My name is Kim Crumb. I was a SP-4 with Mortars FDC Echo Co. 1/327th at the time of the crash. We’d been flown from Eagle to Danang by Chinook. I should mention that on the trip south we flew out over the water at one point through a wide gap where a mountain ridge ran to the sea, dropped away, then picked up farther out. We could look up at the ridge top as we passed through. It was turbulent and a little unnerving.
There were three Chinooks waiting to fly us back to Camp Eagle. The day of the crash, a bunch of us from Echo Co. were supposed to load onto the #2 Chinook. I had eleven months In Country and another Short Timer and I had pretty vivid nightmares the prior night about our ride north crashing into the mountain ridge. We tried to get rides with Echo’s trucks, but they had already left. Because of the weather, the nightmares we shared with other Short Timers, and a few other things, we got spooked and a number of us refused to saddle up, finally disobeying a direct order, locking and loading on our cherrie CO. I think it was our XO who cooled things down by allowing us to go on the second sortie, which never happened. We thought that because of our refusal to board, the mission would be stopped until the weather cleared. Instead, the guys from Alpha loaded in our place. The three Chinooks lifted off into the weather and our assigned ride was the one which disappeared.
The weather was foggy on the ground and the ceiling was low enough that the Chinooks disappeared into the weather almost as soon as they lifted off. After word came down that ‘our ride’ hadn’t arrived, the rest of us were trucked back to the barracks. Our weapons were taken, we were paid, and turned loose for a couple days at Freedom Hill and Gunfighter Village to “cool off, “ while transportation was arraigned. We were finally flown north on Air Force C-130s. Back at Eagle, there was a memorial service a day or so after we the day we arrived. Soon after that the wreckage was found.
For over 40 years I’d had reoccurring nightmares about the crash, usually one or twice a week, no doubt helped along by what the counselors and VA shrinks call a case of survivor’s guilt. What finally stopped the nightmares was a series of Dream Therapy sessions offered last year at the local VA clinic.
Echo C0. 1/327th
Vietnam Jan-Dec ‘71