THOMAS A GUENTHER - WO
- atlantic city
- DATE OF BIRTH:
- April 06, 1950
- DATE OF CASUALTY:
- February 14, 1970
- BRANCH OF SERVICE:
- South Vietnam
Thomas A. Guenther was born on April 6, 1950. His home of record is Atlantic City, NJ.
He served in the US Army and attained the rank of Warrant Officer (WO). His tour of duty began on November 28, 1969, as part of the 281st Assault Helicopter Company.
Guenther was killed in action on February 14, 1970, in Khanh Hoa, South Vietnam in a helicopter crash. On the day of the crash, the 281st Assault Helicopter Company was conducting a "Sniffer" Mission run out of Nha Trang, South Vietnam when the aircraft crashed during the performance of the mission killing the four 281st crew members and two Special Forces equipment operators. The 281st Helicopter, UH-1H, SN: 66-17127 was performing a combat aviation support mission for the 5th Special Forces Group using an Airborne Personnel Detector (SNIFFER) in the vicinity of Dong Bo Mountain, 4 Nautical miles southwest of Nha Trang, RVN. The mission was to fly 50 feet above the trees at 70 knots so that the SNIFFER machine could detect any smoke in the area. From 1005 to 1006 hours the SNIFFER machine had medium to high readings from BP 960 409 to BP 950 424, the last reading approximately two minutes before aircraft 66-17127 crashed into the trees. Eyewitness accounts believe the crash was due to equipment failure causing the aircraft to assume a nose low attitude, which resulted in it loosing altitude and impacting into the trees. It was noted that the aircraft had a very slow airspeed and low rotor RPM when it struck the trees and exploded. Following the explosion SP4 Johnson, the Door Gunner of the Command Ship, was lowered to the ground, near the crash site. There was no sign of life and SP4 Johnson was recovered from the area. The aircraft crash was classified as a non-hostel incident in that neither ground fire nor hostile forces were observed in the area.
Sources: Various websites and NJVVMF.
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