1968 Kham Duc C-130 shootdown
C-130b-61-0969-29tas-463taw-tsn-1969.jpg
A C-130B similar to the shot down aircraft at Tan Son Nhut AB in 1969
Shootdown
DateMay 12, 1968
SummaryAircraft shot down by North Vietnamese Army
SiteKham Duc Airstrip, Kham Duc, South Vietnam
15°26′18″N 107°47′49″E / 15.4382°N 107.7969°E / 15.4382; 107.7969Coordinates: 15°26′18″N 107°47′49″E / 15.4382°N 107.7969°E / 15.4382; 107.7969
Aircraft
Aircraft typeLockheed C-130B Hercules
OperatorUnited States Air Force
Registration60-0297
Flight originKham Duc Airstrip, Kham Duc, South Vietnam
DestinationUnknown
Occupants189
Passengers184
Crew5
Fatalities189
Survivors0

The 1968 Kham Duc C-130 shootdown was the aircraft shootdown of a United States Air Force Lockheed C-130B Hercules aircraft during the Battle of Kham Duc on May 12, 1968. Everyone on board, 183 Vietnamese civilians, one U.S. Special Forces officer, and 5 U.S. Air Force crewmen,[1]: 138, 139, note 95, 96  were killed. At the time, it was the deadliest aircraft crash in history, is currently the deadliest aviation incident on Vietnamese soil,[2][3] and remained the deadliest loss of a U.S. military aircraft until Arrow Air Flight 1285 in 1985.

The aircraft, commanded by Major Bernard L. Bucher, was participating in the evacuation of South Vietnamese civilians from the Kham Duc campsite. The C-130 approached the Kham Duc airstrip from the south and managed to land despite taking hits from opposing North Vietnamese forces. As soon as it landed, 183 South Vietnamese rushed onto the aircraft. Once the aircraft was full, Major Bucher proceeded to take off in a northward direction, unaware that the North Vietnamese were concentrated in that area. According to eyewitness reports, the aircraft, under intense anti-aircraft fire from 12.7mm and 14.5mm heavy machine guns, shook violently out of control, crashed into a nearby ravine less than a mile (1.6 km) from the end of the airstrip, and burned, killing all of the evacuees, the Special Forces officer, and the aircraft's crew of five.[4][5][2][1]: 138, 139 

References

  1. ^ a b McLeroy, James D.; Sanders, Gregory W. (December 2, 2019). Bait: The Battle of Kham Duc. Havertown, Pennsylvania: Casemate Publishers. ISBN 978-1612008127.
  2. ^ a b Ranter, Harro. "ASN Lockheed C-130B Hercules 60-0297 Kham Duc". aviation-safety.net. Aviation Safety Network. Archived from the original on 2005-03-07.
  3. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Vietnam air safety profile". aviation-safety.net. Aviation Safety Network. Archived from the original on 2005-03-07.
  4. ^ Gropman, p. 50
  5. ^ Bowers, p. 345