Michael J. Novosel Jr.
Surrounded by family, Michael "Mike" J. Novosel, Jr., Age 60, peacefully passed away at his home in Shalimar on Thursday night, Dec. 10, 2009 after being diagnosed with cancer a month earlier. Mike, Jr. was born on Nov. 19, 1949 to Michael and Ethel Novosel, who are both deceased.
Mike, Jr. is the only pilot to fly in the same helicopter unit with his father in combat! He grew up around pilots and aircraft. As a teenager, he took every opportunity to be down on the flight line. In 1968, at the peak of the war in Southeast Asia, he was graduated from high school in North Carolina and, at 19, enlisted in the Army. After basic training, he reported to Fort Walters, Texas, for flight school and trained in the same flight in which his father had served as a contract instructor earlier.
Mike, Jr. was graduated, received appointment to warrant officer one, and earned his wings on Dec. 15, 1969. It was exactly 27 years after his father had earned his wings! He volunteered for duty in Vietnam and, when he arrived, requested assignment to the 82nd Medical Detachment. With his father's approval, he joined the unit. His father gave him a "dollar ride," an auto-rotation check, an "in-country" flight evaluation, and then cleared Mike, Jr. to fly the Bell UH-1 "Huey." The two Novosels suspended a normal father-son relationship for the next few months, but, when Mike, Sr. completed his tour, his son flew him to the departure processing base. In July 1970, Mike, Jr. became an aircraft commander and inherited his father's call sign, "DUSTOFF 88."
In a year tour, he flew 1,736 missions, earned 37 air medals, and rescued more than 2,500 allied airmen, sailors, and soldiers. He returned to the States as a chief warrant officer (CWO-2), married Margaret in 1971, and was assigned to Fort Bragg, N.C. After serving at Pusan, Korea, he flew the "Huey" and the Bell OH-58 Kiowa with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Bliss, Texas. Posted to Fort Rucker, Ala., Mike, Jr. earned an associate degree in Aviation Safety and then went to the 377th Medical Detachment at Camp Walker, Korea. In 1981, he returned to Fort Rucker as a flight instructor and earned a degree in Professional Aeronautics from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University.
Next, he was Aviation Safety Officer for 2nd Infantry Division in Korea and then became a classroom teacher and instructor pilot back at Fort Rucker. After assignment to the 12th Aviation Brigade in Germany, Mike's final duty was Installation Safety Officer at Fort Bragg; he retired as a CWO-4 in 1991 with over 5,500 flying hours. In a varied second career, he flew spotting missions for fishing fleets in the south Pacific, crop dusted, and hauled timber. In 1991, Mike flew support for offshore oil exploration and drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico. With almost 11,000 hours, he piloted the Bell 407, a state-of-the-art machine, for Air Logistics and later extended his wings to helping fellow veterans.
In 2008, Mike, Jr. started The Novosel Foundation to provide immediate aid to Wounded Warriors. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to in memory of the two Novosel men who faithfully served their God and country.
James "Nick" Lynch
Nick died at age 72 on Monday, November 30, 2009. Nick was graduated from Father Ryan High School, class of 1956, and M.T.S.U. in 1961; he was a retired U. S. Army LTC, and served in the Army Medical Service Corp as a Medevac pilot with two tours of duty in Vietnam. After his retirement, he worked at the Metro Tax Assessor's office. Interment was at Middle Tennessee Veterans Cemetery with Honorary Pallbearers members of DUSTOFF Pilot's Association.
U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Shawn Henry McNabb of Terrell passed away while protecting our nation’s freedom in Afghanistan on Oct. 26, 2009.
He was born May 14, 1985 in Dallas to David and Ann McNabb. Shawn attended Terrell Public Schools and graduated from Terrell High School in 2003. While in school he was active in sports, but his bravado, talent and his love of both music and of the Terrell Tiger band was demonstrated when he won many awards and was also selected to the All State Band.
Shawn had a thirst and passion for medicine and was preparing to attend Physicians Assistant School. He was also a very proud Texan.
Stationed at Hunter Army Air Field in Savannah, Ga., McNabb was a soldier in the 160th Special Operations Air Regiment (SOAR) serving in the Third Battalion as an airborne combat flight medic. He received numerous awards for his heroism, dedication, and meritorious service, receiving the Bronze Star, the Air Medal x 1OLC, the Army Commendation Medal with Valor posthumously. He was credited for saving the lives of two other men while serving in Afghanistan.
Shawn can be seen as the flight medic in one of Arrowhead's videos titled, "".
Huey Parker Lang
LTC Lang (Ret), 77 of Meridian, died 21 Mar 09 at Jeff Anderson Regional Medical Center, and will be greatly missed by his loving family.
Huey Lang was graduated from Meridian High School, the University of Southern Mississippi with a Bachelor's Degree in History, and from the University of Southern California with a Master's Degree in Systems Management. He served his country well for 28 years as a member of the United States Army. LTC Lang served two tours of duty in Vietnam as a DUSTOFF pilot and was credited with evacuating approximately 6,000 wounded personnel. Upon retirement from the military, Mr. Lang worked for the U S Postal Service for 13 years.
W. Wayne Welborn
Winfred Wayne Welborn, 66, of Raleigh, passed away Monday morning, April 27, 2009, as the result of a long-fought battle with diabetes. The son of the late Margaret Talbert Welborn and Winfred Leroy Welborn, was born in Greensboro and reared in Wake Forest, NC, where he lettered in three sports and was active in ROTC.
Mr. Welborn will be remembered for his many accomplishments, as he believed in setting big goals and achieving them with excellence. He was an integral part of the Wake Forest University football team from 1960-64, and honorable season captain his senior year. He served in the United States Army and Reserves (1965-70), and was a Captain and medevac helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War, where he received the Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross, among other honors. His post-Army career consisted of nearly 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry. He served as a top-performing Sales Representative and District Manager for Pfizer Inc., in the eastern U.S. region.
Robert A. ConleyJan. 21, 1947 - Sept. 18, 2008
Robert Conley was born on Jan. 21, 1947 at Cheverly, Maryland. His parents were lly and Mary Eileen (Becker) Conley. Robert had been employed with the railroad in Virginia and he worked as service officer for the Government and traveled from state to state. He also made guitars and violins for Gibson Guitars in Montana. Robert served two tours of duty in the Army during the Vietnam War and he was a lobbyist and ground breaker for the Vietnam War Memorial. He moved to Watkins in 1988 and was united in marriage to Janice (Walters) Kelly on March 18, 1989. Family was important to Robert and he especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren.
Glen A. Melton
Glen A. Melton (age 67) retired Major from the U.S. Army, passed away on August 16 ,2008 at Select Specialty Hospital in Tallahassee, FL.
He was born in lsesburg, IL, was graduated from Valley Senior High in Fairview, IL and received a B.S. from Illinois State University and a master’s degree from BoHe was born in Galsesburg, IL, was graduated from Valley Senior High in Fairview, IL and received a B.S. from Illinois State University and a master’s degree from Boston University.
Major Melton had a warrior spirit but a humble and compassionate heart. He honorably served a tour of duty as an enlisted solider trained as a medical technician with the U.S. Army from 1962-64. In 1969 at the height of the Vietnam conflict, he volunteered for the most dangerous of jobs; a medevac pilot in combat. From 1970-71 he served as a platoon leader with the 498th Medical Company, flying the UH-1 “Huey” medevac helicopter.
In February of 1971 he was awarded the coveted Distinguished Flying Cross for his courage after he volunteered for a nighttime mission to rescue a badly wounded allied soldier. He turned on his aircraft lights so he could see the treetops and then, as he and his crew endured their enemies’ fire, hovered over the battle for fifteen minutes as his crew lowered a forest penetrator through the triple canopy jungle to retrieve the wounded soldier. During this first tour he also earned the coveted Combat Medical Badge.
He volunteered for a second tour to Vietnam as a medevac pilot and served again in 1972-73 as the executive officer and then commanding officer of the 237th Medical Detachment. During this tour he was awarded the Bronze Star. In addition to the awards already listed he was also awarded 23 air medals for valor and the Purple Heart.
After the Vietnam conflict ended he continued serving our country on the front lines of the Cold War. Stationed in West Germany, his luck with helicopters ended in June of 1976. While landing at his base hospital after transporting an injured soldier his medevac helicopter had an equipment malfunction which left it uncontrollable and the aircraft plunged 150 feet into the ground. He suffered a spine fracture and a permanent spinal cord injury which left him partially paralyzed. In 1977 after months of hospitalization he medically retired from the U.S. Army.
Refusing to let his horrific injuries restrict him he bought a travel agency and continued traveling the world and spending time with his family.
Glen was an active member of the DUSTOFF Association, the Distinguished Flying Cross Association and the FSU Boosters. He was a devoted fan of the FSU football and baseball teams. He also was a die-hard Chicago Cubs fan, an avid model builder and loved the theater and traveling.
On the evening of August 16, 2008, while sleeping with his daughter at his side, Major Melton entered his final battle with Death. The old soldier faded away. Those who knew him and his boundless courage and fighting spirit believe that Death came for him in his sleep, because it was afraid to try and call on him while he was awake.
Otha Gayland Miles
Gayland passed away on August 10, 2008, at East Texas Medical Center in Tyler. He was born on October 29, 1943, in Woodville, Texas, to the late Otha and Leah Belle Miles. Gayland graduated from Kirby High School in 1962, where he lettered four years for the Kirby High School Eagle football team. In August of 1962, he entered Trinity University, where he played football, joined ROTC, became a member of the Triniteers and received both a B.S. in Mathematics and Masters in Hospital Administration. During that time Gayland also played semi-pro football for the San Antonio Toros.
In 1967, he entered the United States Army and began a distinguished 25-year career of military service. During that time, Gayland served in numerous positions in the Medical Service Corps, which included DUSTOFF aviator, hospital administrator, company and battalion commander, and staff officer at the Army Surgeon General's Office. Gayland achieved numerous awards and commendations during his service and retired at the rank of Colonel in 1994.
After retiring, Gayland worked for American Medical Response, Havenwood Caregivers and ETMC. At the time of his death Gayland was the Director of Operations and Regional Manager at East Texas Medical Center. He was a member of Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler and a former member of Walnut Ridge Baptist Church in Mansfield.
Gayland Miles is survived by a loving family including his wife of 33 years, Kathie Lawler Miles of Tyler; son, David Gayland Miles of Dallas; daughter, Lindsey Nicole Miles of Euless; sister, Lavelle Bush of Woodville; brother, Gary Miles of Tyler; two aunts, Eleanor Hurst of Austin and Maudis Miles of Jasper; two uncles, Cotton Miles and wife Lue of Wills Point, and David Wayne Miles and wife Ollie of New Mexico; and nephew, Troy Miles of Woodville.
He will be remembered by his family and friends for his enthusiasm for work, cheerful spirit with peers, accomplished leadership and commitment to being the best dad to his children and an excellent provider for his family who he loved so much. Memorials in honor of Otha Gayland Miles may be made to Green Acres Baptist Church Benevolent Fund, 1607 Troup Highway, Tyler, 75701. Pallbearers were Gary Miles, Charles Miles, Raymond Sheffield, Hank Blanks, Bob Gardner, Kyle Cooksy, Ron Shwartz, Stan Teiken, and Mike Proctor.
Andre’ is survived by his wife Karin, his son Tony Jacelon, daughter Andrea Brumfield (both of Colorado Springs); two sisters Jacqueline and Diane (both of Canada); a brother Louie of Texas; three grandchildren Ashley, Nicholas, and Zachary (all of Colorado Springs.
Sorry to report that COL John Temperilli departed on his final flight at 11:45, 26 Feb 08. John fought to the last, but it is a blessing that he can now relax and enjoy life in his new surroundings in the company of the Lord that he followed and supported throughout his life. A richly deserved reward for a wonderful caring man who was a good loyal friend to all. He will be missed, not only by his loving family, but by all whose life he touched and upon whom he had such a positive influence -- and there were many.
John was a great DUSTOFFer - - First commander to take a DUSTOFF unit to Vietnam - great friend and a true Gentleman!
God Bless John.
Jerry Wayne Kinsey, 65, died Saturday, Feb. 2, 2008, at the Mississippi State Veterans Home in Oxford after a lengthy illness. He was born May 13, 1942, in Mexia, Texas, to Marvin and Louise Kinsey. He was a member of the Verona First Baptist Church. He received his B.A. from Sam Houston State University. He was a captain in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and served as a Medevac helicopter pilot. He was awarded two Bronze Stars and two Air Medals with Valor. Upon discharge from the Army, he continued his aviation career with the Mississippi National Guard and was a pilot for Exxon-Mobil until his retirement. He was well respected by his peers and his experience served as building blocks for the younger pilots he served with.
Leonard R. 'Len' Gann passed away at his home in Lamar, Oklahoma on Sunday morning, February 11, 2007, at the age of fifty-nine years. Len was the son of W. L. Gann and Pearl (Slawson) Gann, born on July 29, 1947 in Wetumka, Oklahoma.
He was brought up in Lamar, and graduated Moss High School in 1965, then attended Oklahoma State Tech at Okmulgee.
He joined the United States Army and was drafted at just about the same time, serving in Vietnam. He was discharged from the Army in 1972, and worked for thirty-five years all over the U.S. as a heavy equipment mechanic for pipeline construction companies. Len met Rebecca 'Becky' Shoulders while on a job in Illinois, and the two of them were married on February 16, 2002, in Pensacola, Florida. Len retired in 2004 due to failing health. He loved fixing up old cars.
We received the very sad news that one of our brethren senior 70H's, LTC Phil Pemberton, died of a heart attack on Sunday, 29 Jul 07. LTC Phil Pemberton served his country honorably and faithfully for over 26 years of dedicated active federal service. I ask that you keep his family in your thoughts and prayers as they endure the pain and suffering of losing a loved one so unexpectedly.
Dennis L. Davis I, Vicki Vosburg, am writing this in love and memory of my husband, Dennis L. Davis who passed away due to a helicopter accident in Yreka, Calif. fighting wildfires on Monday, July 23, 2007. Dennis was born Aug. 2, 1946 in Palm Springs, Calif. to Ben Davis, Sr. and Sally Tissaw. He was born with a passion for humans and animals alike. He would give the shirt off his back, or food from his hand to any person or animal in need. He always tried to find a connection with people he met. He received a bachelor's degree in Business Administration in 1978 and was awarded a Master of Science Degree becoming a Naturopathic Physician in 2004. When he wasn't fighting fires, he specialized in Nutrition and Iridology working with me at The Herb Pantry in Boise. He was an experienced helicopter pilot flying for more than 35 years including two and half tours in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Bronze Star Medal; piloting for the police department in Pomona, Calif.; flying Life Flight for St. Al's and finally fighting forest fires nationally. He chose to start fighting forest fires because he was so concerned about the number of animals and people losing their lives. He was very committed to this being his last year of fighting forest fires, saying he was just tired. This time I knew he was serious; he was ready to come home. We found each other and married on June 25, 1994 in Sedona, Ariz. This began my love affair with one of the most incredible men - he was perfect for me. He was the love of my life; my very best friend. I can't imagine being without him. I was a very lucky woman and feel blessed to have had these years with him. I will miss him with all my heart. We had a ritual during our phone calls to end our conversation every night. I would say, "be safe and I love you." And, he would respond with "I love you, too. Dennis was a person who left a mark everywhere he went; he always had a ready hand and an open heart. He'll be missed by his entire family and friends and every person who ever came in contact with him. No one knows when we will leave this earth. Please make sure you tell your loved ones each day "I love you" and don't forget the hug. That's important, too. Dennis is survived by myself, his daughters from a previous marriage; Stacie Wyatt and Tracie Brister, their spouses and children of Sedona, Ariz.
LTC James H. Nichols, USA [ret.], filed his final flight plan 22 June 2007 at 0510 hours. He flew immediately to be with his God. He was surrounded by his wife of 57 years, Ann T. Nichols, his daughters Carole Nichols shburn and Cheryl E. Nichols, son-in-law Chuck Mashburn, grand son Michael Mashburn, and close family friends, Sara Jo Greer, Beth P. Starling, Patsy Meek, and the Rev. Stanley Carter. Col. Nichols was at home as per his wishes. He was interred at Ft. Mitchell National Cemetery, Phenoix City, Alabama 25 June 2007 with full military honors. He will be greatly missed by everyone.
David C. Danhouser, age 69, of Mineral Point, passed away on Saturday, May 26, 2007, after a long struggle with COPD. David was born in Madison, July 6, 1937, a son of Carl W. and Grace (Robbins) Danhouser. He attended Mount Horeb High School in 1955, where he lettered in football and basketball. David graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1959, where he was a member of the TKE fraternity and the UW marching band. He later received his M.B.A. from his beloved alma mater and remained active in the alumni marching band, often playing during halftime shows at Homecoming celebrations post graduation. David joined the R.O.T.C. in 1956 and continued active duty service with the U.S. Army until his honorable discharge in 1974. It was in the Army that David developed his passion for flying helicopters. David was a member of the Air Ambulance Corp and dutifully served in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, before ending his service in Europe. His family is most proud of the bravery and self-sacrifice he displayed during this time. David received numerous awards and medals for his heroic efforts including 12 air medals, the Distinguished Service Medal and the Gallantry Cross with Silver Star. He ended his military career with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He continued his service to those in need of medical attention in his civilian life. David spent many years as the Director of Materials Management for hospitals in Madison, Duluth, Minn., Freeport, Ill. and Chicago, Ill. He was active in many organizations including the American Legion Post No. 170, V.F.W. Post No. 8483, DUSTOFF Pilots Association, Solo-pilots Association, Retired Officers Association and the Wisconsin Vietnam Veterans Chapter No. 3.
He was also a member of the First United Methodist Church in Mineral Point. He married Yvonne Dischler on June 28, 1958, at the Barneveld Congregational United Church of Christ. David is survived by his devoted wife, Yvonne Danhouser of Mineral Point; his children, Kim Horst of Mineral Point, Kitty (Richard) Erdman of Middleton, Kirk (Barbara) Danhouser of DeForest and Shawn (Lisa) Danhouser of Addison, Ill.; his grandchildren, Kailyn, Grant, Gracie, Carly, Madeline, Braden and Jake; his sister, Donna (Donald) Fieldhouse of Elkton, Md.; and his beloved dog, Baxter.
John Winston Cook, a wonderful husband, father and friend, died peacefully on April 15, 2007. He was born in Madison, WI Oct 24, 1921 to Maynard Albert and Chorale Boyd Cook, and was raised in Winnetka, Ill. He graduated from New Trier High School in 1939, then from Dartmouth College in 1943. Following graduation, John attended flight school with the Royal Air Force. During World War II, he served in the 348th Fighter Group, 342nd Squadron, flying P47 (Thunderbolt) and P51 (Mustang) fighters, attaining the rank of First Lieutenant. He was stationed in the Pacific Theater, specifically the Dutch East Indies and the Philippines. The camaraderie, dangers and excitement of World War II were favorite topics of conversation for the rest of his life, and gained him the respect and admiration of many. Following his military service, John moved to San Antonio where he began his career in the life insurance and real estate businesses. He enjoyed staying in touch with friends in the military through the years, and assisted many of them in purchasing homes and insurance. Together with his wife Bette, John co-brokered Cook Company Realty before joining Kuper Realty more than 20 years ago. He was a kind and gentle man who took a genuine interest in everyone he met. His friends considered him a gentleman's gentleman. In 1985, he was made an honorary member of the 82nd Medical Detachment Helicopter Ambulance Group ('DUSTOFF') for his longtime friendship and service to its members. He is survived by his wife, Bette Ruth Williams Cook, daughters Marjorie Cook Hutcheson and her husband Palmer, of Houston, and Nancy Winston Cook of San Antonio.
MAJ. DAVID W.L. WIK (RET) Maj. David W.L. Wik took his final flight on April 7, 2007 in Corpus Christi with his family at his side. He was born on May 16, 1933 in Cresbard, South Dakota. After college he enlisted in the U.S. Army where he became a helicopter pilot. His assignments included a tour of duty in Korea and two tours in Vietnam where he served as commanding officer of the DUSTOFF helicopter unit. His career consisted of flying 1,174 combat hours and the evacuation of 4,368 wounded soldiers and civilians to medical facilities. Maj. Wik's many honors include 5 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 37 Air Medals. His final command was at Ft. Sam Houston, where he used his medical evacuation experience to develop and implement MAST, a program that aids in the evacuation of civilians severely injured in highway accidents. Maj. Wik retired in 1973 and was inducted into The South Dakota Aviation Hall of Fame in 2005. Dave was known for being a colorful, spirited man who never met a stranger. His retirement years were spent fishing and traveling the world with friends and family, living his life to the fullest each day. His zest for life was unyielding and he will be lovingly missed and warmly remembered. DUSTOFF 6, you are cleared to hover to the ramp... He is survived by his wife Valerie; his children and grandchildren Colette, Jean-Marc (Butch) and wife Karen, Bruce and wife Lisa, Dale and wife Renate, Peter, Mark and wife Kara, Andrea and husband Bryan, Rosalyn, Alex, Randi, Nikolas, Nicole, Renee, Blake, Christel, Brett, and his loving dog Tasha.
John B. Bolling, 61, of Enterprise, Ala., went to be with his Lord Monday, March 12, 2007 at Southeast Alabama Medical Center from injuries sustained in a helicopter crash.
Funeral services will be Friday, March 16, at 10 a.m. from Open Door Baptist Church with the Rev. John McCrummen officiating. Burial will follow with full military honors at Meadowlawn Cemetery with Patterson-Sorrell Funeral Home directing. The family will receive friends at Open Door Baptist Church, Friday beginning at 8:30 a.m. and continue until service time. The family will be at the home of Sam Stone, 204 Allegheny Lane in Enterprise. The family requests in lieu of flowers, contributions are made to the Gideon's International, P.O. Box 310173, Enterprise, AL 36331-0173.
John was born May 18, 1945 in Liberty, Texas to the late Henry R. and Eleanor Hayes Bolling. After high school he entered the U.S. Army retiring in 1988 after having served 20 years. He was presently serving as a civilian instructor pilot. He was a veteran of the Vietnam war where he served as a medevac pilot. He was a member of Open Door Baptist Church as well as the Gideon's International.
Survivors include his wife, Jody Bolling, Enterprise, Ala.; daughter, Betsy Lee (John), Port Lavaca, Texas; son, Robert H. Bolling (Heather), Katy, Texas; sister, Dianne Miller (Brooks), Liberty, Texas; seven grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Randall V. "Randy" Ashby, 55, of Beaver Dam died Friday, Jan. 26, 2007, at his home. He was born in Madisonville and was retired from the U.S. Army, was a Master Mason with the Masonic Lodge in Alabama, was a Kentucky Colonel and was of the Baptist faith. Randy, the son of Charles V. Ashby of Hartford and Opal Herron of Beaver Dam, retired as chief warrant officer four after serving 21 years of active service with the U.S. Army.
