Larry Sims McKibbenWarrant Officer
240TH AHC, 214TH AVN BN, 12TH AVN GRP, 1 AVN BDE
Army of the United States
29 August 1947 - 02 May 1968
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The database page for Larry Sims McKibben
A Note from The Virtual WallDetachment B-52, 5th SF Group, also known as "Project Delta" was located at Nha Trang but was tasked with providing special-area and cross-border patrols throughout much of South Vietnam. On 02 May 1968 Det B-52 lost two men:
In summation, SFC Wright led a team composed of three Americans, two ARVN officers, and seven CIDG troops. The team was inserted by helicopter into an area thoroughly controlled by the NVA. Shortly after insertion, the team encountered two NVA troops and killed both - but not before one of the NVA got off a shot, thereby warning his comrades. Wright's team continued, but then encountered and in a brief but noisy fight killed (without injury to themselves) a 12-man NVA patrol. An emergency extraction was initiated, but the extraction helicopters (from the 240th AHC) came under fire about five miles before reaching the pick-up zone and themselves suffered losses. At this point, SFC Wright was severely wounded; he then rolled onto a hand grenade in order to protect his troops and was further injured when it exploded; and finally was killed by gunshot. SSG Mousseau, the second in command and himself badly wounded, took command. A 5th SF Group relief team led by Master Sergeant Roy Benavidez was introduced in a second emergency extraction effort, during which three crewmen from the 240th AHC were killed:
"shot while waiting for wounded to be loaded on board by SSG Roy Benadvidez, who won the last Medal of Honor on this day. NVA were charging the aircraft, but McKibben would not leave without the wounded. He was [posthumously] awarded the Distinguished Service Medal."The VHPA indicates the helicopter, UH-1H tail number 66-00699, was "capable of one time flight" and the surviving pilot, CW2 William Fernan, apparently flew it out.
Of the 12-man recon team, six were dead or dying - SFC Wright, SSG Mousseau, and four Vietnamese. The only American survivor, radioman Sp4 Brian O'Connor, was severely injured and was evacuated from Vietnam before his superiors could fully debrief him on the mission. Although Sp4 O'Connor recovered, it is not known whether the remaining five Vietnamese team members survived their wounds.
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009