Hosken, John Charles, CW3

 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
38 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Chief Warrant Officer 3
Last Service Branch
Warrant Officer (pre-2004)
Last MOS Group
Aviation (Officer)
Primary Unit
1970-1998, 062B, POW/MIA
Service Years
1968 - 1998

Warrant Officer (pre-2004)

Chief Warrant Officer 3

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

154 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CW2 Phillip M. Kemp (Mike) to remember Hosken, John Charles, CW3.

If you knew or served with this Soldier and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Casualty Info
Home Town
Chagrin Falls
Last Address
Chagrin Falls

Casualty Date
Mar 24, 1970
Hostile, Died while Missing
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
12W 039

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2014, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Aviator Badge (Basic)

 Unit Assignments
Aviation Warrant Officer Rotary Wing Course52nd Aviation Battalion1st Aviation Brigade170th Assault Helicopter Company
  1968-1969, Aviation Warrant Officer Rotary Wing Course
  1969-1969, Aviation Warrant Officer Rotary Wing Course
  1969-1970, 062B, 170th Assault Helicopter Company
  1969-1970, 062B, 1st Aviation Brigade
  1969-1970, 062B, 17th Aviation Group/HHC
  1969-1970, 062B, 170th Assault Helicopter Company
  1970-1998, 062B, POW/MIA
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1969-1970 Vietnam War/Winter-Spring 1970 Campaign
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Further "War Story" from VHPA website
  Burial Info1
  Mar 24, 2014, General Photos3
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Per other sources: WO1 at time of death; promoted while in MIA Status

Name: CW3 John Charles Hosken
Status: Remains were returned in 1998 from an incident on 03/24/1970 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Declared dead on 08/28/1978.
Age at death: 22.6
Date of Birth: 08/23/1947
Unit: 170 AHC, 17 CAG
Short Summary: Picked up 8 member SF team led by LT Jerry L. Pool. A/C exploded seconds later. W/Mike O'Donnel.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 68-15262
Country: Cambodia
MOS: (per other sources - 062B Helicopter Pilot, Utility and Light Cargo Single Rotor)
Primary cause: Hostile Fire
Compliment cause: vehicular accident
Position in vehicle: pilot
Started Tour: 12/29/1969
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - pilot
The initial status of this person was: missing in action - bonified
Length of service: (per other sources - 2 years at time of death)
Military grid coordinates of event: YB484003
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - died while missing
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Religion: Methodist (Evangelical United Brethren)
This record was last updated on 08/22/2002
Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-15262
Date: 03/24/1970 MIA-POW file reference number: 1578
Incident number: 70032410.KIA
This was a Recon mission for Unarmed Recon
Classified UTM grid coordinates: YB484003
Count of hits was not possible because the helicopter burned or exploded.
Explosive Weapon; Non-Artillery launched or static weapons containing explosive charges.
(RPG-7, 7.62MM) causing an Explosion. The helicopter Crashed. Aircraft Destroyed.
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. Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center Helicopter database. Also: 1578, LNNF, CRAFX, JSIDR, SOG by Plaster P:245 (Lindenmuth New Format Data Base. Joint Services Incident Damage Report. Crash Facts Message. )

Crew Members:

Passengers and/or other participants:

REFNO Synopsis:
...Kontum, South Vietnam was home base to what was known as FOB2 (Forward Observation Base 2), a classified, long-term operations of the Special Operations Group (SOG) that involved daily operations into Laos and Cambodia. SOG teams operated out of Kontum, but staged out of Dak To.

The mission of the 170th Assault Helicopter Company ("Bikinis") was to perform the insertion, support, and extraction of these SOG teams deep in the forest on "the other side of the fence" (a term meaning Laos or Cambodia, where U.S. forces were not allowed to be based). Normally, the teams consisted of two "slicks" (UH1 general purpose helicopters), two Cobras (AH1 assault helicopters) and other fighter aircraft which served as standby support.

On March 24, 1970, helicopters from the 170th were sent to extract a MACV-SOG long-range reconnaissance patrol (LRRP) team which was in contact with the enemy about fourteen miles inside Cambodia in Ratanokiri Province. The flight leader, RED LEAD, serving as one of two extraction helicopters was commanded by WO James E. Lake. Capt. Michael D. O'Donnell was the aircraft commander of one of the two cover aircraft (serial #68-15262, RED THREE). His crew consisted of WO John C. Hoskins, pilot; SP4 Rudy M. Beccera, crew chief; and SP4 Berman Ganoe, gunner.

