Hackett, James Edward, SP 4 Fallen
 
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Last Rank
Specialist 4
Last Service Branch
Armor
Last Primary MOS
11D-Armor Reconnaissance Specialist
Last MOS Group
Armor (Enlisted)
Last Unit
1972-1999, POW/MIA
Service Years
1970 - 1972
Unofficial US Army Certificates
Cold War Certificate



Specialist 4



One Overseas Service Bar


 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Florida
Florida
Year of Birth
1952
 
Casualty Info
Home Town
Bradenton
Last Address
Bradenton

Casualty Date
Jun 11, 1972
 
Cause
Hostile, Died while Missing
Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Location
Thua Thien
Conflict
Vietnam War/Unspecified Operation
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
01W 040

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1st Aviation Brigade


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Armor Shoulder Cord Cold War Medal



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Aviation Badge (Basic)


 
 Unit Assignments
8th Cavalry Regiment1st Aviation Brigade8th Cavalry Regiment/F TroopPOW/MIA
  1971-1972, 11th Aviation Group
  1971-1972, 8th Cavalry Regiment
  1971-1972, 1st Aviation Brigade
  1971-1972, 8th Cavalry Regiment/F Troop
  1972-1999, POW/MIA
 Combat and Operations History
  1970-1972 Cold War (1945-1989)
  1971-1971 Vietnam War/Consolidation I Campaign 1 July to 30 November 1971 VSM Streamer
  1971-1972 Vietnam War/Consolidation II Campaign 1 December 1971 to 29 March 1972 VSM Streamer
  1971-1975 Vietnam War
  1972-1973 Vietnam War/Cease-Fire Campaign 30 March 1972 to 28 January 1973 VSM Streamer
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity


Name:  James Edward Hackett  
Rank/Branch: Specialist Fourth Class/US Army
 
Unit:  Troop F, 8th Cavalry,
11th Aviation Group, 
1st Aviation Brigade 

 
Date of Birth: 19 November 1952 (Attleboro, MA) 
 
Home of Record: Bradenton, FL
 
Date of Loss: 11 June 1972
 
Country of Loss:  South Vietnam
 
Loss Coordinates:  162336N 1072357E (YD562138)
Click coordinates to view maps

 
Status in 1973: Killed/Body Not Recovered
 
Category: 3
 
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground:  OH6A "Cayuse"
 
Other Personnel in Incident: James R. McQuade (missing)
 

 

 

 

REMARKS:  EXPLODE - NO PARABEEPERS - J

SYNOPSIS:   The Hughes OH6A Cayuse was known by the troops by its nickname "Loach" - a derivative of "light observation helicopter." The armed OH6A was the primary scout helicopter used in Vietnam and usually carried a crew of two. The pilot controlled a mini-gun and a gunner/crew chief handled a "free 60" machine gun, among other weapons, which was attached to the aircraft by a strap. The Loach crews flew the most dangerous missions assigned to Army aviators because they flew low and usually slow enough to get a good look at the ground making them easy targets for the enemy.

In March 1972, the communists launched a three-pronged invasion of South Vietnam. One NVA force swept south across the demilitarized zone (DMZ), its goal to capture the northern provinces along with the city of Hue. A second NVA force drove south through Laos, then east into the Central Highlands. The third force drove further south through Cambodia, then east into those provinces held by US and ARVN troops northwest of Saigon. Fierce and unrelenting fighting ensued on all three fronts, with NVA success being the greatest in those areas attacked immediately south of the DMZ. Continuous fighting lasted until June, at which time the North Vietnamese began consolidating their positions while still holding considerable amount of South Vietnamese territory.

On 11 June, 1972, 1st Lt. James R. McQuade, pilot; and SP4 James E. Hackett, gunner; comprised the crew of an OH6A helicopter (tail #67-16275) that departed Camp Eagle on a visual reconnaissance mission to search for signs of enemy activity around two landing zones (LZ's) being used to deploy ARVN troops into this hotly contested area. The Loach aircrews monitored the insertion in the jungle covered mountains approximately 10 miles southwest of Hue, Thua Thien Province, South Vietnam, they also performed aerial reconnaissance of the surrounding terrain for enemy activity.

The aircrew of another OH6A crewed by Capt. Arnold E. Holm, Jr., pilot; PFC Wayne Bibbs, gunner; and SP4 Robin R. Yeakley, observer; discovered enemy living quarters, bunkers and numerous well established trails. Capt. Holm radioed their findings to all aircraft participating in the troop insertion as well as to headquarters. During its second attack pass over a ridgeline at an altitude of about 25 feet, the Loach was struck by enemy ground fire, exploded and burned. Other aircrews reported seeing Capt. Holm's aircraft fall from the sky. As it descended, they saw smoke and white phosphorous grenades carried on board the Loach explode. The OH6A exploded again when it impacted the ground. Other aircraft in the area also received heavy enemy anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) fire as they attacked entrenched communist positions. None of the crew was seen to exit the downed helicopter, nor were any emergency radio beepers heard during the immediately initiated search and rescue (SAR) effort.

