The following are misc. e-mails from survivors and family member of both survivors and those who perished as well as some who witnessed
this terrible accident.
I saw the tribute you gave to my brother Jim Zinser on your web site. Thank you. It means a lot to me to know that he is not forgotten. I am trying to get more information on his service time as a marine. I have never heard the "official" reason for the helicopter crash. Do you have any other information that you can share with me? I would like to gather information and put it in a book for my children so they can learn about their uncle Jim - even though they never met him.
Thank you for caring,
Lorie (Zinser) Walters
The following is an e-mail from one of the survivors that gives us times and grid coordinates for the crash.
Hello. My name is George S. Hagee, Cpl., USMC Ret. I was on the HMH 363 53A that crashed into the rice paddy 15 miles north of PoHang along with the rest of my platoon, Charlie 1/5, as well as our weapons platoon. Just for verification: Full External tanks, at 6:30 AM, 1st Platoon on Bird one, 2nd Platoon on Bird 2, Pick up was D+6 at dawn, 20 March 1989, to attack in the vicinity of GC 144932. 1/5 planned a helicopter assault by it's reserve company, C. Co., 1/5, from an LZ at GC 154926. Insert was changed to LZ 57 at GC 124951. I was radioman for 2ndLt. D. Bell. By direction of SSgt. Verdugo., Platoon. C1/5, I helped to relay change to the pilot as we flew. I did not know Sgt. Zinser all that well, although he and Sgt. Plank held me upside-down over a fire pit while we were in Yellowstone. Long story, but we all got free gear, boots, out of it. I have had post crash (and for that matter, post BAMC contact), with most of the survivors, but have lost contact with L.R.Brown. I was wondering if you could help me in any way. Happy thanksgiving to those who can no longer give thanks...GSH
Hello, I just wanted to thank you for your site. I never knew there was a memorial dedicated to the young men we lost in Korea that day. My son, David Garlick, is one of the survivors. I'd be more than happy for any of the families to contact me through email and give those emails to David, as he isn't online at this time. My email address is: email@example.com:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Again, thank you so much for the site,,,, Linda Zweck
I decided to search for my brothers name on google.com. Maybe because it is coming up on the anniversary of his death. This lead me to your website about the Ch-53 crash in Korea on March 20, 1989. My brother was the pilot on the helicopter and I miss him. I just wanted to say Thank you for taking the time to put this site together.
Found your HMH-363 website today when I was looking for some info. Great Site. I was the ordnance chief and an aircrewman of HMH-363 when we deployed to Pohang for Team Spirit. It is a day which will live in my memory forever. Capt McGreevy and 1st Lt Pimple were two of the finest men and officers I have ever had the opportunity to fly, serve with and know. For knowing them I feel extremely fortunate. It was very nice to see comments from Dave Garlic's mom and Chris McGreevy, Mike's brother. I would like to correspond with them if that is possible.
From a former Red Lion, Thank You for caring enough to immortalize the great Marines (including our brother corpsman) who died in defense of freedom. As long as we take the time to remember them in our hearts and minds they will live on forever.
Semper Fi, Todd Daubenspeck Sgt. First Class US Army - USMC 82-90
I was part of the crew of the other CH-53 . I was standing in the crew door as we descended into the LZ. The crew chief (Mike Cannell) was back at the ramp. The pilot and I watched the crash happen. I saw Dave Garlick run out of the back of the fuselage on fire, and fall to the ground. I see it now just as vivid as 14 yrs ago this week.
We took (if my memory is correct) seven patients out to the Belleau Wood. I was amazed to watch one corpsman attend to all of the victims. We tried to help as best we could, but I felt helpless.
I didn't know Lt. Pimple well, but McGreevy was popular with the troops. He was the kind of officer that took care of his enlisted Marines. He'd have a beer with us (and most of the time he paid) during the bosses nights at the e-club. Later, when all officers and staff NCOs were supposed to leave, he'd remove his nametag from his flight suit and continue to party and shoot pool. I have lots of memories like that about Mike, not just about beer,
but about his geniune concern for our welfare.
