Rescue and SOS SEA Losses

Names listed in red are KIA/MIA; in blue were POW; in black are survivors.

Total Losses

Model Hostile Operational Logistical Unknown
CH-3 15 5 9
HH-3 10 4 3
HH-53B 2
HH-53C 9 9 4
CH-53C 6 1
HU-16 4
HH-43 8 4 1

Jolly Green H-3 SEA Losses

Tail Number Model Date Unit Location Call Sign Pilot CoPilot Flight Engineer Pararescueman Notes
63-09685 CH-3E 6 Nov 65 38th ARRS NVN Jolly Green Warren E. Lilly Jerry Singleton B. E. Naugle Arthur Cormier SAR for SANDY 14 (A-1E Capt McKnight), hit by ground fire.   1st Jolly lost in combat.
64-14231 HH-3E 29 Nov 66 Det 5, 38th ARRS unknown Jolly Green Crashed at 1805L while landing at a classified site.  Aircraft was engulfed in dust during night landing touchdown; helicopter was totally destroyed by post impact fire.  Four aircrew escaped with minor injuries.
64-14233 HH-3E 15 Jan 68 NVN Jolly Green 20 Gregory A. Etzel David E. Holt Elwood R. Beam Angus W. Sowell Acft was flying SAR mission for PREVIEW 01 (EB-66C) when it went below the clouds to look for survivors, acft lost power due to ground fire.
65-12778 HH-3E 20 Oct 66 38th ARRS Jolly Green Youngblood E. Burford
65-12779 HH-3E 6 Feb 67 38th ARRS NVN Jolly Green 05 Patrick H. Wood Richard A. Kibbey Donald J. Hall Duane A. Hackney helo was hit by ground fire while flying SAR for NAIL 65; crash site located atop 900 meter karst.
65-12782 HH-3E 5 Oct 68 37th ARRS Laos Jolly Green 10 Lernon Granier Albert D. Wester Gregory P. Lawrence Earnest Casbeer While attempting to extract a Special Forces team in contact with the enemy, the acft received intensive ground fire which damaged aircraft, followed by a fire.
65-12785 HH-3E 21 Nov 70 40th ARRS NVN Banana 1 Herb Kalen Herb Zender Leroy Wright 14 man SF assault force Son Tay Raider, Crashed into compound
65-12786 CH-3E 16 Oct 68 37th ARRS NVN Jolly Green 24 Richard Griffiths Harry Hagen Mickey D. Berry Robert Cassidy helo experienced loss of transmission fluid from ground fire, helo landed in the sea, but sank in rough seas.
66-13279 HH-3E 9 Nov 67 37th ARRS Laos Jolly Green 26 Gerald O. Young Ralph W. Brower Eugene L. Clay Larry W. Maysey Acft was hit on takeoff by ground fire after MEDEVAC of USA personnel.  Pilot awarded MOH for this mission.
66-13280 HH-3E 15 Apr 70 37th ARRS SVN Jolly Green 27 Travis H. Scott, Jr. Travis Wofford Gerald L.  Hartzel L. E. Davis Caught fire, FE died of wounds after.
66-13281 HH-3E 24 Oct 69 37th ARRS Laos Jolly Green 28 Charlie Langham Charles W. Bond James E. Smith Donald G. Smith Downed by ground fire during SAR for MISTY 11 (F-100F 1lt Muller AD and Capt Clapper J) aircraft destroyed by friendly aircraft.
66-13282 HH-3E 20 Oct 68 37th ARRS NVN Jolly Green 29 Gerald Moore Lawrence Davis Robert Anderson Steven T. White North Vietnam, at 0717H, the helo had made water landing to recover the crew of DOVER 01 (F-4D, 1Lt Donald D Amico & 1Lt Sammy F. Wilburn, 366th TFW Danang, both recovered) when the aircraft was hit by enemy fire from Tiger Island, lost rotor blade and caught fire; at 0833H the crew was picked up from rafts by JG31 and JG33. At 0940H, it was reported JG29 was floating belly up and at 1215H it sank.
66-13283 HH-3E 27 Oct 67 37th ARRS Laos Jolly Green 30 R.Richard Mulder Warren E. Walter Smith Williams, Jr. Michael L. Walker Aircraft was hit by ground fire while hovering to pick up ground party when it lost engine, aircraft was destroyed by bombing.  Survivors and ground party rescued by Jolly Green 07.
67-14710 HH-3E 9 Jun 68 37th ARRS SVN Jolly Green 23 Jack Rittichier Richard C. Yeend, Jr Elmer L. Holden James D. Locker JOLLY GREEN 23 was flying a SAR mission for HELLBORNE 215, a USMC A-4E piloted by 1Lt Walter R. Schmidt Jr. (MIA), who was downed northwest of the Ashau Valley. Voice contact was established with the survivor, who reported he possibly had a broken leg. Several attempts at pickup were made by the lead helicopter, JG22, but they were unsuccessful due to the intense ground fire. After suppressive fire was put in, JG23 moved in to attempt the pickup, JG23 reported taking hits and then caught fire. The pilot attempted to land in a small clearing, but the helicopter exploded when it hit the ground and burned intensely. There were no indications anyone survived the crash. The pilot of JG23, LTJG Jack Rittichier, was a U.S. Coast Guard helicoper pilot, he is the only USCG man who is unaccounted for in SEA and was the first USCG casualty of the Vietnam war. He was part of a pilot exchange program between the USAF and Coast Guard.

