The recon team was investigating rumors of enemy troop build up within the region.
The helicopter, with Chase co-piloting, was flying in a standard fire team formation with his smaller helicopter tailing a larger Frog gun ship.
With the recon team successfully on the ground, the fire team continued to scan around the area for the enemy to ensure the recon team and Slicks remained safe on the ground.
The pilot of the Frog, Commander Byron "Bud" Brown, took the team into a "saddle", or two hills with a valley between them resembling a horses saddle. They went through the saddle without incident and cirlced back around toward the landing zone, where the Slicks were loading troops that were returning to the base. On the pass back through Brown thought he saw something but wasn't sure what it was.
"At that time and to this day, I wasn't sure what I saw, just something that wasn't right," Brown wrote in a letter to Chase's family years later.
After radioing the Flex ship's Commander Raleigh Hewitt, Brown took his team back for another look.
Normally they would take a different approach when traveling into an area for the second time, but timing and the vulnerability of the crew on the ground dictated they fly along the same path.
"I passed through first, about two hundred feet above the treetops and came under the most intense enemy ground fire I ever experienced," Brown wrote. "I immediately dove for the treetops since that was my only cover and simultaneously I transmitted over my radio that I was taking extremely heavy fire and was diving to escape.
"I told Raleigh to break off his approach and not come through saddle, which was now an ambush. It was too late; he was so close behind that the same withering ground fire already (had) engaged him," Brown wrote.
Enemy fire hit the fuel line of the helicopter being co-piloted by Chase.
The chopper burst into flames.
The tail flew off.
The chopper spun around as it headed toward the ground.
Two of the four crew members were thrown into the trees and down a hill.
The pilot and co-pilot were still in the helicopter as it crashed.
Hewitt was able to get out of the craft, but only after flames had burned off his seat belt, freeing him. The recovery crew had just delivered another recon team shortly after Brown radioed for help. They found the two crewmen and Hewitt, who was badly injured and severely burned.
There was no sign of Chase anywhere.
The next day word reached his home in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Raymond Howard Chase Jr. was officially listed as missing in action.
When Chase graduated from Meadville High School in 1966, he wanted to learn to fly helicopters.
His family, who called him Howard, wasn't not happy about his plans to join the army. His grandfather even offered to pay for his four years of college in hopes of getting Chase to change his mind.
But he felt it was his duty to serve his country.
"I remember him telling me, as if it were yesterday, that his life was in the hands of God, and that if it was his time to go it would make no difference if he was sitting in front of a TV set or on the battlefield of Vietnam," recalled Joyce Baiera, Chase's sister.
After his training in Texas and Alabama, he was sent over to Vietnam.
He had only been in Vietnam for 43 days, only out of high school a year and a half and only three months passed his 19th birthday when the helicopter he was co-piloting was shot out of the sky.
"I remember the day we received word that he was missing in action. God had his hands in that also," Baiera said.
"(Normally) my younger brother and sister would have been at home by themselves when the officer came to give us this news, however, my sister had stopped in where I worked and asked if I could take her home. It was not my lunch hour, but my manager gave me permission.
"Just as I had dropped her off at home, I saw the officers coming up the driveway with the dreadful news.
"I thank God [my brother and sister] were not there by themselves, and we were able to get in touch with my parents, who came home immediately," she said.
A few weeks later it was confirmed. Raymond Howard Chase Jr. was dead.
His remains were identified in what was left of the burned-out wreckage of his Flex Gun Ship.
"It was terrible watching (my) parents sit every night, glued to the nightly news in hopes of seeing their son still alive," said Virginia Rudler, Chase's other sister.
They never saw their son appear in the news clips.
The reality was their son was never coming home.
About 16 years later, in 1982, the Vietnam Memorial was dedicated in Washington D.C. Raymond Howard Chase Jr. was included among the 57,938 other soldiers killed in action while serving in the Vietnam conflict.
As the remains of additional Americans were recovered over the years, the list has grown.
The national memorial, which stretches over two acres, now has more than 58,000 names.
The name of 19-year-old, Meadville High School graduate Raymond Howard Chase Jr. can be found on panel 29 E line 65.
Not everyone can visit the monument in D.C., so groups have created replicas of the monument that travel around the country, visiting small towns and communities. These replicas carry with them the same intended purpose and the same emotional significance.
Many are moved to tears.
Others reflect on the enormity of lives lost due to war.
His family visited the wall. Only a few of the living family members had known him personally. The rest who weren't even born yet.
They accompanied their father, mother, aunt, uncle, cousin, who had related stories of Chase and the impact he and the other Vietnam War soldiers continue to have on the community so many years later.
Visiting the memorial gave Chase's siblings another opportunity to reflect on the times they had shared with their late brother.
Like the time he took his sister Virginia and brother Clarence (pictured above in a Meadville Tribune photograph) to a fancy restaurant over looking Pittsburgh.
"We were just little kids so he encouraged us to behave and use our manners. But who dropped their roll, or was it his silverware? Well it was Howard." Rudler reminisced with a laugh.
Or the time he was heading home for a family function and came upon a farmer who had accidentally dumped his load of hay. Chase stopped to help him reload, even though it would make him late.
"Didn't matter if it made us late. Didn't matter that others just passed the farmer by, (Howard) just knew he could use a hand." Rudler said.
Rudler also remembered Chase's devilish side.
"He had candy in the fridge and my older sister and little brother decided to eat his candy. I said, oh no you can't do that... well they did," she said. "Big mistake. He had set them up, it was chocolate covered insects. Made his day."
A man stands over a photograph leaning against panel 29E on display once again in Meadville's Diamond Park. The photo had been left by family during one of their many visits to the wall.
The man stood there, seemingly in prayer, for over a minute as a ceremony took place in the park behind him. When he turned his attention back to ceremony, his face was stoic and solemn.
The man was Ed McClay of the Veterans of the Vietnam War Post 52, the group responsible for bringing The Moving Wall to Meadville. He was one of the volunteers standing guard and participating in the daily ceremonies.
The family saw a photograph of McClay posted online the next day and inquired about who he was. They were curious if it was someone who had known Chase.
They found McClay the next day. He was still on duty at the wall.
"Ed did indeed know my uncle… We had a few minutes to talk to him at the wall. They were in Vo-Tech together in high school… So nice to be able to talk to people who knew him," said Michele Chase, Howard's niece.
While visiting the wall, the Chase family also took the time to remember and locate the name of Raliegh Hewitt, who died four days of injuries sustained when he and Chase were shot down in Vietnam.
What doesn't appear on the wall with Chase's name or any of the others on the memorial are the memories of the lives lived.
All 58,272 names have individual stories of lives and of tragic deaths.
Baiera said she hopes knowing a little about her brother as a person and not just a white name on a polished black wall will help people understand the lasting impact these men and women had on others.
"Howard was full of fun, full of life, and always had a good word for everyone," Baeira recalled. "I remember when he told me he was going to enlist in the army and that he wanted to become a helicopter pilot. I questioned why he would even think of this knowing that his fate will surely be that of going to Vietnam.
"I am proud of my brother for the man he was." she said.
"He will never be forgotten and I know one day I will see him again."