Sadly, after going through all of his recovery to fly again, Tim Sabel (the crew chief of the crashed aircraft) was later killed in a crash at HMX-1 in Virginia.
I've always wondered what happened to Mike's wife and family, and of course how Dave was doing. Please print my e-mail address for all who'd like to correspond: email@example.com . I would like to touch base with Mike and Dave's family.
Semper Fi, Jody Stahl
My name is Christine Marker. My brother is LCPL Andrew A. Hernandez. I wondered if you knew him or know anyone who does? Thank you so much for such a beautiful website. For years i have been trying to find a memorial website but i haven't been able to find one until now. I was very close to both of my brothers. Our older brother, Eddie, died in a motorcycle accident 5 years after Andrew's helicopter crash. My husband and I named our first born son after the both of them. Any information you could give me about my brother I would greatly appreciate. Thank you for your time and again Thank you for the website. Even though it's been 14 years, there is still an emptiness in my heart. I'm hoping to be able to (somewhat) heal. But i'm not counting on it.
Thanks agin for your time.
Hi my name is Bryan McDaniel my brother was LCpl Wilbur Scott McDaniel he was with the C Co 1/5 on operation Team Spirit in 1989 I was looking for some of my brothers friends from when he served Michael Procter and I cant remember the guys first name but his last name was Bender they both knew Scott and me and my mom found this site and was just trying to get in touch with them It has been a long time since then and I just wanted to say thanks for the site as long as we can remember them they are never gone thank you and GOD bless.
I want to thank you for your web page honoring the Marines who died in the helo crash at team spirit in 1989. I served in the Marine Corps from 1986-1992. My first duty station, after Paris Island and Infantry Training School at Geiger, was at Marine Barracks New London, Connecticut. There were four of us Pfc's checking in together. I immediately hit it off with one of the Pfc's and we became instant friends. His name was Mike Depew from Red Lion, Pa. We became best friends and even went on leave to each others homes a few times. His father was a former Marine who served in Vietnam. His mother was an extremely kind woman and he had a younger brother and sister who reminded me of my own. After one year at the barracks we got word that they were closing a bunch of the barracks on the East coast and consolidating at Norfolk, Virginia and would be calling it F.A.S.T. Company. Once again Depew and I went to the same duty station. He was put in another platoon than I was, but since we were best friends I saw lots of him and we always found time to hang out at the e-club on base. After about a year at F.A.S.T. Co. orders were cut for about 100 Marines at the barracks who had the 03 MOS. Depew and I (both 0311's) were on the list. The list showed that we both would be reporting to the 1st BN 5th Marines. It showed that we would have 30 days to check in. I don't know if it's that way any more but back then you always had leave available when you were doing a PCS move. So I headed to my home here in Tennessee and Depew headed to Pa. He called me about 2 weeks later and said he was going to go ahead and check in early and would call me and let me know what it was like. (We were both kind of apprehensive about this because even though we were 0311's this was to be our first time in the fleet). As promised he called me and told me it was good and all the Marines seemed to be pretty squared away. He told me that when he checked in they had assigned him to Charlie Co. so when I checked in to try and get in Charlie Co. I told him OK, and about 2 weeks later I myself was at 1/5 Headquarters checking in. I practically begged them to put me in Charlie Co. They wouldn't do it because Charlie Co. had about 3 more Corporals than they were billeted for and I was a corporal so there was no way. So I ended up in Bravo Co. 1/5. I checked in, found my squadbay, unloaded my crap and went and found Depew to see what he was up to. Not only did I get to know all the Marines in Bravo Co. but got to know a lot of them in Charlie Co. by hanging out with Depew. Right before we left to go overseas they gave us all a chance to go home on leave. It was near the holidays and since we were going to be gone for 6 months a lot of people took them up on it. I ran into Depew a few days later and he was in the dumps about not