HERNANDEZ, FRANK SANCHEZ

Name: Frank Sanchez Hernandez
Rank/Branch: E5/US Army
Unit: Company B, 158th Aviation Battalion, 160th Aviation Group, 101st
Airborne Division
Date of Birth: 02 December 1947 (Sangor CA)
Home City of Record: Fresno CA
Date of Loss: 06 May 1970
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 1647043N 1065043E (XD968382)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1H
Refno: 1612
Other Personnel in Incident: Richard C. Worthington (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.

REMARKS:

SYNOPSIS: On May 6, 1970, CW2 Richard C. Worthington, pilot; WO1 Robert L.
Kirk, co-pilot; SP4 William C. Weiss Jr., crew chief; and SP4 Frank S.
Hernandez, gunner; were the crew of a UH1H helicopter (serial #68-15663)
which was in a flight of several other helicopters laying a smoke screen on
a landing zone near enemy positions in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam.

During the mission this helicopter had a mid-air collision with another
helicopter and crashed. A survivor from the other helicopter stated that
Worthington's helicopter skid had struck the main rotor of his helicopter.
He indicated that he had not seen any hostile fire.

A search team was sent to the site on the same day (May 6) and found 2
bodies which were identified as the remains of WO Kirk and SP4 Weiss. There
were no signs of anyone having left the crash site area. It was believed
that there was no survivors of the crash.

(NOTE: the crew and occupants of the second helicopter apparently survived
the crash. While damage to a rotor blade generally means a subsequent crash,
the aircraft may have been flying at a low enough altitude to lessen the
impact.)

Hernandez and Worthington were classified Killed/Body Not Recovered. They
are listed with honor among the missing because their bodies remain on enemy
soil. Unlike most Americans missing in Southeast Asia, it is unlikely that
the cases of Hernandez and Worthington can be resolved by the return of
remains.

Since American involvement in Indochina ended in 1975, nearly 10,000 reports
relating to Americans still missing in Southeast Asia have been received by
the U.S. Government. Most authorities now believe that there are still
hundreds of these fighting men alive in communist prisons.

For the deaths of Hernandez and Worthington, as well as over 58,000 other
Americans to have an honorable meaning, the war must have an honorable end -
the return of all living Americans and the fullest possible accounting of
the missing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

01/2020

https://dpaa.secure.force.com/dpaaProfile?id=a0Jt0000000KZO8EAO

SGT FRANK SANCHEZ HERNANDEZ

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On May 6, 1970, a UH-1H Iroquois (tail number 68-15663, call sign "Smokey 2") with a crew of four was part of a flight two helicopters laying a smoke screen on a landing zone near enemy positions in Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. During the mission Smokey 2 suffered a mid-air collision with the other helicopter in the flight and crashed. Searchers at the crash site determined that no one could have survived the crash. They found the bodies of two of the crew members, but could not locate the other two.

Specialist 4 Frank Sanchez Hernandez, who joined the U.S. Army from California, served with Company B, 158th Aviation Battalion, 101st Airborne Division. He was the door gunner aboard the Iroquois when it crashed, and his remains were not recovered. After the incident, the Army promoted SP4 Hernandez to the rank of Sergeant (SGT). Today Sergeant Hernandez 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 Non-recoverable.

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.

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