BOBBIE HERALD BREWER
Staff Sergeant, Platoon Sergeant
281st Assault Helicopter Company
10th CAB, 17th CAG, 1st AVN BDE
From: Athens, Alabama
Born: March 26, 1945
Tour of duty began on June 30, 1969.
Killed in action on February 14, 1970
in Khanh Hoa, South Vietnam due to
helicopter crash of unknown cause.
Bobbie H. Brewer, a 24 year old married man from Athens, Alabama was
Killed in Action on February 14, 1970 in the vicinity of Khanh Hoa, South
Vietnam. A summary of the crash follows:
The 281st Assault Helicopter Company
was conducting a “Sniffer” Mission in Helicopter 66-17127 from Nha Trang,
South Vietnam when the aircraft crashed during the
performance of the mission killing the four 281st
crew members and two Special Forces equipment operators.
The 281st lost Warrant Officer Duke Payne, the
Aircraft Commander; Warrant Officer Thomas Guenther, Pilot;
Specialist 5 Mike Hughey, Crew Chief; and SGT Bobby Brewer,
Helicopter was performing a combat
aviation support mission for the 5th Special
Forces Group using an Airborne Personnel Detector (SNIFFER)
in the vicinity of Dong Bo Mountain, four Nautical Miles
Southwest of Nha Trang, South Vietnam. The aircraft had six men on board;
four crew members and two Special Forces soldiers
operating the SNIFFER machine. At 1000 hours Army Aircraft
67-17127 took off from Nha Trang AAF enroute to its mission
on Dong Bo Mountain. Its mission was to fly 50 Feet above
the trees at 70 knots so that the SNIFFER machine could
detect any smoke in the area.
The Lead Gunship, piloted by WO1 Gardner and 1LT McKeegan, was approximately 100 meters behind 66-17127 and, based on their observations, it appears that the aircraft may have suffered an equipment failure causing it to assume a nose-low attitude, loose altitude, and crash into the trees. It was noted that the aircraft had a very slow airspeed and low rotor RPM when it struck the trees and exploded.
Following the explosion SP4 Johnson, the Door Gunner on the Command Ship was lowered to the ground, near the crash site. There was no sign of life and SP4 Johnson was recovered from the area. All of the individuals on board the Helicopter were recovered and returned for burial.
The aircraft crash was classified as a non-hostile incident in that neither ground fire our hostile forces were observed in the area.
SSGT Brewer was a highly respected platoon Sergeant who was filling in for a member of his platoon when the helicopter crashed. SSGT Brewer and the crew of 17127 shall never be forgotten by the Intruders of the 281st AHC.
A MAN IS NOT DEAD UNTIL HE IS FORGOTTEN
ONCE AN INTRUDER ... ALWAYS AN INTRUDER