Terry Jack MartellCaptain
A BTY, 4TH BN, 77TH ARTY RGT, 101 ABN DIV
Army of the United States
31 July 1948 - 03 July 1971
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The database page for Terry Jack Martell
For Our Son Terry,
Not a day goes by that we don't think of you, your smile, what a wonderful person you were, and all the good times we had as a family. You would be so proud, you have a fine son and he has a beautiful family.
We always love you and miss you with all our hearts.
With All Our Love,
Mission NotesOn the night of 3/4 July 1971, A Battery (Aerial Rocket Artillery), 4/77th Arty, had two aircraft on two-minute alert status at Phu Bai. At about 2320 a fire support request was received and the two AH-1G gunships immediately launched. Flight lead was Captain P. R. Bergfield.
The flight arrived in the target area at 2330 in a trail formation. Lead established a circular orbit overhead the ground troops to be supported, an orbit that was decreasing in diameter. The last contact with the flight was Captain Bergfield's call that he was "Rolling in hot" (i.e., commencing an attack run).
The ground troops observed rockets being fired and a large flash of light from the lead aircraft's position, then watched as a burning aircraft fell to earth beyond a ridgeline approximately 800 meters distant from them. A second flash of light was observed beyond the ridgeline. The ground commander advised the 4/77 tactical operations center that one or both AH-1s may have crashed. Another aviator from A/4/77 Arty, Chief Warrant Officer Barry Martens, had observed the incident, arrived at the same conclusion, and so advised the A Battery operations center.
A search and rescue team in a UH-1H Huey was launched at once. When the Huey arrived on scene the SAR team found two fires about 200 meters apart. Close observation of the fires proved that the two AH-1G Cobras had indeed crashed, probably as the direct result of a mid-air collision. Four men died in the incident:
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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 08/10/2009