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Southbridge
ís Fallen from the Vietnam War

VINCENT F. SABATINELLI

Personal Data:

Birth Date:  September 21, 1943

Birth Place:

Race:  Caucasian

Religion:  Roman Catholic

U.S. Citizen:  Yes

Fatherís Name:

Motherís Name:

Sibling Names:

Marital Status:  Single

Wifeís Name:

Offspring Names:

Education:

Schools Attended:

High School Diploma:

Selective Service Data:

SSS Local Board Number:

SSS Local Board Location:

SSS Registration Date:

SSS Registrant Description:

Military Service Record:

Entry Date:

Entry Mode:

Entry Location:

Home of Record:  Southbridge, Massachusetts

Service Branch:  Army                                 

Service Component:  Reserve                      

Rank:  Captain

Rank Abbrev:  CPT   

Pay Grade:  + O2     

MOS:  31542             

MOS Title:

MOS Background:

Awards Received:  

Badges Earned:

Posthumous Promotion:  Yes

Length of Service:

Southeast Asia Tour Data:

Date Tour Commenced: March 16, 1969

Major Command:  U.S. Army Special Forces

Land Assignment:

Regiment: 

Battalion:            

Company:  Forward Operating Base 4 (Danang)   

Casualty Data:

Casualty Date:  July 25, 1969

Casualty Time:

Casualty Age:  25

Casualty Data 1: Non-hostile, Died of Other Causes        

Casualty Data 2:  Air Loss, Crash on Land    

Casualty Data 3:  Helicopter - Non-Crew      

Casualty Province:  Pleiku

Casualty Country:  South Vietnam               

Located In Or Near:  Dragon Mountain 

Casualty Vehicle:  UH-1H Iroquois serial number 67-17533

Aircraft Incident Data:  click here for Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association report

Body Recovered:  Yes 

Burial/Memorial:

Burial Location:  St. Mary's Cemetery, Southbridge, Massachusetts

Burial Plot Location:

Burial Date:

Consigned Funeral Home:

Military Escort Name:

Southbridgeís Fallen Casualty Order:  5th

Vietnam Veterans Memorial Panel Number:  20W  Line Number:  45


  Helicopter UH-1H 67-17533

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 67-17533
The Army purchased this helicopter 0568
Total flight hours at this point: 00000748
Date: 07/25/69
Incident number: 690725131ACD Accident case number: 690725131 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 525 MI GRP
The station for this helicopter was Saigon-Cochin China in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 8 . . Injured = 2 . . Passengers = 7
costing 625145
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Army Aviation Safety Center database. Also: OPERA (Operations Report. )
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
AC CW2 GOLDBERG STEWART B KIA
P W1 DEVEREUX TF
CE E5 MUNKVOLD R
G SP4 VALDEZ DAVID MEDINA INJ

Passengers:
CPT SABATINELLI VINCENT F, AR, PX, KIA; CPT PEELE ELVERNON, AR, PX, KIA; SFC EVERETT JAY LEROY, AR, PX, KIA; SP4 DYCKS RONALD KING, AR, PX, KIA; SGT DU BEAU GERALD EUGENE, NOT, A; CPT PFEFER ARTHUR THOMAS, AR, PX, KIA;

Accident Summary:

