Fred Blanchard Checks In
My name is Fred Blanchard. I was Charlie
Horse 23 in those days. I'd be happy to give you what information I have.
I returned to the US around March
1st on a body escort. My tour began in April of 70 and I was part
of Charlie Horse when it changed from C, 3/17th to D, 3/5th Cav.
I've followed the links on your page. There is some inaccurate
information in the links. Let me clear them up a little.
Skip Barger, killed Feb. 11,
1971 was not a passenger. He was the AC.
They were shot down trying to rescue
a scout crew that had just been shot down.
His co-pilot was 1st. Lt. Mel Pobre. Mel was medivaced
out of Vietnam.
Everyone else on board was injured but I'm not sure who
was medivaced out of country.
The scout pilot was a Captain named
Both his co-pilot observer, Joe Douglas, and his
crew chief Bob Bunny were medivaced out of country.
There has been some misinformation
out there also about the loss of James Paul and Carl Wood.
They flew into a mountain side after going inadvertent
They crashed Northeast, not Northwest, of Khe Sahn. Just
across the river gorge from the east end of the Khe Sahn runway.
I was responsible for their body recoveries.
Even though Jim Paul was listed as missing, those of
us who participated in the body recoveries knew he was dead at the time.
All we had was his forearm but we new it was his because
his watch was still attached.
It appeared that the Cobra's engine had come to rest
on Jim's body. The rest of his body was completely burned in the wreckage.
Carl Wood's body was burned beyond recognition but he was still strapped
in his seat.
Most if not all of the ordinance on the Cobra had
cooked off. There wasn't much left of anything.
As far as
other information goes I'd be glad to offer whatever I can.
I've been writing a book the last three years and have
accumulated some info.
So I might be able to help, but most likely more about
C 3/17th than about D 3/5th.
Would you mind sharing what you know?
I'm trying to be as accurate as I can but without official
records I'm working mostly with my own recollection, letters, annuals,
photos, and what other Charlie Horse members can remember.
So far I appear to be being fairly accurate.
Hope this helps.
Charlie Horse 23
April 70- March 71
About the list of KIAs that were in question.
I'm pretty sure about two of them.
Gary Holian and Gail Strickland
were amoug those killed when an NVA rocket hit a D Troop
slick in mid-air.
As far as I know it happened August 12, 1971.
WO1 Larry Kelly was the AC, 1st.Lt.John Thompson
was the co-pilot,
Spc.5 Robert Nelson was the crew chief, Spc.4
Kelly the gunner.
I'm sure about the Huey's crew.
I also have listed Pvt. Larry McCoy, Sgt.
Wright as also killed.
The crew members should have been members of Charlie
(Aero Rifle Platoon, same same "Blues")
If that is true then there should have also been two
more of our ARPs on board who were also killed.
I know for sure that Larry
Kelly's Huey was shot down
and everyone on board was killed on that date.
I'm only realtively sure about the names of the ARPs
If anyone can clear up or provide
the names of all the ARPs on board I would greatly appreciate hearing from
The webmaster has made the appropriate changes in
the Memorial Roster.
C Troopers Checking In