Richard Arthur Sawran

Warrant Officer
Army of the United States
10 March 1948 - 12 September 1969
Washington, NJ
Panel 18W Line 076


Army Aviator

Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Richard Arthur Sawran

Well, Richard, today is your birthday (3/10), though it was a long time ago, 1948 as a matter of fact. You share March birthdays with three other 129 Bite and Strikers: Tom Shaw, Jeff Stowe, and Dave Stamper. We will not forget you ... you are all a part of history and as long as that beautiful granite "Wall" stands in Washington, you and the others will live on. Have a toast for us today, perhaps it will bring us some peace.

Mission Notes

Four men of the 129th Assault Helicopter Company died when their UH-1H (hull number 67-17257) went down:
  • CW2 Stephen Anthony De Santis, aircraft commander
  • WO1 Richard Arthur Sawran, pilot
  • SP4 Lawrence David Jackson, crew chief
  • PFC Stephan Lee Hargrave, gunner
At about 2130 12 Sep 69, they left from Lane AHP on a mission to pick up one VC/NVA rallier from the Korean 11th Company (Cavalry) Tactical Operations Center and fly the rallier to the ROK hospital. The aircraft arrived at the 11th Company TOC at approximately 2155 hours, embarked three Korean servicemen and the VC/NVA rallier, and departed at 2205 hours.

After take-off, the crew contacted Phu Cat approach control and notified them that they had gone into IFR conditions, requesting radar vectors to VFR conditions. The pilot reported his location as over the Cha Rang Valley (170 degrees off Phu Cat AFB) at 5,000 feet and requested a priority radar vector for a Ground Controlled Approach into Phu Cat AFB. The Phu Cat controller had a radar contact about 7 miles out on the 170 radial but was unable to make positive identification. The UH-1 aircraft commander reported encountering severe turbulence. At 2212 hours Phu Cat control instructed the UH-1 to turn inbound to the beacon and climb to 6000 feet. In his last communication with the controller the pilot rogered the controller's instruction. After radio contact was lost, Dust-Off and gunships were launched but weather conditions did not permit the search aircraft to arrive at the scene until 0030 hours. The UH-1 had impacted on the side of a mountain at 1990 feet, 125 feet below the crest of the mountain.

All eight men - the four crewmen, three Korean servicemen, and the VC/NVA - died in the crash.

These men are remembered by their brothers in the
129th AHC

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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