The board has been able to reconstruct the following description of the accident: Aircraft #67-17533 had flown approximately four hours and fifteen minutes prior to the accident. All flight conditions were normal with the exception that low ceilings necessitated low level flight from Ban Me Thout to Pleiku. The cloud ceiling was approximately 450 feet AGL at the time of departure from Ban Me Thout City Field. Since the ceiling wouldn't permit VFR flight at 1000' AGL as required by 525th M. I. SOP, the Aircraft Commander elected to fly VFR low level. According to the pilot, clouds forced the aircraft down from approximately 400 feet AGL to approximately 50 feet AGL as the weather deteriorated. From Ban Me Thout they utilized dead reckoning navigation to intercept Highway 14, and followed it north towards Pleiku. Due to the additional strain encountered by low level flight, the Aircraft Commander and pilot exchanged control of the aircraft several times. As they approached Dragon Mountain, visibility rapidly deteriorated. At this time the Aircraft Commander took control, the Aircraft Commander instructed the pilot to monitor the instruments, slowed the aircraft from approximately 110 knots to 80 knots and initiated a right turn presumably to complete a 180 degree turn and regain VFR flight conditions. There is a distinct possibility that the Aircraft Commander went into vertigo at this time. The attitude indicator on the left side of the aircraft was inoperative. Another indication of vertigo is a tape recorded by Peacock Control, Pleiku. Approximately 2 seconds after the pilot Rogered a weather report, he told the Aircraft Commander that he was in a steep bank. The aircraft was heading into the side of Dragon Mountain at this time. The tape also indicates that the mountain was seen just prior to impact. The Aircraft Commander apparently initiated an extremely steep flare as is evidenced by the fact that the tail rotor blades struck the ground first. He must have also applied collective pitch in an effort to cushion the impact as is evidenced by the fact that the aircraft slid approximately 60 meters up a 50 to 60 degree slope before the main rotor made contact with the ground and broke away from the aircraft. The aircraft flipped end over end when the main rotor broke away and then rolled approximately 30 meters back down the mountain where it came to rest, upside down, and burned. The distribution of the wreckage can be found on the enclosed DA Form 2397-5.

This record was last updated on 09/20/98


The following is crew member information for this incident:


Name: SGT Gerald Eugene Du Beau (posthumously promoted)
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 07/25/69 while performing the duty of Passenger.
Age at death: 20.9
Date of Birth: 09/02/48
Home City: Springfield, IL
Service: regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 525 MI GRP
Major organization: other
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 20W-043
Short Summary: Crashed into the side of Dragon Mountain after going IFR at low altitude.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17533
SSN: 347405820
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 31J20 = Teletypwriter Repairer
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: passenger
Started Tour: 01/07/68
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - non-aircrew
Length of service: 02
Location: Pleiku Province II Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Presbyterian
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 07/29/95


Name: SP4 Ronald King Dycks
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 07/25/69 while performing the duty of Passenger.
Died 1 days later on 07/26/69.
Age at death: 22.6
Date of Birth: 01/03/47
Home City: Cleveland, OH
Service: regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 1 LOG COM
Major organization: 1st Logistic Command
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 20W-048
Short Summary: Crashed into the side of Dragon Mountain after going IFR at low altitude.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17533
SSN: 288463664
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 57E20 = Laundry And Bath Specialist
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: passenger
Started Tour: 05/05/68
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - non-aircrew
Length of service: 02
Location: Pleiku Province II Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died illness or injuries
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Negro
Relgion: Baptist - other groups
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 07/29/95


Name: SFC Jay Leroy Everett
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 07/25/69 while performing the duty of Passenger.
Age at death: 41.6
Date of Birth: 12/22/27
Home City: Latrobe, PA
Service: regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 525 MI GRP
Major organization: other
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 20W-043
Short Summary: Crashed into the side of Dragon Mountain after going IFR at low altitude.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17533
SSN: 199202137
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 97B4L = Counterintelligence Agent
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: passenger
Started Tour: 01/11/69
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - non-aircrew
Length of service: 22
Location: Pleiku Province II Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Protestant - no denominational preference
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 07/29/95


Name: CW2 Stewart B. Goldberg
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 07/25/69 while performing the duty of Aircraft Commander.
Died 1 days later on 07/26/69.
Age at death: 22.0
Date of Birth: 08/09/47
Home City: Baltimore, MD
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 525 MI GRP
Major organization: other
Flight class: 67-21
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 20W-049
Short Summary: Crashed into the side of Dragon Mountain after going IFR at low altitude.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17533
SSN: 212482538
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 100B = Utility/Observation Helicopter Pilot
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: aircraft commander
Started Tour: 01/18/68
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
Length of service: 02
Location: Pleiku Province II Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died illness or injuries
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Jewish
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: warrant officer
This record was last updated on 07/28/94