During his tenure, he served this country at several stations in the United States and in Vietnam, Korea, Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, Germany, Cyprus, Turkey, Iraq and the Republic of the Bahamas. Randy retired as a UH-60 (Black Hawk) instructor pilot and instrument flight examiner. His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, five Army Commendation Medals, four Army Achievement Medals, Good Conduct Medal, three Humanitarian Service Medals, Kuwaiti Liberation Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Southwest Asia Service Ribbon, Vietnam Service Ribbon, Vietnam Campaign Ribbon, two National Defense Medals and the Master Army Aviator Badge.
Survivors include his father, Charles V. Ashby and his wife, Betty, of Hartford; his mother, Opal Herron and her husband, Bob, of Beaver Dam; a son, Kris Ashby of Elizabethtown; two daughters, Mariah Burns of Cecilia and
Melody Govig and her husband, Justin, of Chattanooga, Tenn.; two brothers, Doug Ashby and his wife, Mindy, and Kevin Ashby and his wife, Shannon; two sisters, Terri Helm and her husband, Reggie, of Owensboro and Amanda Ashby of Hartford; five grandchildren, Kristopher Blake Ashby, Leighanna Grace Ashby, Stephen Burns, Seth Burns and Christian Michael Govig; and many nieces and nephews.
Larry Wagoner, 58, of Pierre, died Saturday, Nov. 18, 2006 at St. Mary's Hospital in Pierre. Larry was born on Dec. 19, 1947 in Pierre to George and Myrtle (Hauschild) Wagoner. He grew up in Canning until the second grade when his family moved to Springfield, Ore. At the age of 13 he moved to Wellington, Kan. Larry graduated from Wellington High School in 1966 and went on to attend Cowley College in Arkansas City, Kan.
Larry served in Vietnam from October 1968 to May 1969 as crewchief on the Medevac Helicopter in the 101st Airborne Division.
He was united in marriage to Penney Green on Dec. 2, 1972 at the First United Methodist Church in Pierre.
Larry worked for the Department of Transportation for the State of South Dakota until his retirement in September of 2006. He also worked as a farmer.
He was a member of the DUSTOFF Association, the 101st Airborne Division Association, VEVA, American Legion and the VFW.
Larry enjoyed spending time with his grandson Carter and his dogs Dixie and Harrison, collecting baseball cards, attending various military reunions, fishing and hunting with his friends and family and his passion of farming.
Larry is survived by his wife Penney; one son Wayne Wagoner; one daughter Debbie Wagoner; two brothers George Wagoner Jr. and Bob Wagoner and grandson Carter James Wagoner. He is also survived by many close aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters Virgina Gambo and Sherri Lawrence, one uncle Les Hauschild and one nephew Caleb Hauschild.
A memorial has been established at BankWest.
Captain Rebecca Ann Jarabek passed away on Thursday, 14 September 2006. CPT Jarabek, 28, was born in Youngstown, Ohio. She was graduated from Cardinal Mooney High School in 1996 and attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. She was graduated from USMA in 2000 with a Bachelors of Science in Engineering Management was commissioned a 2LT in the Medical Service Corps. CPT Jarabek attended training at Fort Rucker, Alabama to become a Medevac Pilot and served in Korea, Germany, Kosovo, Iraq and Kuwait.
MAJ. ROBERT LYNN MOCK, SR., Retired (U.S. Army), passed away suddenly at his home on October 12, 2006 at 68 years of age. He was born to Gala M. (Peterson) and Emmett J. "Red" Mock on January 18, 1938 in Houston, Texas. He was predeceased by his daughter, Marjorie Potter (Feb., 2006) , his parents and his brother, Gordon. Survivors include his loving wife, Marjorie Jo Mock and sons, Robert, David, John and their respective families, as well as many other loving family members and friends.
Ken Forrest died 22 Sep 06. Born on 10 Dec 31 to the late Leland and Mabel Forrest in New London, WI, he enjoyed a childhood of paper routes, rabbit "ranching", and fishing. Kenyon graduated from the School of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he was also a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. After passing his state boards in 1955, he entered military service with the Medical Service Corps at Fort Sam Houston. In April 1955, he married his college sweetheart and fellow Badger, Joan Shackelford. During his 20+ year career with the Army, Ken served as a DUSTOFF Medevac helicopter pilot and administrator, including one tour in Korea, two tours in Vietnam, two tours in Germany, and numerous stateside posts. Upon retiring in 1975, he took up his training as a pharmacist. His last position was with HEB where he enjoyed seventeen years of helping the community.
Ted Jacoby passed away on Sunday, September 4, 2006, after a valiant battle with cancer. Chief Jacoby served with distinction and honor during his career as a Seattle Police Officer, as well as military service in the United States Army. He received Air Medals and a Purple Heart for his heroic service as an Army DUSTOFF pilot in Vietnam. He was a pilot with the 159th Med Det. who served at Cu Chi in the 1968-69 time frame.
Assistant Chief Jacoby served in a variety of units in the Seattle Police Department from the North and South Precincts, to the Bomb Squad and Communications to finally serving as Assistant Chief in the Emergency Preparedness Bureau. He will be deeply missed by his SPD family. Chief Jacoby's family expressed gratitude for the overwhelming support shown their family by SPD. He is survived by his wife, Pat, his mother Margaret, three brothers, five sisters, as well as many nephews and nieces.
Donations are suggested to St. Vincent De Paul Society of St. Mark Catholic Church, 18033 15th Place NE, Shoreline, WA 98155. Flowers may be sent to St. Mark Catholic Church.
Sergeant Jeffrey Scott Brown was born on the 11th of February, 1981, in Trinity Center, California. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on 19 April 2000; attended Basic Training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina and Advanced Individual Training at Fort Eustis, Virginia. SGT Brown was first assigned to C Co 1st Battalion 214th Aviation in Heidelberg, Germany as a crewchief. He was then stationed with the 82nd Medical Company (Air Ambulance) at Fort Riley, Kansas.
Sergeant Brown span was in a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter when it crashed Aug. 8 into a lake in Rubtbah, Iraq, west of Baghdad, killing him and SGT Steven P. Mennemeyer. The U.S. Department of Defense said the crash was not the result of hostile fire.
During his tenure as a crew chief, he participated in deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II and then redeployed with the unit in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 05-07.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal (Numeral 2), Army Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Army Good Conduct Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, and the Aviation Badge.
SGT Brown is survived by father Edwin D. Brown and mother Diane L. Brown.
Soldier killed in Iraq laid to rest
by Nick Lucchesi
ThThe Alton, Ill., Telegraph
GRANITE CITY - Long before Sgt. Steven P. Mennemeyer was in Iraq aiding injured soldiers aboard an Army Blackhawk helicopter, he would point to the helicopters in the sky as a child.
Mennemeyer's calling was helping people, family and friends said Friday at his funeral Mass at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Granite City. Whether it was through civilian avenues, such as his five years at Abbott EMS Ambulance Co., or his time in Iraq as an Army medic, Mennemeyer had a "servant's heart," Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn said at the service.
Mennemeyer was in a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter when it crashed Aug. 8 into a lake in Rubtbah, Iraq, west of Baghdad, killing him and Sgt. Jeffery S. Brown of Trinity Center, CA. The U.S. Department of Defense said the crash was not the result of hostile fire.
The funeral Mass drew hundreds of family, friends and co-workers, plus more than 100 onlookers who lined Pontoon and Johnson roads in Granite City, many of them displaying U.S. flags. Heidi Sellers of New Albany, Ind., a friend of the Mennemeyer family, spoke about Steven Mennemeyer's early life. He moved to Granite City from Indiana around age 8 and graduated from Granite City High School in 1998.
"Though his life was short on earth, in 26 years he touched the lives and hearts of hundreds of people," she said. "We all know that Steven was a remarkable, awesome young man."
When Mennemeyer, son of Steven S. Mennemeyer of New Albany and Ramona L. Phillips of Granite City, was about 2 years old, he would raise his hand to the sky to point at what he called "hocker-dockers," Sellers recalled.
"Every time a 'hocker-docker' flies over, I thank God for the chance to have known Sgt. Steven Paul Mennemeyer," Sellers said.
Mennemeyer got the chance to work on a helicopter as part of the 82nd Medical Company (Air Ambulance) out of Fort Riley, Kan., after going from a Reserve soldier to active duty. The events of Sept. 11, 2001, prompted Mennemeyer to enlist as an active-duty soldier in 2002.
"His mother was more than a little surprised when he said he would go to active duty after 9/11," Sellers said.
He first spent 15 months in Iraq, traveled to 15 countries and returned to Iraq for a second tour of duty. Before his second tour, he spent a few weeks in July on leave, visiting with family here and in Indiana.
"He was happier than his family had ever seen him," Sellers said. Mennemeyer has a young son, Andrew Mennemeyer of Granite City, and a girlfriend, Staff Sgt. Ginny Akins, who was at the funeral and has served in Iraq, also in the 82nd Air Medical Company. Akins was given Mennemeyer's Bronze Star, one of 13 military honors he earned.
The funeral procession included several ambulance companies, patrol cars from Granite City, Madison County and the Illinois State Police, Army officials, 15 Knights of Columbus members and dozens of Patriot Guard motorcycle riders. He was buried with full military honors at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis County.
MAJOR MICHAEL W. TOENNIS, born April 12, 1955, in San Antonio, Texas, died July 23, 2006 in Houston, Texas at the age of 51. Mike earned a BBA in 1978 from the University of Houston, where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, and an MBA in 1992 from Syracuse University. He proudly served his country as an Army DUSTOFF aviator, medical logistician, and health services comptroller for the US Army Medical Dept. Michael was medically retired as a Major after 14 years of active duty, during which time he was a member of "The DUSTOFF" Association. Later on he became a CPA after working as an auditor for the firm of BDO Seidman.
Mike fought a thirteen year battle with ALS. During this time he remained active in the DUSTOFF Association, rarely missing a reunion. He served as the Special Assistant to the President of the Association for many of his last years accomplishing tasks for the Association using his “eye-blink computer”. Mike and Karen were always the light of the DUSTOFF Reunions and exhibited courage and steadfast love for each other. Many a DUSTOFF Aviator faced possible death with skill and even daring. Mike and Karen faced certain death with grace and courage and even a bit of cheer standing as a true testimony that we all recognized as coming from within and from outside of themselves. Visited by his friends and comrades in the last days before his death, Mike left us all in awe of his courage and fortitude. Karen and Joe remain in our prayers and thoughts as they face life without Mike. We are all better for having known and loved Mike.
Combat medic remembered at emotional service at Wiesbaden
By Matt Millham, Stars and Stripes
Mideast edition, Friday, June 30, 2006
Soldiers prepare to fire a volley during a 21-gun salute to Staff Sgt. Heath N. Craig, a member of the 159th Medical Company (Air Ambulance), who died June 21 in Afghanistan during a mission to rescue two 10th Mountain Division soldiers who had been injured in combat.
As a combat medic, Staff Sgt. Heathe N. Craig understood that, sometimes, saving people means risking your own life.
Sometimes, the risk doesn’t pay off.
Craig, a member of the 159th Medical Company (Air Ambulance) based in Wiesbaden, Germany, and another soldier died the night of June 21 during a rescue mission near Naray, Afghanistan.
The night started off peacefully enough.
Craig had just gotten done chatting with his wife and playing peek-a-boo with his 1-year-old daughter, Leona, over a Web camera when the call came. Three 10th Mountain Division soldiers were critically wounded in a firefight near Naray.
“He always had missions that came up,” Craig’s wife, Judy Craig, said. “And that’s what happened. A mission came up, and he was ready.” The couple also have a 4-year-old son, Jonas.
Craig’s DUSTOFF crew had been called to rescue the wounded. By the time Craig and his air ambulance arrived at the pickup point, one of the soldiers already was dead.
It was past dark at takeoff, and the terrain where they were headed made it impossible for the Black Hawk rescue helicopter to land.
That meant Craig would have to be lowered into the combat zone by a hoist. It was one of his least favorite things to do, said Capt. Angela Wagner, the rear detachment commander for the 159th Medical Company.
The battlefield still wasn’t secure, but Craig plunged in anyway. He secured the first soldier and got him safely into the hovering ambulance. That troop would make it out of Afghanistan alive.
But as Craig and the second patient were being lifted in the helicopter, the hoist malfunctioned.
“On the second try, I lost him,” Sgt. James Ramey, the helicopter’s crew chief, said in a letter that was read at Craig’s memorial ceremony Thursday.
Craig and the soldier he was rescuing, Pfc. Brian J. Bradbury, both died. Craig grew up in Virginia. Bradbury was from Saint Joseph, Mo.
“He gave his life saving another,” Wagner said.
Sgt. Krendra Jackson, one of Craig’s close friends, couldn’t keep herself from crying as she talked about her fallen comrade during the memorial service at Wiesbaden Army Airfield’s chapel.
She told how Craig, even after back surgery, would work tirelessly, laboring beyond his body’s limits, afraid that he might come off as a slacker. Jackson remembers telling him to take it easy. “He would look at me with those blue eyes and say, ‘My name’s not worthless.’”
Few in attendance could hold back their tears as Jackson recounted her friendship with Craig. “Judy, you once told us we acted like brother and sister. He was my brother,” she said. “He was our brother.”
1LT Casillas Landon, 3rd FSMT Leader, 50th Medical Company (AA) is no longer with us after a Class A accident that happened at Outlaw Field in Clarksville, TN at approximately 10am Friday 9 June 2006.
1st Lieutenant Landon R. Casillas was born to Richard and MayLing Casillas on 17 May 1980 in the state of Hawaii. While located in Hawaii, Landon spent time at both Schofield Barracks and Ft. Shafter. In 1987, the family moved to Ft. Bragg, NC, where they resided until 1992. In 1992, the family moved again, this time to Germany where they lived first in Nuremburg followed by Grafenwoher. It was at this time that the family moved backed to the United States to reside in Bedford, TX. 1LT Casillas was a 1998 graduate of Lawrence D. Bell High School in Bedford. He attended and was a scholarship football player for Abilene Christian University from 1998 to 1999. After one year he moved on to the University of North Texas where he studied from 1999 to 2001. Following his time at North Texas he relocated to Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth. It was here that he was awarded entrance into the scholarship ROTC program. He was graduated from TCU in 2004 with a BA in Criminal Justice and a Regular Army commission.
1st Lieutenant Casillas is survived by his wife Jessica A. Casillas and daughter Arle E. Casillas. He is also survived by his father, SGT (ret) Richard Casillas, mother, MayLing Casillas, and sister, Shannon Casillas
1st Lieutenant Casillas was the 3rd Forward Support MEDEVAC Team Leader for the 50th Medical Company (Air Ambulance), 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Ft. Campbell, KY. Previous assignments include: Ft. Rucker, AL Initial Entry Rotary Wing Training 2005, and Ft. Sam Houston, TX for AMEDD Officer Basic Course 2004.
Jim Phelan, who was involved in the first helicopter combat rescue, died at his home on 16 May 2006. He was also the husband of the late Jean Ross Howard Phelan, founder of the Whirly-Girls.
Phelan, a crew chief, performed the first helicopter combat rescue, along with pilot Carter Harman, on 25-26 April 1944. This crew flew their Sikorsky YR-4 behind Japanese lines in the China-Burma jungle and rescued American pilot Ed 'Murphy' Hladovcak and three British soldiers after their plane had crashed.
Del has been riding a roller coaster over the last several months in regards to his health. Looking for a transplant one week, the next week being off the list due to health complications and bureaucracy and then finally and infection which complicated the other medical problems he was having.
Del crewed the Foxy Lady in 1969-70. I had the honor to have flown with him numerous times. As with all of the Guys in The Back that we were blessed to have served together, Del was among the best. After his military tour, he went onto a very successful commercial aviation career--finally having to retire due to medical problems.
Del was also the founder of the Vietnam Dustoff Association. It was his dream to have an organization dedicated to Vietnam Dustoff crewmembers and where they could come together for camaraderie, sharing of information, and assistance when and if necessary.
Born September 3, 1922 and raised in Etna, Pa., Novosel became an aviation cadet in the U.S. Army Air Forces when he was 19 years old. After earning his commission and pilot wings on December 15, 1942, he instructed in the North American AT-6 Texan at Laredo Army Air Field, Texas. By December 1944, Novosel had logged more than 800 hours in the Consolidated B-24 Liberator supporting aerial gunner training. Then, he went to Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, to qualify in the Boeing B-29 Superfortress.
In July 1945, following crew training in New Mexico, Novosel left for Tinian Island in the Pacific where he flew four combat missions with the 58th Bombardment Wing (Very Heavy). After the end of World War II, he flew two missions to drop food to Allied prisoners of war in Japan. During the Japanese surrender ceremony on the USS Missouri, Novosel commanded a B-29 in a 462-ship fly-over. He then took command of the 99th Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy) and remained in the Pacific until the fall of 1947.
Following his service in World War II he was assigned to Eglin AFB, Florida, where he was a B-29 test pilot. In 1949, Novosel left active duty and joined the Air Force Reserve. He was recalled to active duty during the Korean War, at the grade of Major and attended the Air Command and Staff School.
Novosel was promoted to Lt. Col. with the Air Force Reserve in 1964 and requested active duty for service during the Vietnam War. When informed that the Air Force was over-strength in its senior grades, he vacated his position with the Air Force Reserves and accepted an appointment as a Warrant Officer Aviator with the U.S. Army.
Returning to combat as a "DUSTOFF" (Medevac) helicopter pilot, he served two tours in South Vietnam, flying 2,543 missions in the Bell UH-1 Huey while airlifting nearly 5,600 medical evacuees.
On October 2, 1969, Novosel received word of wounded South Vietnamese soldiers pinned down by a large enemy force. Flying without air cover, he encountered ground fire so intense it forced him away six times. Courageously, he completed 15 hazardous extractions. On the last, just as a wounded soldier was pulled into the aircraft, the enemy unleashed a hail of fire directly at Novosel. Wounded, he momentarily lost control of the aircraft, but recovered and flew to safety. In all, he saved 29 men. He was nominated for and later received the Medal of Honor for these actions.
In March 1970, a UH-1 helicopter piloted by Novosel’s son was shot down. The senior Novosel heard the "Mayday" call from 15 minutes away. With assurance from the aircraft commander that his son's crew had survived the crash and found shelter, Novosel completed his own mission before flying to their aid. The younger Novosel returned the favor seven days later when his father was shot down. Just 19 at the time, Mike Jr. flew to his father's rescue.
Following his heroic service in Vietnam, he served 3 years at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, as chief pilot for the Army's Golden Knights parachute team. On occasion, he jumped with the team to maintain proficiency.
Novosel’s next assignment was at Fort Rucker where he was an author and lecturer at the Warrant Officer Career College until 1976. An assignment in Korea as the Second Infantry Division’s Aviation Safety Officer followed. In May 1983, Novosel was assigned new duties as the Aviation Center Senior Training, Advising and Counseling (TAC) Officer with the Warrant Officer Candidate Program.
At the time of his retirement on February 28, 1985, Novosel was the last active duty military aviator on flight status who had flown combat missions in World War II. Known as the “Dean of the Dustoff Pilots” Novosel was an aviator on flight status for more than 42 years. He accumulated 12,400 hours of military flying time of which 2,038 were flown in combat.
Upon his retirement as a Chief Warrant Officer 4, he received a rare honor for a living hero; the main street of Fort Rucker became Novosel Avenue.
In 1992, he marched with other World War II veterans across Red Square in Russia's Victory-in-Europe Anniversary Parade. Novosel participated in the documentary film project In the Shadow of the Blade in 2002, during which more than 50 Vietnam aviators piloted a UH-1 “Huey” helicopter across the United States.
Mr. Novosel resided in Fort Walton Beach, Florida but was a longtime Enterprise, Alabama resident. He actively lectured on his autobiography, Dustoff, The Memoir of an Army Aviator and was featured in the recently published book A History of Army Aviation, written by Dr. James Williams.
Hugh Thompson Jr., a former US military helicopter pilot who helped stop one of the most infamous massacres of the Vietnam War has died, aged 62.
Mr. Thompson and his crew came upon US troops killing civilians at the village of My Lai on 16 March 1968. He put his helicopter down between the soldiers and villagers, ordering his men to shoot their fellow Americans if they attacked the civilians. "There was no way I could turn my back on them," he later said of the victims.
Mr. Thompson, a warrant officer at the time, called in support from other US helicopters, and together they airlifted at least nine Vietnamese civilians - including a wounded boy - to safety. He returned to headquarters, angrily telling his commanders what he had seen. They ordered soldiers in the area to stop shooting.
But Mr Thompson was shunned for years by fellow soldiers, received death threats, and was once told by a congressman that he was the only American who should be punished over My Lai. A platoon commander, Lt William Calley, was later court-martialed and sentenced to life in prison for his role in the killings. President Richard Nixon commuted his sentence to three years' house arrest.
Although the My Lai massacre became one of the best-known atrocities of the war - with journalist Seymour Hersh winning a Pulitzer Prize for reporting on it - little was known about Mr Thompson's actions for decades
In the 1980s, Clemson University Professor David Egan saw him interviewed in a documentary and began to campaign on his behalf. He persuaded people including Vietnam-era Secretary of State Dean Rusk to lobby the government to honor the helicopter crew. Mr Thompson and his colleagues Lawrence Colburn and Glenn Andreotta were awarded the Soldier's Medal, the highest US military award for bravery when not confronting an enemy.
Mr Thompson was close to tears as he accepted the award in 1998 "for all the men who served their country with honor on the battlefields of South-East Asia".
Mr Andreotta's award was posthumous. He was killed in Vietnam less than a month after My Lai.
Mr Colburn was at Mr Thompson's bedside when he died, the Associated Press reported.
Mr Thompson died of cancer. He had been ill for some time and was removed from life support earlier in the week.
Story from BBC NEWS:
As graveside services ended, a bag piper played Amazing Grace – slowly marching away down the hill allowing the sound to die down to next to inaudible…. Then…. Quietly in the distance the wop wop wop sound – unmistakably that of a Huey – approaching from directly in front of us it came to about the 2 o’clock position above the tall trees that surround the cemetery – then a slow right hand turn allowing it to pass in front of us – A DUSTOFF Huey – not a single aviators’ eyes were dry at that proud moment and it symbolically picked Hugh up and took him on his last ride – closing out his final flight plan!
Hugh was buried with a DUSTOFF Association coin placed in his right hand – a last tribute to a great friend, comrade and DUSTOFF Soldier!
