A short history of the original CH-3C helicopters that travelled with us from Eglin AFB in Dec, 1965.
64-14236: On a mission to Lima site 85, it had both engines shot out while approaching an intermediate LZ. Loosing rotor rpm, it crashed on a hillside. The crew escaped and were picked up by an Air America helicopter. 236 was then destroyed by A1Es. 23Aug67
63- 09678: Assigned to the 20th Helicopter Squadron at Udorn, "Pony Express 30" was on a mission to Lima Site 85. During landing, the crew approached from the wrong direction, hitting trees and crashing near the landing zone. 30Dec67
62-12582: Assigned to the 20th SOS at Udorn, "Pony Express 20" was on a mission to a TACAN site in Laos when it was hit by small arms fire during landing. It rolled off the edge of a hill, tipped over and exploded, killing three crewmembers. 17Jan69
63-09689: Assigned to the 21st SOS at NKP, "Dusty 689" crashed off-base,at the scene of a fire started when an A-26 jettisioned its bomb load. The pilot suffered vertigo and the helicopter settled into the trees. 19Jan69
63-09682: Assigned to the 20th SOS at Udorn, "Pony Express16" landed in Laos during a mission, due to oil system failure. When a repair crew returned later, the helicopter was found burning. 20Feb69
64-14237: Assigned to the 21st SOS at NKP, "Knife 51" was on an "Igloo White" mission near the DMZ in Laos, when an engine was knocked out by anti aircraft fire. Unable to climb, they circled, finally making a wheels up landing atop a hill. The crew was picked up by another CH-3C and the helicopter was later destroyed by friendly fire.
64-14222: Assigned to the 21st SOS at NKP, call sign "Knife61"
62-12579: Assigned to the 21st SOS at NKP, call sign "Knife 62"
The mission was to fly about 200 indigenous personnel to a landing strip at Maung Phine, Laos with a group of 10 helicopters. The first in was Knife 61 (222), which took ground fire, knocking out one engine, forcing it to land. Second in was Knife 62 (579), which also took ground fire, forcing it down. A Jolly HH-3E called in to rescue the downed crews, was hit by ground fire, and limped back to NKP. Two Jolly H-53s eventually rescued the crews before nightfall. 6Oct69
63-09681: Assigned to the 21st SOS at NKP, "Skycap 36" was on a training mission, and delivering parts to Ubon. It was hit by a 12.7mm round near Ubon, knocking out both engines and hyd accumulators. Four crewmembers were lost and one survived. 13Aug70
Although there were other CH-3C helicopters assigned to the 20th Helicopter Squadron; these are the ones that travelled with us in Dec, 1965 from Eglin AFB to Tan Son Nhut. There were others, starting with 65-15690 that came to us direct from the Sikorsky factory at Bridgeport, Cn. on 13Dec65. 690 was one of the few survivers and is currently on display at McClellan AFB, Ca. 63-09676, the "Black Mariah" is another surviver, and is on display at the USAF Museum, Wright Patterson AFB, Dayton, Oh. 676 arrived in SEA in July, 1965 as one of the original "Jolly Greens," (the other being 63-09685) stationed at NKP. These two "Jolly Greens" with the newly fashioned Det 1, 38th ARS made early combat rescue pickups untill being replaced by the newer CH-3Es. 676 was then transferred to the 20th Helicopter Squadron, at Udorn.