Special Operations H-3 SEA Losses

Tail Number Model Date Unit Location Call Sign Pilot CoPilot Flight Engineer Gunner/Other Gunner/Other Notes
62-12579 CH-3C 6 Oct 69 21st SOS, 56th ACW Laos Knife 62 P.J. Conran P.L.Costa Franklin H.L. Ramsey (FE) Muang Phine Airport, with 52 indigenous personnel aboard both acft, all rescued. Along with 64-14222
62-12582 CH-3C 17 Jan 69 20th SOS Laos Pony Express 20 Walter W. Martin Richard A.Fleming Albert J. Davis Helo was hit by small arms fire while hoveirng, no further information on this loss; mission was TACAN site support, loss coord 2002N10328E.  Additional Info.
63-09681 CH-3E 13 Aug 70 21st SOS, 56th ACW Thailand Skycap 36 Alan B. Cheeseman George D. Henry Terry D. Reams William L. Ripley W. L. Genez (Pilot) Hit by a 12.7mm round which blew up the hydraulic accumulators and knocked out both engines.  They were on a training mission for a new pilot and instructor.  Also delivering parts from NKP to Ubon.  Crashed near Ubon Thailand.
63-09682 CH-3E 20 Feb 69 1st Wing
Nha Trang
Laos Pony Express 16 Belanger B.L. Athon Special Air Warfare, after landing was made due oil system failure, aircraft found burning by repair crew.
63-09678 CH-3E 30 Dec 67 14th
Nha Trang
Laos Pony Express 30 G. Bumford R.B. Glover
64-14222 CH-3E 6 Oct 69 21st SOS, 56th ACW Laos Knife 61 C.D. Taylor T.D. Silva Cossiboom Reynolds (FE) Muang Phine Airport, with 52 indigenous personnel aboard both acft, all rescued. Along with 62-12579
64-14236 CH-3E 23 Aug 67 14th Laos Pony Express Patterson McCollum C.W. Paugh acft lost rotary RPM short of landing zone and struck ground.
64-14237 CH-3E 26 Feb 69 21st SOS, 56th ACW Laos Knife 51 John Holt J.W. Hughs C.F. Hill W.J. Smith (FE) B. Copelin (ACM) IGLOO WHITE mission, hit by ground fire, helo later destroyed by friendly aircraft.
65-15691 CH-3E 27 Jun 69 21st SOS, 56th ACW Laos Pony Express 22 Gerald T. Henery F. L. Mattos J.S. Adams Hernand E. Wilson (FE) picking up team involved in firefight.
66-13287 CH-3E 24 Oct 70 21st SOS,
56th ACW
Laos Knife 33 Craig B. Schiele Ronald R. Kunz Thomas E. Heideman Wallace (NMI) Spivey The helo was in a flight of two extracting indigenous personel from a hill top LZ. The helo picked up 11 personnel and as the aircraft lifted off, it turned and fell into trees 200 meters from the LZ. A short time later, the other helo picked up 8 indigenous personnel who said the entire crew of the helicopter was dead; however, 20 minutes later, radio contact was made with the survivors and they, along with the body of the pilot were recovered.
66-13288 CH-3E 3 Feb 70 21st SOS, 56th ACW Laos Knife 51 J. C. Hughes J. P. Stuart H.L. Ramsey B.A. Smith Aircraft was hit by ground fire, lost power, crashed, and burned. Aircraft was destroyed by friendly aircraft.
66-13294 CH-3E 30 Mar 68 21st SOS, 56th ACW Laos Dusty 51 Richard D. Bryant Schermerhorn Jeffery Zimm Thomas Bullington (FE) Johnnie Carrett (FE) Aircraft was delivering sensors when hit by ground fire and was forced to land.
66-13295 CH-3E 23 May 68 21st SOS, 56th ACW SVN Dusty 51 James P. McCollum William H. Taylor John L. Coon John E. Albanese Robert A. Fink helo was lost to unknown causes while flying a sensor delivery mission, crash site could not be reached due to heavy enemy activity. Note: Crew remains were eventually recovered.
67-14702 CH-3E 15 Jan 69 21st SOS, 56th ACW Laos Knife 54 Gerald T. Henery Adams Gerald Bucknol Hernand E. Wilson see 65-15691 above, same crew except for Bucknol and Mattos. Acft was on Prairie Fire emergency extraction, was hit by ground fire, crash landed, later destroyed by friendly aircraft.