It saddens to inform you of the death of Jim Saler. Jim Saler was a retired U.S. Army aviator who spent many of his years flying Medevac. After retiring from the Army he flew an EMS helicopter for Tri State CareFlight based in Durango, Colorado. Exactly one year to the day after leaving the Army, he along with a Flight Nurse and a Flight Paramedic, were killed June 30th 2005 when their Augusta A119 Koala crashed while trying to save the life of another.
Thomas Maloney added a section to his Web site to honor and recognize Jim Saler, as well as Bill and Scott. All men left behind wives; Jim also left behind three daughters and Scott left behind a newly adopted son. After their accident Tom created an illustration entitled Angel of Mercy. The limited edition prints, as well as shirts are being sold to raise money for the widows of this tragedy.
If you are interested, you can access the memorial page at If you click on Jim Saler's photo from that page, it will take you to another section devoted just to Jim. There you can learn about his background and military service to our country. I can tell you that Jim loved our country, the Army and saving lives by flying helicopters.
Retired Col. Leonard A. Crosby had a thirst for knowledge and a passion to teach others what he knew. He died in May 2005.
"He was a real forward-thinking person," said Mary Crosby, his wife of 62 years.
The forward-thinker was also a creator of one of the Army's most used services, MEDEVAC, or using helicopters to remove wounded soldiers from combat.
Leonard Crosby, called "Andy" by most, was an Army medic and medical command instructor for more than 30 years. The Elizabethtown resident died Tuesday at age 83.
The Crosby home is filled with certificates, medals and other honors from Crosby's military career. There are silver stars, bronze stars, commendation medals and medals from World War II and Korea.
There's also a well-worn book: "The history of the U.S. Army Medical Corps." Crosby's name is on several pages, mainly for his role in the invention of MEDEVAC.
He was drafted into the Army in 1942, serving in World War II as part of an ambulance company. Crosby's unit was the first ambulance company on the scene after the D-Day invasion in Normandy, France, his wife said.
"He accomplished amazing things in his 83 years," said his son, Michael Crosby.
One of the most amazing accomplishments started in 1950, in Korea. Leonard Crosby was serving as the evacuation officer for the 8th Army. He noticed that the military was having a difficult time evacuating wounded soldiers from combat because of Korea's hilly roads, which were often blocked, preventing ambulances from getting to the field.
Helicopters at that time were primarily used for artillery, Mary Crosby said. Her husband wrote the rulebook on how to use them in a medical evacuation situation.
Leonard Crosby was in charge of the first demonstration of medical helicopters in the summer of 1950 at Taegu Teachers' College in Korea.
After his years in combat, Leonard Crosby became an instructor at several military schools. He also served as chief of staff of medical command in Europe, and executive officer of the medical command at Walter Reed Army Hospital.
Bruce C. Zenk, 65, passed away at his home in Young America, Minnesota on 17 May 2005 after a three-year battle with cancer.
Born in Sisseton, South Dakota on 18 December 1939, he graduated from South Dakota State University with a degree in Pharmacy and received a commission as an Infantry Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. After a one-year pharmacy internship in Minneapolis, Bruce entered active duty service and attended the Infantry Officers Basic Course. He was selected to attend the Rotary Wing Aviator Course (Class 63-7).
In January 1964, Bruce was assigned to the 119th Aviation Company in Vietnam where he flew both the slick and gunship version of the UH-1B. Because of his prior pharmacy training, he received a branch transfer to the Medical Service Corps in June 1964 and was transferred to the 57th Medical Detachment in Soc Trang. When the 82nd Medical Detachment arrived in Vietnam in October 1964, Bruce, Ernie Sylvester, and Si Simmons were transferred from the 57th into the 82nd to teach the new pilots the tactics and ethos instilled in them by Major Kelly. Completing his one-year tour in January 1965, Bruce had earned the Air Medal with Valor and 22 oak leaf clusters, had flown 747 hours of combat flight time, and helped to save hundreds of lives.
Upon his return from Vietnam, Bruce was married to Betty Remund. The couple made their home at Fort Riley, Kansas where he served as a pilot with the 159th Medical Detachment until a serious back injury forced him from the cockpit. In May 1968, he completed his military service at DeWitt Army Hospital where he served as a pharmacist.
Bruce and his family moved to Virginia, Minnesota where he worked at the local medical clinic. In 1975, Bruce and Betty purchased the local pharmacy in Lake Benton, Minnesota where he served on the school board and held positions in both the VFW and American Legion. In 1984, they sold their store and moved to Burnsville, Minnesota. He accepted a position with Snyder Drug where he continued his work as a dedicated and professional pharmacist until his retirement in 2002.
Bruce is survived by Betty Zenk, his loving wife of 40 years; his daughter Debbie and husband SSG Michael Otte of Honolulu, Hawaii; his son CPT Patrick and wife Alexa Zenk of Wiesbaden, Germany; grandchildren Kayla and Noah; sister Paula Neiburg of Plymouth, Minnesota; and brother Rodney of Nemo, South Dakota. He was preceded in death by his parents and older brother Perry.
Kevin Donoghue, a medic with the 57th Med Det RVN and a dear friend, passed away today. Kevin and I flew many missions together and he was the one that always kept my butt out of the sling. I talked to his wife Carol today and Kevin faced his death with the same courage he displayed as a DUSTOFF medic. All of us who were blessed to have Kevin touch our lives are better for that experience.
I will miss my friend, but I believe he is now with all of our fallen comrades in a better place.
SFC Ricky D. Williams was a flight medic with 377th Medical Company and 54th Medical Company. He was killed in a motorcycle accident on 14 April 2005 driving home after an early morning Brigade Run on Fort Sam Houston. His career culminated as a Senior Drill Sergeant with A Company, 232nd Medical Bn. at the Academy Brigade, Fort Sam Houston, TX. He leaves a wife, Charmaine, (also a drill sergeant) and two daughters. He will be buried in Seattle, WA. He was truly a great NCO.
Fred Duncan, life member of DUSTOFF Association since 2003 died of complications of a disease resembling ALS on February 8, 2005. Fred, as a 17-year-old merchant marine, served his country during WW II aboard Liberty Ships with one of the Aviation Repair Units in the South Pacific. His work in his later years brought to light the service of four brave pilots who flew experimental Sikorsky R-4 and R-6 helicopters into the jungles of the Philippines to rescue nearly 70 wounded soldiers. His work brought to light, chronicled, and published some of the earliest efforts in aeromedical evacuation involving helicopters - the very birth of DUSTOFF!
He is survived by his wife, Edna, children and grandchildren.
Almost two years ago, our beloved crewchief, Brent Towne, was in a terrible car accident which left him with extensive brain damage. His family has him brought home to Nevada from Hawaii, and yesterday (2-10-04) his fight ended. He will be missed so. There are no words to express the thankfulness I have towards you all through this whole battle. He will be missed beyond belief. He cared about you all and thought highly of you. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and love.
Big Sis- Chris Richcreek
NEVER FORGET HIM
Randy was born in Vermillion, South Dakota on August 24, 1946, the second of eleven children of William Joseph and Susie Albers Radigan. lie was a 1964 graduate of Vermilion High School; he attended the University of South Dakota and several colleges In 1966, he enlisted in the U. S. Army, completed helicopter flight school, and began his first tour of duty as a medevac helicopter pilot in Vietnam. lie volunteered for further tours of medevac duty in Vietnam, served 39 months there and was decorated extensively for valor in combat. He was awarded twice the Distinguished Flying Cross, twice the Silver Star, five times the Bronze Star, the Air Medal with oak cluster, the Air Commendation Medal, and the Purple Heart. He flew 1,597 air-rescue missions in Vietnam and carried 4,191 wounded soldiers.
From 1974 to 1983 Randy was employed by yeska Pipeline as a security helicopter pilot. He was an entrepreneur with many local interests. He loved Alaska. He was an avid big game hunter and enjoyed spending his time at their cabin “in the woods.” He served on the Copper River School District School Board since 1993 and was also a member of the Copper Basin Lions Club for many years. Randy and Lorraine were married on December 31, 1983.
Among those that survive him and gratefully shared his life are his wife; Lorraine, sons; Rocky and Colt, daughters; Tammy Custis, husband Jim, Brandie Bancroft, husband Blake, Alison Jaidinger, his four grandchildren; his father; William J. Radigan, his seven brothers; William, Jeffrey, Steven, Gregory, Daniel, Kelly, and James, his sisters; Suzanne, Laurie, Carol, his many nieces and nephews; and by his longtime friends Don, Joyce, Jim and Scott Horrell. He was preceded in death by his mother, Susie, and two infant daughters.
Born 30 Jul 1948
Passed away 26 Sep 2002 in Lake Charles, LA
Cause of Death Hep C contracted from Vietnam
He, like all of his fellow crew members, was responsible for a lot of names NOT being on the Wall. God bless our Medics.
What life to lead and where to go
After the War, after the War?
---- Robert Graves
Gordon finally came home from Viet-Nam last week.
We were buddies in junior high and in high school, thrown together by a love of books and a contempt for all authority figures. We both lived to become authority figures ourselves, and so in the end were punished for our transgressions far more soundly than by any teacher's paddle.
Gordon was the smartest kid I ever knew; after reading a few books on theory he constructed, from bits of wire and a battery and tiny light bulbs and some other debris tacked to a board, a chess-playing computer. Unable to afford switches, he operated his 1963 computer by disconnecting wires from nails and reconnecting them to other nails. His chemistry experiments were rather less successful, resulting in one or two dramatic explosions and a complete ban by his father on the further pursuit of scientific knowledge inside the house.
While the more focused boys were chasing girls and those first kisses (although I had quite a crush on his sister), Gordon and I were arguing the contemporary possibilities of Thoreau's Walden and smoking cigarettes out back behind the trash cans.
After a semester at Lamar University, Gordon joined the Army and, following the few months of the rudimentary and wholly inadequate training of that time, was posted to Viet-Nam. Rather like Sasha / Strelnikov in Doctor Zhivago, Gordon found that he was good at war, or, rather, at picking up the pieces: he served four tours as an Army medic, winning the Air Medal, Air Crewman Badge, Bronze Star with Valor Device, the Silver Star, and the Distinguished Service Cross. One can only imagine how many more medals officers in air-conditioned bunkers awarded each other based on Gordon's courage and skill in saving lives.
But a man -- a kid, really, a skinny kid with thick eyeglasses -- can make only a finite number of sliding, jinking, dodging helicopter landings into hot-as-Hell LZs without leaving something of himself there. Every wounded kid Gordon saved, every dead kid he sat beside while jinking back out among the orange tracers and the ghastly noise and stench of machinery and violence, cost him a little bit of himself.
Henry Kissinger received a Nobel Peace Prize for the mess he helped make in Vietnam; 56,000 dead kids and the survivors like Gordon bought that carnival prize for him.
Upon returning home Gordon apparently constructed an emotional defense perimeter for many years, and yet those who knew him best say that this true war hero was the kindest, gentlest man they ever knew. Never a father himself, he was a father to his stepchildren and to others. He never went back to university, but he encouraged others to accomplish the education he hadn't the heart to return to. His stepson, now a successful engineer, said that when he returned from the service he was aimless and drifting, but Gordon inspired him to focus and succeed. A postal employee said she would never have kept her job, much less built the career she has, without Gordon's patience and guidance.
Whatever Gordon felt he had left undone in his life, he saw completed in the lives of others.
Another friend said that Gordon still carried a trunk full of tools and car parts wherever he went, and could remedy almost any roadside crisis in almost any vehicle -- something he could do at sixteen!
In the end, Mr. Kissinger has his Nobel Prize, but Gordon found God and love and peace, and, having accomplished whatever missions God had set for him, died with his wife Mary Ann holding his hand. He was not buried with state honors, but in a modest Methodist liturgy by family and friends; his funeral was not marked with a 21-gun salute, but with Kleenex clutched in the hands of those who love him.
Yes, Gordon is home from Viet-Nam at last, Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.
Lt. Colonel John McNeil Lankford ('Neil'), U.S. Army Retired, passed away on May 18, 2004 at the age of 58. Col. Lankford, a graduate of North Georgia Military College, was a Vietnam Veteran, having served as a combat medic with the 3rd/187 of the 101st Airborne Division. As a medical Service Corps officer and specialist in systems engineering, he made significant contributions to the Army Medical Department during his 23 years of service. Following his military retirement, Col. Lankford continued to work in the Information Technology field. He was a proud member of the Dust-off Association and was active in numerous professional organizations. Neil is survived by Cecilia Lankford, his wife of 35 years; daughters, Anne Marie and Jennifer Lankford; father, Paul McNeil Lankford; brother, Wayne Eliot Lankford; nephew, Paul McEliot Lankford; aunt and uncle, Charlotte and Frank Lankford; and sister-in-law, Cindy Kearns. Col. Lankford was preceded in death by his mother, Anita Lankford. Col. Lankford gave his family the kind of love that makes a difference and lasts a lifetime. His unique humor and selflessness touched all who were privileged to know him.
You'll possibly remember Richard Hock who was the medic who stood in as Godfather for little baby Kathleen in the 3rd Field Hospital and was a key part of "In the Shadow of the Blade" and the reunion between Kathleen and those who saved her life 34 years before. A DUSTOFF crew (the pilot was David Alderson and he died one week before filming took place - COL (R) Bob Romines stood in for his buddy and flew the mission in his honor - later giving a stirring speech about heroes and helicopters to a packed auditorium full of basic and advance course students at the AMEDD C&S).
You'll see in their tribute to Richard a part of that reunion mentioned. It is when Richard gave Kathleen his Combat Medic Badge - his most prized possession from his three tours in Vietnam. I'm sure there's a story in there somewhere that will touch the hearts of many. While Richard was not a DUSTOFF medic - he was / and is a "Soldier Medic" and DUSTOFF medics are Soldier Medics first.
Rest in Peace Doc!
Danny McFadden died 19 January 2004. He was a medic with eagle DUSTOFF 70-71. If anyone wants to contact his family, his daughters, Janie & Katie, at
7305 Leadings Oaks; San Antonio, Texas 78233-3211 (210) 651-5259
He, like all of our crew members, was responsible for a lot of names NOT
being on the Wall.
God bless our Medics.
The Department of Defense announced the deaths of four DUSTOFF soldiers who were killed when their UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crashed Jan. 8 near Fallujah, Iraq. The soldiers were supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom and members of the 571st Medical Company out of Fort Carson, CO. SPC Michael A. Diraimondo, 22, of Simi Valley, Calif.; SPC Christopher A. Golby, 26, of Johnstown, Pa.; Chief Warrant Officer Philip A. Johnson, Jr., 31, of Alabama; and Chief Warrant Officer Ian D. Manuel, 23, of Florida, were all assigned to the 571st Medical Company, Fort Carson officials said. Their names will be added to the DUSTOFF memorial located at Fort Sam Houston's Medical Department Museum along with the names of three other 571st Medical Company crewmembers who died May 9th, 2003 when their UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter crashed in the Tigris River near Baghdad. A dedication ceremony honoring these seven new names on the DUSTOFF memorial was held on 21 February 2004 during the DUSTOFF Reunion. A total of 257 names now are a part of that memorial.
Robert "Don" Upchurch (DUSTOFF 78) passed away 19 Dec 03 in Indianapolis IN. Served as DUSTOFF pilot with 57th Med Det, Republic of Vietnam ,1970-1971. Call sign DUSTOFF 78. Was employed by the Veterans Administration as a counselor to fellow veterans. Survived by wife Janet, and 4 children.
Bob Cowgill, the sole remaining pilot who flew 70 soldiers to safety during the WW II Ivory Soap rescues in the Philippines died June 13, 2003. Ivory Soap was the project during World War II that took Liberty Ships and outfitted them to conduct aviation repair. During June of 1945, five aviators flew Sikorsky R-4's and R-6's into the combat zone of the Philippines to bring injured soldiers out for medical treatment, often under fire. While not the first helicopter rescue, they were the first flown with external litters welded to the side of the airframe in an "unauthorized and untested" manner. True aviation pioneers and part of our DUSTOFF roots.
Crew members representing the Army, Army Air Forces, Navy and Merchant Marines pose on one of the repair ships. Helicopters ferried parts and personnel from ship to shore. Lt. Cowgill (center, second row) and friends with R-4 on floating aircraft repair unit (ARU) off the Philippines.
Closing the Flight Plan
Longtime Alaska resident Robert Michael "Bob" Yeomans, 60, died of lung cancer 28 Oct 08, in Eagle River. Bob was born 23 July 1948, in Oakland, N.J., to James Guy Yeomans and Florence Evelyn Romaine. He married Teress A. Morreale on Aug. 3, 1969, in Oakland.
Bob joined the Army in 1974 in Fort Carson, CO. In 1977, he was selected to attend flight school in Fort Rucker, AL, graduating third in his class and earning the wings to become a helicopter pilot.
In 1980, his military career took him to Alaska, where his career transitioned into the Army National Guard. Bob retired with 22 years of service, having earned the rank of Chief Warrant Officer (CW3).
Bob enjoyed baseball, fishing, hunting, guitar, his sons and his grandchildren.
His family wrote: "Bob's kind heart and infectious sense of humor was an inspiration to all of us."
Charles H. Lewis
LTC “Retired” Charles Henry Lewis of Comfort, TX went to be with his Lord and Savior on 5 July 2018 at the age of 75 years after a 2 year battle with lung cancer. Charles was born 1 March 1943 in Danville, IL to Henry and Melda Robinson Lewis.
Charles served 28 years in the Army and retired in 1993. He entered the Army in 1964 as a Registered Nurse. After completing flight training he branch transferred to the Medical Service Corp as a Medevac pilot in 1967. Charles received his undergraduate degree from Baylor University. He also received his Masters Degree in Hospital Administration from Baylor University. He retired to the Hill Country and enjoyed ranching for the next 25 years.
He was also a Dustoff Association Charter Member and a Medevac pilot.
Bill Carroll, aviator, pharmacist, hospital administrator, proud member of the Olympic Club since 1945, 3rd generation San Franciscan, born at St. Mary's Hospital with twin brother, Bob, in June 1936 has died at home of Parkinson's Disease on 9 April 2018.
Bill attended St. Emydius grammar school until moving to Healdsburg at age 12 with family when his father bought a drugstore there. Bill was graduated from Healdsburg High School and went on to college at the University of Wyoming to study pharmacy. While there he was active in ROTC and continued in the reserves after graduation. He then practiced pharmacy for 4 years before going on active duty in the Army in the Medical Service Corps and becoming an aviator.
Bill's love for flying earned him the coveted award of the U.S. Army Master Aviator badge. He flew two 13 month combat tours in Vietnam, resulting in bravery awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, 11 air medals (3 with V for valor) and the Combat Medical Badge. He was proud of his status as an instrument flight examiner and being Commander of the 421st Medical Co. (Air Ambulance) in Germany. Bill attended the Command and General Staff College, the Army War College and the Health Care Administration course for his Master's Degree. He served as executive officer at Madigan General Hospital for the culmination of his active duty career in the US Army. Bill retired with 28 years of active service after attaining the rank of full colonel and many meritorious awards for outstanding service. He was a true hero!
Richard A. Lindekens
Lindekens pushed back from the gate and took flight on his next adventure 9 Nov 17, where he is now flying high above the planes and eagles he so loved.
He was born June 14, 1947, appropriately on Flag Day and the U.S. Army birthday, in Pasadena, CA, to Frances and Herbert Lindekens. From early on he had a love of flying and spent his career flying helicopters in Panama, the Amazon Jungle, Alaska, and for the Army. He was a proud Vietnam Veteran until the end. A true patriot, he retired with full military honors after 20 years of service. He met his wife Raelynn Pedersen in the National Guard where they shared a love of flight. He became a corporate pilot for Fluor Corporation where he developed a love of international travel. This love of flying took him to work for AirCal and shortly thereafter to American Airlines, where he retired as a Captain on the 757/767.
After retirement his "never let the grass grow under your feet" mentality took him all over the world where he pursued and excelled in his passion of photographing wildlife and people. His photography was published in the Montecito Times, was on display at the Elverhoj Museum of History and Art and is proudly hanging at the US Department of the Interior.
Jon D. (JD) Lawson
Jon Dennis (JD) Lawson, resident of Matthews, NC passed peacefully into the arms of His Savior on 29 Jul 15. He was 69 years old. JD was born to Leonard W. Lawson and Doris Bulleigh Lawson on 6 Jul 46 in Salina, KS. He grew up in Kansas City, KN where he attended Turner High School, received a Bachelor’s degree from Emporia State Teachers College (now Emporia University) in 1968 and a Master’s degree from St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX in 1977.
JD had planned to be a teacher but Uncle Sam had other ideas. He was drafted in December 1968 and received a direct commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in September 1969. He was in the active Army for 11 years as a Medical Evacuation helicopter pilot in Vietnam (45th Med. Battalion and 101st Airborne—Eagle Dustoff), Germany (421st Med. Battalion), and at Ft. Campbell, KY. (101st Airborne). Being a Medevac pilot, he risked his life many times to save the lives of those wounded in battle, a demonstration of the selflessness of the Vietnam helicopter pilot. He also served as a company commander at Ft. Sam Houston for Brooke Army Medical Center. He remained in the Army Reserve for another 12 years and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel.
After leaving active Army, JD served as a nursing home administrator for 20 years in various locations throughout the North Carolina Piedmont region. He then worked for Reformed Theological Seminary Charlotte campus primarily in the Virtual Campus for 15 years where his impact on seminary students all over the world was memorable and unselfish.
JD’s passion was ministering to single men and women. He served on the boards of Campus Outreach Charlotte and Johannesburg, South Africa for 10 years. For 16 years, he and his wife hosted singles at their dinner table every Wednesday night, and they had 25 other single men and women live in their home at various times during this season as well. JD was always willing to stop and listen and share his life with everyone who came his way. His legacy of love lives on in the many people whose lives he touched.
JD was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) in the fall of 2014. After a swift and hard-fought battle, the Lord has chosen to heal him by bringing him Home. JD continued to touch the lives of all around him, even as he lay in bed at Levine & Dickson Hospice House at Southminster until the day he went to be with Jesus.
For the last 19 years JD has been a member of the North Carolina Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association (NCVHPA.org). With this group he attended many air shows, parades, and other events to display their Vietnam era helicopters. Although JD was a Medevac pilot and as such flew Hueys, he towed a LOH (light observation helicopter) for these events. Many of you may have seen it as “yard art” proudly displayed at his home. JD served as chaplain for several years for this organization as well as vice-president and then president for four years. His relationship with this “band of brothers” who share the bond of Vietnam was of great value to him and he considered them family.
Daniel L. Bunn
MAJ Daniel Lee Bunn (United States Army), 42, passed into heaven on 1 Jan 18.
