Until They All Come Home

Herbert Charles Crosby
My Adopted MIA

Name: Herbert Charles Crosby
Rank/Branch: O3/US Army
Unit: 71st Aviation Company, 14th Aviation Battalion, 16th Aviation Group, 23rd Infantry Division (Americal), Chu Lai
Date of Birth: May 30, 1947 (Ft. Wayne IN)
Home City of Record: South Georgia
Date of Loss: 10 January 1970
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 152927N 1081808E (BT239141)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 4
Acft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1C, "Firebirds"
Incident # 1547

Other Personnel In Incident: George A. Howes; Wayne C. Allen; Francis G. Graziosi (all missing)
Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 01 April 1991 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK with information from David Grieger, who served with Herbert Crosby.

SYNOPSIS: On January 19, 1970, Capt. Herbert C. Crosby, pilot; WO George A. Howes, co-pilot; SP5 Wayne C. Allen, crew chief; and SP4 Francis G. Graziosi, door gunner; were flying a UH1C helicopter (serial #66-739) as the flight lead in a flight of three helicopter gunships returning from Tien Phuoc to the unit base at Chu Lai, South Vietnam.

(NOTE: Records differs as to the aircraft type on this incident. Some records show the aircraft type this crew was flying as UH1H, and some show it as a UH1C. Herbert Crosby flew Charlie models every day from at least July 1969 to January 1970. The serial number, #66-739 correlates to a C model, the first two numbers indicating that the aircraft had been made in 1966, and the H model only had come out a few months before this time. Although C models were gunships, and usually flew more or less independently, while this aircraft was flying in tight formation as flight lead, which would correlate with the H model, it has been confirmed that the ship on which this crew was flying was definitely a Charlie model.)

At 1300 hours, the three helicopters departed the Special Forces camp at Tien Phuoc. Five to ten minutes later, due to instrument flight rules, Capt. Crosby directed the flight to change to a different flight heading. When the helicopters changed frequencies to contact Chu Lai ground control approach, radio contact was lost with Capt. Crosby and was not regained.

The other two aircraft reached Chu Lai heliport, and at 1400 hours, serach efforts were begun for the missing aircraft, although the crew was not found.

According to a 1974 National League of Families report, George Howes survived the crash of this helicopter. The report further maintains that the loss occurred in Laos, although the coordinates place it some 40-odd miles from that country. A North Vietnamese prisoner released later reported that he had seen Howes in captivity the same month the helicopter went down. A second sighting by a villager in Phuoc Chouc (or Phouc Chau) village reported Howes and two other POWs stopped for water at his house in February, 1970, en route to Laos. Whether these reports also relate to Allen, Crosby and Graziosi, is unknown.

***"All Biographical and loss information on Veitnam Era POW/MIA's provided by Operation Just Cause have been supplied by Chuck and Mary Schantag of POW/NET http://www.asde.com/~pownet/ . Please check with POW/NET regularly for updates."***

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