John Norman Huntley

John Norman Huntley

Rank/Branch: E3/US Army
Unit: 57th Aviation Company, 17th Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade
Date of Birth: 01 March 1951 (Spencer MA)
Home City of Record: Portland ME
Date of Loss: 27 September 1969
Country of Loss: Laos
Loss Coordinates: 144351N 1073316E (YB458318)
Status (in 1973): Killed/Body Not Recovered
Category: 2
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: UH1H
Refno: 1493
Other Personnel in Incident: (none missing)

Source: Compiled from one or more of the following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Updated by the P.O.W. NETWORK in 2020.


SYNOPSIS: PFC John N. Huntley was the door gunner aboard a UH1H helicopter from the 57th Aviation Company, 17th Aviation Group on an extraction mission in Laos. The helicopter was to extract a Special Forces Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) in Attopeu Province.

As the helicopter was lifting from the extraction zone with four men attached by McGuire rigs, they were receiving heavy volumes of enemy fire.  When the helicopter reached an altitude of 400 feet, gunfire hit the engine and the helicopter began falling. The pilots were able to slow the descent somewhat by autorotation, but survivors of the incident reported that after the helicopter was hit, it bounced, twisted and came to rest burning on its right side.

The crew members lost consciousness and regain consciousness just as the pilot and copilot were dragging the apparently lifeless body of Huntley from beneath the helicopter. While they were doing this, they were knocked down by the explosion of the helicopter and had to stop their attempts to rescue the door gunner.

Because of intense enemy activity, no further attempts were made to recover Huntley, and it was assumed that his body was consumed by the blazing aircraft. He was listed as Killed, Body not Recovered, with a strong probability that the enemy knows his fate.