Jolly Green HH-53 SEA Losses

Tail Number Model Date Unit Location Call Sign Pilot CoPilot Flight Engineer Pararescueman Pararescueman Other Notes
C 5 Dec 69 40th ARRS Jolly Green 69 Joe Brown Holly Bell Jim Nash Ron Jeczala BURNED, possible ZPU ground fire, during Boxer 22 mission. Jolly later recovered and apparently rebuilt.
C 2 Apr 69 40th ARRS Thailand Jolly Green 78 Capt. Cole Jim Nash Donald Johnson Crashed about ten miles south of Udorn RTAFB Thailand.
66-14430 B 18 Jan 69 40th ARRS Laos Jolly Green 67 Paul J. Darghty Barton C. Libby James R. Purdue Thomas R. Pope Donald Johnson mission was SAR for SANDY 02, an A-1H piloted by LTC Lurie Morris (Rescued) who was shotdown on 17 January. The helo was recovering LTC Morris when the aircraft was hit by ground fire, lost it’s hydralic system (SAR log reports first stage servo) and made an emergency landing, at 1245G, nine miles southeast of Tchephone Laos. At 1251G, JG-70 landed and picked up everyone on board JG-67, along with LTC Morris, the survivor. At 1300G, the order was given for fast movers to destroy JG-67; at 1508G the SAR log reads “RUSTIC flight got a good hit on JG-67 – its burning – lots of green backs going up in flames.”.
66-14434 B 28 Jan 70 40th ARRS NVN Jolly Green 71 Holly G. Bell Leonard C. Leeser William C. Shinn William D. Pruett William C. Sutton Gregory L. Anderson
hit by missile fired from MIG during SAR for SEABIRD 02 (F-105G).  The Mig-21 was piloted by Vu Ngoc Dinh who then had 6 total kills. He was with the 921st Flight Regiment.
68-8283 C 30 Jun 70 40th ARRS Laos Jolly Green 54 Leroy C. Schaneberg John W. Goeglein Marvin E. Bell Paul L. Jenkins Michael F. Dean hit by ground fire during SAR for NAIL 44 (OV-10A), crash site excavated Dec 93, remains identified as a group 7 March 1995.
68-8285 C 21 Jul 71 40th ARRS Laos Jolly Green 54 C. Bennet B. Robben Chuck McGrath shot down while recovering drone.
68-10366 C 25 Nov 71 37th ARRS SVN Jolly Green 70 Robert B. Swenck John W. George H. Theriot Thomas D. Prose James R. Thomas R.L. Steed (PJ ) SAR mission, crashed Song Na River
68-10359 C 27 Mar 72 40th ARRS Cambodia Jolly Green 61 David E. Pannabecker Richard E. Dreher James Manor Raymond J. Crow, Jr Raymond A. Wagner crashed from unknown causes
68-10361 C 18 Aug 72 37th ARRS SVN Jolly Green No Fatalities No crew on board Destroyed on the ramp by a VC 122mm rocket.
68-10365 C 6 Apr 72 37th ARRS SVN Jolly Green 67 Peter H. Chapman, II John H. Call, III Roy D. Prater Allen J. Avery William R. Pearson James Alley(Photog) SAR mission for BAT 21 (EB-66C), crash site excavated May 94, remains of crew buried in Nov. 1997.
68-10362 C 14 Jun 73 40th ARRS Cambodia Jolly Green 64 Gilbert A. Rovito Francis E. Meador David V. McLeod, Jr Karl C. Morgan Stephen L. Caldwell Tail rotor lost, crashed into Tonle Sap
68-10788 C 27 Dec 72 40th ARRS NVN Jolly Green 73 Richard D. Shapiro Miguel A. Pereira Charles J. Rouhier Robert W. Jones John R. Carlson Down in Laos, no names for crew, SAR for JACKEL 22, F-111A crew downed on 22 Dec 72 (both crew captured and released). USAF loss listing reads “Aircraft unable to take on fuel, lost due to fuel starvation, aircraft destroyed by A-7.” SAR log entries indicate refueling probe shot up, last entry reads ” JG73 hit at 2049N10534E (In NVN), in a hover, down at 1957N10347E (NE of Ban Ban), destroyed by SANDY six.

