Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 364
Marine Aircraft Group 16
1st Marine Aircraft Wing, FMFPac
FPO San Francisco, California 96602
4 February 1971


1-31 January 1971, Marble Mountain Air Facility, DaNang, RVN

Commanding Officer LtCol. H. W. Steadman
1-31 January 1971
Executive Officer Maj. N. R. Van Leeuwen
1-31 January 1971
Administrative Officer Maj. D. S. Jensen
1-  9 January 1971
- Capt. J. W. Horton
10-31 January 1971
Operations Officer Maj. J. M. Solan
1-31 January 1971
Aircraft Maintenance Officer Maj. G. F. Dooley
1-31 January 1971
Logistics Officer Capt. D. W. Nelson
1-31 January 1971
NATOPS Officer Capt. A. J. Garcia
1-11 January 1971
- 1stLt. S. A. Kux
12-31 January 1971
Flight Surgeon Lt. USN(MC) R. A. Moyer
1-31 January 1971
Intelligence Officer 1stLt. J. C. Morhardt
1-31 January 1971
Motor Transport Officer 1stLt. D. Cooper
1-  2 January 1971
- 1stLt. P. T. Baron
3-31 January 1971
Sergeant Major SgtMaj. A. J. Rappold
1-31 January 1971
Average Monthly Strength

The   "Purple Foxes"   of  HMM-364  flew  1,191  hours  during  the  month   of January.  This effort represents 1,175 tasks for 4,892 sorties including  the trans- port of 11,763 passengers/troops and 228 tons of cargo.  107 missions were flown in  support  of  170  casualties.   These  casualties  represented  44 emergency, 65 priority and 62 routine evacuees.

The  "Purple Foxes"  maintained  an average  of 12 crews and 13 aircraft for the month of January.  The high pilot  and crew chief flew 90 and 109 hours  respec- tively while the high gunner flew 122 hours.  A total of 15 Air Medals and 17 Air Crew Wings were awarded during this time.

On January 6th  Lt. BRANDT and  Lt. GRASSO were  flying  the mission  86/41 (troop insert/medevac) package operating in  the Que Son Mountains when  they were called to do an emergency medevac  at AT980344.  The unit was  in contact and had  incurred 3 emergency, 1 routine and 1 permanent routine medevac.  As soon as he arrived in  the area, and received the zone brief, Lt. BRANDT started his approach to the zone.  Once he was in  the zone he began  receiving fire from his 3-5  o'clock position.  His  right gunner along with  the help of  the 2 OV-10s were suppressing  the fire, but due to difficult  terrain features  it took 4 minutes to  load  the medevac aboard  and departed  the zone.   Despite  the  horrendous amount  of enemy  fire received,  Lt. BRANDT's  aircraft  received  no hits as he successfully completed another Swift medevac.

On the 8th of  January,  Lt. TENNENT  and  Lt. GRASSO were  called  upon  to extract  the recon team  Wage Earner at AT955364.  The team  was in contact  at the time and was in danger of  being surrounded.  Swift 13 arrived  on scene and waited  while  Scarface 55 and  Hostage Eagle  worked over  the area around  the team with  suppressive fire.   As Lt. TENNENT  settled into  the landing  zone he came  under intense  enemy fire and  his gunners opened up along  with Scarface 55 and  Hostage Eagle  who were still laying down  suppressive fire.   Once Wage Earner was aboard and upon departing from  the zone the aircraft  momentarily went IFR which reduced  their profile as a target.   Wage Earner  was returned to LZ  Baldy.  The  gun  birds  said  that  the  enemy  fire  was coming from several locations along the ridge line near the zone.

It happens very seldom but, on  the night of  the 14th of January, the mission 80 package was  again launched  to conduct  the emergency  extract of  recon  team Wage Earner  who  was  again  in contact.  Capt.  NELSON and  his co-pilot  Lt. LEEK were  the lead aircraft.  As  the flight of CH-46s neared the area it became more  and more  interesting.  Wage Earner had been  in contact  in a  360 degree perimeter.  They were receiving small arms fire and Chicom grenades were being thrown into  their  area.  The  recon  team  detonated a  perimeter  of  claymores which eliminated  the enemy action from  all but their western  quadrant.   Capt. NELSON arrived on  the scene and orbited while Scarface 3 guided "Basketball" (a fixed wing aircraft) in  their flare drops and  also got  the recon team situation briefing.  With the assistance provided by Scareface, Capt. NELSON was able to land and extract the team safely.

On  the 21st of  January  Lt. THOMPSON  and  Lt. TENNENT  were  flying  the chase aircraft on mission 6 which was  an admin. flight for  the 1st Marines.  The lead aircraft, with 18 troops aboard, was making the approach to a LZ known as Hill 363 (ZC172587) and  on  short final  started  loosing  rotor RPM.   The pilot attempted to abort  the landing but settled into  the trees.  The crash  resulted in six  Marines killed and  the remaining seventeen injured.  The  exact  cause(s)  of the  accident  remains  unknown  since  the aircraft was completely destroyed by fire in an unsecure zone.

On  the 23rd of January  while flying a routine admin. mission, Lt. KUX heard a distress call over  the Guard channel from an Army LOH (light observation heli- copter)  that had been shot down in  the Arizona Territory.   Lt. KUX completed the deliver of his passengers and rushed to  the scene to see if he could be of any assistance.   The  gun  ships  on  the  scene  asked  him to  wait  at  Hill 65 for 45 minutes while  the LOH was  prepared to be lifted out.  Lt. KUX was called back to the scene of the downed LOH and after a few more minutes delay in getting it hooked up, the aircraft and  its crew were  lifted from the Arizona Territory.  An HMH  aircraft  arrived  just  as  the  job  was  completed  and  got  this message, "Dimmer, this is Swift doing your work."

The 29th of January provided a  little excitement for  Lt. LEEK and  Lt. JONES flying  the lead bird on recon.  After spending half  the day  inserting  teams and flip flopping others, they were called for the emergency extract of team  Rudder. Rudder, and  another  team Achilles,  who had  been  inserted earlier in  the  day were  in contact with  enemy forces.  Capt. NELSON led a three plane  troop  in- sert into Achilles position  for reinforcement as  Lt. LEEK  was  extracting  team Rudder.  After  receiving  the zone  brief,  Lt. LEEK hovered  over team Rudder and dropped the SPIE Rig  to them.  Despite receiving fire and  hovering  down- wind  the  team  was safely extracted.  With  the team still trailing below  the air- craft  on  the  SPIE Rig,  Lt. LEEK  headed  for  LZ  Ross to drop  the team off. While  enroute  the  team  popped a  red smoke  indicating they  were in trouble. The crew  chief,  SSgt. KOZLOSKI, did an  excellent job of  directing  Lt. LEEK into  a rice  paddy  where the team was  then  loaded into the  cabin  area of  the helicopter.  One of  the  recon Marines had  been wounded  in the fire  fight  and was classified as an emergency medevac.  This was  the reason the the red smoke being popped.  Not 15 minutes later that Marine was being treated at 1st Med.


21 January 1971 - While  flying mission 6  the pilot of aircraft 153364  lost  rotor turns  approaching  an  LZ at ZC172587.  Despite  trying  to abort the approach, the aircraft settled into the trees resulting in the total loss of t he aircraft and six Marines killed.

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