John Sanders Oldham

HMM-265, 1ST MAW
United States Marine Corps
03 July 1933 - 11 June 1967
Tinnie, New Mexico
Panel 21E Line 091



John S Oldham

Naval Aviator

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

The database page for John Sanders Oldham

26 Jan 2003


by his comrades-in-arms from the
USMC/Vietnam Helicopter Association

Placed by a fellow Marine,
George T. Curtis
MGySgt, USMC (Ret)

7 Jul 2004

You were on the helicopter with LCpl Havranek when it crashed.
I will never forget what happened.
Semper Fi, Sir!

From a friend,
A1c Christopher R. Kenck USAF

Notes from The Virtual Wall

On 11 June 1967 a reconnaissance team from the 3rd Force Recon Company was scheduled for insertion into position on the southern border of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) four kilometers north of Hill 208 and 900 meters west of Hill 174, both well known NVA positions.

The insertion force consisted of two CH-46As from HMM-265 and two UH-1E gunships from VMO-2. The lead CH-46A (BuNo 150270) carried four crewmen and seven men of the recon team:

Hank Trimble, pilot of one of the VMO-2 gunship escorts, recalls that three insertion attempts were made. The first and second attempts were aborted due to enemy activity and fire in the intended landing zones, but the third LZ was clear. As the CH-46 approached the LZ it
"transitioned to landing speed, in almost slow motion his nose rose, then rose more sharply, then climbed toward the vertical. Then the aircraft rolled inverted, split S, and dived down and exploded."
Trimble's recollection is that there was no evident enemy action and that the likely cause was mechanical failure.

The crash was not survivable. The enemy presence in the area prohibited recovery of the bodies at the time, and as of 25 Jan 2003 their remains have not been repatriated.

From the
USMC/Vietnam Helicopter Association


The POW Network page contains the statement that
"Machinegunmen had been waiting for the opportune time to fire on the aircraft. Portions of the rear blades were seen to separate from the aircraft and a radio transmission was received from the aircraft indicating that it had been hit."
and the Task Force Omega page states that "Capt. Bohlscheid radioed that they had been hit by machinegun fire".

No source is given for these statements, which contradict Trimble's recollection that there was no observed enemy fire or radio call stating that the aircraft had been hit.

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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 08/10/2009