Rios-Velazquez, Leonardo Jr., SP 4

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Last Rank
Specialist 4
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
11C20-Mortar Squad Leader
Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1968-1969, 11C20, 196th Infantry Brigade (Light)
Service Years
1968 - 1969
Foreign Language(s)

Specialist 4

One Overseas Service Bar

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

Home State
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SFC Anthony E. Santa Maria, IV to remember Rios-Velazquez, Leonardo Jr., SP 4.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Rio Piedras
Last Address
Rio Piedras

Casualty Date
Mar 22, 1969
Non Hostile- Died Other Causes
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Quang Tin (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Puerto Rico National Cemetery - Bayamon, Puerto Rico
Wall/Plot Coordinates
28W 014

 Official Badges 

Infantry Shoulder Cord

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  1982, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified]3 - Assoc. Page

 Photo Album   (More...

 Ribbon Bar

Combat Infantryman 1st Award

 Unit Assignments
23rd Infantry Division (Americal)4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment196th Infantry Brigade (Light)
  1968-1969, 11C20, 23rd Infantry Division (Americal)
  1968-1969, 11C20, 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment/E Company
  1968-1969, 11C20, 196th Infantry Brigade (Light)
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1968-1968 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase V Campaign (1968)
  1968-1969 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VI Campaign (1968-69)
  1969-1969 Vietnam War/Tet 69 Counteroffensive Campaign
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
CH-47B (tail number 67-18461) from the 178 ASHC was resupplying LZ Fire Support "West" when it lost power on its final approach to the LZ , turned parallel to the hillside and the left aft gear struck the side of the hill. The aircraft slid down the hill and overturned landing on its top, burst into flames and was destroyed in less than ten minutes.

Crew Members:
WO2 J.A. Campbell, aircraft commander C
apt. N.R. Allen, pilot
SP4 L.A. Tonjes, crew chief
SP4 D.L. McGuire, gunner
SP5 Robert C. Tedford, FE, KIA

Passengers killed and injured: S
P4 Richard W. Goden
SP4 Clarence H. Boolin
SP4 Leonardo Rios-Velazquez, Jr
SP4 Charles D. Howell
SGT David C. Vallance
SP4 Terry L. Staman
14 injured

On March 22, 1969, a U.S. Army helicopter CH-47B (tail number 67-18461) from the 178th Assault Support Helicopter Company, callsign Boxcar, was conducting a troop and resupply lift in Quang Tin Province, RVN, when it crashed during landing approach to LZ West. Nine personnel were killed in the incident, including one crewman. They included flight engineer SP5 Robert C. Tedford, and passengers SP4 Richard W. Goden, SP4 Clarence H. Boolin, SP4 Leonardo Rios-Velazquez Jr., SP4 Charles D. Howell, SGT David C. Vallance, and SP4 Terry L. Staman. SP4 George F. Reynolds Jr. was critically burned in the crash and was medically evacuated to the 106th Army General Hospital in Yokohama, Japan, where he expired March 29, 1969. The aircraft had the routine mission to resupply Fire Support Base West with hot rations, canned goods, soda pop, beer, lumber, mail, and other miscellaneous cargo. These items were loaded internally along with 25 passengers at LZ Baldy. The aircraft was refueled, and a hover check was performed. Difficulty in hovering prompted the decision to reduce the load, and five passengers were taken off the aircraft. After a subsequent hover check, the aircraft departed LZ Baldy with the remaining twenty passengers, internal cargo, and crew of five at 1300 hours. While approaching short final to LZ West, the aircraft commander noticed that the aircraft was losing power. The aircraft continued to settle and was falling below the lip of the ridgeline. The aircraft commander took over the controls, banked the aircraft sharply to the left. After a 180 degree turn, the aircraft started down the hillside and struck a small tree with the rear rotor disk. Initial contact with the ground was made with the rear left gear which was sheared it from the fuselage. The rear ramp structure also contacted the ground at this point. The aircraft pitched about its rear pivot point, causing the entire right side of the aircraft to contact the ground. Inertia carried the aircraft over on its back in what was described as a slow roll. The aircraft came to a complete stop inverted. The rear end immediately burst into flames which completely destroyed the aircraft in less than ten minutes. [Taken from and]

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