Major Bunn was born 23 Jul 75, in San Angelo, TX., and was a 1993 graduate of San Angelo Central High School. He earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Aviation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Major Bunn’s military education includes the Light Utility Helicopter, UH-72A Instructor Pilot Course, the Primary Instructor Course Method Of Instruction, The Aeromedical Evacuation Officers’ Pre-Command Course, the Total Army Instructors Training Course, the Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (High Risk) Course, the Aviation Captain’s Career Course, the Army Medical Department’s Army Medical Course, the Action Officer’s Development Course, and the Equal Opportunity Leaders’ Course.
Major Bunn’s previous assignments include duties as the 2nd Aviation Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Combat Aviation, Medical Operations Officer at Camp Humphreys, Korea; the 1st of the 13th Aviation Regiment Operations and Intelligence Staff Officer at Fort Rucker, AL; the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 110th Aviation Brigade Assistant Operations and Intelligence Staff Officer at For Rucker; the School of Aviation Medicine Director, Medical Evacuation Course at Fort Rucker; the Charlie Company, 2nd of the 227th Aviation Regiment Executive and Operations Officer, Forward --- Afghanistan; the United States Army Air Ambulance Detachment Operations Office at Yakima, WA; as Charlie Company, 2nd of the 227th General Support Aviation Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division Section Leader, Forward --- Iraq; the Medical Company Air Ambulance Blackhawk Utility Helicopter Pilot, Forward – Afghanistan; and, the 2 of the 4 Aviation Reconnaissance Troop Blackhawk Utility Helicopter Pilot at Fort Polk, LA.
Major Bunn’s deployments included Afghanistan, Alaska, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Republic of Korea. He served as an Aeromedical Evacuation Officer, Primary Military Occupational Specialty of 67-Juliet and was qualified and held ratings in the Observation Helicopter-58A/C Kiawa, the Utility Helicopter-1H “Huey”, the Utility Helicopter-60A/L/HH Blackhawk, and Light Utility Helicopter-72A Lakota aircraft.
Lewis M. Jones
LTC Lewis Maloy Jones, US Army, Retired, passed away peacefully on 27 De 17 in Austin, TX with his wife and son, Jeff, at his side.
Lewis was born on 11 Aug 41 in Jones County, TX to Woodrow Wilson and Clariss Lillian Jones. He grew up in and around Haskell along with his five siblings. He was the first person in his family to earn a college degree.
Lewis first met the love of his life, Gail, in high school, although she would tell you she picked him out in the second grade. They were married on 22 Dec 62 in Haskell. He was a distinguished military graduate from West Texas State University with a degree in Mathematics where he was President of his Kappa Alpha fraternity chapter. Upon graduation, Lewis accepted his commission in the United States Army.
Lewis served two tours in Vietnam as a DUSTOFF pilot flying UH-1H helicopters (Huey's). After returning home from Vietnam, Lewis completed his Master's Degree in Hospital Administration from Baylor University. He finished his 20-year Army career working as a Health Care Administrator at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and at Brooke Army Medical Center. After military retirement, Lewis completed his teacher certification and was a high school math teacher at Somerset ISD and later East Central ISD.
Lewis loved to fish. He was known to fish at the lake but his heart was in Port Aransas. Early mornings were a coveted time to meet the sunrise and enjoy time in the shallows fishing for speckled trout and redfish. He also loved to fish off the piers and jetties in Port Aransas for flounder, pompano and the occasional hammerhead shark. Ever patient, he taught his children to fish, digging out many a swallowed hook, baiting the lines again and retying the tackle.
Lewis was also an accomplished handyman who was willing to try to fix anything. He always entertained Gail's latest "vision" for their home and worked hard to accomplish the task to her high expectations. He was always available to family and friends for painting, wallpapering, restoration and building projects. Highlights include refinishing and restoring all of the antiques in their home, laying thousands of square feet of Saltillo tile, planting 1,000 baby pine trees on their Floresville property and building a garage with an upstairs apartment.
Edward J. Preston, Jr.
Colonel Edward John Preston, Jr., 84, passed peacefully 17 Dec 17 at his home in Kingsville, TX, where he had resided since 1993. Born in San Benito, TX to parents Edward “Tony” J. Preston, Sr. and Vivian G. Matatall, Edward’s family, including siblings Richard and Jeannine, moved to Brownsville when he was 7 years old. There Edward excelled in both academics and football, was a well known swing dancer, and, if the stories he told his children are any indication, could be a bit of a well-humored troublemaker from time to time.
A veteran of over 39 years active duty in the Army, Edward enlisted in 1951 and served as a combat medic in the Korean War. In 1959 he entered the College of Arts and Industries, also enrolling in ROTC. He was commissioned from Javelina Battalion as a Second Lieutenant in the Medical Services Corp in 1962. Among the many assignments throughout his career the following stand out: serving as the Commander of the 57th Medical Detachment “DUSTOFF” air ambulance during the Vietnam War, Commander of the 326th Medical Battalion of the 101st Airborne Division, and Liaison Officer to the German General Staff at the NATO medical compound in Heidelberg, Germany.
Edward earned numerous recognitions and awards including three Legions of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, four awards for Meritorious Service, 38 awards of the Air Medal with three having the “V” device, the Army Commendation Medal, Master Army Aviator Badge, Combat Infantry Badge, Combat Medical Badge, as well as a number of foreign decorations.
Retiring from active duty in 1993 at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Edward and his two youngest sons relocated to Kingsville where he took up a role teaching History, Government and JROTC at The Academy High School. He became closely involved with Texas A&M University Kingsville’s alumni program, giving generously, as well as being instrumental in establishing scholarships and support for the programs and students at Javelina Nation. A strong supporter of all TAMUK Athletics, Edward held season tickets on the 50 yard line of the football field since 1962 and especially loved the Ladies’ Volleyball program, being recognized as Booster of the Year in 2017.
An avid traveller, Edward took his family to Disneyland at least 20 times over the years, toured Germany, Austria and the Alps, visited the ancient ruins in Rome and Cairo, attended the 70th and 73rd D-Day Anniversary celebrations in Normandy, hiked Hawaii, and, perhaps dearest to his heart, made many trips to visit family and friends in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Becoming affectionately known throughout the Kingsville community as “The Colonel” or “Uncle Ed”, he was not only a father but also a best friend to his children and extended family, as well as their friends, many of whom also regarded him as a father figure and role moral. A dedicated member of his Catholic parish in Sarita, Edward regularly participated as a reader and lent his support to a variety of events and fundraisers. He was quick to laugh and smile, always willing to help others, a champion of animal welfare, experienced a love / hate relationship with the San Antonio Spurs, and the kindest, most generous soul one could meet.
William "Bill" R. Hill
Dr. William Raymond Hill, Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.), 80, passed away November 4, 2017 in Greenville, SC at the age of 80. Bill was born 30 Aug 1937 in Spartanburg, SC and was the older son of the late Frank Hill and Helen Howard Hill.
Dr. Hill was an Eagle Scout and had distinguished careers in both the military and civilian sectors. He loved his family, friends, co-workers, and was respected by all who met him. He graduated from Clemson University in 1959 where he achieved many honors including membership in the Tiger Brotherhood, the National Society of the Pershing Rifles, Blue Key National Fraternity, and was named one of the "16 Outstanding Seniors of 1959." He also obtained a MBA degree from Syracuse University in 1970 and a Doctorate in Public Health from the University of South Carolina in 1998.
Dr. Hill entered the United States Army as a distinguished military graduate from Clemson and proudly served 28 years as an officer in the Medical Service Corps obtaining the rank of full Colonel. Col. Hill received many military awards including the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and several air medals. He served in combat in Vietnam as one of the heroic "Dust-Off" helicopter pilots. He flew 463 combat hours and helped rescue 370 wounded. In his last assignment, Col. Hill served as the Deputy Commander for Administration, U..S. Army Medical Department Activity, at Ft. Jackson, SC.
After retiring from the army in 1988, Dr. Hill worked for the State of South Carolina. His last position was the Director of Student Health Services for the University of South Carolina where he received the prestigious Charles F. Bohmann Award for outstanding performance and retired in 2006.
Gary A. Potter
Gary Alan Potter, 70, passed away on 4 Oct 17 at Kaweah Delta Hospital in Visalia, CA following a battle with lung cancer.
Gary was a long-time resident of Three Rivers, CA where he had resided for nearly 40 years. Gary was born in Faulkton, SD 19 Aug 47 before moving to Porterville, CA at an early age with his parents Claire and Gwen Potter. He attended St Anne’s elementary school and later Porterville High School.
Gary enlisted in the United States Army in 1967 and was graduated flight school in Fort Rucker, AL. Gary served two tours of duty in the Vietnam Conflict where he served as an Aeromedical Evacuation (DUSTOFF) Pilot. Upon his discharge from the active duty Army in 1970, Gary continued flying helicopters for the California Army National Guard and several civilian companies. Gary also founded Potters Porta-Potties and was frequently seen throughout the central valley in one of his namesake trucks.
Gary was a devout Roman Catholic and served in many capacities in several Catholic Parishes. On 21 Sep 85 Gary married the former Katherine Quinn of Bakersfield, CA and they began building the Potters current home on North Fork Drive. Their children; James, Therese, Joseph, and Marie were all raised in Three Rivers.
Gary was a friend to all and was legendary for his sense of humor. He was also well known as a man of strong convictions who would always do what he thought was right.
William J. Hughes
William J. Hughes, originally from Florence, New Jersey, and lately of Spring Hill, Florida, died 3 Sep 17.
Bill grew up in Florence and, after graduating high school there, joined the US Army. After basic training, he went to Fort Sam Houston, Texas to train as a medical aid man and then deployed to Vietnam in 1964 where he volunteered to join the 57th Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance) as a flight medic. The 57th was the first helicopter ambulance unit in Vietnam and became the basis for the doctrine and tactics that other units would follow later in that war. Known far and wide by their call sign of “Dust Off”, the 57th was responsible for saving thousands of lives. Under the tutelage of Major Charles Kelly, Bill and his fellow crew members would develop the mantra for all Dust Off units that followed “When we have your wounded!” As a flight medic, Bill went on to earn numerous combat awards for personal heroism.
Bill had an artistic bent and designed the unit patch worn with pride by fellow members of the 57thand all who followed. He also helped design the patch worn by members of the 82nd Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance), the second unit to deploy to Vietnam.
Because of his many talents, Bill was well liked by all members of his unit and was a personal favorite of its Operations Officer, Captain Paul Bloomquist. As his tour of duty was nearing its end, Bill asked to extend against the advice of Captain Bloomquist and the unit commander. On 12 Nov 65, he was seriously wounded after a bullet penetrated his femoral artery. He was rushed to the nearest medical facility where a waiting doctor applied a hemostat to stop the profuse bleeding, thus saving his life. After initial care, he was placed on an Air Force medical evacuation aircraft bound for Japan, but Bill knew the seriousness of his wounds would not allow him to return to Vietnam, so he began talking with Comic Actress Martha Raye who happened to be on the same flight. She was an honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the US Special Forces and had been visiting troops in Vietnam and she was somehow able to get him sent on to the United States.
Bill spent several months recuperating at Valley Forge Army Hospital in Pennsylvania and at his home in Florence. He eventually returned to duty and was later promoted, but his injury continued to plague him to the point that he had to be medically discharged. He then joined the faculty of Trenton Junior College in New Jersey where he taught art and photography. He eventually retired to Spring Hill where he began tracking down fellow Dust Off comrades. He was very successful with this effort and helped form the Dust Off Association where he was a frequent and enthusiastic attendee at its annual reunions.
One of his major contributions was the production and printing of a major historical three ring binder entitled “VIETNAM PHOTOS 1964-1965, 57TH MEDICAL DETACHMENT (HELICOPTER AMBULANCE).” A copy of this major effort is on file at the Army Medical Department Museum at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
Bill was also very interested in music and one of his favorite life quotes was from the poet Shelly. “Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thoughts”. And so it is for those who knew and served with Bill.
SSG Sean Devoy was killed 12 Sep 17 after falling during hoist training near Robert Gray Army Airfield. Devoy, a medic, was among soldiers from the 1st Infantry conducting training with an HH-60M Black Hawk medical evacuation helicopter.
Devoy, was with the 2nd General Support Aviation Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley in Kansas. Devoy was deployed to Germany in 2010 and had three deployments to Afghanistan in his seven years of service. He was 28 years old and was posthumously promoted to staff sergeant. Devoy’s home of record is Ballwin, Missouri.
Donald P. Goody
Donald Peter Goody, a resident of Midland City, passed away 11 Sep 17. He was 73. Mr. Goody was born on 5 Mar 44 in Parma, OH and lived there during the early years of his life. Following his graduation from high school he joined the US Army and completed 3 tours in Vietnam. He retired after 24 years in the military and later worked at Flight Safety International at the Dothan Airport for over 20 years until his retirement in 2008.
Mr. Goody dedicated a big part of his life to the Boy Scouts, serving for over 27 years. He was awarded the Silver Beaver Award, the Volunteer of the Year Class Award in 2017, served on the Executive Board, served as Assistant Scout Master for Troop 106, a Member of the Order of the Arrow, served on the Eagle Board, and served as Honorary Chairman of an Eagle Scout Class. Mr. Goody was a member of the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Group, the Harley-Davidson Owners Group (HOG) from Dothan, Alabama.
William W. Watkins
Major William Wayne Watkins, 78, of Chipley, passed peacefully into the arms of God at his home Sunday, 5 Feb 17. His hard fought battle against Burkitt Lymphoma, due to exposure to Agent Orange used in Vietnam, was incredibly courageous.
Wayne was born 12 Nov 38, to Kathleen and Frank B. Watkins in Opelika, AL, and moved to Panama City when he was three years of age. He attended Panama Grammar School and was graduated from Bay High School in 1956. Wayne's happy boyhood was spent in St. Andrews where he lived on Mound Avenue and had many happy memories in downtown Panama City as well that he cherished and reminisced about often. After graduation, Wayne was active in the National Guard and attended William Carey College in Hattiesburg, MS, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1963.
After working in the field of marine biology, Wayne joined the United States Army in 1966 as an officer, where he trained as a helicopter pilot before being deployed to Vietnam as a Aeromedical Evacuation Pilot. He served his country from 1967-1968 in the Vietnam War and was involved in some of the most intense battles and was wounded himself while evacuating severely injured troops. For his service, Wayne received the Purple Heart, and Bronze Star Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with one Silver Star and one Bronze Star, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm, Combat Medical Badge, Army Service Ribbon, Master Army Aviator Badge, National Defense Service Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Air Medal. After the Vietnam War ended, Wayne continued his military career at Fort Rucker, AL, where he was the commander of "Flat Iron" and became an instructor pilot, training many new helicopter pilots to serve our country.
Wayne chose an early, honorable retirement in 1984 to pursue his boyhood dream of owning his beloved Oaks Farm. He spent a number of years developing and restoring the land he so loved. His restoration work of the farm's natural ecosystems relative to vegetation and water conservation earned him the "Outstanding Conservationist of the Year" Award in 2001.
In 1996, he married Cynthia Calloway Watkins and together, their love for conservation led them to found a work of wolf and wildlife conservation in 1999. Wayne spent 18 years passionately, devotedly and sacrificially as a dedicated conservationist for this cause. He was loved, respected, and admired by all who knew him and his great faith in God was always the source of his courage and strength. William Wayne Watkins was a true hero who loved his country and was a great, passionate patriot. He was a profound visionary man whose dreams and visions will live on to touch the lives of many for the greater good of our country, planet and mankind.
Jerry E. Pask
Jerry Pask succumbed to cardiac arrest in his sleep on 19 March 2017 in Park Forest, IL. Jerry served with the 498th Medical Company at An Son Vietnam from January 1969 to May 1970.
During his 18-month tour (913 flight hours) in Vietnam, Pask earned a Purple Heart for being wounded in action and received three Air Medals, Army Commendation Medal (for Meritorious Service), Vietnam Service Medals (both American and South Vietnamese), Enlisted Personal Flight Crew Wings, Combat Medic Badge and National Defense Service Medal.
His Air Medals included the first for Meritorious Service (first 25 mission/flight hours) and two additional for Heroism and Valor with "V" Device while participating in aerial flight against hostile forces.
After graduating from Berwyn's Morton West High School in 1967, Pask joined the U.S. Army and completed his basic training at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri and his 10-week Advance Individual Training as a Medical Corpsman at Fort Sam Houston in Texas.
Upon arrival in South Vietnam, Pask volunteered to serve with the 498th Medical Company (Air Ambulance Helicopters), which was located about 10 miles west of Qui Nhon on the South China Sea, and received only two days of on-the-job flight training.
One of the most famous combat support elements was universally known as "dust off," the medical evacuation helicopters, which were identified by a large Red Cross on a field of white. Rescue missions covered Landing Zones (or LZs) and hoists along rugged shorelines, white sandy beaches and mountain highlands. From time on injury to arrival at a hospital ranged from less than15 minutes up to two hours of flight time. On occasion, Pask's crew was called upon to rescue and recover fellow aviators who were shot down or killed in action.
Prior to his military service, Pask had a passion for photography and hoped to attend still photography school. Once honorably discharged, he first attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale seeking a degree in forestry. Then he enrolled at the University of Illinois in Champaign on the G.I. Bill and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Landscape Architecture.
Thomas M. McCrary
LTC. (Ret.) Thomas Michael McCrary, 72, of Fair Oaks Ranch passed away of cancer on Saturday, 15 July 2017 at home surrounded by his family.
Thomas (best known as Tom or Tommy) was born October 13, 1944 in Dallas, Texas to James C. McCrary and Annette Elora Robinson McCrary. He married the love of his life, Vicki Anne Creasey of Oklahoma City on September 2, 1967. They were college sweethearts at Oklahoma State University where they met. He always said she was his “heartbeat.”
Tom began his Army Career on September 5, 1967, reporting for duty to Fort Sam Houston, Texas to the Army Medical Dept. Officer Basic Course. His next duty assignment was Fort Wolters, Texas to begin his Army Aviation Training and in 1967, he then went to Fort Hunter-Stewart where he graduated as a Rotary Wing Aviator. Upon graduation he was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division Vietnam where he flew MEDEVAC (DUSTOFF) Helicopters, risking his life to save wounded soldiers. On one of these missions, he was shot down but his courage and strength gave him the determination to complete his missions.
Tom returned to the U.S. and went on to various duty assignments with his wife, Vicki. Tom accomplished a great deal throughout his military career and was recognized for his outstanding achievements. He was a Battalion Commander, a MedEvac Detachment Commander, and an instructor at Fort Sam Houston. He received many awards including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal (1st Oak Leaf Cluster), Air Medal (17), and National Defense Service Medal among many others. He also received his Senior Army Aviator Badge and went to Air Assault School and Armed Forces Staff College. He retired in September 1989 after 22 years of service.
After his illustrious military career and short time as an outstanding realtor, he officially retired and spent most of his time doing what he loved most - playing golf. In doing so, he met a great group of gentlemen who became his closest friends. This group, who called themselves “The Grinders,” met several times a week. Tom was an inspiration to everyone that knew him.
Arthur J. Ketchum
SPC Arthur James Ketchum (AJ), age 45 of Jacksonville, FL shed his mortal bonds 10 Jan 17 after a battle with Non Hodgkin's Burkett lymphoma in Winston-Salem, NC. AJ was born to James and Lois (VanDyke) Ketchum in Kalamazoo, MI. Ketchum was graduated from Otsego High School and shortly after joined the Army where he traveled to Germany, South Korea, and served 3 tours in Balad, Afghanistan. AJ was a rabid Cubs fan, a sci-fi geek, and an A & P Mechanic. Ketchum served 19 years in the United States Army and was a member of the 256th Medical Company Aerial Support in the Florida Army National Guard when he died.
Jennifer M. Flood
Jennifer Marie Flood of Valley Cottage, NY, passed away on Tuesday, 10 Jan 17. She was 41.
Jennifer was born 24 Jan 75 in Suffern, NY to John and Laraine (Gill) Flood. She attended Minisink Valley Schools and was graduated from Minisink Valley High School where she was a member of the soccer and track teams.
Jennifer was a flight medic with the U. S. Army, attaining the rank of Sergeant before leaving in 2000 after serving six years of active duty.
Peter G Dorland
Peter Grant Dorland, Major, United States Army retired, passed away 4 Nov 15.
He was born March 17, 1946 to a career military family. He attended high school at Battle Ground Academy in Franklin, TN where he excelled in academics and wrestling. His undergraduate education was at Amherst College where he majored in biology. He graduated in May 1968, and continued post graduate studies at Vanderbilt University. He joined the Army 22 Feb 69, completed Officer Candidate School 23 Jan 70, and commissioned as a MSC officer. During the AMEDD Officer Basic Course, he applied for and was selected to attend the Officer Rotary Wing Aviation Course. Upon completion of the Basic Course, he transferred to Fort Wolters, TX and was placed in helicopter flight training class 70-50. After completing preflight and primary flight training he was transferred to Fort Rucker, AL for instrument and advanced training graduating in early March 1971. Following six additional weeks of training in the Essential Medical Training for AMEDD Aviators course at Fort Sam Houston, TX, he transferred to the assignment for which he had volunteered in The Republic of South Vietnam.
Peter was assigned to the 326th Medical Battalion, Eagle Dustoff, 101st Airborne Division at Camp Eagle, Vietnam. He served as an evacuation pilot from April 1971 to March 1972. During his tour he accumulated significant combat flight hours, successfully evacuating wounded, injured and ill U.S. soldiers, allied soldiers, and Vietnamese civilians. For his accomplishments he was awarded the Bronze Star, ten Air Medals, The Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, and the Vietnam Campaign and Service Medals.
UUpon completion of his combat tour he was reassigned to the 82nd Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance), 1st Aviation Battalion, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, KS. He continued duty as an evacuation pilot and assumed duties as a flight platoon leader. In 1974, he accepted an assignment with the U.S. Army Center of Military History at Fort Detrick, MD, to author a book specifically about the history of Dustoff beginning with the early development of military aviation medical evacuation through the significant role and accomplishments of aeromedical helicopter operations in Vietnam. He completed his manuscript in March 1977. The book, "DUST OFF: Army Aeromedical Evacuation in Vietnam," was published 18 Jan 82.
Peter attended the Army Aviation Safety Officer Course followed by the AMEDD Officer Advanced Course in 1977. In early 1978, he was assigned to the 377th Medical Company (Air Ambulance) in the Republic of South Korea where he resumed flying duty as an evacuation pilot and eventually duty as the executive officer. He returned stateside in early 1979 assigned to the 247th Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance) at Fort Meade, Maryland again as an evacuation pilot and as flight operations officer. The 247th Medical Detachment was transferred to Fort Irwin, CA in early October 1980. He accepted the position as Detachment Commander upon completion of that move. In 1983, Peter completed his command and transferred to Fort Gillem, GA assigned to the Third Army Command Assessment of Readiness and Training Office, CART. In that job, he traveled extensively to US Army Reserve and National Guard Component helicopter aviation sites to provide assistance, assessment and expertise.
