On 9 March 1967 EC-47P tail number 43-49201, call-sign TIDE 86, was flying a radio direction finding mission out of Nha Trang when it crashed about 10 miles south of Duc Pho, Vietnam after making a Doppler set reading after obtaining a fix on a priority target vessel (ship).
During the crash investigation and reconstruction, officials made the supposition that in the five to ten minutes after obtaining the fix on the vessel, the aircraft descended either visually or under radar (no record) to 1500 feet over water to visually locate the target vessel. Either weather conditions prevented visual sighting or, if sighted, low altitude prevented reporting at this assumed time of 1013Z. Darkness would soon be a factor and an attempt to set the Doppler visually for the last time may have been attempted. A highway – railroad intersection at 254 degrees/10NM from G-5 may have been attempted and is considered likely. Upon completion of the Doppler set, a climbing turn would certainly be immediately initiated. Maneuvering for a N/S Doppler run for safer terrain may have been discarded to save time and reduce exposure in this high threat area.
The Crash occurred at a point 260 degrees 8.4 NM from this assumed Doppler point.
In consideration of the above reconstruction, officials concluded that some serious cockpit emergency took place after the Doppler set. In this high threat area, battle damage, power loss, engine fire, or a combination of all these could distract the crew during the 4 minutes from assumed Doppler set to crash. Heavy small arms or automatic weapons fire could have precipitated evasive action delaying the turn back to safer terrain. The wreckage was so badly torn, burned and scattered that positive battle damage determination was impossible.
This was the first EC-47 lost during the Vietnam War. Seven crew members were killed in the crash
6994th Security Squadron
- TSgt Raymond F. Leftwich – Radio Operator
- A1C Charles D. Land – Radio Operator
- A1C Daniel C. Reese – Radio Operator
361st Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron
- Major Leroy P. Bohrer – Pilot
- Major Ivel D. Freeman – Co-Pilot
- Capt Roger P. Richardson – Navigator
- SSgt Prentice F. Brenton – Flight Engineer