66-19019 at the crash site in the Republic of Vietnam. The neoprene pad is visible in the foreground.

          66-19019 at the crash site in the Republic of Vietnam.



             66-19019, Boeing build number B-277, was a CH-47A helicopter. The U.S. Army acceptance date was 30 November 1966. The administrative strike date was 21 November 1968. 66-19019 accumulated at least 1,409.0 aircraft hours.

   At some point, 66-19019 was assigned to the unit that would eventually become B Company - "Sugar Bears North", 4th Battalion, 123rd Aviation Regiment, located at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

   Fort Wainwright was the former historic Ladd Field of World War Two era fame.

   B Company was the former C Company, 228th Aviation Regiment (16 October 1987 - 24 June 1994).

   C Company was the former 242nd Assault Support Helicopter Company (ASHC) - "Muleskinners" (located in Alaska from November 1971 through 16 October 1987).

   When United States involvement in the Vietnam conflict ended, 242nd ASHC was relocated from the Republic of Vietnam (RVN) to Alaska.

   The aviation unit in Alaska at the time was designated the 236th ASHC, 19th Aviation Battalion (April 1971 - November 1971).

   When the 242nd ASHC re-located to Alaska and reformed, the unit name changed from "Muleskinners" to "Sugarbears" and the unit designation went from the 236th ASHC to the 242nd ASHC.

   At some point, the unit was split into two companies. One company remained in Alaska and became known as "Sugar Bears North". The other company, C Company, 1st Battalion, 228th Aviation Regiment, was relocated to Fort Kobbe, Panama and became known as "Sugar Bears South".

   On 21 November 1968, while assigned to the 242nd ASHC in the Republic of Vietnam, 66-19019 was lost due to an accident.

   66-19019 was resupplying Fire Support Base (FSB) Keene south of Cu Chi near the Plain of Reeds in support of the 2nd Battalion, 14th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division.

   Lieutenant Gary Roush was the aircraft commander (AC). Captain Roger P. Olney was the pilot (PI). SP5 Alfred T. Calderon was the Crew Chief (CE) in the Flight Engineer's (FE) position for this flight, SP5 Robert W. Jewell was the FE in the right door gunner position, and SP4 Bruce A. Knieff was the left door gunner.

   The external load was dropped off and the aircraft repositioned to land and drop off the internal load of 16 passengers, ammunition, and mail bags.

   A large neoprene pad was placed over the landing pad by the FSB soldiers to help keep the dust down. While setting down, the neoprene pad sucked up into the aft rotor system, causing extensive damage and the aircraft crashed. The aircraft caught fire and was partially burned. The fire was extinguished before the fuel tanks exploded. However, some of the internally loaded ammunition did cook-off. The loss to the Army was $1,290,504.40. There were no injuries to the crew, passengers, or ground personnel.

   The last known location of 66-19019 was in the Republic of Vietnam.

   Aircraft status: Crashed.



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          Related Information


          242nd ASHC History

          The loss of 85-24335



          The CH-47 - 40 years old and still circling the world.


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