Gary Lloyd England

VMO-2, MAG-16, 1ST MAW
United States Marine Corps
07 July 1937 - 05 December 1967
Greenvale, NY
Panel 31E Line 040


UH-1 Huey

Gary L England

Naval Aviator

Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Gary Lloyd England

Four men died when two UH-1E helicopters collided with a mountainside west of Danang:
Two aircraft were vectored into a mountain west of Danang by Danang DASC while returning from a combat mission in IFR weather - the tape system was "out of order", so no evidence exists regarding communications input. Pilots were following verbal communications from the DASC control center. Second aircraft of two aircraft section was "stepped up" in formation and was able to see the lead aircraft impact and explode. He executed a pull up, impacted the top of trees - tumbled over several times and came to rest inverted on the ground. The copilot and gunner were injured during the impact, and evacuated by the first aircraft on the scene.

The pilot and the crew chief, both with minor injuries, were in the zone for three and a half hours until another huey arrived to pull them out. During the extensive time on the ground, it was determined by the surviving crew members that no one survived the impact and burning of the lead aircraft. It was completely incinerated.

The mission was to provide gun cover for aircraft trying to get to a crashed Army Beaver and recover classified documents in the Happy Valley area. Weather and "bad guys" would not let the recovery team into the zone. We were returning to Marble Mountain, flying IFR, when we were vectored into a mountain side at about 2100' in altitude.

Marv "Rocket" Pixton
VMO-2, pilot of second aircraft

The second huey hit the top of the Charley Ridge. Mike Clemens and I were supposed to pick up a VIP at Danang when we diverted to Charley Ridge to make the rescue. Mountain was in clouds - we found survivors by tuning in on the ADF. We picked up the copilot and gunner, the two most severely injured. Don't know how they got the rest. I remember the 20 minute fuel light being on forever. We ran out of fuel landing at Marble Mountain. Had to tow off runway.

I never saw the first Huey, only smoke. I assume they never knew what they hit. I believe it exploded on impact. I don't know who flew the second Huey. I only know there wasn't much left. The copilot's face was messed up pretty bad and he had internal injuries. It looked like he hit the instrument panel or the cyclic stick. I had a hard time holding his face together to give him mouth to mouth when he stopped breathing. The Gunner had a broken hip and some other internal injuries. He complained a lot so I figured he was OK. I hope they both survived. I would like to meet them again.

Jardo Opocensky
VMO-2, medevac/rescue aircraft

The four casualties were in the lead aircraft, UH-1E BuNo 152434:

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A memorial initiated by the Historian,
USMC/Vietnam Helicopter Association,
Alan H Barbour 
25 May 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 05/25/2002