John Vincent Francis

United States Marine Corps
17 May 1944 - 10 February 1970
Elmhurst, Illinois
Panel 14W Line 120


National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for John Vincent Francis

07 Oct 2007


by a nephew,
Michael R. Broome

A Note from The Virtual Wall

A UH-1H Huey (tail number 66-16664) of the 335th Transportation Company departed the Ky Ha helipad at Chu Lai, Vietnam, on or about 0815 hours, 10 February 1970, on a courier run to Danang. The aircraft flew to a point 1 mile south of Danang Main airfield, just east of Highway 1. The aircraft was low level through this area due to high density of aircraft, maintaining an approximate altitude of 100-300 feet and an airspeed of approximately 80 knots. The aircraft experienced a tail rotor malfunction, airspeed dissipated, the nose of the aircraft began to tuck under, and the aircraft began a spin to the right. The aircraft then assumed an extreme nose high attitude. The main rotor hub and blades separated from the aircraft, severing the tail boom section. The fuselage then rolled left and turned upside down. The fuselage contacted the ground in the inverted position. The main rotor hub and blades and the tail boom section landed in a different location. Fire broke out immediately on impact due to ruptured fuel lines or cells. There were witnesses to all or at least parts of the crash. Vietnanese civilians attempted to extinguish the fire with pails of water but to no avail. Several military personnel arrived at the crash site within minutes and immediately took control of security, extinuishing the fire with hand-held fire extinguishers. They also assisted in removing personnel from the aircraft. There were no survivors of the crash.

The following personnel were aboard the Huey:

  • From the 335th TC:
  • Passengers:
    • LCDR George Russell Matthews, USN, 3rd NC Bde, COMNAVFORV;
    • Capt John Vincent Francis, USMC, Marine Liaison, 31st NC Rgt (Seabees);
    • LTJG Robert Godwin Browne, USN, Chu Lai Det, NavSuppAct Danang;
    • SGT Ricky Lynn Bowden, Army, 335th TC;
    • SK3 David Francis Schuette, USN, Chu Lai Det, NavSuppAct Danang;
    • SP4 John Maynard, Army, 23rd Admin Co, Americal Division;
    • SN Timothy Joseph Green, USN, Chu Lai Det, NavSuppAct Danang; and
    • SN Joel Richard Stepp, USN, Chu Lai Det, NavSuppAct Danang.

The point-of-contact for this memorial is
a nephew,
Michael R. Broome

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index F
IL State Index . Panel 14W

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 07 Oct 2007
Last updated 10/17/2007