Joliet, IL Air Show Helicopter Crash, Sep 1980


Joliet, Ill. (UPI) -- A Marine helicopter performing at an air show stalled for a split second, catapulted to the ground and burst into flames, killing three servicemen and seriously injuring another, police said.
Several thousand people at the Joliet Park District Airport's 50th anniversary celebration Sunday witnessed the accident, but all were more than a half mile from the crash site.
The UH-1 "Huey" helicopter, stationed at Glenview Naval Air Station, stalled as it pulled up sharply from a low highspeed pass, witnesses said. A rear rotor touched the ground and the copter flipped over and exploded on impact in a grassy field.
"It was on a maneuver at the east end of the airfield, going straight up when it seemed to stall," one witness recalled. "It came down and started skipping across the field and, in the process, started breaking apart."
Two of the four servicemen on board were dead at the scene, police said. The other two were taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in critical condition, but one died 2 1/2 hours later.
Marine Maj. Joseph Hutton said police and firefighters crawled underneath the twisted wreckage and cut a hole through the bottom of the craft to reach the victims because the doors were jammed. Charred pieces of metal were strewn about the field.
Officials identified the fatalities as DAVID PETERSON, 35, of Missouri, WAYNE P. DUNLAP and LARRY BOGDAN. Their hometowns were not immediately available.
DAVID RENDER, 33, of Mount Prospect, Ill., was in critical condition today, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Officials said all four men suffered multiple head and internal injuries.
Military officials have not determined the cause of the crash, and pilot error has not been ruled out, Hutton said.

Biddeford Journal Maine 1980-09-22


I saw the video of the crash

I saw a video of the crash. Very sad. There was a State Trooper leaning up against his squad car watching the helo crash. When it went in he never hesitated - he ran across the field and pulled Marines out of the helo. I wonder if he or his superiors ever saw the video or still photos or even was recognized for his heroism?

dave render

The lone survivor David render is my uncle and im proud to say he is still alive and kicking.


I was 7 years old the day this happened. I remember everything about it. So scary to see. Seemed unreal at the time. I still dream about it.

I too was stationed at

I too was stationed at Glenview during that time. I found out about it Monday morning when I got back from Minnesota. I worked in S-3 Operations and did a lot of the paperwork on the investigation. I still remember the helicopter in the hangar sitting on pallets..

Marines killed in helicopter crash

I was also stationed at NAS Glenview when this crash occurred. Larry was one of my best friends and we all felt the pain of his death in that crash. The accident reconstruction team laid the helicopter parts on the floor of the hangar and all of us saw them day after day. I was part of the honor guard who attended his funeral at Arlington Cemetary in Washington DC. Very traumatic to say the least. The Marine Corps lost a good man that day. It was an accident which never should have happened but we had to accept it. Semper Fi, Larry...RIP


you are most welcome .... thank you for your kind words

Sep 1980 Huey crash, Joliet, IL

Thanks to Stu for posting this. I was stationed at Naval Air Station, Glenview, IL, at the time of the crash. I well remember the horrible news that one of our 'birds' was down. The crash investigation team placed all of the deceased Marines' clothing and gear in the basement of the Branch Medical Clinic where I worked. The memory of those men is seared into my mind.
Rest In Peace, Marines. Oorah and Semper Fi...