Ft. Benning, GA Two Helicopter's Collide In Flight, June 1965



Columbus, Ga. (AP) -- Two Army assault helicopters rammed together and crashed Tuesday, killing at least 18 soldiers on a training flight at nearby Ft. Benning, the Army said. Each helicopter could carry up to 10 men.
"We don't know if they were loaded," said Sgt. Maj. AL SPRATLEY of the Ft. Benning Information Office. He said each of the combat-type HU1B helicopters had a capacity of three crewmen and seven infantrymen.
Hours after the collision and crash, searchers probed the wreckage and the surrounding area of the remote, swampy terrain.
SPRATLEY said the helicopters were the same type used by the Army in Viet Nam. He declined to say whether the soldiers were in training for action in Southeast Asia.
The victims were from B and C Companies of the 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Division. They were on a training mission to a remote area of the sprawling reservation. The helicopters were assigned to the 227th Assault Helicopter Battalion, 11th Air Assault Division.
Names of the dead were withheld until their next of kin were notified.
Four HU1B helicopters were flying in formation when the two collided at low altitude shortly after takeoff. The aircraft crashed into each other about two miles from the airstrip.
A soldier in one of the other helicopters told a newsman that the skies were overcast and visibility was limited when the lateral collision occurred.
One of the fallen aircraft burned for about three hours before a fire truck could get through the woods to the wreckage.
The helicopters plummeted to the earth about 150 yards apart.

Florence Morning News South Carolina 1965-06-16