Donald Richard White

Warrant Officer
Army of the United States
16 March 1948 - 13 May 1970
Northport, Alabama
Panel 10W Line 037


Army Aviator

Air Medal, National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign

The database page for Donald Richard White

31 May 1999


2 Feb 2005

Until today, I never knew exactly what happened to my helicopter. I missed being in the accident because of an argument the night before with my platoon sergeant because he wanted me to fly on another helicopter. I was afraid to fly another UH-1D because the other crew chiefs took short cuts during dailies. Ironically, my ship failed instead of another.

From an Army friend,
David Steven Cockrill

A Note from The Virtual Wall

On 13 May 1970 a UH-1H (tail number 66-17132) of A Company, 123rd Aviation Battalion, was engaged with other aircraft in moving an ARVN unit from a pick-up zone to a nearby landing zone. At about 1515 hours 66-17132 returned to the PZ for its eleventh run. As the aircraft lifted off from the PZ with 4 crewmen and 9 ARVN troops aboard, it lost engine RPM and fell out of the sky, impacting in a nose-high, right bank attitude. The Huey continued in forward motion until it hit an embankment and rolled. The crew chief was thrown clear during the roll, but the other 12 men remained in the aircraft until it came to a halt some 15 meters further on. The Huey caught fire during the crash sequence and burned.

Six of the 13 men aboard survived the crash; Warrant Officer Richard White, the copilot, was among the dead. Two other crewmen, pilot 1Lt Claude H. Cargile and gunner PFC LeRoy F. Martinez, later died of injuries received in the crash - both on 25 May 1970.

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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