Ronald James ScharfPrivate First Class
F BTRY, 2ND BN, 11TH MARINES, 1ST MARDIV
United States Marine Corps
06 October 1948 - 27 July 1969
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The database page for Ronald James Scharf
REMEMBEREDby Ruth Crates
At the time of this incident I was a scout sergeant attached to India 3/5 during Operation Durham Peak. We were on the summit of Hill 881 and observed the CH-46 being shot down, crash and burn. A patrol was launched immediately. All bodies found at the crash site were evacuated out. Although two Marines were reported because the dead did not match the manifest, nothing was found.
J T McGaughey
Notes from The Virtual WallOn 27 July 1969 CH-46A BuNo 154018 from HMM-364 was shot down while conducting a medevac mission in support of 3rd Bn, 5th Marines. Eye-witness reports indicate the crash probably was due to both hydraulic boost systems being shot out, rendering the aircraft uncontrollable. That much is clear enough, but after that it gets a bit cloudy.
The 3/5 Marines say they had one ground KIA (Corporal Storm, whose actions while assaulting the NVA position resulted in both his death and a posthumous Silver Star) and two "chasers" (prisoner guards) aboard the aircraft. The two chasers had to be LCpl Barickman and Pfc Du Charm, the other two Lima 3/5 Marines who died on 27 July 1969.
HMM-364 had six aircrewmen aboard the aircraft, not five as stated in the 3/5 Chronology or four as named in the VHPA database.
Only one Navy Corpsman was aboard the aircraft, not two; HM1 Charles L. Hackworth of MAG-16 was the only Corpsman who died in Quang Nam Province that day.
One member of the Fox 2/11 Forward Observer team was aboard, Pfc Ronald J. Scharf. Although the records are unclear, he probably had been wounded in the ground action and was being evacuated.
Counting the NVA POW there were eleven living men aboard the aircraft, and one body being evacuated. It therefore appears that ten Americans died in the incident, just as stated in the VHPA database, and eleven all told as stated in the HMM-364 Chronology. The only discrepancy is 3/5's failure to account for Pfc Scharf, who didn't actually belong to them - by leaving him out the 3/5 Chronology shows only ten living men and Cpl Storm's body aboard the aircraft. The ten Americans who died were
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With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Last updated 08/10/2009