179TH ASHC, 52ND CAB, 1 AVN BDE
From West Los Angeles, CA
15 April 1947 - 24 February 1969
Lewis, I just posted one of these for Davis, like I told him sorry I wasn't around when you guys went down. You and Davis were two good friends to me, thanks. Sorry for your loss, Ed.
A note from The Virtual Wall
On 24 February 1969 a CH-47A CHINOOK (hull number 66-19091) of the 179th Assault Support Helicopter Company crashed, killing two and injuring three crewmembers:
The aircraft had flown for 5 hours 20 minutes prior to the accident. At the 3+25 point, the aircraft had been shut down and inspected by SP5 Lewis and SP4 Davis under the supervision of WO Wilkes; no discrepancies were noticed. At the time of the accident, the CH-47 was approaching a landing zone with a slung cargo of 7,000 pounds of 105mm howitzer ammunition. As the aircraft neared hover, the nose turned left and dropped slightly, then continued into an uncontrollable nose-low flat spin. It drifted downwind from the landing zone, impacting about 300 feet distant from the pad. The aft fuselage impacted first and the nose shortly afterwards. The upper portion of the fuselage collapsed, severing fuel, hydraulic, and oil lines. The impact of the lower fuselage on the sling load apparently ruptured both aft fuel cells. Fire spread rapidly toward the nose of the aircraft, hampering rescue efforts. Within minutes the 105mm ammunition began cooking off, and the combination of explosions and fire consumed the aircraft.
- WO2 J W Wilkes, instructor pilot, injured
- WO2 A S Ventura, pilot, injured
- SP5 Harold S Lewis, flight engineer, killed
- SP4 Roy H Davis, crew chief, killed
- SP4 S C Martin, gunner, injured
The database page for Harold St Clair Lewis
12 Feb 2002