On 28 Feb 89 Major Peter G. Dorland, Master Army Aviator, retired.
After his Army retirement he started and managed a successful home construction company, which he owned and operated for many years.
Michael D. Pierceh<2>
Mike Pierce died on 25 Nov 16. Mike served his country and community with pride and distinction.
Mike flew Army Dustoff missions in Vietnam with the 498th Medical Company at Lane Army Heliport in 1970. Although he was a full time Dustoff radio (RTO) operator, Mike volunteered to frequently fly as an armed patient protector as sick and wounded U.S. soldiers were carried from field fire bases to Army evacuation hospitals in An Khe and Qui Nhon. Many times Mike and his radio were the only lifeline communications to other friendly forces. He often went to field locations at LZ English, An Khe and Pleiku to man the base station Dustoff frequencies. He, along with flight medic Richard Doke and crew chief Ken Lamborn (deceased due to KIA), saved many lives in Vietnam.
After Vietnam Mike served in law enforcement for 20 years with the Augusta, GA Richmond County Sheriffs’ Department and 8 years with the city of Farmers Branch, Texas Police Department.
Michael M. Fuller, Sr.
Mike Fuller, 73, of Panama City, passed away 20 Oct 16. Michael was born in Detroit, MI, and lived in Bay County for the last 22 years, coming here from North Carolina. He served 10 years in the US Air Force, and then transferred to the US Army as a helicopter pilot where he flew with the 68th Med De, retiring as a CW2 after his service during Desert Storm. After his military service, Michael worked with the Florida Department of Corrections.
Dallas L. Knox
CW3 Dallas Knox, 35, of Treasure Island succumbed to the effects of a tragic boating accident. CW3 Knox’s current duty assignment was Ft. Knox, KY, and while on leave, he jumped from the rear of a boat that was still moving. The other three passengers of the boat circled back around to search for Knox but were unsuccessful in finding him.
CW3 Knox faithfully served his Country in the U.S. Army and performed duties as a Pilot in Command on Black Hawk MEDEVAC Helicopters. During CW3 Knox’s service to our grateful nation, he performed tours in Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and numerous stateside locations. For his dedicated military service to our Country, CW3 Knox was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal posthumously. CW3 Knox was buried with full military honors.
Quincy D. Sittingdown
Lieutenant Colonel (ret.) Quincy D. Sittingdown, 77, of Junction City, departed this life 21 Nov 15, at his home. Quincy was born July 18, 1938, in Hoisington, KS, the son of James N. & Jasmine (Mullins) Sittingdown. Quincy was graduated from Hoisington High School and later earned a B.S. in Biology at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, TX.
After high school, Quincy enlisted in the U.S Army and left as a sergeant. He was a member of the ROTC while at Hardin-Simmons, and rejoined the Army as a commissioned officer after graduating. Quincy was a helicopter pilot in the military, serving as an Aeromedical Evacuation Officer, and flew medevac helicopters during the Vietnam War. He also was graduated from the Command & General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Quincy earned the Ranger tab and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star Medal, the Legion of Merit, and other medals and ribbons during his distinguished military career.
Robert Minor II
SFC Robert Ernest Minor, II, age 45 of Clarksville, passed away on 14 Sep 16 at his home.
Robert was born on 28 Dec 70 in Fort Carson, CO, the son of Robert Ernest Minor and Donna Strasheim. Robert was currently serving in the U.S. Army as SFC and was a recipient of a Bronze Star and Angel of Battlefield Award.
AAlvaro J. Dominguez
CMSgt Alvaro J. Dominguez (USAF Ret) passed away 11 Aug 16. CMSgt Dominguez was a veteran of the Vietnam War, where he earned several medals, including the Bronze Star with One Oak Leaf Cluster. After retiring from the US Air Force, he went on to work as the Facilities Manager at the U. S. Army Medical Department Museum - Ft. Sam Houston, Texas.
Al was a great friend of DUSTOFF and an Honorary Life member of the DUSTOFF Association. He assisted in our DUSTOFF displays and helped greatly with our Hall of Fame Wall construction and the addition of each new inductee.
Between his military and civil service careers, CMSgt Dominguez proudly served fifty years of federal service. The discipline and patriotism he learned in the Air Force never left him, as family and friends will attest.
Richard Connors, 79, passed away 21 Jul 16, in Lakeway, TX. He was born 18 Sept 36 in Logansport, IN to Paul and Phyllis Connors. Richard grew up and attended schools in Logansport, IN. After his graduation, Richard joined the U.S. Air Force. In 1956, Richard married the love of his life, Ruth Ann Tennison.
After serving in the Air Force, Richard earned his B.S. in Microbiology at Purdue University. He then joined the U.S. Army, where he attended flight school. Richard served his country in the US Army as an aeromedical evacuation pilot (DUSTOFF) in the Vietnam War. He completed many rescue missions, saving and helping anyone he could. In 1968, during his second tour of duty in Vietnam, he was shot while attempting an air ambulance rescue. His bravery in the war earned him a Purple Heart Medal and Bronze Star Medal. He medically retired with honors from the US Army as a Major. Richard then completed his M.S. in Science Education at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX and a PhD in Administrative Education at the University of Texas- Austin. Richard then worked as a civil servant for the U.S. Army in Fort Sam Houston, TX and Fort Detrick, MD. /p>
Richard was an active member of the DUSTOFF Association. In addition, for many years, he served on the Bandera County Water Board, contributed regular editorials to the Bandera Bulletin, volunteered for the Pipe Creek Volunteer Fire Department, and donated hours of his time to the Texas Institute of Culture, where he completed dozens of oral histories of Texas military pilots. He also assisted homeless dogs by donating the use of one of his houses to the local animal welfare society.
Richard always enjoyed gardening, traveling, and do-it-yourself projects, but his favorite pastime was wood-working. His children and grandchildren have many furniture pieces that were created by Richard and these items will be cherished for many generations to come.
CW3 Keith Junas filed his final flight plan on his birthday 24 May 16 in Syringa, ID and was in hospice first. His ashes were scattered 25 Jun by his family. He was originally from Manteca, CA.
Keith was a crewchief with the 1st Air Cavalry in Vietnam, and upon returning applied for flight school. He flew with the 326th Medical Battalion 101st Airborne Division “Eagle Dustoff”. While assigned to them he did a TDY at Eniwetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands in the late 1970’s for medical coverage . Upon returning to Ft. Campbell he was reassigned to the 377 Medical Company in Korea. He will be missed. RIP Brother!
James H. Ihli, 68, of Boise, passed away 29 Mar 10 at the VA hospital in Boise. He attended New Mexico Military Institute on a ROTC scholarship where he also played football. He was graduated from Idaho State University in 1965. He entered the Army March 66, and spent 5 years in the service -19 months of that in Vietnam as a U S Army Medical Evacuation Helicopter pilot. He served with the 254th Medical Detachment from 1967-1968.
For heroism and extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight, Jim earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. This is an amazing record of dedication to recover our wounded soldiers in the field under fire. In addition, Jim was awarded the Air Medal with 29 Oak Leaf Clusters. The air medal definition is "person shall have distinguished himself by meritorious achievement while in aerial flight or acts of heroism".
After Jim returned home, he owned the Glenwood Bar, 44 Club, and a ranch in the foothills of Mountain Home. He worked for the Boise City Parks and Recreation until he retired in Jan 07.
Jim had a heart of gold. He was always willing to help someone in need financially or just be there as a friend. The courage Jim displayed during his life was notable. The numerous missions he flew in Vietnam as a DUSTOFF pilot continuously put him in harm's way. The last 20 years of his life were difficult at times while he battled cancer. In all things, his ability to continue to fight for life everyday was remarkable. He will not be forgotten.
Edward J. FitzGerald
Edward Joseph FitzGerald's physical life ended on 15 Jun after a short but arduous battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his children, grandchildren and brother allowing him to pass peacefully and to continue on in his spiritual journey. Ed Jr. was born on 3 May 43 in Jackson Heights, New York, to Edward and Dorothy (DeChiara) FitzGerald. He lived on Long Island, graduating from Chaminade High School and continuing his education at Providence College. He was accepted into the first ROTC Aviation program and became a skilled helicopter pilot. He served over four years in the Army Medical Service as a Medevac pilot. During the Vietnam War, Ed flew with the 498th Med Co (AA) out of Nha Trang and Qui Nhon from Jan 67 to Jan 68 flying hundreds of rescue missions, logging thousands of flying hours and saving countless lives, all while risking his own. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He also served in Germany as a medical evacuation pilot for two years prior to discharge from Active Duty. Upon discharge, Ed and his family moved to California, endured the 1971 San Fernando earthquake, and then relocated to central Connecticut. He was employed by AETNA Life and Casualty Insurance Company in Hartford, while continuing to fly helicopters with the CT Army National Guard. After retirement, Ed worked part-time jobs in Rhode Island and Georgia.
Howard Ronald "Ronnie" Crotty
Crotty, 77, passed away 15 Jan 16 in Dallas. Ronnie was born 5 May 5 38 in Herndon, WV to the late Howard Richard Crotty and Thelma L. Patterson Crotty. He was a retired U.S. Army helicopter pilot, serving two tours in Vietnam. Crotty flew air ambulance helicopters at Fort Hood, TX 1980-1985 and was a member of the DUSTOFF Association. He was an active member of the Military Order of the Purple Cross and Benbrook VFW. Ronnie was a graduate of UNT.
Alfred G. Nichols III
LTC Alfred G. Nichols III (Ret.), passed away peacefully at Hildebrand Care Center in Canon City 14 Feb 16. Born in Greenwood, Florida, on 8 Dec 37, to Virginia N. Nichols and Alfred G. Nichols, Jr., he held degrees from the University of South Florida and the University of Colorado. He began his 23-year Army career in the 82nd Airborne. He followed that with two tours in Vietnam as a Special Forces (Green Beret) A-Team Commander and a medevac helicopter pilot, where he carried over 2,000 wounded. He was awarded the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star for Valor, Army Commendation for Valor, three Air Medals for Valor, and the Purple Heart, among many other medals. After moving to Colorado, he commanded a helicopter rescue unit (MAST) at Fort Carson, taught JROTC at Canon City High School, was an adjunct professor of Criminal Justice at Pueblo Community College, and served on the Canon City Police Reserve.
William D. Mostek
William "Bill" Dean Mostek, 62, passed away 3 Sep 11, in Bonners Ferry. Bill was born 28 Jan 49, in Sandpoint, to Leonard and Elizabeth Mostek. He grew up and attended schools in Bonners Ferry, graduating high school in 1967. Three days after his graduation, Bill went to work at Boeing in Seattle, where he worked until enlisting in the Army in June 1968. Bill served his country for three years, first as a crew chief and then cross-training as a medic transporting wounded soldiers in an UH1H air ambulance. He received 14 air medals and four Bronze Stars for his service.
In 1986, Bill married the love of his life and lifetime friend Lynn Truesdell, and formed their family with her son Jason Whittaker. Bill worked at the Co-op and then scaled logs for 30 years. He helped most of the scalars in this area, as well as the local cub scouts, learn how to identify species and scale. Every year that Bill taught the cub scouts they took first place in the state competition.
Bill is a member of the Disabled American Veterans and volunteered to assist veterans in Boundary County with needs such as purchasing wheelchairs and food. Bill has also belonged to the Lions Club, Eagles, VFW, and the American Legion. Bill loved his family with unconditional love. Bill and Lynn also loved hunting for firewood and spent many hours looking for rocks with faces in them. Bill loved to dance and enjoyed nights sitting on his deck.
Robert A. Carr
LTC Robert Adam "Bob" Carr, 82, of Waynesboro formally of Maryland, passed away 22 Dec 15 at his residence. He was born in Texas on 27 Feb 33, a son of the late Edward and Edith Carr. Bob proudly served his beloved country during the Vietnam and in the United States Army. He received his masters from St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas. Bob was a member of the American Legion Post in Millington, Maryland. In his retirement, Bob greatly enjoyed fishing, hunting, shopping for antique furniture and art. He was a humble man with great love for his country and his family.
Jason M. Smith
SFC Jason M. Smith, 35, whose home of record is Destrehan, LA, died 23 Nov 15, when his UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter crashed on Fort Hood. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 291st Aviation Regiment, First Army Division West and had flown DUSTOFF in a previous assignment.
Smith entered active-duty service in June 2000 as a UH-60 Blackhawk crew chief, and was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 291st Aviation Regiment, Division West, 1st Army, Fort Hood, since October 29.
He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from Aug 04 to Mar 05, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from Sep 11 to Sep 12 and in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Freedom's Sentinel from Sep 14 to May 15. He was also deployed for relief efforts at home and his accomplishments aided in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
He was a graduate of ALC, SLC, USAF Airlift planner WLC, FI school, SI school, ER med tech course, Hazmat Family Safety, Small Arms Maintenance, developed SOP for LUH at Fort Polk. He attended Destrehan High School, and was graduated in 1999.
Earl F. Deming
Earl Fred Deming, age 74, of Meadow Lane, Oak Grove passed away 2 Oct 15, of natural causes at his home.
Mr. Deming was born in Ellsworth, KS on 18 Apr 41, the son of the late Earl J. and Violet L. Kempke Deming, Jr. He was a retired US Army SFC who served in Vietnam where he earned a Silver Star. After the Army he worked as a chef for Western State Hospital and Memorial Hospital in Clarksville. Earl was a member of Faith Lutheran of Hopkinsville and a lifetime member of VFW Post 1913 and
Byron P. Howlett, Jr.
Byron Pearman Howlett, Jr., died 18 Sep 15. He was a retired Colonel, U.S. Army, and retired Executive, USAA. Byron loved God, his family, and his country in very close order. He learned these things from a devoted family whose descendants went back to the American Revolutionary War.
Byron was born on July 1, 1929, in Charleston, MO, and moved with his family to Monticello, AR, when he was three. He received a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Arkansas at Monticello in 1951 and was retained there as an Assistant Football Coach.
The Korean War was raging and he was soon drafted into service. After commissioning and flight training, he flew medical evacuation missions for 16 months in Korea. As he neared completion of his military obligation and thinking he would be returning to civilian life, he did graduate work at the Harvard Business School and received an MBA. It was at this point that he realized that he had felt strongly about serving his country and chose a military career over corporate. His duty assignments took him to three continents. His greatest pride came from serving with the men of DUSTOFF flying medevac missions in both Korea and Vietnam. He commanded a medical evacuation unit in the northern part of Vietnam and felt all these men were heroes. He earned many medals including the Silver Star.
He remained in the Army for 31 years and retired as the Assistant Commandant at the Academy of Health Sciences at Fort Sam Houston. After military retirement he felt privileged to have a second career with USAA, which he considered one of the nation's most honorable companies. He had served on the Boards of the DUSTOFF Association, MOAA, the Harvard Club of San Antonio, the USAA Golden Eagles, and the Bexar County Appraisal Review Board. He was a member of Sons of the American Revolution, was a lifelong lover of golf and a founding member of the Dominion Country Club.
Byron was a classic example of the values of his era in which integrity, frugality, and high moral values were not negotiable.
It is with deep sadness we announce that COL(R) Ernie Sylvester, 74 of Tampa, passed away on the morning of 14 Aug 15. Born in New Orleans, LA, growing up in Gulfport, MS., Ernie served his country in the US Army in his early career as a air ambulance pilot, and later as a Hospital Administrator. Ernie was a Past President of the Dustoff Association (2004-05) and a member of the .
In 1964, as a 2LT, he was assigned to the famed 57th Medical Detachment (AA) in Soc Trang, Vietnam. He often flew as MAJ Kelly's co-pilot, flying in all conditions, and directly into the teeth of the enemy to save the wounded under the most dangerous conditions. Ernie was the first Army helicopter pilot to exceed 1000 hours of flight time in a 12-month period, and was the Pilot-in-Command of the helicopter that recovered MAJ Kelly's body when he was killed on 1 July 1964. He carried the lessons learned from Kelly forward to the newly arrived 82nd Medical Detachment (AA) in the fall of 1964, and commanded both the 54th and 68th Medical Detachments in Vietnam in 1970. During his two tours in Vietnam, he earned three DFCs, 47 Air Medals (multiple with V/device), the Bronze Star with V, and the Purple Heart.
The DUSTOFF Association strives to both honor and follow in the huge footsteps left by those who paved the way. Ernie was one of those who left a lasting legacy through his humility, his gregarious personality, and his selfless service as a leader and mentor in the DUSTOFF community. He was also a dedicated leader within his church and a highly respected individual within his community.
Jacob W. Mast, Jr.
Jacob Mast Jr., 75, of Chesterfield, died peacefully 12 May 15, after a five-year, courageous struggle with Agent Orange exposure sarcoma. Jake served as a MAJ in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps, where he was involved in the operation of military hospitals and medical evacuation detachments. He piloted medevac helicopter rescue missions in the Republic of Korea and Vietnam, earning the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, Combat Medic Badge, Bronze Star, Distinguished Flying Cross and the Korean Prime Minister's Citation for civilian disaster rescues.
A graduate of Randolph-Macon College and master's degree recipient from the VCU School of Rehabilitation Counseling, Jake pursued a career dedicated to public service, concentrating in long-term geriatric care administration. Jake retired as CEO of the nonprofit Lucy Corr Village of the Health Center Commission for Chesterfield County. In his almost three-decade career there he demonstrated foresight in his understanding of the health care industry by inspiring development and construction of an expanded nursing home, the first special care unit for dementia residents in the Commonwealth of Virginia, a licensed assisted living adult day care center, a state of the art health care center, and a full service continuing care retirement community, "Springdale." Jake served on numerous boards of directors of health care commissions and foundations. Jake was also Past Commodore of the Greater Richmond Sailing Association and a 43-year active member of Rotary International, South Richmond Rotary Club.
Jake always enjoyed golf, tennis and jogging, but his favorite pastime was sailing with Kay, either when racing their Flying Scot daysailer or relaxing upon their Freedom yacht cruising the Chesapeake and the East Coast from Nantucket and Newport to Florida and the Bahamas. Jake always said he "had saltwater in his veins."
Joseph P. Madrano
COL Joseph P. Madrano, U.S. Army (Ret.), born 20 Apr 22, in Reading, PA, to Dan and Agnes Madrano, filed his final flight plan 8 May 15. A proud veteran of three wars and over 39 years of total service, he started his military career at the age of 17 while still in high school, by joining the Oklahoma National Guard. Inducted into active federal service in 1940, he trained as infantry squad leader before transferring to the Army Air Corps, training as Aviation Cadet at Randolph and Ellington Fields, where he received his commission as 2LT and rating of Pilot.
Following training in Florida as a pilot of a Martin B-26, commonly called “The Widow Maker,” the “Flying Coffin,” or the dubious name of “Prostitute” (because it had no visible means of support), he completed 46 combat missions in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. After completing his tour, he returned to the States and served as a pilot instructor until his separation from the service in 1945. After graduation from University of Tulsa in 1949, he worked as a schoolteacher until he was called back into active service, this time as Medical Service Corps officer. He was then assigned to Japan, where he “sat out” the Korean conflict by training troops and providing services to returning troops.
In 1953 he returned to the States and undertook helicopter training at Ft. Sill, OK, and Ft. Rucker, AL, where he was retained as an instructor for two years. Over the following 20-plus years he served at a number of posts as a commander and staff officer, including two tours of Germany and one in Vietnam. While in Vietnam he commanded a medical evacuation unit. He also attended a number of schools, including the Army Command and General Staff College and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. The recipient of numerous awards and decorations from the U.S. and foreign governments, he was most proud of the Army Good Conduct Medal, which he claimed to have earned the old-fashioned way—by being a good soldier. Joe retired in 1979 at Ft. Lewis, WA, and since that time has been a volunteer in a number of activities in Washington and Texas.
Henry Mayer Jr.
COL Henry “Hank” Mayer Jr. (Ret.), a military surgeon, DUSTOFF pilot who flew two tours in Vietnam and thousands of life-saving hours, rancher, sports enthusiast, Army veteran and community supporter, died unexpectedly May 5, 2015.
He was a resident of the Killeen area for 35 years and actively involved in many community activities. During his 30 years in the U.S. Army, his last assignment included serving as an orthopedic surgeon and deputy commander of Darnall Army Medical Center. He received numerous military awards including the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross and the Bronze Star Medal.
After his military retirement, he was employed as an orthopedic surgeon by Kings Daughters Clinic of Temple for over 20 years. He was a graduate of Ohio University and Texas Tech University School of Medicine. He was recruited to the new Texas Tech University School of Medicine after his second DUSTOFF tour in Vietnam where he met the man who was to be its director.
During the last 35 years, Dr. Mayer rarely missed a Killeen Independent School District football game. He joined the teams on the field the first quarter of his first game he attended in fall 1980 and stayed with the teams from then on. He was the “team Doc” for all of the Killeen ISD athletes who needed help. He also volunteered with the Athletic Department of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor as the team physician for the last seven years.
Dr. Mayer was a member of the Killeen Evening Rotary, a director on the board of the Greater Killeen Free Clinic, a recipient of the Medicine Man award in 2009, a Bell County rancher, a member of Harker Heights United Methodist Church, Junior Livestock Show supporter and lover of the outdoors.
Louis L. Mizell
LTC (R) Louis L. Mizell was born in Oshkosh, NE in 1931 and died on March 19, 2015. His family moved to western Colorado when he was 5, where he lived until 1948, when he joined the Army as a private. He retired in 1969 as an LTC. The major part of his career was spent in the Medical Service Corps, where he flew medical evacuation helicopters in Germany, Iran, Korea, Vietnam and a number of US locations. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, the Air Medal for Valor with 12 Oak Leaf Clusters, and many other awards.
Louis married Doris Dahl, an Army Nurse, at the old Madigan Chapel, immediately prior to his Vietnam deployment. After retirement they, and their family moved to University Place. He was employed by Great Western Helicopters, which was located at Tacoma Industrial Airport as the Manager and Chief Pilot. The company contracted with the National Forest Service to fight forest fires and also did some work in positioning radio towers and installing air conditioners on building roofs.
He was a life member of the Veteran's of Foreign Wars Post #318, Olympia, the Military Officers Association of America, the DUSTOFF Association, and the .
Henry" Hank" P. Capozzi
LTC (Ret.) Henry" Hank" P. Capozzi passed away after a long bout with cancer, 28 Feb 15 at 87 years of age.
