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A Sad Story By : Mike Maloy

It happened about 10:00 a.m. on Aug. 2. Clear skies and visibility

unlimited. We had been making two-ship sorties to a firebase west of Chu Lai

since dawn. Taking 105mm ammo in and hauling out an occasional wounded. We

were getting shot at with 51cal on most trips in and out so we were making

steep spiralling approaches from about 4500, drop our load and haul ass back

out the same way......steep spiralling max climb out.

Gene Collings and I led the flight of two the first four loads we took to

the firebase that morning, then we swapped off and Al Vaquera and Tommy Dives

in 513 led the trail formation. They dropped their load first and we were

right behind them......dropped our load and began the climb out. They were

about 100 yards in front and above us climbing out in a steep left hand

spiral. At about 3500 feet and from directly behind and below them I saw a

puff of smoke and what looked like sticks flying away from 513. The sticks

were the blades. My first thought was they had been hit by an SA-7 but then

Gene said he saw the Air Force FAC just as they collided. I was almost

certain it was a pusher-puller type....thought that was an 0-2 but maybe it

is an OV-10 (CRS). We followed 513 to the ground and I kept calling them on

the radio but got no response. To this day I have no idea why I kept calling

them.....but at the time it seemed like the right thing to do.....maybe just

to say goodbye. 513 tumbled end over end after the blades came off. In the

initial mid-air the Hook blades cut the FAC in half.....cut the pilot in half


513 hit the ground flat on the belly of the a/c and the impact broke the

cockpit off clean just behind the forward pylon and it bounced about 100 feet

forward of the rest of the a/c. The remainder of the chinook exploded on

impact and was engulfed in flames. We landed as close as we could and my

crew chief went over to check the cockpit. Both Al and Tommy were squished

to about half normal size. We were in indian country so we took off and

orbited until we could get some troops flown out to secure the area then we

went back to Chu Lai where we were staying TDY.

Before we went to Vietnam I flew 513 most of the time and got to be good

friends with Jim Stacy (crew chief). WO-1 Jerry Yost and I flew 513 from Ft.

Sill to Calif. to ship it to Vietnam in November of 1968. Coming out of El

Paso on the second day of the trip our internal fuel bladder came apart and

flooded the inside of the a/c with JP-4. We did a power on auto-rotation

and landed safely and ran like hell. Got it all drained out and then

discovered that in the excitement we had landed in Mexico. Ooops. I gave

Jim some stick time on that trip and he was doing good with flying. He

wanted to go to flight school after his tour in VN.

On the morning of August 2, 1969 before we launched, the maintenance NCO

took Jim Stacy over to the Red Cross to pick up a telegram......His wife had

given birth to twin girls. We razzed him about his instant family all

morning. And then he died.

513 was in a steep climbing left hand bank. The FAC was in a steep left

hand bank also. This meant he could only see forward, right and up, or left

and down. The crew in 513 could only see forward and up, right and up, or

left and down. They couldn't see left and up because of the steep bank and

the FAC couldn't see right and down because of his steep bank and so they


Sometimes shit just happens.


(Mike Maloy)

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