:
AFTER ACTION REPORT - HML-367 - 10 OCT 1969

NAME OF OPERATION: 3RD MAR DIV

MISSION #76
TOTAL TIME: 6.4 HOURS CODE: IT4
IN SUPPORT OF: III MAF
SORTIES: 13 TASKS: 9

DEPARTURE: 0747H RETURN: 1630H
FURTHEST COORD: 920644

A/C EVENT #35-6 A/C SIDE #1
SECTION LEADER---
PILOT: LtCol B.R. WILKINSON [Commanding Officer, HML-367]
COPILOT: J.T. LEWIS
CREWCHIEF: J. COOK
GUNNER: L.L. LABRECQUE

WINGMAN---
PILOT: 1stLt E. BAUERFIEND
COPILOT: 1stLt J.L. RHODES
CREWCHIEF: LCpl D.R. HESSON
GUNNER: LCpl M.E. SILER JR.

NARRATIVE:
USA
VQT [Quang Tri][YD 309-556]
932647 COVER AND VR ELK HUNTER 1/4 HOTEL
920644 COVER AND VR ELK HUNTER 1/4 HOTEL
947657 FIRE AND EXPEND ORDNANCE - SUSPECTED MORTAR POSITION - RECEIVED AUTOMATIC WEAPONS FIRE
VQT [Quang Tri]
992648 COVER AND ESCORT RESUPPLY - ALEXANDER KILO
088647 ESCORT RESUPPLY - RADISH 6
075648 ESCORT RESUPPLY - PIONEER 6
075641 FIRE ON ENEMY IN OPEN - RECEIVED AUTOMATIC WEAPONS FIRE
064640 ORBIT CRASH SCENE - SCARFACE 40
DH [Dong Ha][YD 243-597]
064640 ORBIT CRASH
VQT [Quang Tri]

/S/ B.R. WILKINSON, FLIGHT LEADER

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

U S Army Daily Report A/1-11 10 Oct 1969:
DAILY REPORT, S-2/3, 1stBn, 11th Infantry Regiment, US ARMY
10 October 1969

1525H Marine UH-1 crashed while making gun run. An element of A/1-11 airlifted to crash site.
1631H Medevac [from 237th Med Det, Quang Tri] arrived on station w/necessary equipment to free the trapped KIA in downed chopper
1705H Man [Bauernfeind] trapped in chopper freed from chopper.
1713H CH-43 [?] inbound to extract downed chopper.
1735H Downed gunship being burned. Element of A/1-11 will be helilifted from area of downed chopper back to A/1-11 Command Post.
1750H Helilift of 2/A/1-11 back to CP started
SUMMARY:
A/1-11 at YD063634 sighted 1 NVA at approximately YD056633. When H-46’s arrived for resupply [of Company Command Post] Bn C.O. told UH-1 gunship, which made runs on area. Gunship SCARFACE 40 [HML-367, #2 aircraft] was hit and crashed. 2 US Marines were killed. 2 WIA’s. A/1-11 was shuttled to area to assist.
/s/ Dan M. Parker Jr. 1Lt, IN

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

Personal Recollection:
My unit, 237th DUSTOFF [Medevac], call sign DMZ DustOff, completed the rescue mission on this sortie. We received the call that a Marine gunship had been shot down in the area of the DMZ. We arrived at the site and found that we could not land due to the trees and that the gunship was in a deep ravine.

I volunteered to jump out of our huey to investigate the crash scene. I found that both of the door gunners [CrewChief Gene SILER and Gunner Danny HESSON] were dead and the pilot in the left seat [Copilot Jim RHODES] was also dead. However, the right seat Pilot [Ed BAUERNFEIND] was still alive. As the engine was still running and the ship armed with rockets, I decided to remove the surviving pilot. I carried him up a hill and as my ship hovered as low as they could, lifted the wounded pilot up to my Medic. I also climbed aboard. We carried the wounded pilot to the Naval Hospital Ship USS REPOSE.

Submitted by Charlie Whaley, Crewchief on DMZ Dustoff Helicopter

Personal Recollection:
About 15:15 on 10 October 1969 our squad of 5 men was preparing to occupy a night ambush site over the next hill. We were with "A" Company, 1/11 Infantry, 5th Division Mechanized. Someone picked up a disturbance or a reflection from the vicinity of the proposed ambush site. A section of two Marine gunships from HML-367 [SCARFACE 40] was in the vicinity and was called by our C.O. to assist us in checking out the area of the disturbance. They agreed and made a pass over the hilly area.

After one firing pass, two NVA stood and began firing at the second huey gunship, apparently hitting and disabling the tail rotor as the aircraft spun uncontrolled into the hilly ground out of our sight. Our Company Commander, Captain BOOZER immediately ordered us to go see what we could do. The second Marine gunship arrived at our company position, dropped weight (crew members and ammo) and then carried the five of us to the area of the crash.

