(Note: Records differs as
to the aircraft type on this incident. Some
records show the aircraft type this crew was flying as UH1H, and some show
it as a UH1C. Herbert Crosby flew Charlie models every day from at least
July 1969 to January 1970. The serial number, #66-739 correlates to a C
model, the first two numbers indicating that the aircraft had been made in
1966, and the H model only had come out a few months before this time.
Although C models were gunships, and usually flew more or less
independently, while this aircraft was flying in tight formation as flight
lead, which would correlate with the H model, it has been confirmed that the
ship on which this crew was flying was definitely a Charlie model.)
At 1300 hours, the three
helicopters departed Tien Phuoc. Five to ten
minutes later, due to instrument flight rules, Capt. Crosby directed the
flight to change to a different flight heading. When the helicopters changed
frequencies to contact Chu Lai ground control approach, radio contact was
lost with Capt. Crosby and was not regained.
The other two aircraft
reached Chu Lai heliport, and at 1400 hours, serach efforts were begun for
the missing aircraft, although the crew was not found.
According to a 1974
National League of Families report, George Howes survived the crash of this
helicopter. The report further maintains that the loss occurred in Laos,
although the coordinates place it some 40-odd miles from that country.
A North Vietnamese
prisoner released later reported that he had seen Howes in captivity the
same month the helicopter went down. A second sighting by a villager in
Phuoc Chouc (or Phouc Chau) village reported Howes and two other POWs
stopped for water at his house in February, 1970, en route to Laos. Whether
these reports also relate to Allen, Crosby and Graziosi, is unknown.
When the last American
troops left Southeast Asia in 1975, some 2500
Americans were unaccounted for. Reports received by the U.S. Government
since that time build a strong case for belief that hundreds of these
"unaccounted for" Americans are still alive and in captivity.
"Unaccounted for" is a
term that should apply to numbers, not men. We, as a nation, owe these men
our best effort to find them and bring them home. Until the fates of the men
like the UH1C crew are known, their families will wonder if they are dead or
alive .. and why they were deserted.
NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
No. 1294-06 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 19, 2006
Soldiers Missing In Action From Vietnam War are Identified
The Department of Defense
POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of
three U.S. servicemen, missing in action from the Vietnam War, have been
identified and returned to their families for burial with full military
They are Capt. Herbert C.
Crosby, of Donalsonville, Ga.; Sgt. 1st Class Wayne C. Allen, of Tewksbury,
Mass.; and Sgt. 1st Class Francis G. Graziosi, of Rochester, N.Y.; all U.S.
Army. Burial dates and locations are being set by their families.
Representatives from the
Army met with the next-of-kin of these men to explain the recovery and
identification process, and to coordinate interment with military honors on
behalf of the Secretary of the Army.
On Jan. 10, 1970, these
men were returning to their base at Chu Lai, South Vietnam aboard a UH-1C
Huey helicopter. Due to bad weather, their helicopter went down over Quang
Nam Province. A search was initiated for the crew, but no sign of the
helicopter or crew was spotted.
In 1989, the Socialist
Republic of Vietnam (S.R.V.) gave to U.S. specialists 25 boxes containing
the remains of the U.S. servicemen related to this incident. Later that
year, additional remains and Crosby's identification tag were obtained from
a Vietnamese refugee.
Between 1993 and 1999,
joint U.S./S.R.V. teams, led by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC),
conducted three investigations in Ho Chi Minh City and two investigations in
Quang Nam-Da Nang Province (formerly Quang Nam Province). A Vietnamese
informant in Ho Chi Minh City told the team he knew where the remains of as
many as nine American servicemen were buried. He agreed to lead the team to
the burial site. In 1994, the team excavated the site and recovered a metal
box and several bags containing human remains, including those of these
Among other forensic
identification tools and circumstantial evidence, scientists from JPAC and
the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory also used mitochondrial DNA
and dental comparisons in the identification of the remains.
information on the Defense Department's mission to account for missing
Americans, visit the DPMO Web site at
http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/ or call (703) 699-1169.