Beecher, Quentin Rippetoe, CW2

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Last Rank
Chief Warrant Officer 2
Last Service Branch
Transportation Corps
Last Primary MOS
100B-Utility/Observation Helicopter Pilot
Last MOS Group
Transportation Corps (Officer)
Primary Unit
1967-1967, 100B, C Company, 227th Aviation Battalion (AHB)
Service Years
1959 - 1967

Transportation Corps

Chief Warrant Officer 2

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SGT Dave Stutesman to remember Beecher, Quentin Rippetoe, CW2.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Terre Haute, IN
Last Address
Terre Haute, IN

Casualty Date
Jun 11, 1967
Non Hostile- Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Binh Dinh (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Remains Not Recovered, Vietnam
Wall/Plot Coordinates
21E 093

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Associations and Other Affiliations
Vietnam Veterans MemorialThe National Gold Star Family Registry
  1967, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2020, The National Gold Star Family Registry

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Aviator Badge (Basic)

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1959, Immediate Navy Discharge and Army Enlistment (USN Blue to Green)
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
4th Battalion, Aviation Training Brigade (Cadre) Fort Rucker227th Aviation Battalion (AHB)11th Aviation Group
  1966-1966, 100B, 4th Battalion, Aviation Training Brigade (Cadre) Fort Rucker
  1967-1967, 100B, C Company, 227th Aviation Battalion (AHB)
  1967-1967, 100B, 11th Aviation Group
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1966-1967 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase II Campaign (1966-67)
  1967-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase III Campaign (1967-68)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

CW2 Beecher had prior service of six years with the U.S. Navy as a Navy Helicopter Pilot before transferring to the Army. He entered the Navy on 7 December 1959. In the Army, he graduated with Flight class: 66-24.

"On 11 June 1967, WO1 Thomas F. Riggs, pilot; WO Dean E. Clinton, co-pilot; and SP5 James R. Nelson, crew chief; comprised the crew of a UH1D helicopter (serial 63-12958), call sign "Bamboo Viper 47," that was assigned to Company C, 227th Aviation Battalion, 11th Aviation Group, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). Also onboard the Huey were passengers then WO1 Quentin R. Beecher and SP4 Ralph E. Uhlmansiek. Both of the passengers were assigned to Company B, 227th Aviation Battalion, 11th Aviation Group, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile).

At 1900 hours, Bamboo Viper 47 departed Landing Zone Uplift, Qui Nhon Airfield for an evening operational mission. While enroute to their destination located along the coast south of Qui Nhon Airfield, the Huey's flight path was along the coast and slightly out to sea. As the Huey flew south, it encountered bad weather. WO1 Riggs radioed the radar control centers at both Tuy Hoa Airfield and Qui Nhon Airfield requesting assistance in determining his position and directions to the closest military facility.

Both Tuy Hoa and Qui Nhon radar control centers had the Huey's image on their radarscopes. Both tried to direct the aircraft toward shore and a secure location. In addition to the verbal assistance, an airborne search and rescue (SAR) control aircraft was launched to intercept the helicopter and lead it to safety. However, in the darkness and rain, the SAR aircraft failed to locate the helicopter.

At 2057 hours, WO1 Riggs reported that they were out of fuel, and that they were willing and prepared to make a water landing. A full-scale search and rescue operation was immediately initiated using sea and aerial assets. Ground teams also searched along the shore in line with and on both sides of the current flow in case anyone or anything washed ashore. SAR operations continued until 13 June, but found no trace of the helicopter or its crew and passengers. At the time the search was terminated, Thomas Riggs, Dean Clinton, James Nelson, Quentin Beecher and Ralph Uhlmansiek were inexplicably listed Missing in Action indicating a chance of survival.

The last known location of Bamboo Viper 47 was approximately 21 miles east of the coastline, 25 miles northeast of Tuy Hoa and 41 miles southeast of Qui Nhon, Binh Dinh Province, South Vietnam.

If Bamboo Viper 47 in fact went down 21 miles east of the shoreline at night, in a storm, there is virtually no chance of ever recovering the men aboard the helicopter. However, if they were much closer to shore and enemy fishing boats or junks were known to be in the area, there is a very slight chance the men could have been picked up. If that was the case, their fate, like that of other Americans who remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, could be quite different.

On 5 June 1973 the Secretary of the Army approved a Presumptive Finding of Death for Warrant Officer Quentin Beecher."

A memorial scholarship was established in his honor,Quentin R. Beecher Memorial Award in Aviation, at the College of Technology at Indiana State University.
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