201st. Aviation Company "Red Barons"

In Loving Memory

Loss Date 09/19/68

MAJ Frank Owen Bonnarens
HHC, 1 Field Force, pilot Visit Frank Bonnarens at the Virtual Wall

SP5 Lloyd Earle Greene, Jr, 201st Avn Co, 17th CAG, crew chief Visit Lloyd Greene at the Virtual Wall

MAJ Joseph Adrian Bishop, 201st Avn Co, 17th CAG, passenger Visit Joe Bishop at the Virtual Wall

MAJ Benjamin C. Hartman, Jr, HHC, 17th CAG, passenger Visit Ben Hartman at the Virtual Wall

My personal belief is this light observation helicopter was shot down. Having flown many hours up and down Hwy 21 with both the 7/17th. Air Cavalry and the 201st. Aviation Company, this was pretty hostile ground in 1968. Generally speaking LOH's don't just fly themselves into the ground without severe damage.

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On the afternoon of 19 Sep 1968, an OH-6A (tail number 67-16015) of the 201st Aviation Company was detailed to provide transportation on an administrative flight to coordinate aviation activities at Khanh Duong, Boun Ea Yang and the U.S. installations at Ban Me Thout east and Ban Me Thout City Airfields. The aircraft departed Ban Me Thout City Airfield and headed in an easterly direction enroute to Nha Trang, 70 miles to the east. Its flight path paralleled highway 21 (which runs generally east-west), staying on the north side of the road and heading east. At about the same time a UH-1H (tail number 66-16323) departed Ban Me Thout City Airfield enroute Dong Ba Thin, 82 miles to the southeast. This aircraft also paralleled highway 21, but remained on the south side. The pilot of the UH-1H, a Lt Williams, reported sighting the OH-6A aircraft at 1700 hours, approximately 18 miles east of Ban Me Thout at a position north of highway 21 and flying in a southeasterly direction at approximately the same altitude as Williams' UH-1H. The OH-6A was closing on Lt Williams' aircraft and crossed highway 21 from left to right passing two miles to Williams' front. After a suitable separation was obtained between the two aircraft, the OH-6A was no longer observed by Lt Williams. The OH-6A aircraft was again observed by Lt Williams approximately three minutes later; it had reversed its original course and was now approaching Lt Williams' aircraft, head-on at a lower altitude and descending at an approximate angle of 30 degrees. The OH-6A aircraft was observed by SP Bowen, crew chief of Lt Williams' aircraft, to continue its descent all the way to the ground, where an explosion occurred shortly after impact.

Loss Date 04/27/69

SP5 Alan Brian Denhoff,
door gunner Visit Alan Denhoff at the Virtual Wall

SP5 James Dennis Crow, observer Visit Jim Crow at the Virtual Wall

SP5 William Joseph McFarland, observer Visit Bill McFarland at the Virtual Wall

SP6 Larry Dean Lowery, crew chief Visit Larry Lowery at the Virtual Wall

In the true spirit of Vietnam Helicopter Crews, these men lost there life on a night rescue mission. 201st Operations heard a "may day" call from a helicopter that was going down in the Bay of Nha Trang. A crew was scrambled to their aid. Unfortunately, their ship also crashed in the bay while attempting rescue. This selfless act occurred daily in Viet Nam, most often it ended with the return of the downed crew. Sometimes, the cost was additional life but, they never hesitated. The act of rescuing downed crews was a joy to us all. One we wouldn't miss for anything.

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On the night of 27 Apr 1969 Warrant Officer B. M. Jones of the 201st Aviation Company took UH-1H 67-17206 (belonging to HHC, 268th Avn Bn) on a post-maintenance test flight. The flight went smoothly enough until Jones had a complete engine failure while over Nha Trang Bay. Jones immediately notified Nha Trang Tower that he was going down and entered an autorotation to water impact. He was unharmed in the crash, exited the aircraft, and swam the short distance to Hon Tre Island. Meantime, when the 201st Avn Co was notified that Jones was going into the bay, Major George F. Krays pulled together a crew and immediately launched in UH-1H tail number 66-16008 to conduct rescue operations. Krays left his searchlight and landing light on as he proceeded over water, allowing crewmen aboard patrol boat LCPL-48 to observe the Huey's flight as it descended to low altitude to conduct a search. Krays failed to pull out of his descent and the Huey flew into the water. It broke up on impact and sank, leaving a fuel fire on the surface. LCPL-48 went to the scene and recovered two survivors. The bodies of four others were recovered from the wreckage by Navy divers.

Loss Date 08/02/1969

WO1 James Dravis Visit Jim Dravis at the Virtual Wall

Loss Date 06/09/1972

1LT Ronald E. Doughtie Visit Ron Doughtie at the Virtual Wall

On 09 June 1972 an OH-58A (tail number 68-16938) from the 201st Aviation Company (Corps) was detailed to fly a US civilian, John Paul Vann, from Pleiku to Kontum.
Vann was a civilian with the Agency for International Development. Three people were aboard the OH-58 when it departed Pleiku: the pilot, 1LT Ronald E. Doughtie, Mr. Vann, and Captain Robert A. Robertson, an Army intelligence officer assigned to the US Army Element, Pleiku. Departure was at 2050 in deteriorating weather conditions. The OH-58 did not arrive, and was found to have crashed along highway QL14.

Unfortunately, More Coming Soon

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