Incident Date 19690506 VMO-6 O-1G 156682+ - Crash, Instrument Meterological Conditions
Hagan, John Robert Maj (PP) AO VMO-6 PROVMAG-39 1978-03-31 (vvm 25W:011)
Billipp, Norman Karl Capt Pilot VMO-6 PROVMAG-39 1976-07-16 (vvm 25W:009)
BILLIPP NORMAN KARL : 195348293 : USMC : CAPT : O3 : 7501 : 31 : MILWAUKEE : WI : 19760716 : Hostile, died while missing, crash on land, Pilot (O-1G) : Body not recovered : Quang Tri : ** : 19450314 : Cauc : PB : Single : 25W : 009
MAG-36 Command Chronology - May 1969
6 May 69: The day was marked by massive thunderstormsin Northern I Corps. One of the Seaworthy O1 aircraft failed to return to Quang Tri after his normal 2.5 hours of flighttime. An extensive air search was instituted with negative results a the end of the day.
7 May 69: Today found a continutaion of the search for the missing Seaworthy O1 with negative results.
VMO-6 Command Chronology - May 1969
6 May 1969. Seaworthy 37 and his AO, Noonwatch Hotel [aka Nooner "H"], failed to return to base in the late afternoon. SAR was initiated and continued after dark with no results. Operations were hampered in the afternoon by thunderstorms in the western part of Northern I Corps.
7 May 1969. VMO-6 OV-10's and O1's were joined by VMO-2 OV-10's in the extensive SAR efforts for Seaworthy 37. Results again were negative.
8 May 1969. SAR for Seaworthy 37 continued to be fruitless.
The weather was terrible with multiple, very violent storms covering the NW corner of I Corps. Vandy was full of MAG-39 aircraft and a 46 had been hit by lightning turning the corner at Ca Lu .You could not fly in that stuff and it appeared to be coming from all directions. Along with its guns and OV's, VMO-6 had the last Marine O-1's. Like the other O-1 pilots, Billipp spent the first half of his tour in A-4's/ F-4's.He was a very competent guy who had a reputation for pushing the envelope.
They had been assigned an AO along Route 9 past Khe Sahn to the Lao Bao prison on the border. Either they didn't hear the general recall or the weather didn't look that bad where they were. If you've been there, you know how fast it can develop. Although what happened will never be known, it’s highly probable that they waited too long and got caught in a cell. No transmissions were heard and a multi-day search revealed nothing.
When I got to Quang Tri in June,68 the O-1's were part of the Third Marine
Division. They were transferred to VMO-6 that summer and we still had a few when I left the next July. The OV's that replaced them had pilots that were OV qualified when they came from down south but the O-1 guys were jet jockeys who voluntarily transferred to VMO-6 for 6 months to fly the O-1. Quang Tri instead of Da Nang/ an O-1 "armed" with 4 Willy Pete's vs an F-4. Knew Billipp since officer’s training at TBS [The Basic School]
LOSS COORDINATES: N16 41 00 E106 48 00 [SW of Rockpile]
SOURCE: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews and CACCF = Combined Action Combat Casualty File. Name added to the WALL 1997 - NO ANNOUNCEMENT of remains returned, although on 97 DoD remains returned list. No further information available at this time.
REMARKS: Last radio contact said, "do visual recon Highway 9, Ca Lu to Laos Border"
HAGAN, JOHN ROBERT
Name: John Robert Hagan
Branch/Rank: United States Marine Corps/O2
Date of Birth: 22 August 1945
Home City of Record: SAVANNAH GA
Date of Loss: 06 May 1969
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 164100 North 1064800 East
Status (in 1973): Presumptive Finding of Death
Other Personnel in Incident: NORMAN BILLIPP, PFOD
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK from one or more of the following: raw
data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA
families, published sources, interviews and CACCF = Combined Action
Combat Casualty File.
Name added to the WALL 1997
P.O.W. NETWORK REMARKS: REMAINS [Billipp] IDENTIFIED 01 NOV 96Submitted by: N/A, 20030821
HAGAN, JOHN ROBERT REMAINS IDENTIFIED 01 NOV 95Submitted by: N/A, 20030827
Comment on Incident
Library of Congress search under \"LAOS\" finds \"REFUGEE CLAIMS BILLIPP IS ALIVE HIDING IN LAOS\"