RAMIREZ, ARMANDO Name: Armando Ramirez Rank/Branch: E5/US Army Unit: 155th Assault Helicopter Company, 10th Aviation Battalion, 17th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade Date of Birth: 01 February 1949 (Benson AZ) Home City of Record: Willcox AZ Date of Loss: 23 May 1969 Country of Loss: Cambodia Loss Coordinates: 122419N 106163E (YU693870) Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered Category: 2 Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1H Other Personnel in Incident: Crew of UH1H: Richard Menzel; Jerome Green (both survived); Santiago V.E. Quintana (died of injuries/wounds); 5th Special Forces Group team: Philip W. Strout; Howard S. Hill (both died of injuries/wounds); Arthur Dolph; Mark Schneider (both survived) Source: Compiled by Homecoming II Project 15 April 1990 from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. REMARKS: SYNOPSIS: SP5 Armando Ramirez was stationed at Ban Me Thuot in South Vietnam as a member of the 155th Assault Helicopter company. He was crew chief onboard a UH1H helicopter -- the Huey -- that performed a wide variety of duties in Vietnam. When the word "Huey" was mentioned, it always meant "move." On May 23, 1969, Ramirez' helicopter crew was called on to insert a 5th Special Forces team into Cambodia for a classified mission. The chopper was hit by ground fire and crashed near Highway 13 in Kracheh Province, some 75 miles into Cambodia. Ramirez was trapped beneath the wreckage. The rest of the crew and passengers were pinned down by continuous heavy enemy fire and could not reach the wreckage to help or extract Ramirez. Quintana, Strout and Hill were mortally wounded in the fire fight that ensued. A rescue team of Vietnamese commanded by an American was inserted a short distance away from the trapped men, and arrived at the site just before dusk. there was still gunfire heard, but the men were no longer under direct fire. It was decided to evacuate the surviving crew and team members and the bodies of the dead. The helicopter could not be moved to extract Ramirez' body without heavy equipment, so the men were forced to leave him behind. Two days later, a search and recovery team arrived at the site to find that not only was there no sign of Ramirez, but also that a road had been cleared and the chopper was gone. Ramirez is one of nearly 2500 Americans who did not return from Vietnam. All the survivors of the crash on May 23, 1969 were certain Ramirez was dead, and that his body had been taken by an enemy that would have little regard for who or what he was. There can be no question, however, that the enemy could tell us what happened to Armando Ramirez. The same is true for a very high percentage of the missing. Tragically, thousands of reports have been received that indicate Americans are still being captive in Southeast Asia. While Ramirez may not be one of them, the evidence suggests that hundreds of his comrades are alive, waiting for their country to free them. One can imagine that Ramirez would be there if he could, ready to help bring them to freedom.