Thursday, April 27, 1972

Shot Down in Highlands

10 Yanks Reported Killed in Helo

PLEIKU, Vietnam (AP) --Ten Americans-six advisors to the South Vietnamese Army and four helicopter crewmen-were reported killed in a helicopter crash Monday during the South Vietnamese retreat from Tan Canh and Dak To in the central highlands.

A seventh American adviser, Capt. Ray Dobbins, was rescued after hiding all night near the overrun South Vietnamese division headquarters at Tan Canh.

Dobbins and nine South Vietnamese, including the regimental commander, hid in Tan Canh after the North Vietnamese took the base Monday.

After dark they moved outside the perimeter, and Dobbins called in an American helicopter by radio Tuesday. The helicopter was fired on going in and taking off, but it was believed that nobody was wounded.

The report of the helicopter crash came from an American who was on the ground at an airstrip about a mile and half from Tan Canh.

A spokesman for the U.S. Command in Saigon said it had "nothing officially to indicate either way that there are advisers missing in action."

Earlier reports said the six advisers were among nine Americans taken out of Tan Canh by helicopters under fire Monday. The six were reported landed at Dak To 2 airstrip a mile and a half away because South Vietnamese soldiers were clinging to the helicopter's skids and it was feared they might fall off if the flight was any longer.

These earlier reports said the Americans began walking toward the South Vietnamese lines. But the report Tuesday said a Huey helicopter picked them up, was hit after it took off and crashed in flames in an area now held by the North Vietnamese.

The report said no hope was held for the men on board.

The U.S. Command in Saigon announced Monday that an Army helicopter was shot down near Dak To and the four crewmen were killed. Military sources in Pleiku said Tuesday it was believed that this was the helicopter that had picked up the six advisers but that the U.S. Command at the time of its announcement did not know that the other Americans were aboard.

"10 Yanks Reported Killed in Helo", by Vietnam (AP), published in the Pacific Stars and Stripes on Thursday, April 27, 1972 and reprinted from European and Pacific Stars and Pacific Stars and Stripes, a Department of Defense publication copyright, 2002 European and Pacific Stars and Stripes.
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