JIM RAY CAVENDER
Chief Warrant Officer-3, Aviator
281st Assault Helicopter Company
From: Santa Paula, California
Born: December 28, 1948
Tour of duty began in October, 1969.
n November 4, 1969, WO1 Jim R. Cavender, pilot, WO Terry L. Alford, aircraft commander, SP4 John A. Ware, crew chief and SP4 James R. Klimo, door gunner, were flying a series of combat support missions in a UH1H helicopter (serial #67-19512) in South Vietnam.
The Crew was returning to their base at Nha Trang from Duc Lap at about 1920 hours when they made their last known radio contact with the 48th Aviation Company Operations at Ninh Hoa. Either the pilot or aircraft commander gave their approximate location as Duc My Pass, and stated that they were in the clouds and instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Shortly afterwards, the controller at Ninh Hoa heard a radio transmission that the aircraft was in trouble. The pilot reported, inexplicably, that the helicopter was flying upside down.
No evidence exists that the helicopter received ground fire. Search efforts were conducted for six consecutive days, but nothing was found.