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Wareís Fallen from the Vietnam War

JOHN ARTHUR BORONSKI

Personal Data:

Birth Date:  July 24, 1944

Birth Place:  Northampton, Massachusetts

Race:  Caucasian

Religion:  Protestant - No Preference

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:  Ware, Massachusetts

Service Branch:  Army                                 

Service Component:  Regular                      

Rank:  Sergeant First Class

Rank Abbrev:  SFC   

Pay Grade:  E7         

MOS:  -----                 

MOS Title:

MOS Background:

Awards Received:  

Badges Earned:

Posthumous Promotion: 

Length of Service:

Southeast Asia Tour Data:

Date Tour Commenced: March 24, 1970

Major Command:  U.S. Army Special Forces                  

Land Assignment:

Regiment:  SOA (MACV-SOG) CCC

Battalion:            

Company:  RT Pennsylvania

Casualty Data:

Casualty Date:  November 27, 1978

Casualty Time:

Casualty Age:  34

Casualty Data 1: Hostile, Died While Missing                  

Casualty Data 2:  Air Loss, Crash on Land    

Casualty Data 3:  Helicopter - Non-Crew      

Casualty Province:  ** (Ratanokiri Province according to POW Network)

Casualty Country:  Cambodia

Casualty Coordinates:  YB 484 003 (142750 North 1071816 East)                       

Located In Or Near: 14 miles inside Cambodian border

Casualty Vehicle:  UH-1H Iroquois serial number 68-15262

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

Body Recovered:  No 

Burial/Memorial:

Burial Location:

Burial Plot Location:

Burial Date:

Consigned Funeral Home:

Military Escort Name:

Wareís Fallen Casualty Order:  4th

Vietnam Veterans Memorial:

Panel Number:  12W

        Line Number:  37


Helicopter UH-1H 68-15262

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-15262
The Army purchased this helicopter 1268
Total flight hours at this point: 00001731
Date: 03/24/70 MIA-POW file reference number: 1578
Incident number: 70032410.KIA
Unit: 170 AHC
This was a Combat incident. This helicopter was LOSS TO INVENTORY
This was a Recon mission for Unarmed Recon
While Enroute this helicopter was at Level Flight at 0100 feet and UNK knots.
Classified
UTM grid coordinates: YB484003
Count of hits was not possible because the helicopter burned or exploded.
Explosive Weapon; Non-Artillery launched or static weapons containing explosive charges. (RPG-7, 7.62MM)
causing an Explosion.
Systems damaged were: PERSONNEL
Casualties = 12 DOI . .
The helicopter Crashed. Aircraft Destroyed.
Both mission and flight capability were terminated.
Burned
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Reference Notes. Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center Helicopter database. Also: 1578, LNNF, CRAFX, JSIDR, SOG by Plaster P:245 (Lindenmuth New Format Data Base. Joint Services Incident Damage Report. Crash Facts Message. )
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
CE SSG BECERRA RUDY MORALES BNR
G SSG GANOE BERMAN JR BNR
P CW3 HOSKEN JOHN CHARLES BNR
AC CPT ODONNELL MICHAEL DAVIS BNR

Passengers:
SFC HARNED GARY ALAN, AR, PX, BNR; SFC BORONSKI JOHN ARTHUR, AR, PX, BNR; CPT POOL JERRY LYNN, AR, PX, BNR;