The MACV-SOG team, Recon Team Pennsylvania, included 1LT Jerry L. Pool, team leader and team members SSG John A. Boronsky and SGT Gary A. Harned as well as five indigenous team members. The team had been in contact with the enemy all night and had been running and ambushing, but the hunter team pursuing them was relentless and they were exhausted and couldn't continue to run much longer.

When Lake and O'Donnell arrived at the team's location, there was no landing zone (LZ) nearby and they were unable to extract them immediately. The two helicopters waited in a high orbit over the area until the team could move to a more suitable extraction point. While the helicopters were waiting, they were in radio contact with the team. After about 45 minutes in orbit, Lake received word from LT Pool that the NVA hunter team was right behind them. RED LEAD.....made a quick trip to Dak To for refueling. RED THREE was left on station in case of an emergency. While Lake (RED LEAD) was still in route back from refueling, Pool came over the radio and said that if the team wasn't extracted then, it would be too late. Capt. O'Donnell (RED THREE) evaluated the situation and decided to pick them up (alone). He landed on the LZ and was on the ground for about 4 minutes, and then transmitted that he had the entire team of eight on board. The aircraft was beginning its ascent when it was hit by enemy fire, and an explosion in the aircraft was seen. The helicopter continued in flight for about 300 meters, then another explosion occurred, causing the aircraft to crash in the jungle. According to Lake, bodies were blown out the doors and fell into the jungle. [NOTE: According to the U.S. Army account of the incident, no one was observed to have been thrown from the aircraft during either explosion.]

The other helicopter crewmen were stunned. One of the Cobras, Panther 13, radioed "I don't think a piece bigger than my head hit the ground." The second explosion was followed by a yellow flash and a cloud of black smoke billowing from the jungle. Panther 13 made a second high-speed pass over the site and came under fire, but made it away unscathed. Lake decided to go down and see if there was a way to get to the crash site. As he neared the ground, he was met with intense ground fire from the entire area. He could not see the crash site since it was under heavy tree cover. There was no place to land, and the ground fire was withering. He elected to return the extract team to Dak To before more aircraft was lost.

Lake has carried the burden of guilt with him for all these years, and has never forgiven himself for leaving his good friend O'Donnell and his crew behind. The Army account concludes stating that O'Donnell's aircraft began to burn immediately upon impact. Aerial search and rescue efforts began immediately; however, no signs of life could be seen around the crash site. Because of the enemy situation, attempts to insert search teams into the area were futile. SAR efforts were discontinued on April 18. Search and rescue teams who surveyed the site reported that they did not hold much hope for survival for the men aboard, but lacking proof that they were dead, the Army declared all 7 missing in action.

For every patrol like that of the MACV-SOG LRRP team that was detected and stopped, dozens of other commando teams safely slipped past NVA lines to strike a wide range of targets and collect vital information. The number of MACV-SOG missions conducted with Special Forces reconnaissance teams into Laos and Cambodia was 452 in 1969. It was the most sustained American campaign of raiding, sabotage and intelligence gathering waged on foreign soil in U.S. military history. MACV-SOG's teams earned a global reputation as one of the most combat effective deep penetration forces ever raised.

Michael O'Donnell was recommended for the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on March 24, 1970. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart as well as promoted to the rank of Major following his loss incident. O'Donnell was highly regarded by his friends in the "Bikinis." They knew him as a talented singer, guitar player and poet. One of his poems has been widely distributed, but few understand that the author remains missing. If you are able, save them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go. Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always. Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own. And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind. Major Michael Davis O'Donnell 1 January 1970 Dak To, Vietnam

War Story, included in original VHPA record, has been copied to a seperate article titled "Further War Story from VHPA website" and entered in the Other News, Events and Photographs section on the Right Hand page of this profile.

This record was last updated on 08/22/2002


Additional information is available on CD-ROM.

Please send additions or corrections to: The VHPA Webmaster Gary Roush.

Date posted on this site: 01/22/2013

Copyright © 1998 - 2012 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association


Not Specified
Copyright Togetherweserved.com Inc 2003-2011