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InfoSheet/Comments - Andrew "Andy" John Elliott

Missing in Action 09 June 1970 - Later declared KIA-BNR

SP5 Dobry and SP4 McLaughlin were killed in the crash of Andy's LOH-6

Cmts: Billy Blackmon, John Thomas, Tom Fluharty, Galen Nelson, Jim Brothers, Dave Atkinson, Cary Bacon


Elliott Chief Warrant Officer, Second Class Elliott had been living in Oakland, CA when he entered the service and was a member of Troop D, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division.

On June 9, 1970, he was the pilot of a Hughes Light Observation Helicopter (OH-6A) enroute to a fire support base at Katum, South Vietnam. Bad weather caused him to crash. His remains were never recovered.

Helicopter OH-6A 68-17359

His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.

Billy Blackmon, Amarillo, Texas: 15 Feb 2001
I cleared them for takeoff that day. I was good friends with both McGloghlin and Dobry although I did not know Elliott. They were in J. C. Carnathan's Loach. I am in frequent touch with J. C. Carnathan and Eric Bretheren of the Centaurs.

John Thomas Jr: Centaur 17 - 25 Feb 2002
I was a pilot with Delta Troop 3/4 Cav in Chu Chi Vietnam. Andrew John Elliott and I flew many missions together. When I first met Andy, as I believe we called him, he was a Warrant Officer pilot assigned to the slick platoon. I was an old-timer as I had been in country for about six months and thought I was an ace pilot. I was a new aircraft commander and Elliott flew as my co-pilot on several missions. I really liked Elliott, he was a rather quiet spoken fellow with a sense of humor.

As Elliott was new to country, I as his aircraft commander would let him fly a whole lot. Sometimes I let him go a bit further than I should have, letting him take the ship into areas where I as the more experienced pilot should have been flying. At the time I believe I was the slick platoon leader and assigned missions for the troop. I always picked Andy to fly with me as we had become good friends, he was becoming a good pilot, and best of all he was cool as an ice cube in the heat of battle.

We flew a lot of Night Hawk missions together. This was a Huey with a huge search light and a mini gun mounted on the left side. We would fly around at night looking for bad guys with that search light and then try and shoot them with the mini gun. Once we were flying along a river near Tay Ninh, when we kept getting shot at with RPG rounds. We called in and asked for permission to return fire. Those fellows kept shooting at us all the while. Anyway after about 15 to 20 minutes we were given permission to return fire. Our gunners opened up with the mini gun and a fellow took off on a motorcycle going like 60. Our mini gun jammed and the fellow got plumb away, but we did get the motorcycle.

On another occasion Elliott and I were flying a Night Hawk mission in the same area when we spotted a fellow on a bike loaded with baskets. We thought that he was hauling supplies to the VC and we called in and requested permission to kill him. After about 30 minutes we hadn't heard any thing so we decided to land and capture the dude. We landed out there in the middle of the night and snatched that fellow and his bike. We checked out the baskets and all they contained was fish. We had bagged ourselves a fisherman. We pulled pitch and got out of that area quite quickly. We hadn't been in the air more than five minutes when we got a radio call giving us permission to shoot the fellow. Anyway Andy and I took that fellow to the main command post and turned him over to the brass. The brass was very shook up because we didn't have that fellow tied up and blindfolded. The poor old fellow was shaking like a leaf so one of the crew gave him a cigarette to smoke. Later it turned out that our captive was just a fisherman. I was glad we didn't shoot him.

Another time Andy and I almost bought the farm we were flying another Night Hawk mission and a storm blew in. We couldn't see anything. In flight school they taught us to turn off our beacon if we were in thick clouds because it would induce vertigo, which is a concept where one becomes very disoriented. Well, we didn't do that and we both became disoriented. We called in and got on radar and requested assistance getting back to Chu Chi. It took both of us to fly the helicopter back to the Chu Chi area. We only had about ten minutes of fuel left when we got a call to pick up wounded personnel from a fire support base about ten miles east of Chu Chi. Those wounded fellows were critical so we stopped, unloaded flares from out of our Night Hawk ship, loaded up two wounded troops and headed for the hospital at Chu Chi. On the way in we stopped at the POL and loaded up a little bit of fuel and proceeded on to the hospital. We were prepared to crash land that Huey but we made it work. All's well that ends well.

Shortly after that, I transferred to the light scouts. As the senior officer I became the platoon leader. About a month later Elliot transferred into the light scouts. I was giving Elliot a orientation ride on a hunter killer mission, when I spotted a fellow ducking into a hole. We called in the aerorifles and they began a search of the area. A firefight erupted, and one would have thought we were in the middle of a revolution. Anyway we charged into the middle of that mess an jumped a VC running like 60 away from the fight. My right door gunner tried to kill him but his machine gun jammed. That dude got away clean as a whistle. That is the last time that I recollect flying with Andy. Soon after that he got his own ship and we flew different missions.

We lost so many LOH's that the army only put one pilot and two enlisted men in them.

I am deeply saddened to hear about Andy. Andy was a great person, a good friend, a good pilot, and I will always
Tom Fluharty - 04 Oct 2002
Mr. Elliott, this is SP/4 Tom Fluharty. It was an honor to fly with such a good man and friend as you were. You kept me alive so I could come home. My wife of 32 years and my 2 sons and daughter thank you also. I've often thought of you a lot because you were one of the best friends I ever had. I came home in April of 1970 and left you alone there. For that I am so so sorry. But, man, we were the best hunter-killer team the 25th ever had ... me and you and Terry Dildy. We did kick some ass. Man, I do miss you so much. Goodbye for now, friend...