Name: CPT Elvernon Peele
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 07/25/69 while performing the duty of Passenger.
Died 1 days later on 07/26/69.
Age at death: 25.5
Date of Birth: 01/24/44
Home City: Williamston, NC
Service: MI branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 525 MI GRP
Major organization: other
Service: MI branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 20W-051
Short Summary: Crashed into the side of Dragon Mountain after going IFR at low altitude.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17533
SSN: 237722766
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 9666 = 96 Counterintelligence Officer
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: passenger
Started Tour: 11/23/68
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - non-aircrew
Length of service: 04
Location: Pleiku Province II Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died illness or injuries
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Negro
Relgion: Baptist - other groups
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: officer
This record was last updated on 07/29/95


Name: CPT Arthur Thomas Pfefer
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 07/25/69 while performing the duty of Passenger.
Age at death: 26.4
Date of Birth: 03/08/43
Home City: St Paul, MN
Service: EN branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 525 MI GRP
Major organization: other
Service: EN branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 20W-045
Short Summary: Crashed into the side of Dragon Mountain after going IFR at low altitude.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17533
SSN: 472480943
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 4312 = 43 Real Estate Officer
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: passenger
Started Tour: 11/12/68
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - non-aircrew
Length of service: 04
Location: Pleiku Province II Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Jewish
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: officer
This record was last updated on 07/29/95


Name: CPT Vincent F. Sabatinelli (posthumously promoted)
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 07/25/69 while performing the duty of Passenger.
Age at death: 25.8
Date of Birth: 09/21/43
Home City: Southbridge, MA
Service: IN branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: SPECIAL FORCES
Major organization: Special Forces
Service: IN branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 20W-045
Short Summary: Crashed into the side of Dragon Mountain after going IFR at low altitude.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17533
SSN: 029329993
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 31542 = 31 Peripheral Vascular Surgeon
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: passenger
Started Tour: 03/16/69
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - non-aircrew
Length of service: 02
Location: Pleiku Province II Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Roman Catholic
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: officer
This record was last updated on 07/29/95


Name: SP4 David Medina Valdez
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 07/25/69 while performing the duty of Gunner.
Died 12 days later on 08/06/69.
Age at death: 21.7
Date of Birth: 11/15/47
Home City: Los Angeles, CA
Service: component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 525 MI GRP
Major organization: other
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 20W-103
Short Summary: Crashed into the side of Dragon Mountain after going IFR at low altitude.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17533
SSN: 561768950
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 67N20 = UH-1 Helicopter Repairer
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: door gunner
Started Tour: 07/17/68
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
Length of service: 01
Location: Pleiku Province II Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died illness or injuries
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Roman Catholic
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 07/28/94

The following is Goldbook information on US Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 67-17533
It is provided here as an ESTIMATE of the history of this helicopter and is not intended to be the final authority.
This helicopter was purchased by the US Army in 0568.
Please provide any additional information on this helicopter to the VHPA.

DATE  FLT HRS    UIC      UNIT          AREA          POST          COUNTRY
6805   0    0 W0Y6AA INTRANSIT        IN TRANSIT                  AVCOMCTR
6806   0    0 W0Y6AA OS TO CONUS      ITR CONUS                   AVCOMITR
6807   0    0 3218   OPM SEA NITEOPS  1ST ARMY   FORT BELVOIR     AMC
6808  67   67 3218   HHD 44 ENG GP    THAILAND                    PACIFIC
6809   0   67 3218   HHD 44 ENG GP    THAILAND                    PACIFIC
6810 102  169 3218   HHD 44 ENG GP    THAILAND                    PACIFIC
6811  21  190 WBUYAA 525 MI BN        VIETNAM                     RVN
6812 101  291 WBUYAA 525 MI BN        VIETNAM                     RVN
6901  79  370 WBUYAA 525 MI BN        VIETNAM                     RVN
6902  77  447 WBUYAA 525 MI BN        VIETNAM                     RVN
6903  95  542 WBUYAA 525 MI BN        VIETNAM                     RVN
6904  48  590 WBUYAA 525 MI BN        VIETNAM                     RVN
6905 100  690 WBUYAA 525 MI BN        VIETNAM                     RVN
6906  58  748 WBUYAA 525 MI BN        VIETNAM                     RVN
6907   0  748 3218   HHD 44 ENG GP    THAILAND                    PACIFIC


Printed from databases on: 08/27/00

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