Does anyone out there remember the mission extraction in the Tri-Border area.
A SOG Team night dropped in by Parachute and an emergency extraction was
executed due to heavy NVA activity. Walter Dempsey's chopper was the lead ship
that mission. Don't remember the Pilot or Co Pilot. Every time they went in they
Remember, Walter Dempsey could speak Vietnamese. The only personnel they could communicate with on the ground was the ARVN/Mercenaries, which were Vietnamese. So they put Dempsey on the radio to communicate with them. He had them pop a smoke grenade. If I am not mistaken it was "Green"...They were able to retrieve to two ARVN's/Mercenaries, but not the SOG Green Berets...they had been KIA according to the ARVN/Mercenaries. Also, while all this was going on, all of our ships were running low on fuel doing 360's at high altitude awaiting an extraction. We were tail ship that day, and I just cant remember who's was my door gunner or Pilots. We had a Medic on board. One of the Air Force/Navy Aircraft, two of them out there this morning, both fully loaded with arsenal. One of the Pilots come up on guard and transmitted he had a "runaway engine". He said he would abort the mission and fly back to Phu Bai. He couldn't make it over the mountain tops, and came back up and transmitted, "I cant eject, I cant eject, its broke...that was his last transmission. His aircraft slammed into the ridge of the mountain east of our extraction area. Our chopper was ordered to search for the Pilot, since we were tail ship. We broke off and found a heavily charred area, full of NVA spider holes too. We threw out the ladder ropes and this brave Medic went down there alone!!! To search for the Pilot. We 360'd, and my arms almost fell off trying to pull the ladder ropes in so they didn't hit the tail rotors.
The medic said he found the black box but it was almost completely melted. The A/C's arsenal was loaded with Willy Pete. And could not locate the Pilots body. When we returned to base the ARVNs/Mercenaries were interrogated and found to be negligent, and sabotaged the Team.
Does anyone remember this mission??? And could it be added to stories??? Does Walter Dempsey's brother know of this mission. He should be proud of his brother and the role he also played in this mission. And I know he is proud of him as we Comanchero brothers are too.
Frederick J. Ellis RVN 3/70-3/71
I can recall a CCN mission that may be the same. Not many details but I
remember it was in the Ashau Valley. One of the Spads had a runaway prop and
crashed into the inside ridgeline of the valley. Always remembers that crash...
I do recall the incident you asked about. I wasn't on the mission but I believe that Tony Lowe was the AC on one of the ships involved. Danny King (killed in action sometime in 71) and possibly Danny Feezell (not sure on spelling) were also on that mission I Think. As I recall Danny King (King Bee) told me about watching the pilot fly into the mountain after the mission. He also said that while they were attempting an approach into the LZ, that a round came up the chin bubble between Tony's legs, and he calmly stated ( I think their shooting at me). Hope this helps some.
Frederick Ellis' story on Tri-Border extraction. I was part of that CCN crew.
The medic was on our helicopter that reached the crash site. In fact, the medic retrieved what was left of the pilot's
body (torso) and wrapped it in a poncho liner. Yes, the medic went on the ground by himself while we circled above.
I believe that Nietsche was our pilot...I recall trying to pull up the ladder up while flying with another
crew member (might have been Ellis), but I don't recall us being very successful until we landed and then rolled the
thing up and placed it back in the bird. I could be mistaken. I recalled we tried to follow the smoking aircraft,
but we couldn't keep up with it, but we were able to track it to where it crashed due to the trail of black smoke it
was leaving behind it....I recall something to the effect that the pilot didn't have a parachute that day. Sad day.
Also, I was on the CCN mission when Dempsey tried to speak Vietnamese to the CCN team on the ground; in fact,
Walter was in my helicopter speaking while he was trying to make contact.
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