having the $200 for a plane ticket home to Pa. He also said his family was kind of on hard times and didn't have it to loan him and they were all upset about his not coming home for the Holidays. I didn't have it either but I picked up the phone and called my Father (a former Marine 1957-60) and asked him to loan Depew the money. Depew got his plane ticket and went home to visit his family. Nobody knew this was to be the last time they would see each other. We reported back to 1/5 from leave and headed overseas. We started "Team Spirit" in March. Since we were in different companies when we were in the field we didn't cross paths much. However, late one evening Bravo Co. (I was 2nd squad leader in 1st platoon) was crossing a foot bridge that was about 20 feet over a dry creek bed. There were Marines down in that creek bed but since we were moving and they were completely cammied up it was hard to tell who anybody was. I heard someone yell "Sliger" down in the creek bed and when I looked it was Depew and he gave me the thumbs up sign and shouted "Get Some". He was killed the very next morning in the helo. It went down about half a mile from us. I didn't see it but I did hear it and saw the giant black cloud of smoke billowing toward the sky. I was sick for all the Marines but was privately praying that Depew wasn't on it. They came across our radios and said "Helo down, cease all radio transmissions......emergency use only". I found out late that evening that Depew was on that helo. I'm not ashamed to say that I (and most Marines there) cried. I cried for him and his family. I cried once again in that cold rain at Camp Muchuck at the memorial service. I since have talked to his parents several times and have written them several times. It sometimes feels like the whole world has forgotten those Marines. That is why it was such a pleasant surprise to find your web site and dedication. I will never forget Mike or those other Marines and the price they paid for all of us. I have a study in my house that is basically my "Marine room" . You know, promotion certificates, letters of commendation, platoon pictures, etc. I want you to know that dead center on my wall is a 5x7 of me and Mike while we were at New London. I also have a picture of the memorial service that I took at Muchuck. I married in 1990 and now have two daughters (aged 13 and 8). They both know about Mike and the other Marines and their sacrifices. Tomorrow (Veterans Day) I have been asked to come and be the guest speaker at my daughter's junior high school. I have about a ten minute speech to give and part of it is about the ultimate sacrifices that Marines make for their country. I am going to tell them about Mike Depew and those other Marines. Mike was the best friend I've ever had and I have an empty feeling in my heart when I think of him. Civilians will never understand the bond that Marines have with each other. If I live to be 100 I will never forget Mike and those other Marines and will tell anyone who'll listen about them. In August 1990 (I was by then a Sgt) Bravo 1/5 was sent to Saudi Arabia and eventually assigned to Task Force Ripper. The following Feb. we went into Kuwait. (I know you know all this since you were there). I'm sad that Depew missed that for he was a Marine's Marine and would have enjoyed the hell out of it. I'm planning a trip for next year to visit his parents and see his grave for the first time. When I'm there I'm going to leave my combat action ribbon on his grave. I want him to have it. I (like you) miss my friends.
Semper Fi, Joe Sliger
Earlier tonight I came across your web site and its tribute to Jim Zinser. I was Jim's platoon commander when we served together in "Echo" 2/7's Weapons Platoon in 1983-1984. Whether in garrison or in the field, Jim was a pleasure to be around. He was a fine young man and a superb Marine. It was my great privilege to serve with him. I started my Marine career as an 0331 with "Lima" 3/7 in 1975, so after being commissioned it was an honor to return to duty with the "Magnificent 7th" and such dedicated, skilled, and highly reliable infantryman as Jim. I have no doubt that Sergeant Zinser was a conspicuous, integral, and valued member of the "Fighting Fifth," and I join you in paying tribute to a fallen Marine brother the likes of whom have long made our small Corps great.
Semper Fi, Marine.
Major, USMC (Retired)
I’m not really sure what prompted me to do a web search today for this particular subject, but when I found your page on the crash I just had to drop you a line.
