ARTHUR GERALD QUALLS
Specialist 5th Class, Combat Aviation Crew Chief
281st Assault Helicopter Company
From: Memphis, Tennessee
Born" November 27, 1948
Tour of duty began on July 11, 1968
as a rotary wing mechanic.
Killed on May 20, 1970 in
Binh Thuan, South Vietnam in a
non-combat helicopter crash
while serving as a crew chief.
SP5 Arthur G. Qualls was a 21-year-old, married, rotary wing Mechanic from Memphis Tennessee. His tour of duty with the 281st AHC began on July 11, 1968. Arthur was the acting crew chief on UH-1H 66-16009 when the aircraft crashed near Binh Thuan as a result of pilot error on the part of the aircraft commander, killing Arthur and Paul Lambertson. The pilot, a captain from the Field Forces Headquarters staff, was also killed in the crash. The aircraft commander, a WO from the 281st AHC, was seriously injured and evacuated to the states where he was medically retired. Arthur and Paul were the last individuals lost by the 281st Assault Helicopter Company in the Vietnam war, and they shall never be forgotten.
From the Vietnam Wall of Faces:
Final Mission of SP5 Arthur G. Qualls, Posted on 8/15/15 - by wkillian@ ... .org
On May 20, 1970, a U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D (tail number 66-16009) from the 281st Assault Helicopter Company, had just been released form a command and control mission for the 44th ARVN regiment at Song Mau, Tinh Binh Province, RVN. The aircraft had a crew of four and four ARVN passengers on board and had just departed the POL (petroleum, oil, and lubricants) at Song Mau with approximately 1235 lbs of fuel on board. The pilot in command, who was flying the right seat, was ten minutes out of Song Mau, enroute to Nha Trang, when he decided to demonstrate to the pilot a method of losing altitude quickly by diving the aircraft toward the ground. He began the maneuver at 1000 ft. AGL by reducing power and slowing the aircraft. He then placed the aircraft in a nose low attitude and proceed toward the ground. He stated that he does not believe he exceeded 95 knots during the maneuver. When the pilot in command attempted to recover from this attitude, at about 300 ft. AGL, he pulled in power but the aircraft failed to respond quickly enough. He remembered seeing the engine RPM passing through 6400 RPM but he did not hear the RPM audio nor did he see the low RPM warning light. At this point the pilot in command states that all he had time to do was level the aircraft and he contacted the ground at approximately 80 knots and with considerable down ward force. At the time if impact both skids tore loose and the tail rotor contacted the ground. The aircraft then apparently cartwheeled forward and onto its left side, causing the main rotor head and left front doors to tear off. It then continued to roll completely over, tearing off the skid undercarriage before striking a gulley, which was three to four feet deep at the point of impact, then coming to a halt. The aircraft was then totally consumed by fire, with the exception of the one ARVN soldier, all persons in the rear of the helicopter were fatally burned, including crew chief SP5 Arthur G. Qualls and gunner SP5 Paul B. Lambertson. The ARVN who escaped fatal injury was severely burned, as were the pilot in command and the co-pilot. Burning wreckage along the path after impact evidenced that the aircraft may have started to burn before final impact in the gulley.
Posted on 5/20/15 - by Curt Carter ccarter02@ ... .net
Dear SP5 Arthur Gerald Qualls, sir
As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.
May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.
With respect, Sir
Posted on 5/25/14
My name is Halie. I am Paul B Lambertsons niece, I would just like to say thank you for your service and for protecting us and our country, sending loving prayers to you and your family, I went to the traveling Vietnam Wall it is in Simi Valley Ca, I have finally got to see it and my uncle and your name . Happy Memorial day..
Posted on 5/26/13 - by Rick Voyles richard.voyles07@ ... .net
Art was really a good guy and always willing to help the guys around him. I think about him often.
Posted on 1/25/06 - by jlamb3@ ... .net
Gerald was a considerate, gentle man who was a wonderful husband and too short of time together
Posted on 5/31/99 - by Russell Qualls
The Qualls family thanks you for your sacrifice. We will always remember you Arthur
A MAN IS NOT DEAD UNTIL HE IS FORGOTTEN
ONCE AN INTRUDER ... ALWAYS AN INTRUDER