Helicopter UH-1H 67-17318

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 67-17318
The Army purchased this helicopter 0368
Total flight hours at this point: 00003155
Date: 09/17/71
Incident number: 71091777.KIA
Unit: 61 AHC
South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: BS629022
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 WO1 BUTLER GARY WILLIAM KIA
AC CW2 JORDAN JAMES RES

War Story:
Gary was killed after being shot down by a sniper while at a high out of ground effect hover on a hillside. They were conducting a ladder insertion of ROK troops that were probing and paralleling NVA movements on this LRRP mission. CW2 James Jordan (from Florida) was PIC and Gary was co-pilot when they attempted to insert the LRRP's into this hillside LZ that was really just a square patch of clear cut (logged) area that still had a few trees standing helter-skelter. When Jimmy Jordan was struck in the neck and shoulder by the sniper it caused him to jerk the flight controls and subsequently the tail rotor struck a tree and the helicopter crashed inverted and erupted into flames. It landed on top of the team and killed them all instantly. (10 of them) Jimmy and the gunner and gunner crew chief miraculously got away from the burning helicopter. Gary's legs were stuck in the wreckage and he could not get free. From Marc E. Charbonneau, July 1998

This record was last updated on 08/28/98


The following is crew member information for this incident:


Name: WO1 Gary William Butler
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 09/17/71 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 20.0
Date of Birth: 09/25/51
Home City: San Jose, CA
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 61 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 71-17/71-15
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 02W-018
Short Summary: Shot down while inserting a ROK LRRP team. Crashed inverted and burned trapping Butler. Other three crew members rescued.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17318
SSN: 561688374
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 100B = Utility/Observation Helicopter Pilot
Primary cause: Hostile Fire
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: small arms fire
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: pilot
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 07/29/71
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - pilot
The initial status of this person was: missing in action - P I D
Length of service: *
Location: Quang Ngai Province I Corps.
Military grid coordinates of event: BS630330

Additional information about this casualty:
Butler, Gary William WO1 KIA 09/17/71 UH-1H 61st AHC, 1st AVN BDE "Lucky Stars"? Place: An Loa Valley. Unit staged out of LZ English (Bong Son), Quang Ngai Province . Butler was killed after being shot down by a sniper while at high hover out of ground effect over a hillside. They were conducting a ladder insertion of ROK LRRP troops that were to start probing and paralleling NVA movements on this mission. CW2 James Jordan (from Florida) was A/C and Gary Butler was co-pilot when they attempted to insert the LRRPs into this hillside LZ that was really just a square patch of clear cut (logged) area that still had a few trees standing helter-skelter. When Jimmy Jordan was struck in the neck and shoulder by the sniper, it caused him to jerk the flight controls and subsequently the tail rotor struck a tree and the helicopter crashed inverted and erupted in flames. It landed on top of the LRRP team and killed all 10 of them instantly. Jimmy Jordan, the gunner and crew chief miraculously got away from the burning craft. Gary's legs were stuck in the wreckage and he couldn't get free. The two crew members ran towards Gary to help but there was another explosion and fire. They both were badly burned over most of their bodies; Gary burned to death. The remaining crewmembers were subsequently recovered by a brave C & C non-aviation major who went down personally on a jungle penetrator and brought each individual up one at a time since the crew were so shocked that they just stood and looked at the device and made no attempt to use it in their confused state. The LZ went from bad to worse with stray rounds cooking off everywhere and we were forced to back off due to this fact and also due to other NVA activity. Gary's remains were recovered two weeks later on a special mission after the fighting quieted down a bit. Contributed by Marc Charbonneau at VHPA 1998 115111 Mission Oak San Antonio, TX 78232-461

Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - killed
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Methodist (Evangelical United Brethren)
The following information is 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: warrant officer
This record was last updated on 07/25/98


The following is Goldbook information on US Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 67-17318
It is provided here as an ESTIMATE of the history of this helicopter and is not intended to be the final authority.
This helicopter was purchased by the US Army in 0368.
Please provide any additional information on this helicopter to the VHPA.

DATE  FLT HRS    UIC      UNIT          AREA          POST          COUNTRY
6803   0    0 W0Y6AA OS TO CONUS      ITR CONUS                   AVCOMITR
6804  19   19 3261   BELL HCPTR       BAILMENT   FT WORTH         AVCOM
6805   0   19 WC5GAA 610 TRANS CO     VIETNAM                     RVN
6806   0   19 W0MUAA ARADMAC          IN STORAGE NAVAL AIR STN    AVCOM
6807   0   19 W0MUAA ARADMAC          IN STORAGE NAVAL AIR STN    AVCOM
6808   0   19 W0MUAA ARADMAC          IN STORAGE NAVAL AIR STN    AVCOM
6809   0   19 W0MUAA ARADMAC          IN MAINT   NAVAL AIR STN    AVCOM
6810   0   19 W0MUAA ARADMAC          4TH ARMY   NAVAL AIR STA    AVCOM
6811   2   21 W0MUAA ARADMAC          IN MAINT   NAVAL AIR STN    AVCOM
6812   6   27 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6901 107  134 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6902  98  232 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6903  85  317 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6904  83  400 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6905  85  485 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6906 115  600 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6907 106  706 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6908 124  830 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6909  97  927 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6910 138 1065 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6911  96 1161 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6912  86 1247 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7001  99 1346 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7002 103 1449 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7003 128 1577 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7004 129 1706 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7005 116 1822 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7006  89 1911 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7007  90 2001 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7008  55 2056 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7009  88 2144 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7010 182 2326 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7011 105 2431 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7012  26 2457 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7101  77 2534 WAYPAA 61 AHC           VIETNAM                     RVN
7102  74 2608 WAYPAA 61 AHC           VIETNAM                     RVN
7103  93 2701 WAYPAA 61 AHC           VIETNAM                     RVN
7104 133 2834 WAYPAA 61 AHC           VIETNAM                     RVN
7105 121 2955 WAYPAA 61 AHC           VIETNAM                     RVN
7106  62 3017 WAYPAA 61 AHC           VIETNAM                     RVN
7107  66 3083 WAYPAA 61 AHC           VIETNAM                     RVN
7108  72 3155 WAYPAA 61 AHC           VIETNAM                     RVN



Please send additions or corrections to:

VHPA Head Quarters or Gary Roush or Mike Law


Printed from databases on: 08/27/00

Copyright 1998, 1999 and 2000 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association