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HMH-463 attempted hijacking 69-70?

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  • HMH-463 attempted hijacking 69-70?


    My brother, Jess, served with HMH-463 mid 69 to mid 70. He was a metalsmith (patched bullet holes) by MOS, but he also volunteered as a gunner for several months. He was wondering if anyone knows of or heard about the incident when a grunt at a firebase attempted to hijack them, armed with M-16.

    Jess and the crew chief helped subdue the guy, but he almost made it to pilot. Jess doesn't remember the crew chief's name nor the pilot or co-pilot. This occurred in early 69. Also, Jess was on board when they 'pickled' a bull-dozer rather than crash into the side of a mountain. He shared quarters with Norman 'Ted' Little. Bill Harwood, Echo 2/1 66-67

    Bill Harwood <>
    Alan H. Barbour, Historian
    USMC Combat Helicopter Assoc
    "Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever"

  • #2
    I was a gunner with 463 in 70-71. I never heard anything of an attempted hijacking, or the bulldozer being pickled for that matter, but early 69 was before my arrival in country.
    I think Mike Amtower would fit in that time frame tho. I'll pass it on to him.
    Last edited by D.York; 06-15-2003, 18:11.
    With Liberty and Justice for All. Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and Jane Fonda can all view this.


    • #3


      I have a crew chief (26 airmedal type) working on it.

      His name is Dave Gromaski. His 53 had the "Woody Woodpecker" painting
      by the crew door. You may or may not have seen it. He was at Marble
      from 68 to late 69.

      Just called Dave ..... he left Marble in Feb of '70, so you probably missed him.

      Just like I missed Dave .... I left Marble in May of '68 and Dave showed up in June of '68.

      I met him 15 or 20 years later at DOW Chemical and it was 5 years after I met
      him that I found out that he had been in 463. That is another interesting
      "small world" story.

      This might be a "sea story". Dave has no recollection (and I ain't quoting billary....) of the
      incident and I would think that he would be a good source here. After all, he was there at
      Marble from June of '68 'til Feb of '70.

      I do recall a flight where an external load of those massive timbers
      for bunker construction got pickled into a ville where some fire was
      coming from. Took out a few grass hootchs and the firing stopped.

      I don't know if they hit the shooters or they just quit to celebrate the arrival of
      manna from Heaven.


      • #4
        Guess my memory failed again. The dozer pickle part happened during my tour with HMH-463.
        Mike-Al, There's a Stars & Stripes article posted somewhere here regarding the dozer incident. It has an interview with the crew, and has the crew listed as:
        LtCol Reap (CO of HMH-463)
        1st Lt Murphy
        Sgt Pogamy (CC)
        Cpl Jim Douglas
        Cpl Mark Buford

        This was in the LamSon719 timeframe, early 71.

        I don't remember the woodpecker, but remember Canned Hate, and Betty Sue.
        With Liberty and Justice for All. Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, and Jane Fonda can all view this.