Roger William Heinz

Army of the United States
11 March 1936 - 09 December 1969
Coventry, Connecticut
Panel 15W Line 042



National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign


The database page for Roger William Heinz

2 Oct 2004

I know a man who is buried in Arlington National Cemetery who is not listed on your site. He is Chaplain (Major) Roger W. Heinz. He was killed in Vietnam on 12/09/1969 and was a member of the 5th SF Group. The reason that I know this was that my family lived on the same street that his did and I went to his service in Arlington. Also, my Dad was the Chief Chaplain in the 5th SF Group at the time of Roger's death. You can reach me at the following e-mail address:

Vernon Jobson

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 09 Dec 1969 a UH-1H (tail number 68-16220) of A Company, 123rd Aviation Battalion, was flying a routine shuttle mission for the 23rd Division (AMERICAL) Support Command. The aircraft departed the Americal Division headquarters helipad about 0730 and proceeded to Minh Long. At Minh Long, all passengers debarked and three passengers were boarded. The aircraft departed Minh Long enroute to Ba To with a crew of four and three passengers. Although a light rain was falling, the flight crew believed they could reach Ba To under visual flight conditions by remaining in a valley. However, as the copilot climbed to pass over a saddle at grid coordinates BS507468 they entered clouds. The pilot took control of the aircraft, began a 500-feet-per-minute climb, and began a left turn to an easterly heading. As the aircraft approached a 090 degree heading, still in the clouds, a mountainside was seen through the chin bubble. The pilot attempted an emergency climb but wasn't able to crest the hill. The aircraft hit skids-first and broke up, with the cabin section travelling some 140 feet before coming to a halt and burning. The pilot survived with injuries, but the other six men were killed in the crash:
  • Air crew:
    • WO Ward L. Hooper, copilot, Santa Ana, CA (A Co, 123rd Avn Bn)
    • SP4 Michael J. McClane, crew chief, Mount Carmel, IL (A Co, 123rd Avn Bn)
    • SP5 Edward F. Fratus, gunner, Concord, NH (E Co, 73rd Maint Bn)

  • Passengers:
    • LTC Karl F. Lange, West Allis, WI (1st Log Cmd)
    • MAJ Roger W. Heinz, Coventry, CT (5th Special Forces Group)
    • CPT Eugene P. Shumbris, Bayside, NY (HHC, 23rd Div Spt Cmd)
Chaplain Heinz is remembered on the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School's web site as one of the 13 Army Chaplains who died in Vietnam.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend,
Vernon Jobson 
2 Oct 2004

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Channing Prothro, former CAP Marine
Last updated 10/02/2004