Does anybody know anything about the crew and/or circumstances of the downed CH-47 (Army) which left four crewmen on the beach in Quang Ngai Province on August 19,1967?
I have been unable to find any official record of the incident anywhere, including the Marine Corps and National archives.The only confirmed rescued survivor of the rescue was SSgt Lawrence Allen, USA, a Canadien citizen, whose name I have not been able to find in any official record.
From eyewitness accounts it appears that the pilot of the CH-47 had landed on the beach to check damage from enemy fire. Four crewmen exited the aircraft to form a defensive perimeter and asses the damage. When 20-30 VC immediately attacked from the bordering jungle, the Ch-47 took off leaving the four crewman stranded---and facing an overwhelming force.
Even though other aircraft had soon responded to calls for help, only Capt. Pless and his crew took on the seemingly suicidal mission to rescue the four soldiers being slaughtered---and they attacked.
After unbelievably courageous efforts to save all four soldiers, only SSgt Allen survived the rescue---two were kia on the beach and one died in transport---SSgt Allen, even though severely wounded, fired an on board weapon at attacking VC.
Aside from the facts surrounding the incident, I have been unable to determine (even from former Army helo pilots) why the CH-47 took off and left four men to die.
Is there any circumstance in which those soldiers should be abandoned in the way they were?
Any insight into what happened and why would be greatly appreciated.
Irv Smith
irvsmithbeach@qtt.net