Jack Coleman Owens

VMO-2, MAG-16, 1ST MAW
United States Marine Corps
28 February 1934 - 28 March 1967
San Jose, CA
Panel 17E Line 063


UH-1 Huey

Naval Aviator

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

The database page for Jack Coleman Owens

From the VMO-2 Squadron Command Chronology, 28 March 1967:
"UH-1E (BuNo 152419) on recon flight of Dong Ha TAOR was stuck by an undetermined number of .50 cal and small arms fire in cockpit and cabin area, incapacitating pilot and flight surgeon [observer], causing aircraft to enter uncontrolled flight and inverted nose-down attitude. Aircraft exploded on impact at YD 195625, and fire resulted. Fire caused 2.75" rockets and 7.62 mm machine gun ammunition to explode, preventing crew of chase aircraft from assisting crew. As a result, the pilot, flight surgeon, crew chief and gunner were killed."
Comments on Incident:
Shot down by 50-cal during perimeter sweep of Dong Ha - flying at 50 feet altitude in evening. Aircraft exploded on impact, inverted. N. Shinnick was flying chase as copilot with MAG-16 CO.

Four men died in this incident: Jack Owens was an excellent pilot and a good friend. Unfortunately, the mission assigned this day, which was usually very routine, had a traumatic ending for Jack and his crew. His copilot that day was LT Curt Baker, USN, squadron flight surgeon. They were on a routine perimeter sweep when the UH- 1E was hit with 50 cal. Due to their low altitude above ground, necessitated by the observation mission assigned, there was no recovery time after the hit. We will miss all four of them, including crew chief CPL Paul Albano and gunner PFC Mark Stevenson.

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USMC/Vietnam Helicopter Association

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 08/10/2009