1967 Photo Contest, Spot News, 2nd prize

Hiromichi Mine

United Press International

03 August, 1967

A US twin-engine transport Caribou crashes after being hit by American artillery near Quang Ngai City, Vietnam. US artillery accidentally shot down the ammunition-laden plane, which crossed a firing zone while trying to land at the US Duc Pho Special Forces camp. All three crewmen died in the crash. Hiromichi Mine made this photo probably during the American military Operation Hood River, a search and destroy mission in the Quang Ngai Province, between 2 and 13 August 1967, conducted by the 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division. It shows a tragic scene of war casualty, caused by friendly fire. The plane was shot down, while it was trying to land at the Base Area 121, near Ha Thanh, about 15 kilometers west of Quang Ngai City and about 40 kilometers northwest of Duc Pho. Although a cease-fire order had been issued, this command was not received by the battery commander. Subsequently, the Caribou flew into the line of fire of a 155mm howitzer. The shell blew off its entire rear fuselage and tail section. The three crew members, Captain A.E. Hendrickson, Captain J.D. Wiley, and Technical Sergeant Z.A. Carter, died in the crash. Following the accident, the US Army and US Air Force tightened up their coordination procedures for air operations near artillery fire zones. The photograph was posted to every US Caribou briefing room in Vietnam, as a reminder that the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army were not the only problem for pilots in Vietnam.

About the photographer

Hiromichi Mine

Japanese photographer Hiromichi Mine was born on 12 October 1940 in, what was then, Mukden in Manchuria, and is now Shenyang, China. After graduating from Sophia University in To...

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