YK-10 Shot Down on MEDEVAC Mission
YK-10 (BUNO 154018)

Armenio, Robert William, 1stLt. 
Sanders, Daunt Brunell, 1stLt. 
McDaniel, John Thomas, Cpl. 
Gibel, Raymond, GySgt. 
Gramlick, Michael F., LCpl.
Harris, John Henry, Cpl.
Hackworth, Charles Lehman, HM1
Barickman, Leon Ross, LCpl. 
Scharf, Ronald James, PFC 
DuCharm, Paul M.,PFC
Crew Chief

On the morning of 27 July 1969 1stLt. Schoener and his co-pilot 1stLt. Mathews, plus two gunners, a corpsman and a crew chief, departed Marble Mountain for the standby medevac mission at An Hoa.  Normally the medevac package was operated from Marble Mountain Air Facility.  However, when enemy activity increased around the area of An Hoa, the Arizona Territory and the Que Son Mountains, some of the medevac assets were stationed there to expedite the response time and subsequent transfer of wounded Marines to appropriate medical facilities.

Lt. Schoener's crew flew 3.5 hours on their shift which was described as "routine" even though several of their calls were for emergency evacuations.  Some time after 14:30 YK-10 with 1stLt. Robert W. Armenio and crew arrived to relieve Lt. Schoener's crew.  Lt. Armenio had taxied to the standby pad, shut the aircraft down and was preparing to transfer the corpsman and other medevac related gear from Lt. Schoener's helicopter to his when a call was received for another emergency evacuation.  The pick up zone was advertised to be secure and since the gear had not been transferred to YK-10, Lt. Schoener told Lt. Armenio that he would take this evacuation before returning to Marble Mountain.  Lt. Armenio simply said, "No Chic, we'll take it".  The transfer of medical related equipment and the corpsman was made in an expeditious manner.  Both helicopters lifted from An Hoa with Lt. Armenio headed for the coordinates of the emergency medevac and Lt. Schoener headed back to Marble Mountain.

The H&MS-16 Command Chronology states: "On 27 July 1969 at 1530 hours, 17 miles SW of Da Nang, Quang Nam Province, RVN.  Crew of YK-10 (bureau number 154018) of HMM-364 flying on an emergency medevac mission.  Upon departure from the pick-up zone the aircraft received intense small arms fire and automatic fire.  Aircraft impacted uncontrollably, exploded and burned.  Aircraft consumed by fire.  All crew and passengers were killed.  Eleven lives were lost."


Eye witnesses of the crash indicate it probably was due to both hydraulic boost systems being shot out which caused the aircraft to crash uncontrollably.  Colonel Schoener indicates that to this day he has a vivid memory of his last face to face meeting and conversation with Lt. Armenio.

Roger Birmingham, former LCpl. USMC was a Squad Leader with Lima Co. 3/7 and was present when YK-10 was shot down.   I hate to keep adding to these but I have some more eye witness information on Lt. Armenio's death.  My best friend, Roger Birmingham, was a LCpl. with Lima Co, 3/7 and they were there when we lost Lt. Armenio.  After several days of heavy fighting they found that the gooks had heavy caliber weapons and communication wire running from their shooting holes.  The army had been patrolling the area from the air and Fox Co 2/7 walked into a hornets nest.  They had 70-75 % casualties when they called for a medevac and that was Lt. Armenio.  He never had a chance.

James A. Brown recalls:
Let me start . It was the 27th of July 1969. I was  a Cpl. with third platoon , Lima Company, 3rd Ban 5th Marines . We were on Operation Durham Peak , high up it the mountains some where not far from An Hoa. It had been one hell of a day. LCpl. Leon Barickman was in my squad. I do not know why he was medevac. I do know he was not wounded it was some thing to do with his leg.

It was in the afternoon some time . I was sitting in a bomb crater , the CH-46 came in all most over my head and sat down about 200 feet from me. There was one POW that I remember and LCpl. Barickman. There was no firing going on at that time and then the chopper lifted off nose down and stated climbing then all hell broke loose. I was still sitting back on my pack and saw the chopper go in to his bank to the left. I did not know at that time the chopper crashed . I was to busy shouting at the people who were shouting at the chopper. Well the rest of the story, well we will leave it there.

I am going to my Viet Nam Company reunion the 20th of this month (June 2007) and will ask who else may have been on board. You know Frank I only knew Barickman on that 46 but, I mourn all the guys who were on board and lost their life that day, July 27,1969 that day of my life it with me till the day I die.

Well  my tour went on and two days later I was wounded and was evacuated by a CH-46.

Those were some brave Men on those CH-46s and they will always have my respect.

James A. Brown

Information provided by:
    HMM-364 Command Chronology
    Chic Schoener, Colonel USMC(Ret)
    Roger Birmingham, former LCpl. USMC
    Norman E. Dare, former Sgt. USMC
    Ken Davis, Commander USN (Ret)
    James A. Brown, former Cpl. USMC

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