Morehead City, NC (Off Shore) Helicopter Crash, July 1984


Norfolk, Va. (UPI) -- A "Sea Stallion" cargo helicopter on a training exercise crashed on the deck of the amphibious landing ship USS Guam and burst into flames, killing four Marines and injuring 11 others, the Navy said.
The helicopter smashed onto the deck of the 552-foot vessel yesterday and burnt during amphibious maneuvers by a Pennsylvania Marine reserve squadron -- less than two months after a fiery crash aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Nimitz killed 14 people.
All four Marines killed in the accident were aboard the helicopter, said Cmdr. Mike Cherry.
Four other Marines aboard the helicopter were injured, said Chief Kathleen Cote, another Navy spokesperson. They were flown to Camp Lejeune, N.C. for treatment.
The dead were:
Lt. Col. FRANK KOLBER, JR., of Perkasie, Pa.
Sgt. JOACHIM G. RICCARDI, 24, of Philadelphia.
Cpl. KENNETH A. McKINLAY, 20, of Secame, Pa.
Lance Cpl. JACQUES R. MAYO, 25, of Philadelphia.
The injured were:
Lt. Col. KENNETH J. KELLY, 41, of Huntington Bay, N.Y.
Capt. ROBERT J. BROWN, 35, of Philadelphia.
Capt. STEPHEN T. FISHER, 32, of Silver Spring, Md.
Lance Cpl. RUBEN DELGADO, 21, of Philadelphia.
The crash destroyed the helicopter that was landing on the Guam as part of the exercise by Marines from reserve squadron HMH-772 of Willow Grove, Pa. Another helicopter sitting on the ship's deck was damaged in the accident, Navy officials said today.
Initial reports indicated the Guam, which carries a crew of 550 and up to 30 helicopters, suffered minor damage, Cherry said. He said crewmen were able to extinguish the fire that resulted from the crash in about 10 minutes.
The accident occurred at 5:25 p.m. yesterday while the Guam, which is homeported in Norfolk, was on maneuvers 35 miles southeast of Morehead City, N.C.
The spokesman said the Guam left Norfolk on Saturday and was scheduled to return to homeport on Thursday, July 23.
On May, 26, 1981, an EA-6B Prowler jet veered off course while landing on the USS Nimitz and plowed into a row of other aircraft.
Fourteen men were killed and 48 injured in the worst accident ever to hit a nuclear carrier.
Before the Nimitz incident, the worst accident of its kind recorded in Navy records occurred Oct. 24, 1972, five men were killed and 21 injured aboard the conventionally powered carrier Midway.

Syracuse Herald-Journal New York 1984-07-20