Name: John Henry Ralph Brooks
Rank/Branch: E4/US Army
Unit: 129th Aviation Company, 268th Aviation Battalion, 17th Aviation Group
Date of Birth: 08 April 1949 (Lewiston ME)
Home City of Record: Bryant Pond ME
Date of Loss: 13 May 1969
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 135615N 1084752E (BR621418)
Status (in 1973): Missing In Action
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1H
Refno: 1440
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)


Source: Compiled from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S.
Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families,
published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK in 2020.

SYNOPSIS: On May 13, 1969, SP4 John H.R. Brooks was the crew chief aboard
one of three helicopters assigned the task of inserting Republic of Korea
soldiers into Binh Dinh Province, South Vietnam.

While approaching the landing zone (LZ), the three aircraft came under enemy
fire, and during the insertion, SP4 Brooks' aircraft was hit, spun in the
air and crashed.

Three of the 9 Koreans aboard the aircraft survived, evaded capture and were
able to link up with Korean and American units the next day. One evadee
reported that one Korean was killed in the helicopter and the American who
was firing the machine gun on the left side of the helicopter was also
killed. After the helicopter crashed, he saw the same American pinned under
the helicopter. (This should be the door gunner.)

The next day the bodies of all the other American crewmen except Brooks were
found. Equipment thought to belong to Brooks was discovered near the burned
helicopter. There was no sign of Brooks.

Members of the crash site team agreed that while at the crash site a Korean
soldier who had been in the helicopter reported that he had seen one
American and two Koreans running down the hill from the crash site. No U.S.
bodies were found down the hill; all of them were found at the top of the
hill where the crash occurred.

Crew members of the other aircraft reported seeing what they felt was SP4
Brooks exit the aircraft after it crashed and burned, yet there was now no
sign of him.

It is clear that the possibility exists that Brooks was captured. He is one
of nearly 2500 Americans who remain prisoner, missing or unaccounted for
from American involvement in Indochina.

Since the war ended, thousands of reports have been received by the U.S.
Government regarding Americans missing in Southeast Asia. Many authorities
now believe that there are hundreds of them still alive, held against their
will. One of them could be John Brooks. What are we doing to bring these men



Return to Service Member Profiles

On May 13, 1969, a UH-1H Iroquois (serial number 67-17399) was one of three helicopters carrying American and South Korean forces on a combat mission in South Vietnam. The operation was conducted under the control of the 1st Regiment, Capital Division, South Korean Army. While approaching the landing zone, this Iroquois came under fire and crashed into a mountain ridgeline. Subsequent investigations of the site of the crash found the remains of three crew members. The other occupants of the helicopter could not be accounted for.

Staff Sergeant John Henry Ralph Brooks, who joined the U.S. Army in Maine, was a member of 129th Aviation Company, 268th Aviation Battalion, 17th Aviation Group. He was the crew chief aboard this Iroquois when it crashed, and he could not be located afterwards. Conflicting witness reports indicated that SSG Brooks was either killed when the helicopter was hit, or he survived the crash but was killed in the ensuing fight. He remains unaccounted for. Today, Staff Sergeant Brooks is memorialized on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. 

Based on all information available, DPAA assessed the individual's case to be in the analytical category of Active Pursuit.

If you are a family member of this serviceman, DPAA can provide you with additional information and analysis of your case. Please contact your casualty office representative.

Service member profile discrepancy? Please help us ensure the accuracy of each profile by submitting documentation about a service member profile.