Benton Francis Asbury

United States Air Force
23 February 1933 - 31 May 1970
New Albany, IN
Panel 10W Line 123


National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Benton Francis Asbury


31 MAY 1970 - BIN LONG


The men and women of the 834th were saddened when we heard your chopper had been shot down - only hours after talking to you.

Your sacrifice epitomizes our motto "ALL THE WAY" so that others may live.

My father, a 1st Lt in World War II, joined you last month - welcome him to the unit.

After 32 years I finally found you to give you my last salute *

Mahalo Nui Loa

The Pineapple
August 69-70

* The Moving Vietnam Veterans Wall
November 5-11 2002
Reno Nevada


Virtual Wall Notes

On 31 May 1970, a UH-1H (tail number 68-16528) of the 120th Assault Helicopter Company was tasked to provide transportation for an airfield inspection team from the 834th Air Division. The UH-1, call sign DEAN 528, departed Long Binh at 0725 enroute Saigon to pick up the team and departed Saigon at 0745 enroute Vung Tau. The flight proceeded without incident, stopping at Long Binh, O'Rang, Bu Dop, and Loc Ninh.

When DEAN 528 departed Loc Ninh enroute Saigon at about 1625 there were thunderstorms in the area. At 1800 the Capital Air Traffic Control Center advised the 120th AHC Operations Center that DEAN 528 had not requested or received flight following enroute Saigon. The 120th AHC initiated telephone and radio searches, but DEAN 528 was not located. Nightfall and adverse weather conditions precluded airborne searches until about 1000 01 June, when the 120th AHC and other units commenced search operations. A 1st Cav Div OH-6A helicopter located DEAN 528 at approximately 1330; the UH-1 had crashed and burned. A 120th AHC UH-1 landed near the wreckage as soon as it was secured by ground forces. The 120th AHC crew removed the bodies of nine men from the wreckage:

  • 120th AHC aircrew (all Army)
    • WO1 John Charles Burris, pilot
    • WO1 James Donald Griffin, copilot
    • SP5 Bruce Richardson, crew chief
    • PVT Robert Phillip O'Brien, gunner

  • Passengers (all US Air Force)
    • LTC Harold Joseph Shea, 834th Air Div
    • LTC John Sidney Bonner, Jr, 834th Air Div
    • MAJ Benton Francis Asbury, 834th Air Div
    • CPT Gary Dean Hults, 1131st Spec Activities Sqd
    • SSG Durwyn Lee Wolf, 834th Air Div
There were no signs of hostile action against the helicopter and it was supposed that it had gone down as a result of the previous evening's adverse weather.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
one that never forgot,
SMSgt Eugene L Mago, USAF (Ret)
12 Nov 2002

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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 11/13/2002