Info About a 1977 Helicopter Crash - Page 19
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  1. #271
    Hi Rodger--

    Would you mind posting a link to your Remembrance Rug photos? The group would appreciate it.

    Joe Petito, H&S 3/4 Comm.

  2. #272
    Guest Free Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Providence County
    You have to belong to Facebook in order to see the group ?

    What kind of Group is it ?

  3. #273

    Was with Lima 3/9

    I was LCPL Jerry Holmes, 1st PLT, 1st Squad3/9 Lima. LCPLRaymond Anderson and I completed our overseas tour and was sent from Subic to Okinawa days before the crash. They came in and told us about the crash and many of our unit was killed in the crash. In that short time, I was only able to get bits and pieces of information and names of my fellow Marines who died. When leaving for home, I was taking amilitary passenger plane, which was broken down and I had to stay over at a hotel. We took off the next morning from Okinawa and landed in Japan, I looked out the window and we had emergency unites chasing us down the runway and smoke was coming out of an engine, we again broke down and had a layover. Taking the same plane, we took off and landed in Anchorage Alaska where the plane again broke down; I was told the plane had had brake issues. This layover, I decided to pay the extra price and have a few drinks. I thought about the hard training we all went through, the drinking and fun we had especially with Marines on this list. I also thought, maybe, I was supposed to have been on that chopper, with this plane braking down, is someone telling me something.

    Station on Camp Pendleton with 2/1 Fox, I came home to my apartment, were Staff Sargent Mc Farrell was waiting with my wife. He had searched Pendleton for me to ask if I would join super squad. That was when I received all the first hand details on the crash. Cutting an area out of the jungle just big enough to land and take the injured out of the crash site. An area for medical emergency surgeries atthe site, and attempting to identify Marines during the recovery, he could identify Suda. A Captain, he believed from India Co. received a fatal cut on cut bamboo and he bleed to death during the recovery. One thing we all were trained as Marines, if you go down, you can always count on Marines coming for you at any cost.

    One thing I realized being involved with different units, some units are specialized in different areas and toughness according to the harsh training they endure, 3/9 Lima was one of those special units. I think about my Marines buddies and the crash throughout my life, especially during the month of October.

    Not a smart move, but I shipped all my pictures by bus home and the bus company lost everything, I only have the pictures in my head to remember this part of my life.

    Simper Fi

  4. #274
    My thoughts and prayers are with all of us on this 40th anniversary.

    I finally got the Mishap report from the Navy. It's about 200 pages. Unfortunately, I've only read the first 10 pages. When I got to the page that discussed my brothers autopsy, I discovered his death was not as the officials had told my parents. You see, my parents were told Steve was burned beyond recognition and therefore, we had to have a closed casket service. This report states he was found alive, treated for his wounds, and probably died of shock. I'm sure you can imagine how devastating it was for me to learn this. I plan to finish reading the report soon.

    I'm trying to figure out the best way to make the report available to those here interested in reading it. It's about 200 pages. If you have suggestions, send me a PM.


    John Bowman, brother of LCPL Steven Bowman

  5. #275
    Marine Spouse Free Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    John sent you a private reply but not sure I replied to you or myself. Have trouble navigating this sight. So here it is...

    John[/QUOTE. John, yeah the 40 year mark seemed kind of surreal. I remember when it happened I kept thinking I will get old and I will remember him always as he was young. And here it is I am an almost 70 year old Sea hag and there is chuck as young as ever. But my love for him has never died that did not age. As far as the report I felt so bad for you and your family. I don't think people unles they have been through it understand the impact and mixture of emotions such information has on a person. I understand the drive and compelling force to find the truth only too well. There is a high price to be paid for it. I know. I took the path of zeroing in on the crash always assumed he was burned but never asked. i never regret the journey even if it was difficult because that was my duty to a person I loved. You and your family might see it that way in time to. Would like to hear more sometime. Love to you and your family on this day please don't feel bad about reaching out sooner. We are here now and that is what matters. Gloria

  6. #276
    There is a facebook Mindoro Island October 21st. 1977 your brother is mentioned and many others with information.

