Kennedy, James Edward, SSG

Fallen
 
 Photo In Uniform   Service Details
8 kb
View Time Line
Last Rank
Staff Sergeant
Last Service Branch
Transportation Corps
Last Primary MOS
64C10-Motor Transport Operator
Last MOS Group
Transportation Corps (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1969-1974, POW/MIA
Service Years
1968 - 1974

Staff Sergeant


Two Service Stripes



Eleven Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
New Jersey
New Jersey
Year of Birth
1950
 
This Fallen Army Profile is not currently maintained by any Member. If you would like to take responsibility for researching and maintaining this Fallen profile please click HERE
 
Casualty Info
Home Town
Woodbury, NJ
Last Address
Pine Hill, NJ

Casualty Date
Dec 22, 1969
 
Cause
Hostile, Died while Missing
Reason
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Location
Cambodia
Conflict
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial - Honolulu, Hawaii
Wall/Plot Coordinates
W15 Line 81

 Official Badges 




 Unofficial Badges 




 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...


 Ribbon Bar

Aviation Badge (Basic)

 
 Unit Assignments
52nd Aviation Battalion52nd Aviation Battalion1st Aviation BrigadePOW/MIA
  1969-1969, HHC, 17th Aviation Group
  1969-1969, 57th Aviation Company, 52nd Aviation Battalion
  1969-1969, 52nd Aviation Battalion
  1969-1969, 1st Aviation Brigade
  1969-1974, POW/MIA
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Summer-Fall 1969 Campaign
  1969-1970 Vietnam War/Winter-Spring 1970 Campaign
  1970-1970 Vietnam War/Sanctuary Counteroffensive Campaign (1970)
  1970-1971 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VII Campaign (1970-71)
  1971-1971 Vietnam War/Consolidation I Campaign (1971)
  1971-1972 Vietnam War/Consolidation II Campaign (1971-72)
  1972-1973 Vietnam War/Cease-Fire Campaign (1972-73)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Not Specified
   
Comments/Citation


James Edward Kennedy was born on January 2, 1950, in Woodbury, NJ. His home of record is Pine Hill, NJ. He entered the US Army where he was assigned to the 57th Aviation Company, 52nd Aviation Battalion, 17th Aviation Group and he attained the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSGT). Kennedy has been listed as missing in action since December 22, 1969.
 

Synopsis (from the POW Network) as to the circumstances behind being listed as MIA:
On December 22, 1969, SP4 James E. Kennedy, door gunner; WO Donald D. Burris Jr., pilot; WO John H. Hunsicker, aircraft commander; and SP5 Timothy A. Purser, crew chief; were the crew of a UHIC helicopter on a combat support mission when it developed mechanical problems and crash landed.
 

Official records differ as to the location of the crash. US Army casualty and Joint Casualty Resolution Center records indicate that the crash was in Cambodia, yet Defense Department, State Department and other records indicate that the crash occurred near the border of Attopeu and Saravane Provinces in Laos, some 30-35 miles north of the closest point in Cambodia. Coordinates 152029N 1972941E are that location. The locality of YA678975 is undoubtedly Cambodia.
 

It is possible that their combat support mission was in Cambodia, and the subsequent rescue flight took a circular northwesterly course around the mountains in northern Cambodia along the Laos border, circled back east towards Dak To (its destination). Some records pinpoint the actual location of loss at the beginning of the flight, while others record it during flight. 
 

When the aircraft landed, Burris, Purser, and Hunsicker had survived the crash, but they could not locate James Kennedy. A search of the general area revealed no trace of SP4 Kennedy and he was not trapped in the wreckage. (As door gunner, and at a position on the side of the main cargo area of the aircraft positioned at an open door, Kennedy may have decided to bail out of the descending aircraft, or may have fallen. Since the gunners were generally strapped into the frame of the helicopter - this seemed unlikely - thus becoming separated from the others.)
 

Minutes after the helicopter crashed, a recovery helicopter arrived in the area and lowered ropes with McGuire rigs attached through the dense jungle to the downed men. The survivors were not trained in the proper use of this equipment, and SP5 Purser fell out of his rig a few feet off the ground. WO Burris and WO Hunsicker remained in their rigs and were lifted out, and the helicopter started toward Dak To, with the two rescued men still on the ropes. Five minutes into the flight, Burris lost his grip on the rope and fell from an altitude of 2500 - 3000 feet. The rescue helicopter continued to the nearest landing area.
 

A search and rescue team was inserted into the crash site area and recovered Purser, who was injured. The team searched widely for SP4 Kennedy, but found no trace of him, and concluded their search on December 25, 1969. Information provided by the POW Network and NJVVMF.


