Friendly Fire

 

Friendly Fire
This haunting photograph, which graced every Caribou briefing room, was a grim reminder that the Viet Cong and the NVA were not the only problem for pilots in Vietnam.  This incident occurred in August of 1967 when the Caribou (tail number 62-4161) flew into the line of fire of a 155mm howitzer.  This was early in the transition of the Caribou from the Army to the Air Force and highlighted the need for far better coordination amongst the services.

This photo is from book of photographs by combat photographers called Requiem.  The photo credit is as follows:
HIROMICHI MINE
Ha Phan (sic), Vietnam, 1967
A U.S. twin-engine transport Caribou crashes after being hit by American artillery near Duc Pho on August 3, 1967.  U.S. artillery accidentally shot down the ammunition-laden plane, which crossed a firing zone while trying to land at the U.S. Special Forces camp.  All three crewman died in the crash.

This is the version of the photo that was posted in the Caribou briefing rooms.  Many thanks to Tom Adams for the loan of an original copy for scanning.  By matching up the date of the incident with those in the Honor Roll, it can be surmised that this was aircraft number 62-4161 from the 459th.

 

Revised:
30 Apr 2000 09:25 PM