Capozzi was a lifelong Army officer and DUSTOFF air ambulance helicopter pilot who served bravely in Korea and also completed two tours in Vietnam. He served as an Operations Officer and an Instructor Pilot 1957 to 1959. Capozzi hand picked his aircrew for the 82nd Medical Detachment at Soc Trang Army Air Field, serving as its Commander from July 1964 through July 1965. Under his leadership the 82nd received Presidential Unit Citations, a Valorous Unit Award along with other medals of recognition.
Hank was among the original H13, Sioux "Bubble Helicopter" pilots, which later led to his passion in founding "". Along with his fellow SoloPilots, this small elite group remained steadfast in recognizing the pilots who not only flew solo, but had to be their own mechanic and medic. They were responsible for emergency helicopter evacuations leading to saving thousands of wounded on the battlefield. Under Capozzi's leadership as President of the SoloPilots, the society was able to have these hero's recognized and a plaque honoring their commitment and sacrifice placed at the Army Medical Department Museum.
His dedication, bravery and savvy flying skills were his biggest virtues. He was highly decorated throughout his career, respectfully declining the Purple Heart commendation following what he deemed to be a minor injury during combat. " I was just doing my job, that is not what the Purple Heart is for..." He explained.
Michael Wayne Rinehart
Michael Wayne Rinehart, 71, Tallahassee resident, passed away peacefully Saturday, 7 Feb 15 at Big Bend Hospice after a brief battle with lung cancer.
Born 9 Oct 43, in Obion County, TN, he was preceded in death by his parents Sara Bizzle Rinehart and Charles Edwin Rinehart.
Mike attended the University of Tennessee and Memphis State University. He served proudly in the Army from 1967 to 1970 and was most proud of the year he flew as a DUSTOFF pilot in Vietnam. He enjoyed sailing, drawing, reading, traveling and bird watching. He worked at the Florida Dept. of Insurance and Dept. of Agriculture and in recent years worked for North American Midway Entertainment.
Donald L. Underwood
Don Underwood (LTC ret.) was graduated with Flight Class 68-1 and flew in Vietnam with the 283rd Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance) under the Call Sign DUSTOFF 61 in 1968-69 as a Warrant Officer. On one fateful day, while attempting to evacuate wounded soldiers from a mountain top fire base, his ship was hit by enemy fire resulting in a loss of aircraft control and a subsequent crash. He and the Aircraft Commander, CPT Conners, the unit commander, were both severely injured. He was evacuated to the 71st Evacuation Hospital in Pleiku and eventually to Japan where he quickly recovered and was back with the 283rd in only a month. He completed his year-long combat tour in spite of his injuries. Later he accepted a commission in the Air Defense Artillery branch.
The project for which Don is most famous was a flight test of the Williams Aerial Surveillance Platform (WASP). The vehicle was essentially a cruise missile engine mounted vertically and stabilized only by the pilot shifting his weight. He was one of only two uniformed service members to achieve sufficient proficiency to operate the WASP in free flight.
He accrued over 3700 flight hours in 35 models of 24 different types of aircraft. Don retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1989.
Ronald Wells Sr.
Ronald (Ronnie) Hugh Wells, Sr., aged 67, was called home by his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Sunday, 14 Sep 14 at his home in Yazoo City, MS. He was born 22 Nov 46 in McComb, MS to Thelma May Wells and James Hugh Wells, Sr.
He was graduated from McComb High School and attended the University of Southern Mississippi majoring in graphic arts. He proudly served his country in the Vietnam War as a DUSTOFF (Medevac) pilot. After the war, he served 34 years with the Mississippi Army National Guard 185th Aviation Battalion, retiring as a CW4. He then worked for Dyncorp International in Columbia, South America until he retired in November, 2013.
Edgar Franklin Mote
LTC Edgar Franklin Mote (Ret) passed away 6 Dec 14 in San Antonio, TX. He was born 25 Mar 39 in Albany Georgia.
Ed excelled at both high school and college football and track and field. He attended the University of Georgia and Troy State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1963.
Ed's military career commenced in 1964 with two tours of Vietnam as an aeromedical evacuation pilot (DUSTOFF) platoon leader and detachment commander. Ed retired as a LTC in 1987 in San Antonio, having fulfilled numerous postings, including: project manager establishing the first Military Assistance to Safety and Traffic (MAST), Chief of Plans, Operations, Training and Security Division at Landstuhl ARMC in Germany, and Commander of 507 Medical Company at Ft. Sam Houston, TX. His military awards include: Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, and the Meritorious Service Medal and Air Medal.
Ed met his future wife, Ellita Wallace Dodson in San Antonio, TX and they married in 1972 at Maxwell AFB, AL. Ed's post military career included over a decade in the restaurant business. His best times after retirement were spent in pursuit of his greatest passions - the great outdoors and "Miss Ellita", the spice in his life for 42 years.
He exemplified dedication to duty and demonstrated an unwavering work ethic. He is fondly remembered for his banana pudding, venison sausage and cheesy grits.
Thomas “Egor” JohnsonSSG (Retired) Thomas “Egor” Johnson died peacefully in his sleep at 0640 hrs, Saturday, 29 November 2014 in the Hospice Care Wing of the St. Francis Hospital - the same hospital he was born in 68 years, 2 months, and 20 days ago on 09 September 1946. What many don't know is that he was one of those people who would give anyone who would need it the shirt off his back, and not think anything about it. As the Bible would say, he suffered the little ones to come unto him and did what he could to ensure those who required it, received the help they needed - even if they didn't really deserve it.
Founder of the DUSTOFF Association
He served in the US Army from 1964 until 30 September 1984 as a Helicopter Crew-Chief and Mechanic, as a Recruiter, and as a Military Policeman (MP, MPI, and CID). He served 3 combat tours in Viet Nam and was awarded 17 Air Medals, 4 for Valor; the Bronze Star Medal; 2 Army Commendation Medals for Valor; and 3 Purple Heart Medals. Upon his return from Viet Nam, Egor set out to establish what has become the DUSTOFF Association. It was his vision that the DUSTOFF Association would protect and honor the legacy of Army aeromedical evacuation. The result of his efforts is an organization that today stands in the breach to defend such efforts as the award of the Combat Medical Badge to DUSTOFF crewmembers. The Association has served as an advocate for modernization of aircraft and equipment. His legacy as a DUSTOFFer means putting others before oneself, never leaving a comrade behind, standing up for those in need, taking one’s vision and making it happen through persistent hard work, and living an honorable life dedicated to serving our fighting forces.
Following his military service Egor/Tom had many interests in his life – in addition to founding the DUSTOFF Association, he served and protected his fellow man and the communities in which he lived and worked as a security specialist. His steadfast mental attitude, intelligence, and abilities to organize things, and putting everything together (even to its smallest fundamentals) was amazing to see.
He was always available to assist someone in doing something that would further the organizations for which he toiled and took pride in - be it the DUSTOFF Association, Private Security Companies for which he toiled, or someone who needed assistance. He was even a published author - and wrote a book regarding the 1968 Tet Offensive and the defense of the American Embassy - Saigon, South Vietnam.
SSG Thomas “Egor” Johnson was inducted into the DUSTOFF Hall of Fame on 18 Feb 2007 for his life-long impact on the DUSTOFF Association and his contributions to the legacy of DUSTOFF. MG(Ret) Patrick Brady, Medal of Honor recipient for his actions flying DUSTOFF in Vietnam, says of “Egor” “He was the perfect example of the guts of our Army, the Non-commissioned Officers. While many of the officers of that time pontificated about the incredible accomplishments of DUSTOFF and how we should organize to tell our story, Egor went to work and got it done. He, and he alone, is responsible for where we are today.”
Right now, he's probably partying with all the former DUSTOFF Association Members, all his friends, associates, and co-workers who have proceeded him and waiting for the rest of us to show up; and, he’s keeping an eye on us, doing what he always did!!
Brian Scott Waring
Brian Scott Waring, 40, of Cumming passed away April 9, 2011, at Emory Hospital in Decatur. Born in New York, Brian was the son of Jerry and Nancy Waring of Cumming. Brian was a graduate of Norcross High School and earned his BA in business administration from the University of Georgia. He served in the U.S. Army from 1993-2000, where he attended flight school and served in the 229th Med at Fort Drum and in the 507th Med at Fort Hood. From 2002-2007 he served in the U.S. Coast Guard. Brian was a pilot for Air Life Georgia, owned by Air Methods, the largest EMS helicopter service in the world.
Coast Guard in Savannah, Georgia awarded Brian with the Eurocopter Golden Hour Award in 2006 for bravery after his helicopter crew flew though severe thunderstorms to rescue a tugboat crew. He flew through severe thunderstorms, over an ocean with 25-foot seas in response to a distress call from the crew of the tug Valour. The boat was being battered by 70-knot winds and was taking on large amounts of water. The pilots positioned the aircraft to prepare their rescue swimmer for the high surf and winds, which were causing severe difficulties. After several attempts the swimmer reached the boat and assisted the crew while they were being hoisted into the helicopter. Suffering from hypothermia, the rescued men were taken to the nearest hospital
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recognized Brian with inclusion in the prestigious FAA Airmen Certification Database. The database, which appears on the , names Waring and other certified pilots who have met or exceeded the high educational, licensing and medical standards established by the FAA.
Willie M. Dixson
Born in 1927, as the oldest of five children, Willie Mercy Dixson was an extraordinary human being. Instilled with a resounding sense of duty and responsibility, he began working at a young age and continued to support his family at home by sending allotments from his paychecks.
In 1948 "Bill" Dixson enrolled at Eta Jima, Japan's 8th Army transportation Training School in a Cargo Checker's Course. In 1950 he became part of the Army's first integration effort, as a platoon sergeant of an ambulance company assigned to a MASH unit in Korea.
He was graduated from Army Aviation School to follow up his training in Germany and then a year in Vietnam. And, although many a night he would come back to base with numerous holes in his chopper, he had the great fortune to never be shot down.
His studious demeanor saw him through the 559th Medical Ambulance Company, to the 45th Medical Company (DUSTOFF), continuing with a stint at the 388th Evac. Hospital, as well as the 63rd Med. Det. and rounding out his career serving a Commanding Officer of the 507th Med. Co. (AA as well as Battalion Commander of the 37th Med. Bn. Throughout an undeniably distinguished career, spanning 22 years, he earned various accolades including the Gallantry Cross with Silver Star and Distinguished flying Cross. He retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1970.
Kent W. Bennetts
Kent Bennetts passed from this life at his home in Olathe on 19 Jun 14. He was born 14 Sep 31 in Flint, Michigan, the son of Weldon J. and Mabel E. (Weaver) Bennetts. He graduated from Fenton High School, Fenton, Michigan in 1949 and attended Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa, prior to enlisting in the United States Army in 1951. Kent served in the Korean War with the 68th Engineering Company and afterward was accepted for Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Infantry and later entered the Medical Service Corps. After completing his initial military service, he attended the University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Pharmacy.
Kent re-entered the U.S. Army in 1957 and became a helicopter pilot. He served in Vietnam as a member of the “DUSTOFF” medical evacuation team during the 1965-66 buildup of American forces.
Kent retired from active military service at the rank of Major after a 23-year career. He was a senior aviator and was awarded the Air Medal with 8 oak leaf clusters, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, the Combat Medical Badge as well as numerous other decorations during his career.
Kent was a member of the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots’ Association, the Solo Pilot Association. and the DUSTOFF Association.
James "Pappy" Coleman
James Lloyd Coleman, 74, of Connelly Springs, NC, formerly of Turkey Creek, Ky., passed away Monday, 16 Jun 14 at his residence.
He was born July 6, 1939 in Pike County, Ky. the son of the late Ira and Beulah Thompson Coleman. He was retired from the United States Army after 18 years of service. He served in Vietnam with the 54th Medical Detachment. He was inducted into the as well as the .
Staff Sergeant James “Pappy” Coleman epitomized the DUSTOFF medic: completely fearless, professionally expert, and totally dedicated to life saving. There was no soldier who served with this man who would not want him above all others to be their medic if they were wounded in battle. He was among the most highly decorated medics of the Vietnam War. He was also one of the most competent and courageous.
Conrad “Connie” Walker
Retired U.S. Army COL Conrad “Connie” Walker died 1 Jun 14 in San Antonio at age 82. His family said the death was the result of Agent Orange-related illnesses. Chaplain Walker was a long-time chaplain to the DUSTOFF Association, penned the , and performed many of our reunion memorial services.
He gave up a promising sports career in pursuit of a higher calling, becoming a chaplain with the 101st Airborne Division and 173rd Airborne Brigade. Chaplain Connie Walker was awarded the Silver Star, Bronze Star for Valor, Legion of Merit, and Purple Heart for his pastoral missions under hostile conditions in Vietnam. He was a Master Parachutist, having made over 600 jumps with the troops, including one combat jump, earning him the nickname of “The Leapin’ Deacon.” His wife of 60 years, Joan “Ann” Walker, said he even modified his jump routine for his faith, replacing the numerical countdown with “Father, Son, Holy Spirit, Amen” before leaping.
As a noncombatant chaplain, he only carried a machete. When he accompanied a relief platoon to the scene of a firefight in Vietnam on 29 Jun 66, he earned the Silver Star for gallantry in combat for helping the medic bring the wounded men back from the direct line of fire, despite machine gun fire intermittently raking the area.
J. Walker Winslow, co-author of the book about chaplain Walker writes, "You will smile and be uplifted as Connie displays his joyous sense of humor by sharing anecdotes of the growing of a legend. Your heart will grow heavy as the veil of wartime is lifted ever so slightly. Conrad Walker is a minister, shepherd, soldier, hero, devoted husband, and father to five grown children. He has been labeled a legend by the hundreds of 'Pups' that he has mentored, and is admired by those who had the good fortune to have been ministered to by this remarkable man of God."
Warren Dale Tinseth Sr.
Decorated U.S. Army aviator Warren Dale Tinseth, Sr., 80, took his final flight on Saturday, 22 Mar 14. He died at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston due to complications resulting from a five-month battle with congestive heart failure. He was born 8 Jan 1934, in Duluth, MN, to Otto and Gladys (Almos) Tinseth, and attended Duluth Central High School. Growing up, he enjoyed playing hockey and worked at a golf course. Warren joined the Minnesota National Guard in 1949 at the age of 15. During a two-week camp in Brainerd, MN, he went to a roller-skating rink and fell in love at first sight when he saw a local girl, Joyce Carol Walker. They married on Feb. 23, 1952, a union which lasted nearly 59 years until her death in 2010.
Warren entered active duty as a Sergeant First Class in 1953. The following year, he enlisted in the regular U.S. Army, planning to spend 20 years in the military and retire young. However, he didn't retire until 1980, as a CW-4, having been deployed twice each to Korea and Vietnam and serving three tours in Germany. In 1958-59, he attended warrant officer flight school. During the next two decades as a pilot, he flew both rotary and fixed-wing aircraft. He also became an instructor pilot, an instrument flight examiner, and an aviation safety officer. He enjoyed mentoring new pilots and was well-respected by fellow aviators. Among his assignments, he served with Co. C of the 5th Regimental Combat Team in Korea in 1954; the 196th Transportation Company, deployed to Quin Yong, Vietnam, then infused with the 179th Transportation Company in Pleiku in 1966; and HHC 228th Assault Support Helicopter Battalion, 1st Air Cavalry Division in Phouc Vien, Vietnam, from 1969 to 1970. Warren was assigned twice to Fort Sam Houston, first from 1972 to 1977 with the 507th Medical Company in support of the Military Assistance to Safety and Traffic (MAST) Project providing helicopter ambulance service to South Texas. In 1978, he returned to Fort Sam, serving as the Aviation Safety Officer to the Flight Detachment at Randolph Air Force Base prior to his retirement. He received high honors for his military service, including the Legion of Merit, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Bronze Star Medals and the Purple Heart, along with a number of other commendations. He pursued higher education during his military service, earning a Bachelor of General Studies from the University of Nebraska, Omaha, in 1972, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma in 1976.
He belonged to the Kerrville Hangar of the Quiet Birdmen, the Alamo Chapter of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association, the Dustoff Association, the Army Aviation Association of America and the Military Officers Association of America.
Kenneth Edward Trotter
LTC (R) Trotter passed away peacefully on 21 Sep 13 in Houston, TX, surrounded his loving family. He was born in Mexia, TX in 1941 and married his wife, Sandra, in 1959.
He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army in January 1963. He graduated Flight Training with Class 65-18 and flew in Vietnam with the 498th Medical Company (Air Ambulance) in 1966-67 as DUSTOFF 49 helping to save countless lives. Among his other services to the Army, he served as the Chief Aviation Officer at Fort Sam Houston.
During his service in the Army, he received the Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medals, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Service Medal, and Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm. He also earned the Master Army Aviator badge and the Order of Military Merit.
After 20 years in the Army, Ken honorably retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. He embarked on a second career by working at Texas Instruments and Raytheon Company. During this time, Ken decided to return to school in his spare time and become a lawyer. He earned his Juris Doctorate from Texas Wesleyan University and became a member of the Texas Bar in 1994.
William R. Knowles
COL (Ret.) Bill Knowles passed away peacefully in his sleep on 10 Jan 13, in Portland, OR, where he had been visiting with his daughter Cindy and her husband Hollis. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Marmion, who also died on 10 Jan, twelve years earlier. Bill was born 5 Feb 23, in Seattle, WA, to Frank and Odelia Knowles. He attended Cleveland High School and the University of Washington.
His education was interrupted by World War II, when he dropped out of school to fight for his country as a Marine fighter pilot. He was graduated from flight school as a Lieutenant and at age 20 found himself on the next plane to the South Pacific. Bill flew 52 combat missions with VMSB 243 (The Flying Goldbricks) in close air support of troops fighting in the jungles as they recovered island after island from the Japanese. He flew dive bombers - the Corsairs, Dauntless, and Helldivers.
After the war he returned to the states, finished up his university degree, and earned a commission in the Regular Army. Assigned to the Medical Service Corps, Bill became a Master Aviator. He was graduated from the first MSC helicopter flight class and continued flying helicopters and fixed wing aircraft throughout his 30-plus year Army career. Bill did two combat tours in Vietnam, flying MEDEVAC helicopters. In his second tour of Vietnam, with the rank of Colonel, he commanded the 498th Medical Company Air Ambulance - nicknamed "Dustoff." As a "Flying Commander" he flew 330 combat hours, 262 combat missions, and evacuated 361 patients during his tour. He was awarded the Legion of Merit for his service in Vietnam. Following his second combat tour, Bill was tapped to attend the prestigious U.S. Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, PA, in 1968. After graduating, he transferred to the Medical Brigade in Fort Meade, MD, and took over as Chief of Plans and Operations.
Upon retiring from Military service in 1971, Bill began a successful second career in real estate and property development in Arizona. In 1977, Bill and Marmi made their last move together to CA, where Bill became Manager of Agricultural Leases for the City of San Diego, a job he continued and enjoyed until retiring in Leucadia. A convert to Catholicism in his twenties, Bill was a religious man who went to Mass every day while his health lasted. He was a generous, thoughtful, prayerful man who remained devoted to the Catholic Church. He was an inspirational father to his five children, and held the family unit together with his wisdom, strength, and great sense of humor as he and Marmi shepherded the clan on more than twenty moves overseas and around the United States. Looking at his life, you can say that for much of it he was a warrior who fought courageously for God and Country. But the measure of his spirit was the gentleness and kindness that was felt by all with whom he came in contact.
John A. Dowless Sr.
Retired LTC John Alexander Dowless Sr., 86, passed away 21 Dec 13. in Saint Vincent's Medical Center with loving family by his side.
John was born in Fayetteville. NC on 18 May 27, to the late Joseph and Manic Dowless. He served his country in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. During WWII. John served as a naval corpsman. At war’s end, he returned to North Carolina where he attended Wake Forest. Upon graduation he received a direct commission in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army.
While serving in the U.S. Army he earned a Master’s degree in Hospital Administration from Baylor University. During the Korean War, John was a MEDEVAC helicopter pilot and during the Vietnam War, he served in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital.
After retiring from the U.S. Army in 1972, John was a college professor at Fayetteville State University and Florence-Darlington Technical College. At Florence-Darlington Technical College, John established their new Department of Allied Health. After establishing the Department of Allied Health, John relocated to Jacksonville where he worked for the State of Florida as a health care surveyor until he retired in 1989.
Joseph I. Martin Jr.
LTC (Ret) Joseph I. Martin Jr., of Enterprise, AL passed away Saturday, 8 Dec 12 at Medical Center Enterprise. He was 85.
He was born 24 Feb 27 in Des Moines, IA to the late Major General Joseph I. Martin Sr and Margaret Shander Martin. He was graduated from West High School in Rockford, IL and earned a BS Degree from the University of Illinois and a MA degree from Baylor University. He entered the US Army in 1944 and served during WWII, Korean, and Vietnam wars. He served for 24 years earning the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, received many awards and medals, including the Purple Heart, and was a member of DUSTOFF. He served as Administrator of Army Lyster Hospital at Ft. Rucker. While at Ft. Rucker, he volunteered for 20 years teaching in the photo-lab.
William Robert Schmidt
William Robert Schmidt was born on 12 Oct 24 in Buda, IL to Ernest and Minnie Schmidt. He was graduated from Neponset High School with the class of 1942. Before graduating, a Navy recruiter gave him a ride on a Link trainer. He enlisted in the Navy V5 program on his 18th birthday. He received his wings 6 Dec 44, and married his high school sweetheart, Shirley Pardue, on 18 Dec 44.
Bill loved to fly. He and his family returned to Neponset after WWII with a promise of a job flying for Con Ed. That fell through and he joined the National Guard so he could continue flying. His group was activated for the Korean War. He was on his way to Korea when his orders were cancelled, because he was selected to go to helicopter flight school. He was in the first class of Medical Service personnel trained as a helicopter pilot.
When Bill was stationed at Ft Lewis and Madigan, he wanted to retire in this area. He and Shirley built their home in the Winlock/Toledo area and lived there for 15 years before moving to Chehalis where they started their ceramic business.
Ryan J. McDermot
SPC Ryan J. McDermot 26, of Hampton, died suddenly 21 Dec 13 at Fort Hood, TX. He was born in Portsmouth, 5 Feb 87 a son of Jeffrey and Donna (Carpenter) McDermot of Hampton. Ryan was raised in Hampton where he was graduated from Winnacunnet High School with the Class of 2005. He enlisted in the United States Army in 2010, where he proudly served honorably for the next 3 and half years in Charlie Company 2nd Battalion 227th Aviation Regiment, Fort Hood, TX. During this time he bravely served one tour in Afghanistan. Ryan was an avid Patriot and Red sox fan who enjoyed snowboarding and the outdoors. He was also an accomplished scuba diver, who was very proud to serve our county. Most of all Ryan loved spending time with his family and friends, where he always had this uncanny way with words and one liners that would leave you in tears from laughing. Ryan’s passion for life, and to be the best solider he could be, was what he strived for.