Special Operations CH-53 SEA Losses

Tail Number Date Unit Location Call Sign Pilot CoPilot Flight Engineer Flight Engineer Other Notes
68-10925 15 May 75 21st SOS Cambodia Knife 51 Howard A. Carson Jr. Richard Vandegeer Jon D. Harston Randy L. Hoffmaster Assualt on Koh Tang Island.  The aircraft with 20 Marines and 2 Navy medics on board was hit by ground fire as it approached the Eastern Beach of Koh Tang Island. The pilot attempted to pull back to deeper water, but a direct hit to the cockpit brought the aircraft down in waste deep water, near the surf line, where it burst into flames. Thirteen onboard the helicopter survived the crash and swam out to sea where they were rescued, the copilot and 12 of the passengers were not recovered.
68-10926 15 May 75 21st SOS Cambodia Knife 21 John H. Denham Karl W. Poulsen Robert A. Boissonnault Elwood E. Rumbaugh Assualt on Koh Tang Island.  While off-loading Marines on the Western Beach of Koh Tang Island, the helicopter was hit by ground fire. The pilot managed a single engine takeoff and headed out to sea, skipping along the water, and taking on water each time it hit the surface. The aircraft made it nearly a mile off shore when it crashed. The aircraft rolled on it left side and all of the crew managed to exit the aircraft; however, SSgt Rumbaugh disappeared a short time later and it is beleived he drowned.
68-10927 15 May 75 21st SOS Cambodia Knife 23 John H. Schramm John P. Lucas Ronald A. Gross Eduardo E. Arrieta James M. Barschow, (Photog) KNIFE 23 was alongside KNIFE 31 during the intial attempt to insert Marines onto the Eastern Beach of Koh Tang Island. As they approached the beach, the two aircraft came under intense ground fire. Just after KNIFE 31explosed in flames, Knife 23 lost an engine and made a hard landing on the beach, loosing its entire tail section. The crew and the 20 Marines onboard exited the aircraft and made it to the treeline and were later rescued.
68-10929 18 Feb 71 21st SOS Laos Knife 47 Roger Korenberg Lyle Horner Augie Lawson Carlos de Mattos Laos, 11 people on board, helo tail rotor hit tree. All rescued by KNIFE 33.  Roger Korenberg, one of the FE’s reports this as a combat loss due to enemy ground fire.
68-10931 1 Mar 71 21st SOS Laos Knife 34 Milton H. Ramsey Albert Tijerina, Jr. G. Pearson F. Deck at Lima Site 20, crashed on landing, hit ground, spun right, rolled down hill, flipped, burst into flames. Two flight engineers survived.
68-10933 14 May 75 21st SOS Thailand Knife James G. Kayes Laurence E.  Froehlich Robert P. Weldon George E. McMullen The helicopter departed launched from Nakhom Phanom airfield at 2030 on 13 May 1975 with a crew of five and 18 USAF Security Police onboard to assist in the recovery operation for the USS Mayaquez. The helicopter disappeared from the airfield’s departure radar 40 miles west of the airfield. All onboard were killed.
70-1627 15 May 75 21st SOS Cambodia Knife 22 Terry D. Ohlemeier David W. Greer Michael C. Wilson Norman A. Paul KNIFE 22, along with KNIFE 21, was attempting to insert Marines into the western beach of Koh Tang Island. On the run into the beach. the aircraft received heavy damage, which caused a fuel lead. Unable to off load the Marines, the aircraft attempted to return to its staging base, but ran out of fuel and was forced to make an emergency landing on the mainland.
70-1628 24 Jan 75 21st SOS Knife Gary C. Hall Bryan A. Rye James K. Hurley Garry W. Hermanson