During the ensuing search for downed Loach, 1st Lt. McQuade tried to enter the crash site location. They were also struck by heavy, accurate AAA fire from the same guns that hit Capt. Holm's aircraft causing it to explode in the air and burn upon impact just to the northeast of the first aircraft's wreckage. The intensity of the aircraft fire caused white phosphorous and smoke grenades carried aboard to explode prior to it hitting the ground, and continue to burn on the jungle floor. Neither crewman was seen to leave the aircraft before or after the crash. Aerial searches continued until dark, but no sign of either missing crew could be detected. No ground search was possible because of the intense enemy presence throughout the region. Further, at the time SAR efforts were terminated, James McQuade and James Hackett were declared Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered. The crew of the first aircraft was also listed Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.

In September 1994, a joint US/Vietnamese team excavated the Loach's crash site. They recovered some 100-bone fragments and aircraft wreckage. Those remains were eventually sent to the Central Identification Lab, Hawaii (CIL-HI) were an identification of the co-mingled remains were identified 5 years to the month later. James McQuade and James Hackett are buried together in Arlington National Cemetery.

   
Comments/Citation

Information on U.S. Army helicopter OH-6A tail number 67-16275
The Army purchased this helicopter 0868
Total flight hours at this point: 00002216
Date: 06/11/1972 MIA-POW file reference number: 1873
Incident number: 72061102.TXT
Unit: F/8 CAV
South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: YD562138
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Reference Notes. Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Also: 1873 ()
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
G SP4 HACKETT JAMES EDWARD RR
P 1LT MCQUADE JAMES RUSSELL RR


REFNO Synopsis:
Personnel In Incident: Wayne Bibbs; Arnold E. Holm; Robin R. Yeakley (missing from one OH6A); James R. McQuade, James Edward Hackett (missing from second OH6A). SYNOPSIS: By December 1971, U.S. troops in-country had declined dramatically - from the 1968 peak of nearly 55,000 to less than 30,000. The enemy, temporarily on the defensive by the moves into Cambodia in 1970 and Laos in 1971, began deploying new NVA forces southward in preparation for another major offensive. In March 1972, the Vietnamese launched a three-pronged invasion of the South. One NVA force swept south across the DMZ, its goal apparently the conquest of the northern provinces and the seizure of Hue. A second NVA force drove from Laos into the Central Highlands, and a third effort involved a drive from Cambodia into provinces northwest of Saigon. Fierce fighting ensued on all three fronts, with NVA success the greatest in the northern provinces. Fighting continued until by June, the North Vietnamese began withdrawing from some of their advance positions, still holding considerable amounts of South Vietnamese territory in the northern provinces. On June 11, 1972, Capt. Arnold Holm, pilot, PFC Wayne Bibbs, gunner, and SP4 Robin Yeakley, passenger, were aboard an OH6A observation helicopter flying from Camp Eagle to the Northern Provinces of South Vietnam on a visual reconnaissance mission. The function of their "Loach" chopper was searching out signs of the enemy around two landing zones (LZ's). The OH6 joined with the AH1G Cobra gunship as "Pink Teams" to screen the deployment of air cavalry troops. On this day, Holm's aircraft was monitoring an ARVN team insertion. During the mission, Holm reported that he saw enemy living quarters, bunkers, and numerous trails. On his second pass over a ridge, at about 25' altitude, the aircraft exploded and burned. It was reported that before the aircraft crashed that smoke and white phosphorous grenades began exploding. After the aircraft impacted with the ground, it exploded again. Other aircraft in the area received heavy anti-aircraft fire. No one was seen to exit the downed helicopter, nor were emergency radio beepers detected. OH6A (tail #67-16275), 1Lt. James R. McQuade, pilot, and SP4 James E. Hackett, gunner, tried to enter the area of the crashed OH6A, but encountered heavy fire and their aircraft was also shot down. McQuade's aircraft was hit, and the intensity of the resulting fire caused white phosphorous and smoke grenades carried aboard the aircraft to explode prior to hitting the ground. The aircraft continued to burn after impact and no crewmen left the ship before or after the crash. No ground search was made for survivors or remains of either aircraft because of hostile fire in the area.

War Story:
The Crew of Lt James R. McQuade was shot down attempting a rescue of Cpt Arnold Holm and his OH-6 crew. The NVA fire was so intense that we were never able to return to the crash sites to search for bodies. McQuade's remains were recovered in 2000 and buried at Ft. Lewis WA. Search continues for Holm and crew. I was a Cobra pilot on this mission on this DARK day. William H. Bryan, wbryan06@earthlink.net Colonel, U.S. Army Retired

   
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