Michael W. Trader
Michael W. Trader, of Estero, FL, died 1 Dec 12, at Joanne's House at Hope Hospice in Bonita Springs. He was 71. Formerly of Grosse Pointe, MI, he had been an Estero resident for the past 11 years. Michael was born July 8, 1941 in Detroit, MI, the son of the late William and Jean (Kurtz) Trader. Mike attended high school at St. John's Northwestern Military Academy and was a graduate of Ripon College in Ripon, WI. Mr. Trader was a Captain in the U.S. Army, serving two tours of duty as a Medevac pilot in Vietnam. Michael retired as a management consultant for the Thomas Group where he managed the account for the United States Navy.
He was an avid golfer who also enjoyed playing tennis, hockey, squash, riding his motorcycle and skiing.
Charles E. Williams
Charles Edward Williams was called to his Heavenly home on 9 Nov 13, at the age of 69. He was born in Helena, Arkansas, on 8 Aug 44, to Edgar Lee and Catherine (Trainer) Williams. He enjoyed a childhood full of outdoor sports: swimming, diving, water skiing, fishing, hunting, baseball, and football. He attended Ouachita Baptist University on a football scholarship and also played baseball worthy of notice by professional scouts. He participated in ROTC and was graduated with a Bachelor's degree and a commission as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
He became a helicopter pilot and flew Medevac for the 1st Cav. Div. in Vietnam, from 1968-1969, and was highly decorated for his service. In 1971 Charles married Janice Koltermann in San Antonio, TX. Charles served as a Platoon Leader in the 507th Med. Co. and was charged with moving the 4th Flight Platoon/507th Med. Co. and its aircraft from Ft. Sam Houston, TX to Ft. Sill, OK. At Ft. Sill he established aeromedical evacuation support for Reynolds Army Community Hospital, the Army Field Artillery School, and established Military Assistance to Safety and Traffic (MAST) in the state of Oklahoma.
Charles was later diagnosised with Multiple Sclerosis but met the challenge with courage and determination continuing to move about in his powered wheel chair doing activities he enjoyed. One of the greatest joys in his life was coaching youth soccer. His teams, always called the Mustangs, won many tournaments and district or season championships. He had great talent in the field of developing young athletes. He was also a great Spurs fan.
Michael Ralph Bush
Mike was a beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather, Son, Brother and friend to many died 29 Jul 13 in New Braunfels, TX. He was born 1 Jan 52 in Portland OR, the son of Maxine Trierwailer and Jack and Mary Bush. He attended Winslow High School before entering in the United States Army where he served for 6 years as a DUSTOFF medic including a tour in Vietnam. He later attended Lee College where he obtained a associate in Applied Science degree. For the next 30 years he worked as a Safety/Medical Engineer.
James L. Van Horn
James L. Van Horn, age 80, of Shiloh, IL, born June 12, 1933, in Richmond, VA, died 20 October 2013 at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, Belleville, IL.
James was a retired Staff Sergeant and medic with the U.S. Army and a veteran of the Korean and the Vietnam Wars. He was a 33rd Degree Mason of Teikoku Lodge #19 in Okinawa, Japan and a member of the VHCMA – Vietnam Helicopter Crewmen Association and the Dustoff Association of San Antonio, TX.
L. Fred Belcher
COL L. Fred Belcher, (Ret.), age 84, passed away peacefully in San Antonio, TX, on 2 Sep 13, after a brief illness.
He was born 29 Oct 28 in Old Hickory, TN, and spent his childhood in TN, OH, OK, and TX. He was graduated from Sam Houston State Teachers College in 1950.
Fred entered the military in 1951 and married the love of his life, Genevieve (Jenny) Staudt, in Orange, TX in 1954.
He had 34 duty stations with service in Korea and Vietnam during the war years and 25 moves including two tours in Germany, before retiring in San Antonio in 1987.
Fred earned many awards and citations for service including the Legion of Merit and the Meritorious Service Medal. His combat awards include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, and the Air Medal with 24 awards for over 240 combat medical evacuation missions.
Upon retirement, Fred was a faithful volunteer with the St. Pius X Catholic Church Arboreans and served as an Election Judge in Bexar County. Fred will be remembered for his deep, abiding love of his wife, his family, this beautiful country, his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and desserts.
He had a lifelong interest in literature and published his own book of poetry, A Soldier’s Journey, in 1998.
Ernest Dale French
LTC E. D. French made his last flight on 21 June 2013. My father was a true war hero but also a hero in peace time. As far as my sisters and I are concerned, not just our father but all medevac pilots and crewmembers should be issued the Medal of Honor.
Dad went to high school in Dundee Michigan where he also became an Eagle Scout, then attended Michigan State University and Eastern Michigan University where he earned a Bachelors Degree, attained the rank of LTC in ROTC, met and married my mother (Donna Ausum) and started his family of four children.
In 1958 he was commissioned in the US Army Medical Service Corp and left for flight school. He served 23 years - one tour in Korea and two tours in Vietnam. His awards for service are as follows: Master Aviator Wings, Distinguished Flying Cross, two Bronze Star Medals, Meritorious Service Medal, 12 Air Medals, Joint Service Commendation Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, US Vietnam Service Medal, Korean Defense Medal, RVN Gallantry Cross with Bronze Star Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal and three Unit Citations. His first air medal was the DFC awarded by General Westmoreland, for plucking Moroccans from roof tops as they were being washed away.
Ernest is an American hero. He was a proud member of the Solo Pilots Association, DUSTOFF Association, VFW, the Masons, and the Zion Church of Christ. He retired in 1980 and had a long fun retirement with his third wife Bea.
Around 2001 he was diagnosed with emphysema and dealt with it well for the last 12 year. Combined with other health issues it took his life at the young age of 78.
My dad was a great guy who took great care of everyone he let into his life and was a fair man whose handshake and word was as good as gold. I would love to tell some of his stories of chopping up tree limbs with the rotor blades of his Bell H-13 while plucking wounded rangers from a cliff in Korea or having to hop away from danger in his Huey way over loaded for its power. Thank you dad for the thousands of children, grand children and great grand children who would never have been if not for you and your helicopter. I hope some way they know what was given and from whom. Tim French
LTC Thomas Osborn filed his last flight plan on 10 June 2013. He was born at home in Owensburg, IN, on 28 Nov 1934, the seventh child of Verdie and Susie Strosnider Osborn. He attended the old Owensburg elementary school, graduated from Oolitic High School in 1952, and was valedictorian of his graduating class. His classmates honored him with the Outstanding Alumnus award at his 50th high school reunion. He attended Indiana University and Incarnate Word in San Antonio where he received a BA in 1971. In 1974, he received a Masters in Health Care Administration from Baylor University.
Osborn joined the Army and was trained as a medical evacuation helicopter pilot, shipping out from Fort Sam Houston with the 498th Air Ambulance Company, the first such company deployed to Vietnam, in 1965. Osborn's copter was shot down once, in the last month of his second tour of duty. He was rescued but suffered wounds to his left arm that required more than a year of rehabilitation at the old Brooke Army Medical Center.
His military awards include Distinguished Flying Cross, two Bronze Stars with Oak Leaf Clusters and V device, Purple Heart, Air Medal 1 - 18 with Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, two awards of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry Medals, Vietnam Campaign Medal with 60 device, Army Commendation Medal, Korean In Hun Medal. He flew Medevac for 18 years and was proud of the fact that he helped save many lives.
He was a member of several organizations including The Military Order of the Purple Heart, American Legion, Disabled Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was a member of the VFW Honor Guard for many years.
David Lee Fenstermacher
David earned his private pilot's license while in college, and chose to serve his country by joining the U.S. Army during the buildup of the Vietnam War. He served with the First Air Cavalry as a Medical Service Corps helicopter pilot, flying wounded soldiers from the battle zone to hospital ships off the coast. In April of 1968 his helicopter came under fire on a medevac mission, and he was wounded. After medical evacuation to Japan and several surgeries, he spent long months recovering at Fort Gordon. He later was cross-trained in the CH-47 Chinook twin-rotor helicopter and flew medical coverage for the flight school at Mineral Wells, Texas. His medals included the Purple Heart, and he was medically retired at the rank of Captain.
Following his military service, David earned an M.B.A. degree in management from the University of Mississippi and later a master's degree in health administration from Georgia State University. He and his family then returned to Augusta where he served more than 25 years in hospital administration at University Hospital.
Walter M. HarrisWalt passed 3 June 2013. He flew over 600 hours in Vietnam, was awarded 20 Air Medals and a Distinguished Flying Cross. He served in all four areas of military service in his lifetime. Army, Guard, Air Force and Navy. He had many friends through the Dustoff Association and spoke often of his friends and the Association reunions.
Edward J. "Pat" Brogan, Jr.
Pat, 72, has returned to the “all Healing Hands” of the Lord. Pat retired from the U.S. Army Special Forces having served in Germany twice, Thailand and multiple tours in Vietnam.
Pat was born September 18th 1938 in Tampa, a seventh generation “Cracker”. His eternal PCS was March 6th, 2011 at Mease Countryside Hospital. Pat fought a courageous battle with COPD for the last 8 years his final with the assistance of Hospice in his home.
Pat served with the 77th Special Forces Company, the 46th Special Forces Company and the 5th, 7th and 10th Groups. In Vietnam he was in III Corp and II Corp Mike Force, as well as MACV-SOG. He served as an instructor in the Advanced Training Committee teaching HALO, SCUBA, and Skyhook. He was a member of the U.S. Army Parachute Team that pre-dated what is now known as the Golden Knights. He was a member of the Trojan Parachute team in Bad Toelz, Germany in the 1950’s. He spent a tour at Ft. Carson, CO. on the Mountain Rescue Team and as a flight paramedic in the M.A.S.T Unit. While with M.A.S.T, he and his crew flew over 100 search and rescue sorties evacuating survivors of the Big Thompson Canyon flood that claimed 250 lives. They flew round the clock missions for 72 hours straight.
Before retiring, his final assignment was in Bad Toelz, Germany, running the Special Forces Europe Parachute Center. He was the Area Safety Officer and was responsible for organizing several international military free-fall competitions. He and his wife Joyce turned the Parachute Center into a “family” friendly center teaching dependents of the soldiers how to enjoy the sport of parachuting. In the two and a half years he ran the center there were no major injuries or fatalities because of his insistence on safety first.
After 20 plus years of service, Pat retired in 1979. Six months later he was in Dallas, Texas for a job interview with H. Ross Perot. He eventually was assigned as a bodyguard to the Perot family, but he finally decided the 80 to 90 hours a week was worth having a house and horses on one of Perot’s compounds.
During his military career he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal with 7 stars, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palm, Bronze Star with “V” device, Air Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal with “v” device, He was also awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Master Parachutist Wings, Royal Thai Army Jump Wings, Scuba Diver Badge, Free-fall Jump Wings, Skyhook.
Daniel L. Boyd
CW2 Daniel L. Boyd died after his tour in Vietnam on 17 Aug 13 at the age of 66. Daniel served in Vietnam with 15 MED 1 CAV in 68-69 with the call signs of DUSTOFF 20, MEDEVAC 25. Dan was born 11 Nov 46 in Macomb, IL. A veteran of the Vietnam War, he was a Chief Warrant Officer who served his country proudly as a Medevac helicopter pilot for the United States Army. After serving his country Dan worked in power plants around the country before settling in Clemmons, where he worked for Essent Guaranty as Director of Application Development. Dan was a lifelong biker, riding his Harley-Davidson to work most every day. He was an avid football fan and talented cook, with a great taste for food and fine spirits. He was also a serious computer geek who honestly enjoyed his job and the wonderful people he worked with. He was known for keeping a candy jar on his desk.
William Arlin Campbell
COL William A. Campbell, Army retired, of Destin, Florida, passed away 19 Sep 12 at the age of 82. COL Campbell was retired after having served 25 years in the US Army. He was the hospital administrator at Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center in Denver, CO. He served in Vietnam as a medical evacuation helicopter pilot. COL Campbell’s last assignment in the Army was at Tripler Army Medical Center on the Island of Oahu, HA.
William "Bill" Briot
William "Bill" Briot, resident of Tillamook, passed away at RiverBend Hospital in Springfield on December 12, 2012 at the age of 82. Bill was born in Portland on October 13, 1930 to William and Mabel (Steffen) Briot.
Bill attended schools in Vernonia and Portland, and graduated from Franklin High School in 1948. He was graduated from the University of Oregon in 1953 with a degree in Health & Physical Education and was in the ROTC.
Bill began his military career with the U.S. Army in 1953 as a member of the Medical Service Corps. Within two years he had trained to be a helicopter pilot, following which he became a flight instructor in several helicopter training disciplines. Bill served one year in Vietnam as a Medevac Pilot. His dedication to service and saving lives earned Bill a Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, the Army Commendation Medal and 18 Air Medals.
Upon retirement from the Army in 1973, Bill worked as an Executive Officer for the Lane County Home Builders' Association, until 1980.
In later years, Bill was a performer in stage shows at the Tillamook Association for the Performing Arts. He was a lifetime member of the Dustoff Association, an organization for those who served in the U.S. Army in Medevac.
William A. Willcox
LTC William Arthur Willcox, US Army (Ret), passed away on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at the age of 83.
For over 25 years, he proudly served his country in the US Army MSC as one of the first Helicopter Ambulance Pioneer, known as the and then as one of the first Dustoff pilots in Vietnam.
Bill’s life made a lasting impact on his family and on the people who knew him. He will be remembered as an extremely intelligent, highly energetic individual and devoted to his family.
He was an exceptional man who touched the lives of all who knew him.
Joseph I. Martin Jr.
LTC (Ret) Joseph I. Martin Jr., of Enterprise, AL passed away Saturday, December 8, 2012 at Medical Center Enterprise. He was 85.
He was born February 24, 1927 in Des Moines, IA to the late Major General Joseph I. Martin Sr. and Margaret Shander Martin. He was graduated from West High School in Rockford, IL and earned a BS Degree from the University of Illinois and a MA degree from Baylor University.
He entered the US Army in 1944 and served during WWII, Korean, and Vietnam wars. He served for 24 years earning the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, received many awards and medals, including the Purple Heart, and was a member of the DUSTOFF Association. He served as Administrator of Army Lyster hospital at Ft. Rucker. While at Ft. Rucker, he volunteered for 20 years teaching in the photo-lab.
Edward Michael Fisher
Edward Michael Fisher, 71, of West Dundee, passed away at St. Alexius Hospital on Oct. 21 after a long battle with lung cancer. He was a decorated Army DUSTOFF helicopter pilot who flew with the 498th Medical Company (AA) in Vietnam and was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses, a Bronze Star with V device, 15 Air Medals, and the Combat Medic Badge.
CW2 Dean Petersen, 67, passed away 20 Sep 12 in a convalescent hospital in San Andreas CA, after a long battle with cancer. Dean was born 13 Jan 45 in Hayward CA and joined the Marine Corp Reserve after graduating High School and eventually enlisted in the US Army WOC Aviation program graduating with class 67-1/67-3. Dean was assigned to the 45th Medical Co (AA) which was forming at Ft Bragg NC and arrived in Vietnam in Jul 67. Dean flew with the 45th until the 571th Medical Det (RA) arrived in Vietnam in Dec 67. Dean was one of the more accomplished pilots who was transferred to the 571st allowing it to become fully operational on 2 Jan 68.
After Vietnam Dean became an instrument instructor at Ft Rucker until his Honorable Discharge and then joined the CA NG and was an Instrument Examiner until he left to pursue other aviation interests. Dean entered the Catholic Church a few days before he died and the Priest later told me that Dean had left a profound impact on his life. I believe Dean left a profound impact on everyone that knew him well. “Dean Petersen may you rest in peace”.
Ronald Thomas Tweed
Chief Warrant Officer II (RET) and Silver Star recipient Ronald Tweed passed away, 12 July 2012 in Winston, Oregon.
SGT Eric Williams, 27, of Murrieta, CA, was in-transit from his duty station in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan to re-deploy to the United States when he was killed. He was assigned to Company C, 3-82 General Support Aviation Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division. He was killed 23 July 2012 when the Forward Operating Base he was on came under enemy fire in Logar Province, Afghanistan.
“Our deepest condolences go out to the entire Williams family during this time of great sadness,” said COL T.J. Jamison, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade commander, of Broken Arrow, OK. “Eric was a valued member of the Task Force Pegasus family, and his memory as a great medic and Soldier who always put others before himself will not be forgotten.”
Williams entered the U.S. Army in 2007, completing basic training at Fort Benning, GA. He completed advance individual training at Fort Sam Houston, TX, earning military occupational specialty 68W, Healthcare Specialist, later that year. This was Williams’ second deployment. He previously served a 14-month deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2008-2009 as a combat medic.
“He was always on his game,” said SGT Cormac Chandler, a Medevac crewchief who served with Williams, and native of Murfreesboro, TN. “Will always kept his cool, which in turn helped me keep my cool, and he never quit. That was the caliber of his personality. That is who he was.”
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal with Valor and one bronze oak leaf cluster, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with one Campaign Star, the Iraq Campaign Medal with two Campaign Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, the Combat Medical Badge, and the Combat Action Badge.
It is with great sadness to announce the passing of my uncle SP5 Kevin Dale of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Kevin served with the 57th Medevac “Original Dustoff” for 21 months in Vietnam. Like many of his crewmembers before him, Kevin succumb to his long battle with cancer at age 60 and departed on his final mission at 16:30 30 JULY 2012, joining fellow members such as Kevin Donoghue, Mike Novosel Jr., and many more.
Kevin trained as an aircraft crew chief on the UH-1 Huey helicopter at age 17, and was stationed in Savanna, GA until he turned 18, thus went on to Vietnam where he joined the 57th MED which was co-located with the 82nd MED in 1970. He extended to stay in Vietnam for a total of 21 months completing many missions with the men he loved to serve with.
He returned to Minnesota and entered college in law enforcement and was hired as a police officer by Spring Lake Park, MN Nov 01, 1973 at the age of 21. He was an officer with Spring Lake Park Police, Blaine Police returned to Spring Lake Park when he retired with 20 years of Police service. Kevin was the husband of Melinda Dale, Father of Ryan Dale and Molly Dale Hakko, Grandfather of Robert Dale and a friend to many.
Kevin made it to DUSTOFF reunions in the past few years but was too sick to attend the last one, although he told me he really tried to make it. Later in my life I ended up serving as a DUSTOFF pilot in Iraq and it only brought my uncle Kevin and me closer; we talked and shared stories. I helped him get in touch with old friends on Web sites such as the Dustoff.org where he could connect - it meant the world to him in his later years. Kevin was suffering greatly in these last few years with not only the cancer but with his thoughts. I’m grateful to know the suffering is over and he is at peace. It pains me to write this because I miss him so vey much, but I wanted to let the DUSTOFF community, and maybe his old friends, that he is at peace now. I love you Kevin; I miss you.
Jason K Wright
CW4, US Army
Former Dustoff , 498th MED (AA) 2003 Iraq
Avery M. Rogers
LTC (R) Avery M. Rogers of Hot Springs, departed this good life for a better one on 15 Feb 12. Avery was born in Manilla, AR, on 19 Sep 30.
He joined the U.S. Army in 1947 and was assigned to the Army Navy Hospital (currently known as the Arkansas Rehabilitation Center) in Hot Springs, AR. There, he met the love of his life, Betty Hicks, a student nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital. They married in 1950 and began their 61-year journey, which included four children, three grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and assignments around the world.
LTC Rogers served in the Korean War and the Vietnam War, where he served as a Dustoff Helicopter Medevac pilot, rescuing hundreds of wounded from hostile territory in Vietnam. He retired in 1970 and started his career in real estate sales and development.
Roger R. Smith
CSM (R) Roger R. Smith, 66, of San Antonio, TX died at his home on Jan 30, 12 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.
He was born September 22, 1945 in Shelbyville, Illinois to Lois M. and James E. Smith, Sr. He is survived by his high school sweetheart of 48 years, Donna, who resides in San Antonio, TX.
Roger was a retired Command Sergeant Major in the U. S. Army. He enlisted May 11, 1965 right after attending Riverside City College and served at Ft. Ord, CA; Ft. Campbell, KY; Ft. Bragg, NC; Tripler AMC, HI; Ft. Sam Houston, TX; Sergeants Major Academy, Ft. Bliss, TX; Ft. Polk, LA; Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia; Heidelberg, Germany; Fitzsimmons AMC, Denver, CO; William Beaumont AMC, and Ft Bliss, TX where he retired Feb 1, 98.
His earned the Master Parachutist Badge, the Expert Field Medical Badge, the Expert Marksmanship Badge, the Expert Hand Grenade Badge and the Order of Military Medical Merit.
Following his retirement, he dedicated his life to training, inspiring and mentoring soldiers throughout the world. He was a life member of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, DUSTOFF Association, and the NCOA. He was a member of the American Legion and the Ft. Sam Houston Golf Course Club and supported the Veterans of Foreign Wars, USO and Fisher House.
Cephus Lee Roupe
LTC Lee Roupe passed away on 2 Mar 12 of natural causes at his home in Salado, TX (just outside Fort Hood, TX). According to reports, he had officially retired on 28 Feb 2012. Lee proudly served his country in the U.S. Army for 36 years and had moved to Salado three years ago from Las Vegas, NV.
Lee was a product of the current generation of Medical Service Corps aviators. He was a stellar performer, leader, and mentor to everyone he came in contact with. He was a former Warrant Officer who received a direct appointment to the Medical Service Corps and was qualified in the UH-1, AH-1, UH-60, T-42, U-21, and C-12 aircraft. He was one of the most experienced MSC aviators. He was a Master Army Aviator and a combat veteran of Operation Desert Storm, Bosnia, Iraq (2 tours), and Afghanistan.
Gary W. Gaston
LTC Gary W. Gaston, U.S. Army, Ret., age 67 of Biloxi, died Thursday, Feb 2, 12 in Houston, TX.
He was born in Cuxhaven, Germany and came to the United States at a very early age. He went to flight school in 1967 and went to Vietnam in 1968. Gary was injured in a crash flying DUSTOFF in 1968 while flying with the 498th Medical Company. He did not fly after the crash but stayed in the Medical Service Corps specializing in NBC. He distinguished himself with military service to his country in the U. S. Army and retired after completing 27 years of duty. He earned both the Legion of Merit and Bronze Star as a medevac helicopter pilot in Vietnam.
