Phan Rang AB, RVN
10 Oct 1968
“Crash at Phan Rang”
On 10 October 1968, an HH-43B helicopter (call sign “Pedro 44”), assigned to Phan Rang AB, Republic of Vietnam, crashed and burned while on an emergency intercept mission.
During the landing of the emergency aircraft, “Pedro 44” entered a left hand climbing turn as if departing the area for return to the alert pad. The helicopter, without any radio transmission, crashed and burned inflicting fatal injuries to all five aircrew members. Firefighting equipment and medical assistance, already on hand for the landing aircraft emergency, responded immediately to the scene, extinguishing the fire within 15 seconds and immediately removed the crew members from the aircraft.
The primary cause of this accident was material failure which resulted in loss of aircraft control.
Aircrew lost in the incident; Maj. Donald Ray Brooks (P), Capt. Von Miles Liebernecht (CP), SSgt. Milard Luther Bledsoe (FM), TSgt. Emmett Somers Orr (FF) and TSgt. Angel Luna (MT).