The terrain was very steep and difficult with enemy bunkers in the vicinity. We set up a hasty “secure area” at the top of the hill with our one machine gun while four of us including our medic slid down the hill to the huey. My squad included Pedro on the machine gun, Ken, Mike and a new medic. The helicopter turbine engine was still running but the blades had been ripped off during the crash.

The Pilot [1/Lt BAUERNFEIND] was observed to be alive and pinned in his seat by cables and wires. He required a medevac to free him from the entanglement and evacuate him. The CrewChief [L/Cpl SILER] seemed to be alive and fastened by his gunner’s belt. He was carried to a small level area where our medic administered first aid. He passed away within minutes. The other two members of the crew, on the left side of the huey, were both dead from the crash; the Copilot [1/Lt RHODES] strapped in his seat and the Gunner [L/Cpl HESSON] attached by his gunner’s belt. Their bodies were removed from the wreckage and moved to the flat area near our medic. During this time our squad had no idea what the enemy situation was in the immediate vicinity – but they were not in contact. We were then reinforced by others from our company.

I was concerned about the security of the area and my troops and do not know when or how the pilot was recovered. Our unit stayed in the area until a higher authority made the decision to destroy or disable the huey after the pilot was recovered by the medevac. After the huey was destroyed, we returned to our base area.

Submitted by Ed Rego, Cpl USA, Squad Leader, A/1-11

Personal Narrative:
lstLt Rhodes launched out on a gunship mission as co-pilot with Ed Bauernfeind as the HAC, and two crewmen, L/Cpls Danny Hesson, and Gene Siler. They were the second gunship (chase) of a flight of two. The flight was assigned to provide fire on a target near the DMZ, near the Charlie 4, or Con Tien area, when they received heavy fire. This aircraft was hit in the tail boom/tail rotor area, and crashed. A U. S. Army ground team was near by, and rescued Bauernfeind, the only survivor, who was severely injured. The next morning, Lt. Unruh, piloting one UH-1E, and Lt. John Upthegrove, piloting another, flew to the area and photographed the aircraft, observing many large holes shot in the tail boom, back to the tail rotor. This is the only photograph I know of the aircraft.
Submitted by Perry J. Unruh, HML-367 squadron mate

Soldier's Medal AWARD:
16 April 1970
Award Of THE SOLDIER'S MEDAL

TC 439. The following AWARD is announced.

WHALEY, CHARLIE A. 241-76-xxxx SPECIALIST FIVE United States Army, 237th
Medical Detachment, 67th Medical Group, 44th Medical Brigade, APO 96383
Awarded: Soldier's Medal
Date of Action: 10 October 1969
Theater: Republic of Vietnam
Authority: By direction of the President, under the provisions of the
Act of Congress, approved 2 July 1926
Reason: For heroism not involving actual conflict with an armed enemy
in the Republic of Vietnam: Specialist Five WHALEY distinguished himself
while serving as a crew chief aboard a helicopter ambulance during a
rescue mission near Dong Ha just south of the Demilitarized Zone. He
and fellow crewmen had been requested to pick up the pilot of a Marine
helicopter gunship shot down by enemy ground fire. When the rescue team
arrived over the wreckage, they found that the gunship had crashed in
a small ravine too narrow to accommodate the air ambulance. The pilot
then hovered down the side of the ravine as close to the wreckage as
possible and Specialist WHALEY disembarked the hovering aircraft and
rushed to the crashed helicopter. Finding the gunship's engine still
running and fuel leaking from the cells near the loaded rocket pods,
Specialist WHALEY entered the cockpit and struggled to shut down the
engine for fear that the leaking fuel would ignite and detonate the
rockets. Unable to free the jammed fuel controls to shut down the engine,
Specialist WHALEY, fearing for an imminent explosion, dragged the critically
injured pilot from the wreckage and carried him to the waiting rescue
helicopter for evacuation to medical facilities. Specialist Five WHALEY'S
heroic actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military
service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit and the United
States Army.

GENERAL ORDERS NUMBER 893, dated 16 April 1970, DA, Headquarters, United States
Army Vietnam, APO San Francisco 96375

FOR THE COMMANDER,

// SEAL //

GEORGE L. MABRY, JR.
Major General, US Army
Chief of Staff

JOHN A. O'BRIEN
Colonel, AGC
Adjutant General

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

1stLt James L. Rhodes, HML-367:

1stLt James L. Rhodes, USMC
Submitted by Aaron Rhodes, Son

Picture of Crew Member:

Picture of LCPL Manley "GENE" Siler:
Submitted by Billly M. Brown, Researcher PBVVM-Midland, Tx


USMC/COMBAT HELICOPTER & TILTROTOR ASSOCIATION