REFNO Synopsis:
Personnel in Incident: Rudy Morales Becerra; Berman Ganoe; John C. Hosken; Michael O'Donnell; John Boronski; Gary A. Harned, Jerry L. Pool (all missing) SYNOPSIS: Kontum, South Vietnam was home base to what was known as FOB2 (Forward Observation Base 2), a classified, long-term operations of the Special Operations Group (SOG) that involved daily operations into Laos and Cambodia. SOG teams operated out of Kontum, but staged out of Dak To. The mission of the 170th Assault Helicopter Company ("Bikinis") was to perform the insertion, support, and extraction of these SOG teams deep in the forest on "the other side of the fence" (a term meaning Laos or Cambodia, where U.S. forces were not allowed to be based). Normally, the teams consisted of two "slicks" (UH1 general purpose helicopters), two Cobras (AH1 assault helicopters) and other fighter aircraft which served as standby support. On March 24, 1970, helicopters from the 170th were sent to extract a MACV-SOG long-range reconnaissance patrol (LRRP) team which was in contact with the enemy about fourteen miles inside Cambodia in Ratanokiri Province. The flight leader, RED LEAD, serving as one of two extraction helicopters was commanded by James E. Lake. Capt. Michael D. O'Donnell was the aircraft commander of one of the two cover aircraft (serial #68-15262, RED THREE). His crew consisted of WO John C. Hoskins, pilot; SP4 Rudy M. Beccera, crew chief; and SP4 Berman Ganoe, gunner. The MACV-SOG team, Recon Team Pennsylvania, included 1LT Jerry L. Pool, team leader and team members SSG John A. Boronsky and SGT Gary A. Harned as well as five indigenous team members. The team had been in contact with the enemy all night and had been running and ambushing, but the hunter team pursuing them was relentless and they were exhausted and couldn't continue to run much longer. When Lake and O'Donnell arrived at the team's location, there was no landing zone (LZ) nearby and they were unable to extract them immediately. The two helicopters waited in a high orbit over the area until the team could move to a more suitable extraction point. While the helicopters were waiting, they were in radio contact with the team. After about 45 minutes in orbit, Lake received word from LT Pool that the NVA hunter team was right behind them. RED LEAD and RED THREE made a quick trip to Dak To for refueling. RED THREE was left on station in case of an emergency. When Lake returned to the site, Pool came over the radio and said that if the team wasn't extracted then, it would be too late. Capt. O'Donnell evaluated the situation and decided to pick them up. He landed on the LZ and was on the ground for about 4 minutes, and then transmitted that he had the entire team of eight on board. The aircraft was beginning its ascent when it was hit by enemy fire, and an explosion in the aircraft was seen. The helicopter continued in flight for about 300 meters, then another explosion occurred, causing the aircraft to crash in the jungle. According to Lake, bodies were blown out the doors and fell into the jungle. [NOTE: According to the U.S. Army account of the incident, no one was observed to have been thrown from the aircraft during either explosion.] The other helicopter crewmen were stunned. One of the Cobras, Panther 13, radioed "I don't think a piece bigger than my head hit the ground." The second explosion was followed by a yellow flash and a cloud of black smoke billowing from the jungle. Panther 13 made a second high-speed pass over the site and came under fire, but made it away unscathed. Lake decided to go down and see if there was a way to get to the crash site. As he neared the ground, he was met with intense ground fire from the entire area. He could not see the crash site since it was under heavy tree cover. There was no place to land, and the ground fire was withering. He elected to return the extract team to Dak To before more aircraft was lost. Lake has carried the burden of guilt with him for all these years, and has never forgiven himself for leaving his good friend O'Donnell and his crew behind. The Army account concludes stating that O'Donnell's aircraft began to burn immediately upon impact. Aerial search and rescue efforts began immediately; however, no signs of life could be seen around the crash site. Because of the enemy situation, attempts to insert search teams into the area were futile. SAR efforts were discontinued on April 18. Search and rescue teams who surveyed the site reported that they did not hold much hope for survival for the men aboard, but lacking proof that they were dead, the Army declared all 7 missing in action. For every patrol like that of the MACV-SOG LRRP team that was detected and stopped, dozens of other commando teams safely slipped past NVA lines to strike a wide range of targets and collect vital information. The number of MACV-SOG missions conducted with Special Forces reconnaissance teams into Laos and Cambodia was 452 in 1969. It was the most sustained American campaign of raiding, sabotage and intelligence gathering waged on foreign soil in U.S. military history. MACV-SOG's teams earned a global reputation as one of the most combat effective deep penetration forces ever raised. Michael O'Donnell was recommended for the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on March 24, 1970. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart as well as promoted to the rank of Major following his loss incident. O'Donnell was highly regarded by his friends in the "Bikinis." They knew him as a talented singer, guitar player and poet. 

One of his poems has been widely distributed, but few understand that the author remains missing. 

If you are able, 
save them a place inside of you 
and save one backward glance when you are leaving 
for the places they can no longer go. 

Be not ashamed to say you loved them, 
though you may or may not have always. 

Take what they have left 
and what they have taught you with their dying 
and keep it with your own. 

And in that time when men decide 
and feel safe to call the war insane, 
take one moment to embrace 
those gentle heroes you left behind. 

Major Michael Davis O'Donnell 
1 January 1970 
Dak To, Vietnam

This record was last updated on 01/25/99


The following is crew member information for this incident:


Name: SSG Rudy Morales Becerra
Status: Body Not Recovered from an incident on 03/24/70 while performing the duty of Crew Chief.
Declared dead on 11/13/78.
Age at death: 19.4
Date of Birth: 10/29/50
Home City: Richmond, TX
Service: regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 170 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 12W-037
Short Summary: A/C exploded seconds after picking up SF team.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 68-15262
SSN: 460848037
Country: Cambodia
MOS: 0811
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: vehicular accident
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: crew chief
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 08/09/69
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
The initial status of this person was: missing in action - bonified
Length of service: *
Military grid coordinates of event: YB484003
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - died while missing
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: battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 07/30/95


Name: SFC John Arthur Boronski
Status: Body Not Recovered from an incident on 03/24/70 while performing the duty of Passenger.
Declared dead on 11/27/78.
Age at death: 25.7
Date of Birth: 07/24/44
Home City: Ware, MA
Service: regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: SPECIAL FORCES
Major organization: Special Forces
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 12W-037
Short Summary: A/C exploded seconds after picking up SF team.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 68-15262
SSN: 014347082
Country: Cambodia
MOS: *
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: vehicular accident
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: unknown or not reported
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 11/25/69
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - non-aircrew
The initial status of this person was: missing in action - bonified
Length of service: *
Military grid coordinates of event: YB484003
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - died while missing
single 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: battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 01/01/94


