Dennis Arthur Wirt
"This is a 1961 high school graduation photo of my brother, Dennis A. Wirt. Thanks for posting it."
"My only brother Dennis, four years older than I, was going on leave to visit his girlfriend when the plane on which he was a passenger collided with a helicopter at Camp Evans. He was 25, older than most infantryman, and looking forward to attending law school after his discharge.
--- Mike Wirt, November 11, 2012
The rubbing of his name on the Wall in D.C. taken a few years ago by Mike Wirt.
An Air Force C-7 Caribou, from the 537th Tac Airlift Sqdn, collided with an Army CH-47A Chinook helicopter, tail number 66-19041, of the 228th Combat Support Aviation Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, near Camp Evans.
The US Air Force C7-A departed Camp Evans airfield from runway 36. His last radio transmission after receiving tower clearance was "rolling". This aircraft was observed to break right prior to reaching the end of the runway. The CH-47, flown by CW2 T E Johnson and WO1 R L Conroy, was approaching Camp Evans from LZ Nancy on a regular shuttle flight with troops and mail and the two aircraft collided as the C-7A climbed through 1100 feet in an ascending right turn.
One of the Chinook's rotor blades sliced through the Caribou's cockpit, killing both pilots instantly, and another blade hit the port engine. The Caribou spiraled into the ground and the Chinook's rear rotors separated and struck the helicopter's fuselage causing it to fall, almost vertically, to the ground and explode. . Two persons fell out of the helicopter as it tumbled through the air. They were fatally injured on contact with the ground. All four crew and nine passengers were killed in the Caribou and the five crew and six passengers were killed in the Chinook.
All but one of the Army casualties were from the 1st Cavalry Division. CPT Thomas Alderson was from the 56th Dental Detachment, 44th Medical Brigade, US Army, Vietnam. This was the worst of a number of airspace control incidents during the Vietnam War.
See list of 24 servicemen killed, read more accident details, and review comments about this accident at: Caribou and Chinook: A Mid Air Collision - 1968.
- - The Virtual Wall, April 28, 2014
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