Quentin Rippetoe Beecher

Chief Warrant Officer
Army Of The United States
14 September 1942 - 05 June 1973
Terre Haute, IN
Panel 21E Line 093


Army Aviator

Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Quentin Rippetoe Beecher

I was born in 1970, and grew up outside this war.
As an adult, I made it my task to learn about it, and to honor and respect with all my heart those men and women who fought and gave their lives to protect our country.
I have, over the years worn many POW bracelets, often giving them to friends after telling them what they stood for.
I now wear the bracelet of CW2 Quentin R. Beecher.
I wear it because his birthday is close to my own, and because it was the first one I picked up from the pile of bracelets at a booth at The Wall.
I wish I knew him, and could thank him for his sacrifice. He is a Category 5 POW/MIA, and I know what that means.
If his family sees this ... if his friends see this. I wish I could tell you in person or in a letter how much Quentin's life meant to me, even though I hadn't even been born when he was lost. Every soldier who remains missing, every soldier who gave their life for their country is my hero, and I honor them all.
I wear the bracelet of Quentin R. Beecher and I know in my heart that somewhere, somehow he knows it. Now many others can know, too.
If you knew Quentin from your tour of duty, or if you are part of his family, I hope you will contact me somehow. I will go to The Wall as often as possible, and do my part to honor the fallen, the missing ... the heroes. God Bless them all.
They are not forgotten.

Jonathan Bassuk
10 Old Mamaroneck Road White Plains, NY 10605

The Mission

On 11 June 1967, a UH-1D (hull number 63-12958) departed Qui Nhon Airfield on an operational mission along the coast south of Qui Nhon. Five men of the 227th Assault Helicopter Battalion (previously the 227th Aviation Battalion) were aboard the aircraft:
  • CW2 Dean Eddie Clinton, aircraft commander/pilot, C/227th AHB
  • CW3 Thomas Frederick Riggs, copilot, C/227 AHB
  • SSG James Raymond Nelson, crew chief, C/227 AHB
  • SSG Ralph Edward Uhlmansiek, gunner, C/227 AHB
  • CW3 Quentin Rippetoe Beecher, passenger, B/227 AHB
Beecher, a rated UH-1 pilot, was "hitching a lift" on this flight; he was not a crewman.

They left Qui Nhon at about 1900, planning to remain over or at most slightly seaward of the coastline. Bad weather was encountered en route and the pilot requested assistance from both Tuy Hoa and Qui Nhon radar flight following centers in determining his position. Both Tuy Hoa and Qui Nhon radar control centers had the UH-1 on radar, and both tried to direct the aircraft toward shore. In addition, a SAR aircraft was launched in an effort to intercept Clinton and lead him to safety. Darkness and rain prevented a join-up between the SAR aircraft and the UH-1.

At 2057, Clinton reported that he was out of fuel and would attempt a water landing. At that time, radar placed the aircraft approximately 21 miles east of the coast line, 25 miles northeast of Tuy Hoa and 41 miles southeast of Qui Nhon.

Search and rescue efforts started immediately and continued until 13 June. No trace of the UH-1 or the five men was found. In the absence of proof positive that the men were dead, they were declared Missing in Action, Category 5 (recovery unlikely).

On 5 June 1973 the Secretary of the Army approved a Presumptive Finding of Death for Warrant Officer Quentin Beecher.

A memorial from one who wore his MIA bracelet,
Jonathan Bassuk
10 Old Mamaroneck Road Apt. 6f White Plains, Ny 10605
10 Nov 2001

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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)