|Birth: ||Feb. 25, 1941|
|Death: ||Jan. 8, 1968|
Thua Thien-Hue, Vietnam
Capt Denver Dewey Colburn was the son of Denver Dewey Colburn and Lucille Adelle Patton. Captain Colburn's began his tour of duty in Vietnam on October 15, 1967. On January 8, 1968 his helicopter struck trees on a ridgeline in Thua Thien, South Vietnam and crashed on land.
The following information was sent by Findagrave Contributor Dave Mellon:
"Denny had enlisted service in the Corps prior to volunteering to attend OCS. He completed OCS with the 1st Platoon of Bravo Company. Upon commissioning, he proceeded directly to Pensacola for flight training and followed the rotary wing track. He arrived in Vietnam on October 15, 1967. A qualified UH-34 pilot (MOS 7561), Denny was assigned to HMM 362, MAG 36, 1st Marine Air Wing and flew out of Air Facility at Phu Bai. On January 8, 1968, two birds launched from Phu Bai for a night emergency medevac mission. Compounding the problem, it was raining and there was a low ceiling. Denny was scheduled as the co-pilot for the wing aircraft, but he switched with Captain Charles Bowers to get some flight time with Major Robert Cramer, pilot of the lead aircraft. Despite the inclement weather, Major Cramer and Denny were determined to extract the critically injured recon Marine. When they neared the objective area, they instructed their wing to orbit in a holding pattern above, while they attempted to land. The ceiling had dropped to less than 500 feet, so they directed the recon team to light flares in order to guide them in. For over an hour, they made low-level passes from different directions in order to identify the LZ and land, but cloud cover and the lack of continuous illumination thwarted each attempt. Determined to extract the casualty, they climbed to higher altitude and contacted Hue Approach Control and requested radar vector to the recon team. While descending, they broke out of the clouds approximately 1500 meters south of the evacuation site and simultaneously struck trees on a ridgeline causing the helicopter to crash and burst into flames (ZC 119969). Denny and the pilot, Major Cramer were killed. The crew chief, gunner and corpsman on board were severely burned. Additionally, the corpsman suffered a broken leg. The survivors and the bodies of Denny and the pilot were recovered the next morning on January 9, 1968. Denny died in Thua Thien Province approximately 19 kilometers east southeast of the Phu Bai Air Facility, where he was stationed. He was single. Major Cramer was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for this mission, which took his life and that of Denny."
Thank you Dave for the information.
Capt Colburn is listed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall on Panel 33E, Line 81.
Denver Dewey Colburn (1913 - 1987)
Lucille Adelle Patton Colburn (1912 - 1980)
CAPT HMM-362 MAC-36 1 MAR
Note: Member of the Ugly Angels, Marine Helicopter Squadron 362
Plot: Section A, Lot 39, Space 1
Created by: Red
Record added: May 30, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 70610817