I was stationed at MCAS Futenma on Okinawa during Team Spirit ’89. I happened to be selected to participate and found myself enjoying a first wet, then cold Korean spring. Around the 2nd week of March, I was needed onboard the Belleau Wood as my maintenance skills were necessary to train another individual in the shop of which I worked, as they did not have anyone on board capable of the repairs necessary. I spent a week or so on board and was supposed to fly back to my unit on a helo hop from the ship, the 53A from HMH-363 that crashed I recall that we were supposed to be picking up a “grunt” unit and dropping them at an LZ before the bird went back to PoHang. I was never manifested on the flight because it was considered a drop off for maintenance personnel I guess. That was how I got to the ship in the first place.
For some reason, I overslept that morning and missed the bird.
When I woke up, I shouted an expletive loud enough to wake my bunk mate and grabbed my gear and rushed to the flight deck, hoping I wasn’t going to get in trouble for missing a movement. As I was running up the long ramp from the hangar deck to the flight deck (all non-skid as I remember), I heard over the 1MC “Clear the flight deck for survivors.” I kept heading for the ready room because I still had to report in, and ended up being a litter bearer for the guys who made it.
I went back to the shop I was working in and ended up staying there an extra 3 days because all the flights were grounded. My unit was never notified that I never made the flight and they were expecting me to return that morning. When they all heard about the crash, nobody knew where I was and thought the worst.
Ironically, my wife had a dream that night and said that I came to her, put my hand on her leg and said “I’m alright”. She also said the front door was open, the dog was barking, and she heard my voice tell her to be quiet before I came to her bed. She was spooked and couldn’t go back to sleep. She worked for the local newspaper at the time doing early morning deliveries, so she went in earlier than usual. While she was there, the report of the crash came in across the teletype. Not knowing much else, she contacted my CO from Camp Pendleton and asked him to check up on me. Later that day, he responded to her saying “we don’t know where he is”.
When the flight restrictions were lifted, I caught a hop back to the airfield at PoHang and just strolled through the door of the shop like nothing had happened. Everybody was looking at me wide-eyed and with open mouths. That was when I found out they had not been contacted by the ship either. The first thing my NCOIC told me was to go call home.
I went to the memorial service at the airfield a few days later, and I think I still have one of those printed programs you show on the page. I’m not so sure I ever felt what is called “survivors guilt”, but I know I felt something. Everybody that I or my wife tells the story to agree that there’s a reason I overslept that day.
After 17 years, I still remember that morning like it was yesterday.
Hi to Mike Cannel, Jody Stahl.
I flew with Capt. McGreavy and Lt. Pimple when I was in HMT204 and I met the other guys in Cal. (Cannel, Stahl and Ross, Sabel, etc. I remember all the Marines I worked with and still think about them and am proud to have served with them) and became friends and worked together, I had and have respect for them.
As for Chris McGreavy’s questions, I was confident with both pilots flight capabilities even though I flew with them only 2 months on flight orders as air crew in HMH363. I’d flown with them in HMT204 as an observer. I was Plane Captain for 2½ years. I also knew Leut. Abner in HMT204.
I want to tell Chris about only 6 seconds of March 20. On that day when we came up through the valley we flew past LZ Osprey and they said from the ground that we overflew the LZ. Lt. Pimple said “coming right” and then Sgt. Sabel said “clear”, I was in the back by the ramp and couldn’t see. We banked to about 40 degrees, I went to the window and looked up through the blades and saw the hill to our right and about the same time, I think Lt. Pimple saw it and thought we didn’t have enough room to complete our turn. He turned the plane harder and banked it more and we went into rotor stall. At that point Capt. McGreavey said “ I have the controls”, took over the controls, popped the auxiliary fuel tanks, and from 300 ft. to 0 he almost straightened the plane back out so that we only caught the landing gear and the tail. At that point there was an 8 ft. bank in front of us that we could not get away from. At that point the plane went tumbling and it was a total wreck, we hit the hill head on. Chris’ brother almost saved the flight, and when I point the finger of blame at anyone, I point it at myself because as an air crew my job is to protect the plane, crew and passengers/cargo. Your brother did his best, I hold no grudges against either of the pilots.