Rescue HU-16 SEA Losses

Tail Number Date Unit Location Call Sign Pilot CoPilot Navigator Flight Engineer Flight Engineer Radio Operator Pararescue Notes
51-058 3 Jul 65 NVN

Not in USAF listing, Grid YG105019, approximately 120 kilometers off the coast of North Vietnam, no further information

51-5287 19 Jun 65 Not is USAF Listing, No Grid, no further information
51-0071 14 Mar 66 33rd ARRS, Tan Son Nhut AB NVN Crown Bravo Westenbar W.E. Hall D.S. Price C. Jackson Robert L. Hilton James. E. Pleiman Aircraft lost while flying rescue mission for PLUTO ONE, F-4C 64-0740, Maj J. Peerson, pilot, and Capt L.C. Bryant copilot, both recovered. The aircraft landed in the water to pick up the survivors, was hit by enemy gunfire, and caught fire. The crew abandoned the aircraft and it sank. The six survivors, four crewmembers and the crew of PLUTO ONE were picked up by a U.S. Navy helicopter, it is assumed the two unaccounted for individuals went down with the aircraft. The remains of one of the crewmembers reportedly washed ashore after the incident and were buried by the North Vietnamese. What are believed to be the buried remains were turned over to the U.S. in December 1988. These remains were identified as A1C Pleiman on 13 March 1989.
51-7145 18 Oct 66 37th ARRS, Danang NVN Crown Bravo Ralph H. Angstadt John Henry S. Long Inzar W. Rackley Jr. Robert L. Hill John R. Shoneck Lawrence (NMI) Clark Steven H. Adams The aircraft was on a SAR orbit north of the DMZ and reported to a Navy ship he was returning to his home station, Danang. This was the last contact with the aircraft and no trace of the aircraft or crew was ever found.