Name: SSG Berman Ganoe, Jr.
Status: Body Not Recovered from an incident on 03/24/70 while performing the duty of Gunner.
Declared dead on 01/16/74.
Age at death: 21.4
Date of Birth: 10/25/48
Home City: Belleview, FL
Service: regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 170 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 12W-038
Short Summary: A/C exploded seconds after picking up SF team.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 68-15262
SSN: 266920675
Country: Cambodia
MOS: 67N40 = UH-1 Helicopter Repairer
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: small arms fire
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: door gunner
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 07/16/69
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
The initial status of this person was: missing in action - bonified
Length of service: *
Military grid coordinates of event: YB484003
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - died while missing
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Baptist - Southern Baptist Convention
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 07/30/95


Name: SFC Gary Alan Harned (posthumously promoted)
Status: Body Not Recovered from an incident on 03/24/70 while performing the duty of Passenger.
Declared dead on 11/13/78.
Age at death: 19.7
Date of Birth: 07/07/50
Home City: Springboro, PA
Service: regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: SPECIAL FORCES
Major organization: Special Forces
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 12W-039
Short Summary: A/C exploded seconds after picking up SF team.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 68-15262
SSN: 207380219
Country: Cambodia
MOS: *
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: vehicular accident
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: passenger
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 01/13/70
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - non-aircrew
The initial status of this person was: missing in action - bonified
Length of service: *
Military grid coordinates of event: YB484003
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - died while missing
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: battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 01/01/94


Name: CW3 John Charles Hosken
Status: Body Not Recovered from an incident on 03/24/70 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Declared dead on 08/28/78.
Age at death: 22.6
Date of Birth: 08/23/47
Home City: Chagrin Falls, OH
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 170 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 69-37/69-35
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 12W-039
Short Summary: Picked up 8 member SF team led by LT Jerry L. Pool. A/C exploded seconds later. W/Mike O'Donnel.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 68-15262
SSN: 293463290
Country: Cambodia
MOS: *
Primary cause: Cambodia-BNR
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: vehicular accident
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: pilot
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 12/29/69
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - pilot
The initial status of this person was: missing in action - bonified
Length of service: *
Military grid coordinates of event: YB484003
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - died while missing
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Methodist (Evangelical United Brethren)
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: warrant officer
This record was last updated on 07/28/90


Name: CPT Michael Davis O'Donnell
Status: Body Not Recovered from an incident on 03/24/70 while performing the duty of Aircraft Commander.
Declared dead on 02/07/78.
Age at death: 24.6
Date of Birth: 08/13/45
Home City: Springfield, IL
Service: IN branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 170 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 68-16
Service: IN branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 12W-040
Short Summary: Picked up SF team led by LT Jerry L. Pool. A/C blew up seconds later in flight. W/WO1 Hosken.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 68-15262
SSN: 387443597 Service number: O5344062
Country: Cambodia
MOS: *
Primary cause: Cambodia-BNR
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: small arms fire
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: aircraft commander
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 10/02/69
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
The initial status of this person was: missing in action - bonified
Length of service: *
Military grid coordinates of event: YB484003
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - died while missing
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: no religous preference
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: officer
This record was last updated on 10/18/98


Name: CPT Jerry Lynn Pool
Status: Body Not Recovered from an incident on 03/24/70 while performing the duty of Passenger.
Declared dead on 11/13/78.
Age at death: 26.0
Date of Birth: 04/02/44
Home City: Freeport, IL
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: 12W-040
Short Summary: A/C exploded seconds after picking up SF team.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 68-15262
SSN: 462708764
Country: Cambodia
MOS: *
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: vehicular accident
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: passenger
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 12/15/69
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - non-aircrew
The initial status of this person was: missing in action - bonified
Length of service: *
Military grid coordinates of event: YB484003
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Hostile - died while missing
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Church of Christ
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: officer
This record was last updated on 01/01/94

The following is Goldbook information on US Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-15262
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 1268.
Please provide any additional information on this helicopter to the VHPA.

DATE  FLT HRS    UIC      UNIT          AREA          POST          COUNTRY
6812   0    0 W0Y6AA OS TO CONUS      ITR CONUS                   AVCOMITR
6901  78   78 WC4YAA 170 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6902 118  196 WC4YAA 170 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6903 179  375 WC4YAA 170 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6904 148  523 WC4YAA 170 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6905 156  679 WC4YAA 170 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6906 116  795 WC4YAA 170 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6907 109  904 WC4YAA 170 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6908 146 1050 WC4YAA 170 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6909 105 1155 WC4YAA 170 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6910 137 1292 WC4YAA 170 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6911 115 1407 WC4YAA 170 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6912 125 1532 WC4YAA 170 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7001 100 1632 WC4YAA 170 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7002  99 1731 WC4YAA 170 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN

Please send additions or corrections to:

VHPA Head Quarters or Gary Roush or Mike Law


Printed from databases on: 08/27/00

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