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Please remember on 9/22

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  • Please remember on 9/22

    USMC/Combat Helicopter Association | Add your comments for this incident

    Brothers Killed in Action in USMC Helicopters or while assigned to USMC Helicopter Squadrons in Vietnam

    700922 HMM-262 Vietnam

    Incident Date 700922 HMM-262 CH-46D 152577+ Hostile Fire, Crash

    Beach Jr., Leo Albert Sgt Crew HMM-262 MAG-16 700922 (vvm 07W:082)
    Davis, William Stanley 1stLt Pilot HMM-262 MAG-16 700922 (vvm 07W:083)
    Kimbrough, Harold Bruce 1stLt Co-Pilot HMM-262 MAG-16 700922 (vvm 07W:084)
    Smith, Frederick Joseph LCpl Crew HMM-262 MAG-16 700922 (vvm 07W:085)
    Teffs, James Richard Cpl Crew HMM-262 MAG-16 700922 (vvm 07W:085)

    BEACH LEO ALBERT JR : 378545211 : USMC : SGT : E5 : 6112 : 20 : DETROIT : MI : 19700922 : hostile, crash, land : Crew : body recovered : Quang Nam (Da Nang) : 02 : 19500605 : Cauc : Roman Catholic/single : 07W : 082
    DAVIS WILLIAM STANLEY : 552641833 : USMCR : 1stLT : O2 : 7562 (H-46) : 24 : ALHAMBRA : CA : 19700922 : hostile, crash, land : AircraftCommander : body recovered : Quang Nam (Da Nang) : 03 : 19450927 : Cauc : Catholic/married : 07W : 083

    KIMBROUGH HAROLD BRUCE : 429847576 : USMCR : 1stLT : O2 : 7562 (H-46) : 24 : BATESVILLE : AR : 19700922 : hostile, crash, land : Crew : body recovered : Quang Nam (Da Nang) : 03 : 19460412 : Cauc : Protestant/married : 07W : 084

    SMITH FREDERICK JOSEPH : 183389545 : USMC : LCPL : E3 : 6055 : 22 : PITTSBURGH : PA : 19700922 : hostile, crash, land : Crew : body recovered :Quang Nam (Da Nang) : 02 : 19480823 : Cauc : Roman Catholic/single : 07W : 085

    TEFFS JAMES RICHARD : 440465403 : USMC : CPL : E4 : 6242 : 22 : TULSA : OK : 19700922 : hostile, crash, land : Crew : body recovered : Quang Nam (Da Nang) : 03 : 19471110 : Cauc : Roman Catholic/single : 07W : 085

    Personal Narrative:
    I was originally assigned that mission as gunner, but had been on active stand-by all that day for possible missions into Laos. Fred Smith, who had only recently completed his gunner qualifications offered to take the later medevac standby mission for me. At the time it was unusual for a standby medevac mission to launch as our squadron (262) normally had two reliable 46's already available as primary birds. The stand-by was merely a back-up.

    As it happened, I was around the flight ops area when the decision to launch the stand-by choppers. Although it drew red flags in my mind, nothing really clicked until later. As not only being a gunner, I was also assigned to the Hydraulics Maintenance Department and we had been working off and on for the day on a landing gear problem with one of our other birds. I had gone out to the flight deck when they were checking the work on the gear problem that night. Anyway, we had fired up this bird and was not only toying with the repaired landing gear but were somewhat monitoring radio traffic.

    I listened as a ROK compound was messaging that a chopper had gone down in flames and that they were going to try to secure the area. It wasn't but a few minutes later that we were informed that ET-13 had gone down. I should have been on that ship, Fred Smith should have been safe in his rack back at his hootch. I knew and had flown with all the other members of that ill-fated flight. Beach, especially, the crew chief.

    Sgt. Beach was a leader, had a couple of tours under his belt, in fact as I recall, I was thinking he was on his third. A confident crew-chief and was highly regarded. Our Squadron, the following day, launched two choppers for the recovery mission, and I know a few details of that although I was refused permission to play an active part for personal reasons. Later reports were just that the ship had gone down in flames and the recovery team found evidence that all fire extinguishers had been used indicating that the flight crew had done their best in the true tradition of the Marines.

    The last I heard there were conflicting reports that the bird had been brought down by ground fire or by mechanical problems. I think the ROK's had reported tracer fire from the gound, but who knows?
    Submitted by Bob Cunningham, HMM-262 Combat Air Crew

    First Hand Narrative:
    Leo was a fine young man, he always had a smile on his face. He was one of the best crew chiefs that HMM-262 EVER had. He would never back down from a mission; he was always there at night making sure his bird flew a good mission the next day, not just a re-supply.

    This day Leo was scheduled to be off duty. I was posting the crews for that night and the next days flights. One of the youngest crew chiefs was posted to fly that mission but it was his birthday and asked me to let him off that night to drink a beer for his birthday. We did this sometimes for our crew members so I agreed and assigned Leo to take his place for the flight.

    Leo came to me and said he really didn't want to fly the mission, somthing just didn't feel right about it. We talked a few minutes and Leo felt better about it and decided to fly.

    For 37 years I have thought about this; Leo please forgive me. To his family I ask you to please find it in your heart to forgive me. We were in a war, and in wars, decisions were sometimes made by very young men, made not knowing that we would have to live with these decisions for the rest of our lives.

    Submitted by Larry B. Greene, Flight Scheduler.

    Personal Recollection:
    Jim Teffs and I were in the same shop and we worked on many aircraft troubles together. It seems like a life time ago that we sat on the stub wing of bird sharing our thoughts about the future. Jim was a happy-go-lucky person from a part of the country that was so differnt from where I lived. We became friends and brothers in a war that made us all age quickly. I only wish that Jim had a chance to enjoy life. May Jim and all fallen Marines rest in peace. Semper Fi
    Submitted by Lawrence W Sullivan, Member of HMM-262

    Personal Narrative:
    I am 1stLt William Stanley Davis' only child. I was born on May 29, 1970, and my father died on September 22, 1970. I do not know anything about my father, and would like to hear from any surviving US Marines who did.
    Submitted by Heather Davis Fabbro, My father

  • #2

    I didn't know these men, but I knew them, we all did.


    • #3
      Remembering (No matter how Long)

      I flew with a good many of these Marines,and some I knew beter than others. Yet like Dale said we will always remember them and days gone bye. I have try to find a few of them and have not yet gotten a reply. Will get back to ones that are here close to me and do an Operation Rose too. God Willing and I have the strenght to carry it out . Thanks for the reminder Larry.