Henry Kulbaski

Henry Kulbaski who Ordered Copter Over White House Downed in 1974 dies at 74

Henry Kulbaski, 74; Ordered Copter Over White House Downed

By Yvonne Shinhoster Lamb
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, July 14, 2007; Page B06

Henry S. Kulbaski, 74, a uniformed Secret Service agent who played the accordion on the South Lawn for President John F. Kennedy and ordered an errant aircraft shot down over the White House in 1974, died of cancer June 17 at Geisinger Hospital in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Mr. Kulbaski was watch commander in the White House Executive Office control center in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 17, 1974, when he received word from the Maryland State Police that an army helicopter had been stolen from Fort Meade and was being chased into restricted air space near the White House.

As the purloined UH1B Huey helicopter circled the Washington Monument, Mr. Kulbaski watched and waited. President Richard M. Nixon and his family were away, and at 1 a.m. Mr. Kulbaski was having difficulty reaching his superiors.

"When no one answered, I knew I had to make the decision myself," he told the Citizen's Voice in Wilkes-Barre in 1994.