Caraballo, Luis

Luis (Louis) Caraballo, Sgt., USAF (Fallen)
July 19, 1959 – September 29, 1981

Grants, NM Helicopter Crash, Sep. 29, 1981
Posted July 9th, 2010 by Stu Beitler

An Air Force helicopter slammed into a mountain during a combat training mission in New Mexico, killing four of the six crewmen.

The HH-53 Air Force helicothat crashed Tuesday near Grants, N.M., killing four, is known as a “Super Jolly Green Giant” and is similar to those used in the aborted hostage rescue mission in Iran. It crashed at the 6,000-foot level of 11,301-foot Mount Taylor.

The two surviving crewmen, burned over 80 percent of their bodies, were in critical condition today.

Kirtland Air Force Base officials in Albuquerque said the cause of the crash was not immediately clear but the craft apparently was trying to make a mesa landing.

Two men guarded the site of the crashed helicopter, which was on a “low-level combat training mission” until recovery operations resumed today.

Killed were:
Capt. J. P. GANT, JR., 31, Meridian, Miss., aircraft commander.
2nd Lt. RICHARD J. WENDIN, Fairfield, Conn., pilot.
Sgt. TERRY O. CHANCEY, 27, Patterson, Ga., instructor flight engineer.
Sgt. LUIS CARABALLO, Bronx, N.Y., flight engineer.
In critical condition were Capt. RANDY K. JENSEN, 31, Sierra Vista, Ariz, the co-pilot, and Sgt. ROBERT E. HOON, 24, St. Louis, the crew chief.

Altoona Mirror Pennsylvania 1981-09-30

Researched and Transcribed by Stu Beitler.

Contributed by Joel Hart

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