Peter Paul Polak

Warrant Officer
Army of the United States
22 October 1946 - 21 February 1969
Cable, WI
Panel 32W Line 072

Army Aviator

Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign
Peter P. Polak

The database page for Peter Paul Polak

12 Feb 2001

Warrant Officer Peter Paul Polak was the pilot of a HUEY helicopter (UH-1C, hull number 66-00661). He and three others died in the crash:

     CPT Harry Quincy Rose, aircraft commander (also a pilot);
     SP4 William Blake Scott, door gunner; and
     SP5 Everett Nelson Wilsher, crew chief.

All four men were assigned to the 116th AHC, 269th Combat Aviation Battalion.

I would like to hear from anyone who knew Peter.

From his sister,
Pat Hillestad

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 21 February 1969, a heavy fire team of the 116th Assault Helicopter Company, 269th CAB, was providing cover for a flight of ten UH-1D "slicks" doing a combat assault west of Tay Ninh. On completion of the mission the fire team departed enroute to their base at Chu Chi. The flight lead was in UH-1C tail number 66-00661. As the flight passed the northern edge of Go Da Ha village at about 1000 feet AGL, crewmen in aircraft numbers 2 and 3 saw a part of the lead aircraft, believed to be a tail rotor blade, separate. 66-00661 began a slow yawing movement to the right and pitched into a steep dive estimated at 80 degrees nose-down. The tail boom began to separate from the fuselage, and was completely detached when the fuselage section impacted trees and exploded. The crash site was secured within minutes by RVN militia from the village and the fire extinguished. Four crewmen were killed in the crash:
  • CPT Harry Quincy Rose, pilot, gunship platoon leader
  • WO1 Peter Paul Polak, copilot
  • SP5 Everett Nelson Wilsher, crew chief
  • SP4 William Blake Scott, gunner
While the investigation conducted in 1969 led to the conclusion that the loss was due to mechanical failure rather than hostile action, a story in the Florida Times-Union of Monday, April 7, 2003, indicates that an effort to get Army review of the incident reports to determine if hostile action was involved is underway. Please see SP5 Everett N Wilsher's memorial for further information.

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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