From the comments section of the Incident report submitted by
Navy Captain Ansley Horton, they were shuttling bags of flour/rice into country from the 'Sweet Pea'
(USS Princeton) due to horrendous flooding from the monsoons and the vietnamese were starving.
I remember the Mayday call and could see the bird auto rotating, and could see bags of flour being
thrown out to lighten the bird. When the pilot tried to gently let the aircraft roll on it's side, the blades hit
the water and it violently flipped over to the other side. My thoughts have always been of Richard
[CPL Richard Don Slack] who
obviously, as part of The
Team going to deliver food to starving people, who all of a sudden found
himself in a personal challenge of survival...and who chose to stand up and
make a difference fully knowing he could and did make the ultimate
Two crew chiefs risked their lives by jumping from rescue helos into wind-tossed seas to recover CPL SLACK after
the ill-fated crash. At the first realization that the helo was going to crash, they lightened the loads of their
respective helos by each throwing a ton of flour out the cabin door of the helos in a matter of minutes.
The medical team waiting on the flight deck tried to revive CPL SLACK, but the attempt was to no avail.
The sacrifice was great, but the operation had to continue, for there were other lives to be saved - those of the
people the two Marines [LCPL David Nipper and CPL Slack] had never met.
Read more details and witness reports here.
-- The Virtual Wall