Manuel Godine Martinez
Specialist Four
Army of the United States
Colorado City, Texas
March 10, 1948 to October 23, 1969
MANUEL G MARTINEZ is on the Wall at Panel W17, Line 109

Manuel G Martinez
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11 Feb 2005

Manuel Martinez was born in Rotan, Texas and lived in Colorado City, Texas from age 12 on. He attended and graduated from Colorado City Schools, class of 66. He was married and was one of three in his class of 50 to die in Vietnam. He was killed in a helicopter incident when the helicopter that inserted him into a Landing Zone hit a stump and rolled over and crashed, the main blade coming off and striking Specialist Martinez and several other troops. He is buried in Colorado City, Texas near three other Vietnam casualities. He is remembered by his community and by the Permian Basin Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Midland, Texas. May his sacrifice not be forgotten.

Placed by a PBVVM representative,
Billy M. Brown
4015 Melody Lane, Odessa, Texas 79762


27 May 2007

Only you know why...

From his daughter,
Yvette Wilson


The accident of the UH-1H Model "Huey", tail number 68-16274 (158th Aviation Battalion flying out of Camp Evans) involved in the incident and mentioned in local newspapers, occurred as follows: A UH-1H helicopter (4 crew/10 passengers) were in the middle of a combat assualt of inserting 180 soldiers from A Co, 2nd Bn, 506th Infantry - 101st Abn. The aircraft involved in the accident was the lead of 6 helicopters. The initial lift into the LZ was without incident. This was their third time there that day dropping off infantrymen. The LZ was small and had several large tree stumps. The area had been cleared out as a Landing Zone by the engineers, but there were some tree stumps still there - some about 3' high. The ground was inclined about 10 degrees. 6 men exited to the right, the other 4 men exited to the left...and all moved about 30' away from the helicopter.

The aircraft commander lifted off to a stabilized 2' hover and did a take-off check. The gunner and crew chief responded with a "clear right" and "clear left". As maximum power was going to be needed to prevent hitting some stumps in front of him, the craft was put into the 2' hoover. All guages looked fine, and power was applied. What the pilot didn't know was that on the right side there was a stump protruding at about a 60 degree angle. The skid had slid under it, but didn't touch it (which would have registered a signal). On full take-off, the skid connected - causing the helicopter to roll and topple hard to the right. The helicopter crashed, and the large rotor blades impacted the ground and the six soldiers next to it....killing all 6 and wounding 4. All of the crew survived, with only the door-gunner receiving a lacerated leg. There were no injuries to the other soldiers that had exited to the left. The helicopter was destroyed but did not burn.

Although the 6 men's death was classfied as an aircraft accident, not under enemy fire, they were completing a combat air assault with the unit. The men who were killed were:

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