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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 138149
Last updated: 24 November 2019
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Date:28-JAN-1970
Time:
Type:Silhouette image of generic H53 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Sikorsky HH-53B Super Jolly
Owner/operator:40th ARRS USAF (40th ARRS United States Air Force)
Registration: 66-14434
C/n / msn: 65-049
Fatalities:Fatalities: 6 / Occupants: 6
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Ha Tinh Province, Laos at N 18'02 -   Laos
Phase: Combat
Nature:Military
Departure airport:
Destination airport:
Narrative:
Shot down by MiG-21/AA-2 Atoll and exploded in Laos while attempting rescue of F-105 pilot. The Mig-21 was piloted by Vu Ngoc Dinh who then had 6 total kills. He was with the 921st Flight Regiment. 1 KiA, 5 MiA. Casualties later officially listed as:

C SMS PRUETT WILLIAM DAVID BNR
C SSG SHINN WILLIAM CHARLES BNR
C MSG SUTTON WILLIAM CARL BNR
P CPT LEESER LEONARD CHARLES BNR
P MAJ BELL HOLLY GENE KIA

"BNR" = "Body Not Recovered", therefore posted as "missing In Action"

Per official US Intel Report: "On January 28, 1970, an HH-53B with six crewmen on board was in a holding pattern while engaged in a search and rescue mission over Ha Tinh Province. There was a MIG alert on the radio after which a MIG-21 aircraft fired an air to air missile which hit the HH-53B.

There was a fireball explosion which turned the aircraft into hundreds of pieces. There was one two second beeper after the explosion but there were no parachutes seen by other SAR aircrews covering the SAR effort. The crew of the helicopter was declared killed in action, body not recovered, in April 1970.

Returning U.S. POWs had no information on their precise fate. In December 1988, Vietnam returned William Sutton's identity card and remains from Huong Khe District, Nghe Tinh Province were identified as those of William Sutton. The remains were determined to be of Holly G. Bell."

The F-105 crew, although having ejected safely, never made it into the POW system, and were also posted as MiA

The events described here took place in North Vietnam north of Mu Gia pass. Seabird 02 was down in the foothills along the route structure leading north out of Mu Gia. Jolly Green 71 was northwest of this area in the high terrain along the border of Laos and North Vietnam.

*An interesting note is that the two sets of coordinates given for the crash site do not agree. The Lat-Longs given are N 18'02"00 E, 10'53"30 which puts the crash site inside Laos. The UTM coordinates of WF 582048 move the crash site north, into North Vietnam.

Sources:

https://911gfx.nexus.net/aircraftlosses.html
http://www.angelfire.com/va2/vanam/Pruett2.htm
http://www.flyarmy.org/incident/70012850KIA.HTM
http://skyraider.org/skyassn/sartapes/jollymig/jollymig.htm


Images:

Photo of 66-14434 courtesy AirHistory.net


Ubon Ratchathani (VTUU / UBP)
19 July 1968; (c) Ben Dannecker (via David Carter)

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
24-Aug-2011 12:22 Uli Elch Added
19-Jan-2012 19:52 Dr. John Smith Updated [Registration, Operator, Other fatalities, Location, Source, Narrative]
30-Nov-2012 05:33 Nepa Updated [Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]
30-Nov-2012 05:44 nemcupavel@ Updated [Operator, Location, Source, Narrative]

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