Westra, Leroy James, WO1

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Last Rank
Warrant Officer 1
Last Service Branch
Warrant Officer (pre-2004)
Last Primary MOS
100B-Utility/Observation Helicopter Pilot
Last MOS Group
Transportation Corps (Officer)
Primary Unit
1971-1971, 100B, 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment/B Troop
Service Years
1970 - 1971

Warrant Officer (pre-2004)

Warrant Officer 1

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SFC Anthony E. Santa Maria, IV to remember Westra, Leroy James, WO1.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Last Address

Casualty Date
May 25, 1971
Non Hostile- Died of Illness, Other Injury
Air Loss, Crash - Land
Vietnam War
Location of Interment
Mountain Presbyterian Cemetery - Northumberland County, Pennsylvania
Wall/Plot Coordinates
03W 055

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

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

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 Ribbon Bar

Aviator Badge (Basic)


 Unit Assignments
1st Aviation Brigade7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment
  1971-1971, 100B, 1st Aviation Brigade
  1971-1971, 100B, 7th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment/B Troop
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1970-1971 Vietnam War/Counteroffensive Phase VII Campaign (1970-71)
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
On May 24, 1971 pilot WO1 Leroy J. Westra and crew chief SP4 Randall C. Short were making a morning test flight, checking for high-frequency vibrations. WO1 Westra called off Holloway Army Airfield at 0628 hours. The pilot then flew to an area 7 miles east-southeast of Pleiku where many test flights were conducted. He pulled a DER check and did a SED maneuver using maximum descent and maximum airspeed. As he started to recover from the maneuver, he lost RPM, sustained an engine failure, a fire, and then entered autorotation. His flight time up to this point was 32 minutes. No emergency calls were heard by any aircraft in the Pleiku area or Holloway Army Airfield. The aircraft traveled 510 feet from initial impact point to final resting place. The point of impact was left of center-line on hard-packed, two-lane dirt road running southwest to northwest. The heading of the skid marks and road was 305. The aircraft hit with sufficient vertical velocity to spread the skids and allow the belly to strike the ground within 10 feet of the initial contact point. The aircraft headed toward the center of the road and became airborne again. At 129 feet from initial impact, the right skid came in contact with the ground again and made skid marks an additional 165 feet. The aircraft then left the road and impacted the ditch on the right hand side. After impact in the ditch, the aircraft came to rest in the center of the road with an approximate heading of 250. After the aircraft made firm contact with the ground the pilot then got out of the aircraft and pulled the crew chief from the wreckage. The fuel line was not shut off. All aircraft instruments were destroyed in the fire and the following circuit breakers were popped: Warning Light, Instrument and AC Inverters. All major components were found in the main wreckage or were burned. SP4 Short suffered fatal injuries in the crash. WO1 Westra survived the crash but succumbed to his injuries the next day. A third crewmen, the gunner, survived the wreck uninjured. [Taken from vhpa.org]
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