John Henry Ralph Brooks

Staff Sergeant
Army of the United States
08 April 1949 - 11 February 1974
Bryant Pond, ME
Panel 25W Line 095


UH-1 Huey

Army Aircrew

Purple Heart, Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for John Henry Ralph Brooks

Missing in Action since 13 May 1969 - his body not recovered.

Your friends at the 129th pray you are at peace, John.
You will not be forgotten.

Always a sister to our veterans -
Gently (Judith)

The Mission

On 13 May 1969 three UH-1H helicopters of the 129th Assault Helicopter Company were assigned in support of an RoK troop insertion in Binh Dinh Province. The assault was directed at an NVA position atop a hill, and the insertion point was down-slope. The first two aircraft safely dropped their troops, but the third UH-1 (tail number 67-17399) hit a land mine on touchdown. Although the UH-1 managed to get airborne after the explosion it crashed upslope. Nine RoK troops and four Americans were aboard:
  • WO1 Kenneth Eugene Witmer, pilot
  • WO1 Jeffrey Charles Stowe, copilot
  • SP4 John Henry Ralph Brooks, crew chief
  • SP4 Paul Edward Goonan, door gunner
Reports of what occurred next come from two sources: the other UH-1 crews and from three surviving Korean troops who evaded the NVA and linked up with Allied forces on 14 May. From these reports, it appears that at least one Korean trooper and SP4 Goonan died in the crash. Two other Koreans and one American were sighted running downhill from the crash site. The two pilots escaped the wreckage and moved up-slope where they were killed by small arms fire.

The bodies of WO Witmer, WO Stowe, and SP4 Goonan were recovered on 14 May. Brooks and the two Koreans who moved downhill were never found. As mentioned, three Korean troopers evaded and rejoined friendly forces. Of the 13 men aboard, 3 survived; 3 were missing in action; and 7 were killed in action. SP4 Brooks has not been repatriated.

From the VHPA database and other sources

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a friend of the 129th AHC,
Judith Singer 
10 Sep 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 09/10/2002