Starcher, David Wayne, SP 4

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Last Rank
Specialist 4
Last Service Branch
Transportation Corps
Last Primary MOS
67N20-UH-1 Helicopter Repairer
Last MOS Group
Transportation Corps (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1970-1971, 67N10, C Troop, 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry
Service Years
1969 - 1971

Specialist 4

One Overseas Service Bar

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by CW2 Phillip M. Kemp (Mike) to remember Starcher, David Wayne (Buckie), SP 4.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Tampa, FL
Last Address
Tampa, FL

Casualty Date
May 10, 1971
Non Hostile- Died Other Causes
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Binh Dinh (Vietnam)
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Sunset Memory Gardens - Thonotosassa, Florida
Wall/Plot Coordinates
03W-030/Garden of Honor, Lot 55-A Space 1

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Vietnam Veterans MemorialThe National Gold Star Family Registry
  2013, Vietnam Veterans Memorial [Verified] - Assoc. Page
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Aviation Badge (Basic)

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
1st Aviation Brigade1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry
  1970-1971, 67N10, 1st Aviation Brigade
  1970-1971, 67N10, HHT, 1st Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment
  1970-1971, 67N10, C Troop, 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1970-1971 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VII Campaign (1970-71)
 Other News, Events and Photographs
  Oct 12, 2000, Tribute From A Fellow Crewmember
  Sep 16, 2011, Tribute From A Good Friend, Fellow Soldier
  Jun 29, 2012, Tribute From Nephew
  May 04, 2013, General Photos
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

Started Tour:  07/06/1970

Information on U.S. Army helicopter OH-6A tail number 67-16339
Incident number: 710510041ACD Accident case number: 710510041
Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: C/7/17 CAV
The station for this helicopter was An Son in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: BS629003
Number killed in accident = 1 . . Injured = 2 . . Passengers = 1
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated:
Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Army Aviation Safety Center database.
Also: OPERA (Operations Report. )
Summary: Pilot lost control of the aircraft in a crosswind condition and crashed into tall trees. Loss to Inventory and Helicopter was not recovered.

Crew Members:

Accident Summary:

In accordance with witness statement, the following discussion is submitted. The accident occurred while the pilot was conducting a combat visual reconnaissance mission. While flying the lead LOH, the pilot observed a recently used trail. He followed the trail up to a tree line at the top of a ridge. Then orbiting to the right around a bunker, He called in a spot report on the bunker. Thinking he might have taken fire, he steepened his turn to the right abruptly, about 25 feet above the ground while flying approximately 30 knots. His turn took him from a downwind to a crosswind situation; he went into a severe spin to the right. At first the pilot felt he could fly out of the spin, as he had on similar occasions in the past, by decreasing power and gaining airspeed. His attempts to accomplish such were futile; just prior to impacting a tree, he announced the realization that the aircraft was out of control. As the aircraft spun, the back seat observer threw two boxes of 7.62 ball ammunition and one box of grenades from the aircraft to lighten the load. The aircraft hit a tree. Upon initial impact, the pilot's inertia reel failed to lock and his face hit the cyclic stick, knocking him temporarily unconscious. Then the aircraft rolled backward, snapping off the tail boom and rotor blades, till the fuselage came to rest 250 feet down slope, in the bottom of a rocky ravine and stream bed. During the above sequence of events neither crew members from the wing LOH, nor the crew chief of the downed LOH, saw or heard any enemy fire. Sometime between the initial impact and the settling of the aircraft, the observer was thrown out of the aircraft, and sustained injuries, from which he later died. The pilot of the scout put his observer on the ground to aid the casualties. After assisting the pilot and crew chief from their respective seats in the aircraft, the wing observer searched until he found the lead observer approximately 50 feet up the hill lying conscious in some rocks; his chicken plate was lodged against a stump. Two more observers and the C&C crew chief were put on the ground to assist the injured until the Blues could be inserted to secure the area and medical evacuation could be effected. The wing LOH carried the aerial observer, who was the most critically injured of the three, to a place where a Dustoff helicopter could evacuate him. He subsequently died at LZ English, B Med. Next the pilot was removed by a hoist. The crew chief was carried by several of the infantrymen, to a small clearing, where he was evacuated by another LOH. As the Blues walked back to the LZ, they could hear enemy rustling in the bushes all around them. The Blues, having recovered radios and weapons from the aircraft, were extracted. The wreckage was left unrecovered.

This record was last updated on 01/07/2000

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

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