Charles Henry Cummings

Specialist Four
Army of the United States
10 April 1951 - 12 March 1970
Hadley, Massachusetts
Panel 13W Line 115


UH-1 Huey

Army Aircrew

Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Charles Henry Cummings

13 Mar 1999

"Not for fame or reward,
not for place or for rank,
but in simple obedience to duty,
as they understood it."
Confederate Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery

From his brother,
Al Cummings

Notes from The Virtual Wall

At 1300 on 12 March 1970 four UH-1H aircraft of the 128th Assault Helicopter Company departed Phu Loi Airfield on an extraction mission, tasked with transporting 67 soldiers from a pick-up zone at YS3880 to Fire Support Base Rhode Island. The trip to the PZ and the pick-up were uneventful. About 3 minutes after lift-off from the PZ, CHALK 4 radioed that he had an engine failure and was going into the trees.

CHALK 4's pilot decelerated rapidly and had near-zero forward velocity when the aircraft's tailboom impacted a tree top, spinning the UH-1H and sending it into the trees in a nose-low attitude. The initial impact of the fuselage with a tree resulted in an explosion and the UH-1 fell flaming to the ground. On ground impact further explosions occurred, and 2 to 3 minutes after impact a tremendous explosion threw debris some hundreds of feet into the air. The crash was not survivable, and 13 men died:

  • 128th Assault Helicopter Company:
    • WO1 Leonard Dwight Cunningham, pilot, Pulaski TN
    • WO1 Jay Thomas Dandurand, copilot, Riverdale NJ
    • SP4 Charles Henry Cummings, gunner, Hadley MA
    • SP4 Gary Douglas McNicol, crew chief, Newell WV

  • B Company, 4th Bn, 9th Infantry:
    • SSG Jose O. Garcia, St Louis MO
    • SSG Edward W. Holmes, Memphis TN
    • SGT Ronny D. Shattuck, Renton WA
    • CPL Lester V. Cafiero, West Hempstead NY
    • CPL Aaron L. Darr, Elsah IL
    • CPL Terry E. Guenther, Galesburg IL
    • CPL Olin J. Leonard, Randleman NC
    • SP4 Veney E. Thompson, Wewoka OK
    • PFC Walter J. Hampton, Memphis TN

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
his brother,
Al Cummings

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index C
MA State Index . Panel 13W
128TH AHC Index

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 13 Mar 1999
Last updated 10/25/2006