To any that want or need to talk to me, my home phone number is 724-626-0316.
Semper Fi to my fellow Marines, maybe I’ll see you out there somewhere in the world…David W. Garlick
P.S. Cannel, you have to let me know about Camel Toe.
My name is Darin Ferguson AKA Sgt Jay D Ferguson. I was a member of Fox Co 2nd platoon from 1986 until leaving for recruiters school at MCRD San diego in Sept of 1989. I was TAD to 5th Regiment headqaurters as the "Legal Clerk" under Col. Roth, and typed up all the orders to transfer Jim, Alafonzo, and several others from 2/5 to 1/5. I will never forget Jim asking me as a friend if I thought it was a good idea for him to get his last deployment out of the way so he could get transfered out of the 5th Regiment. I wish I had given him a different answer. I came into work on monday morning and the phones were ringing off the hook. Dependents asking if I knew anything about the crash. What Crash?? Then the message came out the printer along with " The List" . It was a very bad day. Col . Roth came in shortly thereafter and instructed us how to Not answer any questions over the phone. That was really tough with moms and wifes not taking " I don't know " for an answer. The next day I was asked to fly to Ft Sam Houston's burn center with the Col. I was in charge of the big card everyone signed. Your website answered a question I have been afraid to ask until rescently. Did Sam Pesuti live? Thank you so much for the answer.
Semper Fi , Darin
Thanks for putting up that memorial page. I knew a lot of the Marines that were killed in the crach. I eased out od 1/5 in Aug 1987. 1st lt Wooten was my platoon commander. I think I had a few beers with Jim Zinser also, but I am not sure.
Semper Fi Marine.
Cpl. Greg Everett
B Co 1/5 Wpns Plt 1986-1987
I just wanted to write real quick and thank you for the memorial page for the "C" 1/5 Marines who were killed near Pohang in 1989.
I was originally stationed at the Marine Barracks in RAF St. Mawgan, U.K. There I served with LCpl. Stillwell and LCpl. Anglin, along with a number of other Marines that eventually got sent to 1/5. When I got word back at Pendleton that there was a helo crash that had killed a number of Marines from "C" 1/5, I felt like I got hit in the gut. I had friends on both the helo that crashed, as well as the one that first responded to the accident.
I remember having many long conversations with LCpl. Anglin about faith and belief, and I remember him being a person imbued with an inherent sense of goodness. I knew LCpl. Silha only briefly when I got sent to "L" 3/5. Silha had transferred to 1/5 to get his second Okinawa rotation out of the way before his EAS. But I remember hearing from everyone else who had served with Silha say that he was a good Marine and a good person who had a lot to look forward to.
A couple months after the accident, I saw Stilwell at the Margarita chow hall and I barely recognized him through the scar tissue from his burns and the bandages. I never saw or heard from him again, but I hope he is doing well.
I just saw your site for the first time... very nice. I googled my OIC's name... Mike Mcgreevy. He was the pilot of the helo in Pohang. I believe that Pimple actually had the controls at the time of the accident however, Mike was the HAC. I was the S-2 Chief of 363. Mike and I were very close and he was the S-2 Officer. I'm very sorry for your friend(s) and think of them and Mike often. This is one of the times that I think the computer and internet is a good thing.
Bret L. Henry, Former SSgt, U. S. Marine Corps
To Whom it May Concern,
Thank you for dedicating this web-site for my fellow brothers from "C" Company 1/5. I was the "C" Company's Bn Radio Operator during this period "Team Spirit 1989." I will never forget this tragedy. I personally didn't know the Marines other than being attached to the Company during training exercises. I spent most of my time with H. Skidmore, Capt. at the time. However, through past times, I can recall the names of the Marines who were lost. I currently live in Oregon and I will go to Wilamette National Cemetery in Portland and give my respects.