 

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1C tail number 66-00587
The Army purchased this helicopter 0966
Total flight hours at this point: 00001527
Date: 12/22/69 MIA-POW file reference number: 1539
Incident number: 69122216.TXT
Unit: 57 AHC
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was LOSS TO INVENTORY
for Close Air Support
While Enroute this helicopter was Unknown at UNK feet and UNK knots.
Unknown
UTM grid coordinates: YA678975
Helicopter took 1 hits from:
Small Arms/Automatic Weapons; Gun launched non-explosive ballistic projectiles less than 20 mm in size. (7.62MM)
The helicopter was hit in the Tail Section
Systems damaged were: TAIL ROTOR, PERSONNEL
Casualties = 02 DOI, 01 INJ . .
The helicopter Crashed. Aircraft Destroyed.
Both mission and flight capability were terminated.
Burned
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: 1539, UH1P3, 35602 ()
Loss to Inventory
Crew: BURRIS, DONALD DEANE JR;

Crew Members:
P CW2 BURRIS DONALD DEANE JR BNR
G SSG KENNEDY JAMES EDWARD BNR
AC WO1 HUNSICKER JOHN H RES
CE PURSER TIMOTHY A RES

REFNO Synopsis:
SYNOPSIS: On December 22, 1969 SP4 James E. Kennedy, door gunner; WO Donald D. Burris Jr., pilot; WO John H. Hunsicker, aircraft commander; and SP5 Timothy A. Purser, crew chief; were the crew of a UH1C helicopter (serial #66-00587) on a combat support mission when it developed mechanical problems and crashed landed. Official records differ as to the location of the crash. U.S.

Army casualty and Joint Casualty Resolution Center records indicate that the crash was in Cambodia, yet Defense Department, State Department and other records indicate that the crash occurred near the border of Attopeu and Saravane Provinces in Laos, some 30-35 miles north of the closest point in Cambodia. Coordinates 152029N 1972941E are that location. The locality of YA678975 is undoubtedly Cambodia. It is possible that their combat support mission was in Cambodia, and the subsequent rescue flight took a circular northwesterly course around the mountains in northern Cambodia along the Laos border, circled back east towards Dak To (its destination), and that some records pinpoint the actual location of loss at the beginning of the flight, while others record it during flight. Regardless, when the aircraft landed, Burris, Purser and Hunsicker had survived the crash, but they could not locate the door gunner, James Kennedy. WO Hunsicker and WO Burris escaped therough the left cargo door uninjured. They found the crew chief (Purser), who had also scrambled free of the wreckage. He had a broken arm. A search of the general area around the crashed helicopter revealed no trace of SP4 Kennedy, and he was not trapped in the wreckage. (As door gunner, and at a position on the side of the main cargo area of the aircraft positioned at an open door, Kennedy may have decided to bail out of the descending aircraft, or may have fallen, - although the gunners were generally strapped in to the frame of the helicopter so this seems unlikely - thus becoming separated from the others.) Minutes after the helicopter crashed, a recovery helicopter arrived in the area and lowered ropes with McGuire rigs attached through the dense jungle to the downed men.

The survivors were not trained in the proper use of this equipment, and SP5 Purser fell out of his rig a few feet off the ground. WO Burris and WO Hunsicker remained in their rigs and were lifted out, and the helicopter started toward Dak To, with the two rescued men still on the ropes. Five minutes into the flight, Burris lost his grip on the rope and fell from an altitude of from 2500 to 3000 feet. The rescue helicopter continued to the nearest landing area. A search and rescue team was inserted into the crash site area and recovered Purser, who was injured. The team searched widely for SP4 Kennedy, but found no trace of him, and concluded their search on December 25. No search was made for Burris because of the lack of positive information to pinpoint his loss site and the hostile threat in the area.
 

War Story:

The 57th AHC's unit history states the "Cougar" gunship, commanded by WO John Hunsicker and piloted by CWO Don Burris, with the CE SP5 Timothy Barger and gunner SP4 James Kennedy, was hit by hostile fire resulting in the loss of its tail rotor. WO Hunsicker controlled the aircraft as long as possible but after a short period of time, the aircraft no longer responded to the controls and had to be crash landed. SP4 Kennedy, the gunner was lost before the aircraft hit, but the remaining crew members sustained moderate to light injuries. They were rescued by WOs Malcolm Peterson and Carter Higginbotham, on ropes, but CWO Burris lost conscienceness and fell out of his extraction rig. WO Burris and SP Kennedy were great losses to the company

   
Copyright Togetherweserved.com Inc 2003-2011