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February 16, 1970

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  • February 16, 1970

    From: "Ben DeCraene" <>
    Friday, October 28, 2005 6:53 PM
    I am hoping someone can clarify the BuNo on the aircraft pictured in this photo. My name is Ben Decraene and my uncle 1st Lt. Alan DeCraene, 1st Lt. Joel Sampsel, Cpl. Jan Garringer, Cpl. Robert Weiss and Lcpl. Donald Morin were killed on February 16, 1970, when their aircraft impacted the crest of a hill just over 13.5 miles south east of Phu Bai in the Thua Thien Province, RVN. The BuNo on the aircraft flown by my uncle on the mission that claimed the lives of Alan and his crew was 153954. I ran across this website and subsequently this photo while trying to find more information on the circumstances surrounding the death of my uncle and his crew. YR-27 appears to be displaying the same BuNo if indeed it was repaired and returned to flight status. I could be way off base here and apologize in advance should that be the case. My experience serving as a U.S. Marine was spent in face paint and fins. So what I know about helicopters has come as a grateful passenger or visiting this site. Information from any and all especially those who may have served in HMM 161 from 1969-1970 with my uncle would be most welcome. Thanks also to Bob Quinter, Charles Sizer, Mike Higgins and Raymond Norton for taking time from their busy lives to speak with me already. Ben DeCraene

  • #2
    I was on one of the birds that went the next morning to pick up "personal effects". What is it you would like to know? Then I'll try as I may to be more specific.
    Glen L. Bailey


    • #3
      I was a member of HMM 161 and a friend of Bob Weiss. Both Bob and I were in Avionics and spent time on Search and Air Rescue in Chu Lai jus prior to the terrible crash. Unfortunately it is impossible for the crash bird ever flew again, the crash totally destroyed the aircraft. I wish you well, Semper Fi


      • #4
        If this (the photo) is YR-27 that was lost 2 Sept 1968, the Bureau Number is 153966.
        (Source: "Listing by Aircraft Model, USMC Aircraft Accidents from Enemy Action, July 1963 through July 1973".)