HC-7 RESCUE 12 (1) 27-NOV-1967 (Monday)

UH-46A Boeing Sea-Knight DET 102 USS MARS (AFS-1) Routine Day (2)
4 – 5 miles off the South Vietnam coast
Water: — Air: 78⁰ Wind: 15 knots Sea State: 6’ swells Overcast

Pilot – LT John C. Cook
Co-pilot – LTJG Dennis E. Neumann
1st crew – AN Noel L. Hand
2nd crew – AN Richard E. Crawford

Alert received – 1410: Radio Message
Vehicle departed – 1410:
Arrived on scene – 1415: None
Located survivor – 1415: Sight
Begin retrieval – 1430: Survivor – Sling
Ended retrieval –
Survivor disembarked – Landed USS Mars

UDT- 11
SF3 NOLAN (Shipfitter 3rd Class)
SN KRAMER (Seaman)

11:15 completed search for helicopter #51 sunken aft. Search unsuccessful. (7)

Just off the coast of Duc Pho, South Vietnam.(3) From the USS Mars, I could see a motor whaleboat from LSD (USS ALAMO LSD-33 (4)) to the stern of the USS Mars, bobbing in stormy seas with white caps. I went to the bridge and asked what the motor whaleboat was doing in such a sea state. Officer of the Deck (OOD) checked it out and discovered they were trying to salvage our H-46, Bruno 152495, which had crashed and sunk the previous day. I told the OOD to sound flight quarters. At 14:10 (4) we launched and began searching the area for personnel.

Just at sunset, we found two divers about 5 nautical miles south and seaward in a strong offshore current (6 foot swells), clinging to empty scuba tanks. We could not persuade either diver to jettison their empty tanks. COULD NOT!!. They (14:30 (4) ) each came into the H-46 with their arm hooked thru the horse collar sling. They told me that they were caught in the current, swept to sea and had been out of air for over one hour! (6, 10)

John Cook / Dennis Neumann

1) Numbering as per HC-7 Rescue Log (accumulative rescue number)
2) HC-7 1967 Command Report
3) HC-7 Det 102 Rescue report (lists Michael E. Crawford as crew, none in HC-7- changed to Richard)
4) HC-7 Rescue Report
6) John Cook and Dennis Neumann rescue stories
7) USS Alamo – LSD-33 – Deck log – Monday 27-Nov-1967
10) HC-7 History collection; Ron Milam – Historian

(Compiled / written by: Ron Milam, HC-7 Historian – HC-7, 2-1969 to 7-1970, Det 108 & 113)