73rd Surveillance Airplane Company (SAC)


1st Lt. Richard E. Jaeck died on 14 March 1964 near Phan Thiet when during a low reconnaissance, small arms fire damaged his aircraft and forced it down.

1st Lt. Jimmy Cartwright was killed on 23 June 1964 near Quang Ngai when he was wounded and lost control of his aircraft during a reconnaissance.

Capt. Marlin E. Mc Cahan died on 24 June 1964 near Vinh Long when his aircraft stalled after making a message drop.

On 9 June 1965, Lieutenant Charles Dale departed Vung Tau for an IR mission on the tip of Vinh Binh province, a know VC stronghold. The aircraft, Lt. Dale, and his enlisted observer, Specialist Fourth Class David Demmon never returned.

On July 4th 1965, while performing visual reconnaissance south of Soc Trang in the IV ARVN Corps, Maj. James C. Sheriff crashed, killing himself and his observer, Lieutenant Cuong, ARVN. This crash was attributed to hostile groundfire in the area, where a battalion-sized VC unit was deployed.

On 16 October 1966, 3 NM SE of An Thuy, RVN, 30 NM SW of Vung Tau, RVN. The OV-1A 1LT Robert C. Keller was piloting, crashed, killing himself and his observer, LT Albert G. Hallowell, USN. The accident was determined to be the result of a mid-air collision with another one of the 73d's Mohawks.

On 2 June 1967, Major Lowell Edward Morgan and SP4 Robert Bruce De Mello were fatally injured when their OV-1C crashed into the side of Gia Ray Mountain during a period of darkness and inclement weather.

On 7 October 1967, Captain Frank Ronald Kerbl and Specialist Fifth Class James Arnold Stoeberl were fatally injured while attempting to land their OV-1B at Phu Loi during a period of darkness and inclement weather.

On 29 March 1968, Major William Hurley lost his life as he was attempting to land an OV-1B which had developed engine trouble. His technical observer was able to safely eject prior to the aircraft crashing into the bay.

On the night of 12 September 1968, 1LT Robert R. Weiss and SP4 William E. Foster Jr.. were flying a direct combat support mission in an OV-1C Mohawk. Near the end of a long strenuous mission, with low clouds and limited visibility in the area, their aircraft, for causes unknown, crashed into the sea near Vung Tau, South Vietnam.

SP5 Russell Wells was fatally wounded on 25 December 1968 while flying a visual reconnaissance mission along the Cambodian border. This is the first fatality that the 73d has suffered due to hostile ground fire.

In July 69, Captain Henry O. Wilhoite and PFC John P. Madden were killed when their aircraft crashed into Gin Ray mountain while flying a Red Haze mission during inclement weather.

On 29 August 69, during a SLAR mission, CW3 Leonard G. Anderson and SP4 Jackie C. Dehart ejected after losing all electrical power while flying through a severe thunderstorm. After ejecting, SP4 Dehart's parachute failed to fully deploy because of the low altitude and aircraft attitude and he was killed upon impact with the ground. CW3 Anderson sustained serious back injuries and was medically evacuated to CONUS.

On 15 October 1970, Cpt Robert T. Wilson was killed when he was accidentally struck by a propeller during ground operations.

An unfortunate accident in the early hours of the 6th of June 1971, took the lives of CW2 Martin E. Loving and CW2 Carl W. Borchers while they were operating a YO-3A aircraft in support of air cavalry operations just a few miles north of Long Binh.

On February 21, 1972, 1LT Bernard Levern Johnson II and SP4 Scott Brian Westphal were fatally wounded while flying a visual reconnaissance mission in An Xugen Province.


On the morning of 15 November 69, 1LT Robert White, was piloting an OV-1 in support of the U.S. Navy on a coastal reconnaissance mission in the northern IV Corps Tactical Zone. His aircraft was observed to be on fire and descending by a U.S. Navy patrol boat. Both he and his observer, LCDR John Graf, a Naval Intelligence Officer, successfully ejected from the burning aircraft. An extensive air and ground search was conducted by allied forces and all intelligence reports indicate that both men were captured. All attempts to recover the downed crew from the enemy were unsuccessful and 1LT White and LCDR Graf are officially listed as captured.

Editors note: 1LT White was taken prisoner of war and was the last POW to be released. He now lives in the US. LCDR Graf is still listed as MIA. Further research on this incident is in progress, and additional information is pending.

We shall remember them always as dedicated soldiers and true friends.
May God bless them.

Last update: January 15, 2000