73 Israelis Died in a Helicopter Accident


Intel Enabler
Verified SOF
Sep 9, 2006
To be clear, this happened a long time ago (1997)

1997 Israeli helicopter disaster - Wikipedia

two Israeli Air Force transport helicopters ferrying Israeli soldiers into Israel's security zone in southern Lebanon collided in mid-air, killing all 73 Israeli military personnel on board. The crash brought about widespread national mourning and is considered a leading factor in Israel's decision to withdraw from southern Lebanon in 2000.

Can you imagine losing 70 dudes from the same unit? :(

It's hard to see in this picture but I left one of my 160th pins at their memorial when I visited Israel this June.


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It's painful enough when you lose one - much less two. To lose that many would put a hole in your psyche.

Rest In Peace....
The way our guide explained it, the ensuing uproar from the parents of the fallen was the last major contributing factor to Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon a few years later.
RIP to them. I'm sure your gesture is appreciated.
Can you imagine losing 70 dudes from the same unit? :(

248 members of 3/502 on 12/12/1985
Gander Crash

I arrived at 1/502 a year afterwards (12/27/1986) and the memorials were still going strong.
in 1988 I was on staff duty when 2/502 lost 14 (plus three aircrew) to a pair of blackhawks colliding in training on Ft Campbell.

I was also on the ground for Extortion 17 and on the airfield for the controversial prayer that was discussed at the time. You can see some of my guys in the video that was circulating on the internet.

Air crashes suck.
We lost more than 100 helicopters (destroyed) and another 600 damaged (20% of those beyond repair) during the 4 weeks of Lam Son 719 in Mar-Apr 71. Lots of aircrews killed.

The Gander crash comes to mind as @compforce mentions…and I’d include the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut in ‘83 that decimated 1st Bn 8th Marines.
The Gander crash is a great example and I'm embarrassed to say I forgot about it.

Most of those folks were coming back from the Multinational Force and Observers mission in Egypt. I did that same mission as a lieutenant when I was in the 101st and we flew back through Gander. The crash was very much on our minds on the flight home.
I joined in 86, and I vividly remember the conspiracy theories surrounding the Gander crash. There were a lot of questions but I think they finally conluded it was ice on the wings or something to that effect. Very devastating to the Army and a lot of families.