Puneet Varma

1968 Kham Duc C 130 shootdown

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Passengers  149
Survivors  0
Date  12 May 1968
Operator  United States Air Force
Survivor  0
Crew  6
Registration  60-0297
Site  South Vietnam
Total fatalities  155 (all)
Passenger count  149
1968 Kham Duc C-130 shootdown httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Summary  Aircraft shot down by North Vietnamese Army
Aircraft type  Lockheed C-130B Hercules
Similar  Air France Flight 212, Pan Am Flight 217, El Al Flight 253 attack, Braniff Flight 352, South African Airways F

The 1968 Kham Duc C-130 shootdown was the loss of a United States Air Force Lockheed C-130B Hercules aircraft during the Battle of Kham Duc on May 12, 1968. All 155 people on board were killed. At the time, it was the deadliest aircraft crash in history.

The aircraft, commanded by Major Bernard L. Butcher, was participating in the evacuation of South Vietnamese civilians from the Kham Duc campsite. The C-130 approached the Kham Duc airstrip from the south and managed to land despite taking hits from opposing North Vietnamese forces. As soon as it landed, approximately 149 South Vietnamese rushed onto the aircraft. Once the aircraft was full, Major Butcher proceeded to take off in a northward direction, unaware that the North Vietnamese were concentrated in that area. According to eyewitness reports, the aircraft, under intense enemy mortar and small-arms fire, shook violently out of control, crashed into a nearby ravine less than a mile from the end of the airstrip, and burned, killing all of the South Vietnamese evacuees and the aircraft's crew of six.

With 155 fatalities, to date, the Kham Duc crash, along with the crash of a USAF Lockheed C-5 Galaxy aircraft seven years later, remain, jointly, the deadliest aviation accidents/incidents on Vietnamese soil.

References

1968 Kham Duc C-130 shootdown Wikipedia


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