Kadena AB, Japan
26 Feb 1979
An HH-53C from the 33rd ARRS crewed by Maj. Johnny R. Johnson (P), Capt. Dennis Ray Young (CP), TSgt. Stephen K. Hodges (FE) and 1st. Lt. Tim Miller (AG) crashed into the sea about 53 miles northeast of Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan during an aerial refueling mission killing Johnson, Young and Hodges. Miller survived and was rescued. The HH-53’s MRB struck the C-130’s refueling drogue during aerial refueling and the tail rotor pylon separated due to severe vibration and the helicopter crashed into the sea.
Note: HH-53C #69-5787 was the lead helicopter in the first trans-Pacific flight in August 1970, covering 8,739 miles.
No other details are available at this time.