68-15866, Boeing build number B-578, was a CH-47C helicopter. The U.S. Army acceptance date was 5 May 1969. 68-15866 accumulated at least 1,032.0 aircraft hours. The administrative strike date was 28 November 1971. At some point, 68-15866 was assigned to the C Company - "Playtex", 159th Assault Support Helicopter Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, located at Phu Bai, in the Republic of Vietnam (RVN), and remained there until it was lost due to an accident. Official Army reports indicate that 68-15866 crashed as a result of continued flight into inadvertent meteorological conditions (IMC) and struck a mountain between Da Nang and Phu Bai. On 28 November 1971, 68-15866 was tasked to conduct an administrative troop lift from Landing Zone 401 (Danang) to Camp Eagle. The lift was delayed due to extremely poor weather, but as the day progressed the weather improved sufficiently for the mission to launch. PLAYTEX 866, with five crewmen aboard, departed home base at 1220, arrived at LZ 401 without incident, and loaded 29 troops aboard. PLAYTEX 866 departed LZ 401 at 1310. At 1328, Hue Approach Control received a call from PLAYTEX 866 stating that they were declaring an emergency. No further contact was made with PLAYTEX 866. Search and rescue operations were begun at 1340 but were hampered by low ceilings and intermittent rain. At 0840 hours on 2 December 1971, an OH-6 pilot from the 2nd Brigade aviation section reported sighting wreckage that appeared to be the lost CH-47 aircraft. The elevation of the crash site was approximately 650 feet and throughout the search and rescue operation the crash site was shrouded by clouds. At 1650 on 2 December 1971, elements of D Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry (?? Regiment ??), were airlifted from Camp Eagle to a position approximately 2500 meters east of the crash site. The rescue party cut their way through the mountainous jungle terrain and arrived at the crash site at 0830 on 5 December 1971. The aircraft was located in a creek bed approximately 650 feet up the side of a mountain. It had struck a 50 degree slope with great impact causing the fuel cells to rupture and a flash fire resulted. The aircraft was completely demolished and there were no survivors. Sergeant Maynard was one of the thirty four men killed in the crash. The last known location of 68-15866 was in the Republic of Vietnam. Aircraft status: Crashed.



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