Name: Robert Earl Jenne   
Rank/Branch: Specialist/US Army 
Unit: 281st Aviation Company, 
10th Aviation Battalion 
17th Aviation Group, 
1st Aviation Brigade 

Date of Birth: 07 January 1948 
Home of Record: Salt Lake City, UT
Date of Loss: 08 May 1968 
Country of Loss: South Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 155517N 1073857E (YC836619) 
Click coordinates to view maps

Staus in 1973: Killed/Body Not Recovered 
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1 "Iroquois" 
Other Personnel In Incident: James L. Dayton; George T. Condrey and Daniel E. Jurecko (missing) 


SYNOPSIS:  The Bell UH1 Iroquois helicopter was much better known by its nickname "Huey." All branches of the service flew this rugged and versatile aircraft, and in fact, flew it in nearly every in-country mission during the war. Its uses included Medevac, Search and Recovery, Psyops, Air Assault, Combat Support, Supply, Reconnaissance, Troop Carrier and Gunship. In its capacity as a gunship, it was known as "hog"; and as a troop carrier, it was known as a "slick."

Kham Duc Special Forces camp (A-105), was located on the western fringes of Quang Tin Province, South Vietnam. In the spring of 1968, it was the only remaining border camp in Military Region I, and was located 46 miles southwest of DaNang, on a narrow grassy plain surrounded by rugged, virtually uninhabited jungle. The camp and airstrip were bordered by the Ngok Peng Bum ridge to the west and Ngok Pe Xar Mountain, looming over Kham Duc to the east. Steep banked streams full of rapids and waterfalls cut through this tropical wilderness.

In late March and April 1968, US intelligence picked up information that the 2nd NVA Regiment, well over 10,000 men strong, was moving from North Vietnam, through Laos, and intended to enter South Vietnam somewhere south of Kham Duc, on its way to the DaNang area. At the same time other NVA Regiments were infiltrating into northern South Vietnam along other primary roads north of Highway 14, which was being used by the 2nd NVA Regiment.

On 8 May 1968, W1 James L. Dayton, aircraft commander; CW2 George T. Condrey III, pilot; Spec. Daniel E. Jurecko, crewchief; and Spec. Robert E. Jenne, door gunner; comprised the crew of a UH1C gunship in a flight of aircraft conducting a combat support mission against the NVA troops moving through the rugged jungle covered mountains. As the helicopter completed a turn from the east to the west members of other aircraft saw it explode in midair and plunge in flames into the bank of the Vuong River. The other flight members believed the violent midair explosion was the result of the Huey taking a direct hit from an explosive projectile.

The crash site was located just south of a primary east/west road running from the South Vietnamese/Lao border eastward nearly to the coast. There was a major road junction roughly 1 mile west of the crash site, which was also approximately 14 miles west of the South Vietnamese/Lao border, 27 miles north of Kham Duc and 38 miles west-southwest of DaNang, Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam.

Shortly after the incident, search and recovery (SAR) personnel were airlifted into the vicinity of the crashsite, but due to enemy activity in the area, were only able to examine the wreckage from a distance. During their cursory examination, they found no signs of life in or around the crashsite. Four days later, on 12 May, a ground reconnaissance patrol from the 5th Special Forces Group was able to enter the crash site. They located the remains of the aircrew. Two of the charred bodies were found in the wreckage, the third along side of it and forth was 2 meters forward of the aircraft. All bodies were burned beyond recognition. Due to continued heavy enemy activity in the area and the badly deteriorated state of the remains, none of the bodies were recovered at that time. At the time the search was terminated, Robert Jenne, James Dayton, George Condrey and Daniel Jurecko were immediately listed Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered.

While there is no doubt W1 Dayton, CW2 Condrey, Spec. Jenne and Spec. Jurecko died in the loss of their Huey, each man has a right to have his remains returned to his family, friends and country. Further, under the circumstances of loss, there is no doubt the Vietnamese could return their remains any time they had the desire to do so. For other Americans who remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, their fate could be quite different.

Since the end of the Vietnam War well over 21,000 reports of American prisoners, missing and otherwise unaccounted for have been received by our government. Many of these reports document LIVE America Prisoners of War remaining captive throughout Southeast Asia TODAY.

Pilots and aircrews in Vietnam were called upon to fly in many dangerous circumstances, and they were prepared to be wounded, killed or captured. It probably never occurred to them that they could be abandoned by the country they so proudly served.