The Brookline Connection
- Pvt. James Robert Bodish
James Robert Bodish was born on April 18, 1951 and joined the Armed Forces while in Pittsburgh, Pa. He served as a 67U20 in the Army, and attained the rank of SP4/E4. He began a tour of duty on March 10, 1970. On September 16, 1970, at the age of 19, SP4 James R. Bodish perished in the service of our country in South Vietnam, Tay Ninh.
SP4 James R. Bodish was the Flight Engineer on U.S. Army helicopter CH-47C tail number 69-17100, A Chinook. The flight was a routine combat resuppy mission which originated as Phu Loi, RVN. At Phu Loi, RVN. at approximately 1100 hours the aircraft picked up a 14,000 pound external load of cement at Tay Ninh East Airfield. After the load was hooked up, the aircraft Commander brought the aircraft to a Hoveasized to all crewmembers.
The torque and all systems were in the green. The aircraft began a takeoff. As the aircraft reached about 1000 feet AGL the aircraft Commander leveled off and began a shallow right turn. At this time a muffled explosion was heard from the right rear of the aircraft and flames were immediately observed inside the aircraft, in the aft pylon section. The Flight Engineer released the load and the aircraft Commander initiated an emergency descent toward an open area.
Almost immediately the heat was so intense and the smoke so dense in the cockpit that all instrument and radio panels were obscured. The aircraft Commander executed a left descending turn with his head out the left window in order to breath. Full control was maintained throughout the descending turn and on the initial approach. As the aircraft Commander flared to set the aircraft down, control was lost and the aircraft assumed an extreme nost high attitude. The aircraft was consumed by fire.
The five crewmembers on board the helicopter when it crashed were: AC W1 R.G. Young, P W1 G.P. Burns CE E4 G.E. Fowler, G E3 J. Jacob, and FE SP4 James Robert Bodish. Four of the crewmembers were injured in the crash. Flight Engineer Bodish was the only crewmember killed.
The original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Army Aviation Safety Center database. Also: OPERA (Operations Report.)
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