Robert Ray Swain

Staff Sergeant
HMM-364, MAG-16, 1ST MAW
United States Marine Corps
04 March 1936 - 28 December 1969
Muncie, Indiana
Panel 15W Line 105

1ST MAW CH-46 HMM-364
USMC Combat Aircrew

Bronze Star, Air Medal, Good Conduct, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Robert Ray Swain

11 Sep 2003

On 28 Dec 1969, an HMM-364 CH-46 (YK-13, BuNo 153379) was returning from Phu Bai on a night IFR flight in heavy weather. In addition to the weather, YK-13 had to contend with radio problems. Although their IFR clearance specified an in-flight altitude of 5,000 feet above sea level they read back and flew at 3,000 feet. Danang Approach Control made every effort to alert the crew to their error, transmitting on all available radio frequencies, but were not able to contact YK-13.

YK-13 flew into Hai Van Pass under IMC conditions and hit a mountain, killing all ten men aboard the aircraft:

  • HMM-364:

  • Passengers:
    • MGySgt Edward Reynold Storm, L Co, Marine Spt Bn, 3rdMAF
    • CTC Robert Sidney Gates, NAVSUPACT, USNAVFORV
    • SSgt Richard David Walsh, MABS-16, MAG-16
    • LCpl James Howard Pence, MABS-16, MAG-16
    • LCpl Leslie Lewis Shelton, MABS-16, MAG-16
    • PFC James Muriel Alderman, MABS-16, MAG-16

Staff Sergeant Swain, and the other Purple Foxes who served in Vietnam, are remembered by the women who waited at home, whether mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, or friends. Those women, the

Purple Foxy Ladies
Purple Foxy Ladies

continue to support today's Purple Foxes of HMM-364 as they serve our country.

the Purple Foxes

on-line or go to our unit page
on The Virtual Wall

A memorial initiated by the
Purple Foxy Ladies
and HMM-364
Frank Gulledge, Point Man

01 Mar 2006

You are my grandfather, oh how I wish I could have known you... My mother has always kept you alive in our hearts.

From his granddaughter,
Alexis Nistok

06 Jun 2006

Bob, I think of you often, and wish you were around. You were a great friend.

Your friend,
Oscar Lopez

Oscar and June Lopez
4438 East 100 N, Bluffton, In 46714

10 Jul 2006

Robert Ray Swain, you are never forgotten by your family, friends, and loved ones. We think about you daily and thank you and everyone in the Armed Servies for your courage and strength.

Love always,
your son
Harry Robert Swain (Bobby)
10601 119th Street, Seminole Fl 33778

28 Jul 2006

Daddy, I miss you more then I can say with words. It has sometimes ruled my life, it made me ill and I spent time in hospital to find my way. I remember all we talked about before you left. I was not able to be the man of the house. I do not think I took care of mommy well.

All I can say is I will never forget you nor will your grandaughters or your great-grandsons. I won't let that happen. And yes, I married a Naval Officer - 25 years and counting.

Mom gave me things of yours and I am going to give some of them to the National Marine Corps Museum so all Purple Foxes can see them.

I love you. Jenny

From his eldest daughter,
Jennifer Lynn Swain Dollard

Top of Page

Virtual Wall icon

Back to
To alpha index S
IN State Index . Panel 15W
HMM-364 Index

Contact Us

With all respect
Jim Schueckler, former CW2, US Army
Ken Davis, Commander, United States Navy (Ret)
Memorial first published on 12 Sep 2003
Last updated 08/10/2009