Richard Eugene GarretsonSpecialist Four
HQ CO, 1ST BN, 327TH INFANTRY, 101 ABN DIV
Army of the United States
22 October 1950 - 28 November 1971
Panel 02W Line 075
The database page for Richard Eugene Garretson
Dearest Uncle Richard, I was only 4 years old when you were taken away. I have pictures to look at of you and me. I wish we had more time, but thankful for the short time we had to share. I wish I was able to remember them. I now take care of veterans. In a small way it's the only way I know how to repay you and other veterans for making the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that I have the freedoms I enjoy. I miss getting to know you better. I love you so.
Love you always, your niece
Notes from The Virtual WallOn 28 November 1971 a CH-47C (tail number 68-15866) of Company C, 159th ASHB, 101st Airborne, was tasked to conduct an administrative troop lift from Landing Zone 401 (Danang) to Camp Eagle. The lift was delayed due to extremely poor weather, but as the day progressed the weather improved sufficiently for the mission to launch. The CH-47 (PLAYTEX 866) with five crewmen aboard departed home base at 1220, arrived at LZ 401 without incident, and loaded 29 troops aboard. PLAYTEX 866 departed LZ 401 at 1310. At 1328 Hue Approach Control received a call from PLAYTEX 866 stating that he was declaring an emergency. No further contact was made with PLAYTEX 866.
Search and rescue operations were begun at 1340 but were hampered by low ceilings and intermittent rain. At 0840 hours, 2 Dec 71, an OH-6 pilot from the 2nd Bde aviation section reported sighting wreckage that appeared to be the lost CH-47 aircraft. The elevation of the crash site was approximately 650 feet and throughout the search and rescue operation the crash site was shrouded by clouds.
At 1650 2 Dec 71, Company D, 2/502nd Inf, was airlifted from Camp Eagle to a position approximately 2500 meters east of the crash site. The rescue party cut their way through the mountainous jungle terrain and arrived at the crash site at 0830 5 Dec 71.
The aircraft was located in a creek bed approximately 650 feet up the side of a mountain. It had hit a 50 degree slope with great impact causing the fuel cells to rupture and a flash fire resulted. The aircraft was completely demolished and there were no survivors.
Vincent Bernal was one of the thirty-four men killed in the crash.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 16 May 2007
Last updated 05/23/2007