I was with 2nd Flight Platoon 57th AHC and was CE of UH-1H 69-95020 aka "BROKE-DICK 13." My aircraft and I were run ragged as the invasion of Kontum loomed and then transpired. I was getting SHORT and was to leave country on June 12th and was putting the last few notches in my ST (Short Timers) Stick. My last mission in country turned out to be what started off as an Ash & Trash run from (Camp) Holloway up to and around the Kontum AO (Area of Operations) making pickups and deliveries of personnel and munitions. As the morning wore on we were sent down to a small unit encampment east of QL14 across from the 'Rockpile' to pick up a U.S. colonel and a couple of his Vietnamese counterparts and deposit them back at Kontum with due haste.
After loading we took off to the south and sucked for altitude. Banking hard right to set course for K - town we were ripped open by 51 fire and god knows what else. We lost anti-torque and went in on fire, nose down, on the starboard side, from perhaps 150 to 200 ft. I was ejected from the aircraft to the right somehow. My nomex trousers were soaked in JP4 and on fire... my back was broken at T12. My gunner, William Chlebowski of Reading Pa. also survived the crash and somehow appeared around the rear of the wreckage and threw himself on me to smother the flames on my legs. He then dragged me toward the front of the chopper and away from the growing fire aboard. At this point I saw our "PeterPilot" Bruce Delau stagger from around the port side of the chopper and toward myself and Bill. My Pilot, and friend, was trapped in the wreckage and despite everything WE tried and did, he was lost to the fire as I wept. The Date was 2 June 1972... my pilot was Cpt. Joe Eubanks.
After 30 years I still can close my eyes and see Joe like he just handed me the logbook and walked away down the apron. Some great men are immortalized in print or art...The greatest are held forever in the hearts of their friends and Brothers-in-Arms
Dave Millard <email@example.com>
USA - Saturday, May 11, 2002 at 10:26:27 (PDT)