  Rescue HH-43 SEA Losses

Tail Number Date Unit Location Call Sign Pilot CoPilot Flight Engineer Pararescue/Other Pararescue/Other Other Notes
58-1845 10 Oct 68 38th ARRS
Phan Rang
SVN Pedro 44 Von M. Liebernecht Donald Brooks Milard Bledsoe Emmett Orr (FE) Angel Luna (LM) crashed at Phan Rang AB as a result of control problems, control surface hit blades, which caused blades to separate.
59-1562 19 Jul 69 14th Utapao Thailand MAPLE 02 Warren K. Davis Harry Cohen Tommy Miles flying SAR for burning B-52 at Utapao, B-52 exploded causing helo to crash.
59-1587 8 Jul 66 38th ARRS
Tan Son Nhut
SVN unknown Ground loss, hit by a mortar attack.
59-1590 27 Jun 69 41st ARRS
Phan Rang
SVN Pedro 92 J. Gammon W. Mcoll Pomerpleu H. Jones Crashed during SAR for BLADE 04, F-100D, Capt J. Casper pilot/recovered, white flash from helicopter, possibly due to ground fire. Minimal injuries to crew.
60-0278 10 Jul 69 38th ARRS
unknown unknown Listed in USAF loss list, but no info, no entries in SAR log.
60-0282 7 Aug 69 38th ARRS
Tuy Hoa
SVN Pedro 24 Wohlnick Brittingh Ferry mission to Cam Ranh Bay, engine quit, 2 restarts failed, crashed in water.
62-4510 20 Sep 65 Det 1, 38th ARRS, NKP NVN DUTCHY 41 Thomas J. Curtis Duane W. Martin William A. Robinson Arthur N. Black The helo was participating in the SAR for ESSEX 04, an F-105D piloted by Capt Willis E. Forby, who was captured by the NVN, when it was hit by ground fire and crashed. Three of the crew were captured; however, Lt Martin evaded and made his way to Laos and was captured by the Pathet Lao; at the end of June 1966, Lt Martin, along with USN LTJG Dieter Dengler, Air America civilian Eugene DeBruin, a Chinese National, and three Thais, escaped from the Houay Het Prison camp in Central Laos. Martin and Dengler evaded together for 17 days before Lt Martin was killed by a machete wielding villager. Dengler was rescued five days later.
62-4511 28 Oct 66 38th ARRS
SVN Pedro 42 C.Vermeys George H. SpikeBonnell, III Frances David. Rice Allen Stanek Pedro 42 was shot down on a mission 35 miles west of Pleiku by enemy ground fire while in a hover performing hoist operations to help medivac 9 wounded U.S. Army 4th Infantry personnel, 3 of which had been reported as critical.
George Bonnell died from his injuries on Nov. 12, 1966 at Clark AFB, PI.
62-4525 7 Feb 68 Det 9, 38th ARRS
SVN Pedro 56 Francis B. Gilligan Lester M. Jiggens Jose G. Abara Davis R. Berrio Assisting in the recovery of the crew of a downed Army helicopter, helicopter hit by ground fire near Kontum, caught fire, crashed ten seconds later; three of the four crewmembers survived the crash.
63-9711 21 May 67 38th ARRS
Bien Hoa
SVN Pedro 73 D.L. Wiest Rielly H.H. Ewton R.S. Loud Aircraft was flying rescue Cap for RAMROD 02, F-100D, Capt Lindberg pilot/KIA, helo damaged by ground fire and landed. The aircraft was later destroyed on the ground.
63-9712 26 Jan 69 38th ARRS
SVN Pedro 74 William F. Clark Warren Kaufman Donald W. Gooding Luther T. Jones Gus Jones George Bogner
At 1904 hours on 2 June 65, tower operators at Da Nang Airport, VN alerted DET.5 helicopter crews, via the crash telephone, to the crash of a Marine Corps O-1E ten miles north of the airport at 16-11N, 108-08E where it was burning on the mountainside. Three minutes later HH-43F helicopters 63-9713(Rescue 95) and 63-9714 (Rescue 96) were airborne and enroute to the crash site. Arriving on the scene at 1915 hours, a pararescueman was lowered from ‘9713 after which the pilot attempted to suppress the O-1E fire with rotor wash. At this point in time, the pilot and others heard a sharp and loud explosive noise, repeated several times, similar to that of a .45 caliber pistol shot. Immediately, a gradual deterioration of fore and aft cyclic control, cyclic roughness, and ineffectual pitch control was experienced by the pilot. The pilot was unable to prevent the helicopter from pitching forward and descending to the forested hillside, where the left rotorhead struck a tree before the helicopter contacted the ground in the hostile area at 1925 hours.
The other HH-43F ‘9714 immediately hovered over the crashed helicopter and the pararescueman was lowered in the hoist sling to investigate the condition of the pilot and crew of two (a mechanic and the pararescueman). These two were in shock but the pilot was believed to have only minor injuries. Rescue 96 could only move two extra persons because of the maximum gross weight limit and the pilot decided to return later for the crashed pilot. Rescue 96 arrived back at the crash site at 1935 hours and delivered the pilot of ‘9713 into the hands of the hospital personnel
at 1950 hours, thereby terminating this mission. Later, an examination of the downed Huskie revealed that rotors, tailbooms, the right main and nose gears, and the right side of the fuselage had suffered major damage. Those parts which were salvagable were recovered and the remainder of the craft was destroyed by explosives.
63-9713 2 Jun 65 Det 5, PARC
SVN Rescue 95 Lockhart Kilpatric R. Smith Flying rescue cap for downed aircraft, aircraft was hit by ground fire while hovering over downed O-1F aircraft and crashed.
63-9715 8 May 67 Det 7, 38th ARRS SVN Pedro 96 John .J. Hoye Al Jacox Ray Weddell Phil S. Resos John Tobey Aircraft was shot down while attempting to rescue four Marines who were in contact with the enemy.

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