Galen R Nelson, Vulture 18 - 02 Jun 2006
Elliott's crew chief Sp5 Steve Dobry could have gone home when the Big Red One went home, but he extended to fly LOH's .. I had the honor to serve with Steve in the Big Red One. He was my crew chief on several birds but most of all on Night Hawks. Steve was the best crew chief a young WO1 could have had. He kept a tight, clean ship. He and I both went to the 25th when the Big Red One went home, I to fly slicks and Night Hawks, he to be a scout. Three days before Elliot flew into the ground I saw Steve at Tay Ninh refueling his Loch. I had scrounged a case of ammo for the Russian light machine gun he carried and gave it to him. Dobe was a good man, a good crew chief, the best minigun gunner I ever knew. Steve's sister Robin was 17 when Dobe died. She named her first-born son after him.

I have hated Elliott for 36 years for leaving Dobe to die. I know now that Elliott was probably dazed and confused and is probably resting not far from where he crashed. What the offical records don't say is that the first aid kit was missing, and as far as the bird burning I saw no evidence of that, Hell, I was there. Also the M16 was gone and Dobe had been pinned under the right skid. God Bless You, Dobe, we will meet again at Fiddler's Green ... and God bless all who died in that damm war.


Jim Brothers - Wednesday, March 20, 2002

I was, in the aero-rifle platoon, attached, to our helicopter unit. Mr. Elliott was one, of our loach pilots. He was lost, while we were, in Cambodia. I didnt, know him well, but remember him, as a very nice guy. Rest in peace, Mr. Elliott, you, are not forgotten. D, Troop, 3/4, Cav., 25th, Infantry Div., Centaurs.

Thank you, CWO., Elliott, for your ultimate, sacrifice. Rest well, brave soldier, for you, Sir, are not forgotten.


David Atkinson, SGT, Light Scouts - Friday, October 07, 2005 

I flew with him.
Andy Elliott, was my friend. I have grieved for him, for 30, odd years. He and two of my best friends, replaced me and my crew, on a mission, because of mechanical problem. they never returned. I was there, when we recovered the 2, gunners, but couldnt find Andy. He was the best.Ii feel like it should, have been me. I think of him and the other 2, everyday, of my life. I lost 3, good friends. I always thought, it was my fault, but I had no control. I am going to DC., this Nov., and will see my old friend.


Cary Bacon: Cobra pilot, Centaur 55: I would like to share some information on the events surrounding Andy's death. The official Record Synopsis has errors that need to be corrected.

Much of our Troop had relocated to Katum Special Forces (SF) Camp, on 09 June 1970. We were lying around waiting for the mission and I remember a runner came to me, and others, asking if we had heard from Andy Elliot, our answer was no. We all began awaiting word about OH-6A #68-17359 and CW3 Andrew John Elliott (Pilot), SP5 Steven Lewis Dobry, and SP4 Jerry Wayne McGlothlen.

RECORD SYNOPSIS: "The 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry provided ground reconnaissance for the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam. Troop D was its air cavalry troop, serving mostly with the divisions 25th Aviation Battalion. In 1970, after having seen combat in the Saigon area during the Tet offensive of 1968, the Division continued its primary operations around Cu Chi, South Vietnam, and in the spring of 1970 sent elements into Cambodia seeking North Vietnamese Army sanctuaries. W2 Andrew J. Elliot was a pilot assigned to Troop D, and on June 9, 1970 was assigned a flight to a fire support base at Katum South Vietnam. Aboard the OH6A "Loach" with Elliott were SP5 Stephen L. Dobry and SP4 Jerry W. McGlothen, passengers. When the aircraft was about half-way between Fire Support Base Santa Barbara and Katum, WO Elliott radioed that he could not see the road nor Katum. He was instructed by the command and control aircraft to go to Tay Ninh and shut down, that everyone would be called to Koropey as soon as the weather cleared. Elliott acknowledged and said, "I'm going to Tay Ninh at this time." This was the last communication with Elliott. After it was determined that WO Elliott's aircraft was missing, a full scale search effort was initiated and continued for 5 days.

On June 24, the wreckage was found and recovery teams inserted into the crash site at Loss Coordinates 114302N 1061546E (military grid coordinates XT376955). The bodies of Dobry and McGlothlen were recovered and positively identified. About 50 meters from the crash site, near the body of McGlothlen, a helmet and chest protector belonging to Elliott were found. It appeared that the body had been dragged to this position from the crash site. A search team remained on the ground 4 days, but were never able to find any trace of Elliott. He was listed Missing in Action."

We searched every day even after the search was called off. Every day we asked if there was any word. Then they found the aircraft crash site.

The rest of the story as I remember. The aircraft apparently made a precautionary and was attacked by enemy from a semi-circle of spider holes. Many hits occurred to the helicopter and was flown a distance away and crashed where a fire resulted. After making contact with the ground, Andy removed both bodies and they were placed a short distance away, hands and arms folded in reverent manner. Next to the bodies was Andy’s helmet and chest protector, both were badly burned from fire with the visor lens melted indicating Andy’s eyes were badly burned perhaps blinded from the injury. When Andy was found his decomposition indicated he had been unable to see and had walked and crawled from the aircraft. So his death was the result of direct contact with the enemy and it was not as a result of a non-hostile event, as reported. Additionally, both SP5 Steven Lewis Dobry and SP4 Jerry Wayne McGlothlen would not be passengers, they were crew, serving as crew chief gunner and as door gunner. Not to accord them the honor is a travesty.

Many of the flight crews may remember better than me, what was told to us about those events.