  7. #277

    Always There

    Today is Friday the 13th. To some it is just another day and others a day of bad luck and superstition. For me, it is the memory of the 13 of us that survived and the loss of our 24 brothers on October 21, 1977 on Mindoro Island.

    Couldn't sleep again! Easy to fall asleep but never able to get through the night. I was assigned to Lima 3/9 Weapons Platoon as a 0331 Machine Gunner. Arrived in Okinawa in November of 1976. As young Marines in a new place it was easy to start making friends and still have some of these same friends 40 plus years later.

    I want to thank everyone for their comments and support. I would very much like to obtain a copy of the investigation as I was never interviewed having been on board and survived. You would think an investigation would solicit information from those on board as well as those witnessing the incident on the ground.

    As I read through the threads I know some people are making comments that are not accurate. It may be they had read something about the incident and believe it to be true but are not. The story about a MasterSgt throwing Marines out as we tumbled down the mountain after impact is not true, at least not from where I was sitting which was right above the hellhole. There were also some of us who were not thrown from the helicopter but rode it down and managed to get out prior to the entire helicopter going up in flames. I can honestly say I think about this incident daily and still have a hard time believing it will be 41 years this October. I still remember the first Marines on the scene and being taken up the side of the mountain in a stretcher all strapped in and a sailor putting a cigarette in my mouth and lighting it. I was one of the 8 taken to Clark AFB and the other 5 survivors went to Subic Bay.

    I do have some picture of some of my Marine buddies in Lime 3/9. If you are interested, please let me know. Semper Fi DGFernald

  8. #278
    Sorry JP, I think I missed your note before. There isn't really a site as such. Someone setup a Facebook thing called Remembrance Rug and gave me the password, but my spare time is spent working on the RRug - not talking about it.

    It was last on display at PCC (in Portland, OR) for Memorial Day 2017.

    It's about 240 feet long now (almost as long as one half of The Wall). Plenty more still to add.

  9. #279
    Thank you, DF.

    I printed out your letter and added it to the binder with the rest of the Remembrance info for October 21, 1977. First hand stuff is the best.

    I would be happy to include any memories of the friendships you had with some of the 24 in that binder also. My name (no space) at Gmail works.

    I think the number of survivors of a crash is a normal trigger. Good to be able to understand what drives the logical, if involuntary, recollections and so can plan around them to some degree.

    The unique set of our experiences - and the memories of them - is what distinguishes one carbon unit from another. Anniversaries, Birthdays, special places, etc. - some days I know to just stay in (away from folks that can't [and shouldn't have to] relate) and work on the RRug.

    As for getting a copy of the investigation - that's what Congress people (or their staffs anyway) are for. It's their job to know where everything is - or to know who knows where it is. Senator staff are usually more helpful because they are not so constantly distracted with re-election every two years. Let being 1 of the 13 work for you. Start your letter to the Senator with "I am one of thirteen Marines who survived the helicopter crash on..."

  10. #280 husb was the pilot..Capt John Crapse..please get in touch

  11. #281 husb was the pilot..Capt John L Crapse

  12. #282
    I cannot tell if you are hoping to get in touch with someone that was there at the time of the crash - or me, who never knew Capt. Crapse, but simply included him in a memorial item.

    This site takes care not to publish user's contact information, but if you go to the Find-a-Grave site, they allow User's to show their email (when they so choose and I do). I posted a note on Capt. Crapse's page there a couple of years ago.

    Also, Capt. Crapse's page on Find-a-Grave has some information on the cause of the crash.

  13. #283
    I just found this do I access the pages mentioned?..It was so long ago I doubt anyone would know him..just curious about what was posted..

  14. #284
    Here is the link to the page I mentioned: (it is outside the leatherneck site)

    But the 19 pages of comments here were posted by many people in a situation similar to yours. If you have the time to start with page 1 and go through them you may find a few folks that you would like to specifically reply to.

  15. #285
    hi..just found this husband Capt John Crapse was one of the pilots

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