Semper Fi, Clifford Simmons, SGT (1988-1993)
My name is Todd Bernhardt Cpl USMC ret. I was there that day seems so long ago now. My memories are pretty hazy bits and pieces mostly. But I hit my head really hard. I lost touch with everybody who made it after I left san antonio. Talked to woody a few years ago but thats about it. I guess I was the only one who was able to go back to full duty after the crash. Went to Lejeune and 2nd marines after texas to deploy to kuwait. Stayed with 2/2 until I got out in early 92. Strange to look back after all these years. Sometimes it seems so long ago and sometimes it feels like just yesterday. Just figured I would see who was still out there. TAB
Hello My name is Annette Fobbs, I was the radio operator in the TACC bubble who took the message regarding the crash. I must say I have never forgotten that day. I still think of to them sometimes, my roommate was actually dating one of the guys a the time and we had a huge BBQ before our units deployed for Korea. They were funny guys, they teased me about being so tall, my roommate’s boyfriend didn’t reach my shoulder. We never really exchanged names, we just called each other Marine. Somehow we knew who the other was talking to. Although I was affected by what happened, it hurt even more when I found out who they really were. It seem impossible to some, not to know someone’s name you have been hanging out with for months. Funny, we all take it for granted that well see that person again in the fleet.
This was my first operation out of boot camp and school. It was the second crash of the day, 5 marines were lost in the first off the coast of Hawaii, my friend LCPL. Williams took that message. We did not take this message seriously at first, we thought it was part of the operation. Then they starting sending names of the victims, I was in shock, the Colonel snatched the receiver out of my hands. The entire room went crazy, I was so confused about what was going on. I knew it was not proper procedure to give names over the radio during an operation. That was when I knew it was real. I did all I could not to cry while taking the names, I think that is when everyone knew something was terribly wrong. The ships radio operator never said it was a “real world situation”, radio silence was not imposed as it should have been, while the message was being sent. They simply said they had a message. It was a very sobering experience and I tell this story to anyone I meet. We go on with our lives, but we must remember those who actually gave the ultimate sacrifice during peace time too.
I am amazed that this website exist, I just typed in a few words and it popped up. It is comforting to know other people remember and honor the men that died that day, I never knew there were any survivors. I will never forget them.
Annette E. Fobbs
Former Marine Sergeant
I would like to tell of my 2 friends who have gone on ahead of me to a better place. Sergeant Tim Sable, died HMX-1 Virginia 992 and Staff Sergeant James R. Andrews, died HMH-363 California coming back from Barstow Daggot 1990. James had awoke in the rear of a CH-53D helo ,my plane, as he stood and unbuckled his gunners belt the tail broke off and he was ejected out the rear where he landed head first in to a rock. He died shortly after. Tim was in the line shack at HMX-1 when a Lt. Col., pilot type, asked for volunteers for a simple test flight, so Tim went. As the H-60 Sea Hawk flow over the tree line at the end of the runway it flipped upside down and crashed. My mentor, the man who taught me to be a great Crew Chief died. What’s funny about it in a very dark way is that he was the Crew Chief on A/C 662 in Pohang Korea, 1989, and survived! I write to you because I was training as a 1st. Mech on 662 for two months and the night before the crash I was changed to another bird. I argued to stay on 662, but they said no. I miss my brothers very, very much and hope to see them again some day. I WILL NEVER EVER FORGET YOU BROS, MY CHIDREN WILL TELL THERE CHILDREN AND SO ON, THERE IS NO LOVE STRONGER THEN THE LOVE BETWEEN BROTHERS IN ARMS (U.S.M.C.).
Thank You Scanner
As a member of H&S Company 1/5, in March of 1989, I wanted to share a story. I was Charlie Co. 1/5's corpsman, heading into KITP/Team Spirit 1989. my Chief Corpsman changed the assignments and HN Jimmie Fejeran was sent on this exercise, and ultimately lost his life. To all the Marines and Corpsman who worked that day Semper Fi...
Doug Long PA-C, former HM3, USN