He was the past president of the Biloxi Kiwanis Club, as well as a commissioner for the Coast Transit Authority and Biloxi Taxi Cab board.
Jeffery F. Greene
LTC Jeffery F. Greene, U.S. Army (Ret.), 65, passed away on Thursday, January 13, 2012, in San Antonio. He was born in Phoenix, AZ, on March 9, 1946. A Vietnam War veteran and a world-class father, Jeffery was also an avid sportsman and fisherman. He had many friends who loved him and will miss him dearly.
John W. Hammett Sr.
LTC John W. Hammett Sr., known by his family and friends as Bill, born in Shreveport, Louisiana passed away at age 89 on Wednesday, Nov 30, 2011. Bill will be remembered by all as a consummate southern gentleman. His courage, natural mischievousness and legendary sense of adventure and daring defined his demeanor and were readily captured in his childhood nickname "Wild Bill". Bill Hammett lived large. Yet despite his larger than life escapades, Bill was a kind and gentle man - generous with his affection and quick to extend a hand. He walked through life with equal ease and confidence, finding lifelong friends in every step. He was one of those rare men so comfortable in his own skin that his very presence made everyone around him comfortable too.
At just 17 years old with a signed permission slip from his father in his pocket, Bill traveled to Montreal, Canada to enlist in the Royal Canadian Air Force prior to the U.S. entrance into World War II. Once he qualified to fly Lockheed Hudson Bombers, Hurricanes and Spitfire fighters, Bill flew with the British Royal Air Force in the Battle of Britain over France and was shot down and rescued in the English Channel during the Battle of Dunkirk. From 1940 to 1942, he was credited with shooting down 3 German planes.
After Pearl Harbor in 1942, Bill returned home to serve in the U.S. Army Air Corps flying light aircraft in combat over Africa and Italy. As an artillery spotter, Bill would fly over enemy lines deliberately drawing fire in order to identify and direct return artillery fire on enemy positions.
At the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, his education was interrupted when he was recalled to service attending Instrument Flight School in Kansas; Helicopter School in Texas; and Advanced Helicopter School in Oklahoma. Bill served 18 months in combat in Korea - first with the 25th Infantry Division; then assigned to the MASH in Korea as their Air Officer; and ultimately as Commanding Officer of Korea's first Helicopter Ambulance Detachment which hauled over 6,000 critically wounded soldiers during the fighting. As a solo pilot, Bill was a member of an elite group of military aviators who brought rotary wing ambulances into a battlefield environment. Known for their courage, commitment and innovation, Bill was among a handful of pioneer aviators who flew solitary missions in primitive helicopters lacking navigational aids and limited to external litter carrying capabilities. Being a solo pilot meant flying at low altitudes over mountainous terrain to land at unlighted, unmarked sites within range of enemy fire. Flying at night was particularly dangerous. Bill flew so many night flights, he was nicknamed Captain Midnight by the MASH crew. It was these repeated aerial missions to evacuate wounded soldiers and downed pilots that earned Bill multiple medals for heroic action in Korea. More importantly, the tactical importance of air ambulances in battlefield emergency medical care would go on to save thousands of American lives over the next 50 years in places like Lebanon, Vietnam, Bosnia Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan thanks to solo pilots - brave, resourceful Army aviators like Bill Hammett.
At the end of the Korean War, Bill trained medical helicopter pilots at Fort Sam Houston; served as a test pilot at Fort Rucker, Alabama; served three years in the Surgeon General's Office in Washington, D.C.; attended Command General Staff College; and spent three years in Germany as a Command and Staff Officer. Six months after returning from Europe, Bill was sent to Vietnam in 1966. Flying medical helicopter missions and serving as the Operations and Aviation Officer of the only medical brigade in the country, Bill controlled 124 medical units in Vietnam consisting of over 9000 medical troops from Surgical and Evacuation Hospitals to Air and Ground Ambulance units. During this time, he flew more than 25 combat missions in direct support of tactical units under hostile fire. During his long military career, Bill earned the Legion of Merit in Vietnam, Distinguished Flying Cross in Korea, Bronze Stars in both Korea and Italy, as well as numerous other air medals, campaign ribbons, and decorations.
Bill retired in 1973 after 30 years of military service and started another career as Chief of Field Services for the State of Georgia's Emergency Medical System. Over the next 20 years - using his extensive military medical evacuation experience and knowledge - Bill was recognized for being instrumental in organizing and improving the Georgia Emergency Medical System that exists today.
John W. Hill III
John Washburn Hill, III died on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.
He was born in Norfolk, Virginia on January 8, 1943, the son of Virginia Sakakini Hill and Ralph William Hill. He is survived by his wife of almost 46 years, Carol Ann Dunton Hill of Sandy Springs, Georgia, and his daughter Dr. Jenna Catherine Hill of Conway, South Carolina.
Mr. Hill was a 1961 graduate of Granby High School and a 1965 graduate of Virginia Military Institute. He also completed a masters degree from the University of Southern California. He served in the U.S. Army for 4 years on active duty as a DUSTOFF pilot and then a full career as an Army reservist, reaching the rank of Colonel. He settled in Atlanta in 1971 where he worked for the State of Georgia for almost 30 years, primarily as Chief Pilot for the Department of Natural Resources.
Charles H. (Skip) Champion, Jr.
Skip, 67, of Marietta, GA passed away Tuesday, November 1, 2011. A native of Tate, GA. and a Vietnam veteran, Col. Champion retired from the US Army in 1996 after 30 years of service to our country.
James F. Walker
After suffering a debilitating illness Col. James Walker died on October 10, 2011. He last resided in Air Force Village II in San Antonio, Texas. James was born in El Paso, Texas and attended California Military Academy (1944-1945), Boise High School (1946-1949), and New Mexico Military Institute (1949-1953). James served with the US Army Medical Corps from 1953-1986. He was a during the Korean Conflict as well as a veteran of the Vietnam War. Col. Walker was a highly decorated officer who devoted his life to serving his country. James retired to Ephrata, Washington in 1985 where he enjoyed his retirement hunting and fishing and being with his family and friends. He was a very lovable, gentle, and kind-hearted person with a great sense of humor and compassion for everyone around him.
Floyd Ray Burchett
Ray Burchett, 65, of Battle Ground, died at his residence on Thursday, September 8, 2011, after a lengthy illness. He was born on May 13, 1946, in Tippecanoe County, was graduated from Battle Ground High School in 1964, and Purdue University in 1968. Ray was attending The Ohio State University School of Physical Therapy when drafted into the Army in 1969. He later earned his Master’s Degree from Webster University of St. Louis, MO and was an Honor Graduate of the US Army Command and General Staff College at Ft Leavenworth, KS.
While assigned to the US Army Special Forces at Ft Bragg, NC, he was tendered appointment into the Medical Service Corps to attend rotary wing flight school, which he accepted. After graduating from flight school, he was assigned to aeromedical evacuation pilot duties in Vietnam where he earned several awards, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal for Valor, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star. Ray was rated in both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, was awarded Master Aviator Wings from the Army and earned his multi-engine (land), commercial instrument rating from the FAA.
In addition to his tour in Vietnam, Ray served in various command and staff positions at many locations throughout the continental United States and Korea. He retired from the Army in 1988. A short time later Ray accepted an administrative position at Purdue University, from which he retired in 2003. Ray was a lifetime member of the DUSTOFF Association for medical evacuation pilots and crewmembers, the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association, the American Legion, and the Disabled American Veterans Association.
Robert 'Brian' Cowdrey
Staff Sergeant Robert 'Brian' Cowdrey was killed on October 13 while serving with the 3rd Battalion, 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division in Kunar Province, Afghanistan. According to his wife Jill, he was on a mission treating patients when he came under enemy fire.
Brian was serving his fourth deployment in a combat zone. Prior deployments were Operation Iraqi Freedom 2004/2005, Operation Enduring Freedom 2007/2008, and Operation Enduring Freedom 2009/2010.
He loved his job, and he loved his family. To say he impacted the lives of countless people is an understatement. To some, he swooped down from the sky to rescue them on the worst day of their lives. To others, he provided inspiration through his career of compassionate and courageous dedication. One of his three sons has followed in his father's footsteps and is currently serving in Germany. To all three of them, he has been a Dad - and a Hero. To his friends, his faith, enthusiasm and caring nature were a joy. And to his wife, he was a loving partner and best friend.
LTC Thomas Daniel Casey, U.S. Army (ret.) passed away September 26, 2011 in Floresville, TX at the age of 74. He was born in New York City, NY to Edward & Vera Casey on December 27, 1936. Tom was graduated from Omaha University where he married Barbara. He entered the service 1961, and retired in 1981.
Tom Casey was a combat medical evacuation helicopter pilot (Dustoff) serving our nation in Vietnam. He recruited pilots into the Army Medical Department aviation program. U.S. awards included the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, thirteen Air Medals, Meritorious Unit Commendation, combat Medical Badge and Master Army Aviator Badge. His qualifications included both fixed wing (Mohawk) and helicopter instrument. Tom flew crash-rescue helicopters (Flatiron) at the Army Aviation Center. He served two tours in Korea. He was a graduate of the Army's Command and General Staff College.
In the 1980's Tom was a pilot for the Texas Governor's Office.
Lee 'Tex" Westbrook
Lee 'Tex' Westbrook, CW2 (Ret), passed away Friday evening, July 22, 2011 after a long battle with cancer and other ailments. He was buried at the Dallas/Fort Worth National Cemetery with full military honors.
Lee attended Flight Class 67-19 and flew two tours in Vietnam, the second with the 57th Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance) in 1971-72. He was a president of the Fort Wolters Chapter of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilot's Association (VHPA) and his military awards included the Meritorious Service Medal, 24 Air Medals, 3 Bronze Stars, the Vietnamese Service Medal, and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
Robert Andrew Stroud
Robert Andrew Stround, 67, of Burleson, Texas, went to be with the Lord on Saturday, June 18, 2011. Robert proudly served his country as a Chief Warrant Officer helicopter pilot in Vietnam with the 82nd Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance) in 1973-1975.
Richard Michael Levy
Richard Michael Levy passed away on June 14, 2012, in Lutz, Florida. He was a Vietnam veteran with over 22 years of service to the Army. He was awarded the Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross, Army commendation Medal for Valor, Master Army Aviator Badge, 43 Air Medals, and three overseas bars. Richard was a proud member of the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association. He flew in Vietnam under the call sign DUSTOFF 82 with the 82nd Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance) in 1967-68 and the 247th Medical Detachment (Helicopter Ambulance) in 1969.
Michael R. Nice
After a brief battle with cancer, Michael R. Nice, born on October 5, 1949 went to be with the Lord on September 7, 2011. Mike was graduated from Wasson High School in 1967. He served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1970. He was a helicopter air ambulance pilot in the Vietnam War and flew as Dustoff 11 in the 45th Medical Company (Air Ambulance).
Emory "Sarge" Messersmith
On April 5, 2011 Emory (Sarge) Messersmith peacefully left this life to continue his journey on the next plane of existence. He is a man that will be missed by the many lives he has touched. Emory spent his life living the life most people only dream about. He has been a real estate broker, a cowboy, a reptile expert at Silver Springs, Florida, and most recently a student and teacher at Smith's Tae Kwon Do. He most enjoyed teaching and watching each student grow. During his last days, these memories were often on his mind.
He was a Vietnam veteran that flew with the 498th & 237th Meds and who was very proud of his service and of his country. He was a generous man with an infectious smile and a great sense of humor and will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.
Tommy Ralph Jacks
Tommy Ralph Jacks, age 69, devoted husband, loving father and generous friend, left his earthly body Wednesday, July 6, 2011 after a long battle with Parkinson's.
A distinguished Vietnam veteran and retired Army sergeant first class and civil servant, Tom was very knowledgeable on the repair of DUSTOFF helicopters and kept them in the air so we could do our jobs.
Tom was honored with the bronze star for meritorious service, the meritorious service medal, air medal with 2nd oak leaf cluster, and the army commendation ribbon with one oak leaf cluster. He received the Vietnam service medal with 11 campaign stars.
Joseph M. Kralich
Joseph M. Kralich, 62, of Pueblo, passed away May 9, 2011. Joe honorably served in the U.S. Army: 196th LIB, 101st Airborne. Joe was buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery on 19 May 2011.
He went by many different names - depending on the mood he was in on a given day: Joe, Joseph Michael, Kra-litch, Jose', Bo Valdez, Crazy Joe, Gin Buddy, but the one that he liked most of all that suited him best as Joe-Doc. While it's not always true a Man is what he does, for Joe, it was. Joe was a Doc and a Doc was who he was as well as what he did. He was in the Army for six years and a medic for the entire time after basic and advanced training.
He know well the Combat Medic Prayer. "If I am called to the battlefield, give me the courage to conserve our fighting forces by providing medical care to all who are in need. If I am called to a mission of peace, give me the strength to lead by caring for those who need my assistance."
He was capable of being any one of his aliases, personae, A.K.A.'s and with his ever-changing affect and effect an mercurial mind-set, he never really knew what or who to expect whenever we encountered him - but the one guaranteed constant was never-changing was that he would always be Joe-Doc.
Robert Douglas McWilliam
Robert passed into Heaven at the age of 79 years. Bob was born and raised in Woodland, CA and was graduated from the University of California Pharmacy School in 1954. He joined the Army and decided to become a helicopter ambulance pilot, eventually rising to the rank of Colonel. Robert was a member of the whose members routinely flew hazardous missions (1952-1959) in underpowered helicopters lacking navigational aids and limited to external litter carrying capability. These pioneer aviators performed, unaided, all ambulance duties; pilot, copilot, medic, and crewchief. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam, the last one as commander of the renowned 54th Medical Detachment in Chu Lai in 1967-1968. He had deep pride and appreciation for the men and their accomplishments.
Bob went on to become a hospital administrator with a Masters degree from Baylor University. He served in Europe and many areas of the US during his 30-year Army career, including his favorite three year tour in Hawaii. After retirement Bob studied art at UTSA and became a well-known kaleidoscope maker, showcasing his talent with hardwood and stained glass.
Bob and his wife of 54 years, Patricia, enjoyed traveling around the US and Canada, seeing new places and learning new things. Bob had a great fondness for the western mountains and he spent many summers backpacking and fly fishing in wilderness areas of Montana and whitewater rafting the rivers of the US and Canada. This was done with family and friends from his childhood, giving him much pleasure. Bob was a loving husband to his wife, Pat, and devoted father to his two wonderful sons, Michael R. and John D. McWilliam and his wife Donna. He loved spending time with his two grandchildren, Bailey and Michael, and had started to show them the delights of camping and rafting.
Bob was beloved by his family, his friends and by the men who served with him. He was always positive, caring and could find good in anyone. He readily admitted he had enjoyed a wonderful and fulfilling life.
Tim Haven Bates III
Tim Bates III, 60, died peacefully on 23 December, 2010 in Hiawatha after a long battle with cancer. Tim was born 14 May 1950 in Omaha, Nebraska. He was graduated from Flight School in Flight Class 71-7 and served his country with distinction as a Medevac helicopter pilot in the Army from 1970 to 1990. He obtained the grade of Chief Warrant Officer 3 during his military career and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and 20 Air Medals for his heroism while flying in Vietnam.
After Jim Morasch's car was hit last month in north Franklin County, his family sat at his bedside and hoped for "a perfect ending." But sadly, the longtime Tri-Cities Airport director couldn't overcome the severity of his injuries and died 3 Feb 11. Saturday, his son Adam Morasch told about 400 family, friends and colleagues that his dad now "is in a better place." He described his father as "compassionate, caring, kind, generous, a little ornery at times but, most important, he was loving.
A celebration of life was held for Jim Morasch, 68, in a new hangar just up the road from his office of 30 years. Outside the large building, several members of ACES, or American Citizens Encouraging Support, stood in the parking lot with American flags. Inside, government officials and business and community leaders from across the Northwest gathered for the 45-minute service to recognize Morasch's many successes. The stories spanned decades: Morasch's childhood in Colfax and a failed attempt to fly off the garage roof with homemade wings; his days as a Dustoff pilot flying rescue missions in Vietnam; his career as an airport director helping Pasco's facility expand to meet the growing needs of travelers; and his volunteer work on community boards and organizations.
Jim served in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps as a DUSTOFF pilot from 1967-1970. He flew DUSTOFF in Vietnam, June 1968-June 1969, with the 498th Air Ambulance at Lane Army Heliport. He was discharged with the rank of Captain.
"We knew Jim as the master of the airport," said Port of Pasco Commissioner Bill Clark. There wasn't a foot of wire, a screw, a bolt or a light that Morasch didn't know about at the facility, he said. Morasch's amazing strength was his ability to think clearly in all levels of his life, along with his temperament, sense of decorum and nerves of steel, Clark said. Morasch got his pilot's license before his driver's license. "I was envious of his flying career and knowledge of aviation," he said.
Dave Parhalo was another Dustoff pilot who met Morasch in March 1967. He flew out from Florida for Saturday's service. "Jim was a great person, a great friend and a great pilot and I will miss him," Parhalo told the crowd before he was overcome with emotion.
Berriochoa gave Launa Morasch a flag that his son, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Dan Berriochoa with the Army, recently flew for 12 hours in Afghanistan in tribute to Jim Morasch. Before taps was played and Army personnel presented an American flag to the family, Adam Morasch recalled his dad's favorite saying from the movie Madagascar. "Just smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave," he quoted. "Dad, we are all smiling and looking back at you, buddy."
Edward A. HaswellEdward A. Haswell was born January 6, 1935, in Mansfield, MO., to Harold A. and Mildred I. Haswell who preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife, Marguerite, of 57 years and their four children, Edward A., Harold J., Corinne Haswell Fines and her husband David, and Jeffery L. and his wife Veronica. He had 13 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.
He retired from the U. S. Army in 1986 after 30 years of meritorious service, as a Dustoff Aviator in United States, Korea, Germany and Vietnam. His last assignment was as the Medical Logistics and Projects Officer for the new Brook Army Medical Center during the early design phase.
In lieu of flowers please donate to the , the soldiers he dedicated his life to.
Frederick W. Ruckhaber
Frederick W. Ruckhaber born in Kenosha, WI, in 1949, was graduated from Bradford High School in Kenosha and attended the College of Lake County in IL. He was a highly decorated soldier in the U.S. Army from 1967-1970 where he served in Vietnam and received the Silver Star, Bronze Star V, and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
He then served as a police officer for the City of Highland Park from 1970-2000, and subsequently retired in Wautoma, WI, with his wife, Jeanette, and his hunting dog, Millie. He was an avid hunter and fisherman, and wonderful husband and father.
Kenneth Wayne Livengood Sr.
Mr. Kenneth Wayne Livengood Sr. went to be with his Lord and Savior on Wednesday, December 1, 2010.
He was born on July 8, 1942 in High Point, NC to the late Howard Franklin Livengood and Edith White Livengood. He was graduated from High Point High School and ECPI. Mr. Livengood served his country during the Vietnam War as a combat medic with DUSTOFF. He was the owner and President of Carved Duplicator's, Ltd. until 1993, when it was sold.
Kenneth served as the coach of the first girl's soccer team at Trinity High School. He also served on the Board of Christ for the Island World for many years. Mr. Livengood was a faithful member of Mt. Olive Wesleyan Church, where he served as Sunday School Superintendent and taught Bible Study.
After retirement Mr. Livengood loved to spend time with his family and especially his grandchildren. He loved to play golf and tend to his fish pond.
Jack Diggs CW4 (Ret.) of Ozark passed away Monday, October 4, 2010 at his home. He was 65. Mr. Diggs was born July 27, 1945 in Beach Grove, Indiana and lived the early years of his life in Indianapolis, Indiana. Mr. Diggs was a Medevac chopper pilot with 54th DUSTOFF in Vietnam with over 8,000 hours of flying time.
Following his active duty he was a flight instructor at Ft. Rucker and served with the 282nd "Black Cats" Reserve unit. He sponsored allied military flight students while they were in flight school at Ft. Rucker. Mr. Diggs had a total of 38 years of federal service when he retired on November 2, 2000. He owned and operated the Village Inn of Newton for 22 years and was very active in the community and held numerous Poker Runs for families with sick loved ones and for community organizations. Mr. Diggs was a member of the American Legion and the VFW.
James Keates, medic for the 571st out of Colorado and the 377th out of Seoul, has passed from a heart attack in Alaska.
Jim remained in reserve status for many years moving to Alaska to work in their Air Ambulance Program. Jim was also a Phys. Asst and a Nurse Practitioner in Emergency Medicine.
He was a great medic, and a soldier who made his life so others may live.
Howard Huntsman, Jr.
As a retired LTC from the Army's Medical Service Corps, Howard A. Huntsman, Jr. died on August 22, 2010, at the age of 85. He entered the Army as a 2LT in July of 1951 and became an Army aviator in July 1953. His overseas flight missions were conducted in Korea, Germany, and Vietnam. As a rotary and fixed wing qualified Senior Army Aviator, he retired on May 31, 1972. Prior to his Army service he became a Marine Corps World War II combat veteran while serving in the southwestern Pacific from August 1944 to November 1945.
Col Huntsman was a life member of VFW Post 8541; a charter and life member of the DUSTOFF ASSN. and the AMEDD's . He was also a life member of America's premier fraternal organization of military pilots - The Order of the Daedalions. Because of the fact that once you are a Marine - you are always a Marine - he had requested military burial honors include the United States Marine Corps.
Howard David Guthre
SFC Howard David Guthre, U.S. Army (Ret), age 65 of Santa Rosa Beach, FL passed away Thursday, July 7, 2010 at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast.
Mr. Guthre was a native of Hatfield, PA and was a resident of Santa Rosa Beach, FL for the last 35 years. He was a proud veteran of the Vietnam War and recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross. Dave proudly served his Country as a DUSTOFF medic with the 82nd Medical Detachment in Vietnam and was 100% disabled as a result of his service.
Brandon M. Silk
SGT Brandon M. Silk, 25, died serving our country on June 21, 2010 in Afghanistan. He was born on December 23, 1984, at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, the son of Mark A. and Lynn M. (Ronan) Silk. From an early age, Brandon wanted to fly. His favorite movie was "Top Gun." Brandon was a 2003 graduate of Orono High School having transferred from Calais High School. At Orono, Brandon excelled in football and track. His classmates gave him the nickname "Silky Smooth."
Following graduation, Brandon enlisted in the US Army. He was a Black Hawk Crew Chief and a member of the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. He was on his fourth tour of duty having served in Korea, Iraq, and two tours in Afghanistan. Brandon loved hunting, fishing and the great outdoors. His favorite colors were "Mossy Oak" and "Blaze Orange". He will be remembered for his big personality, self-determination, self-confidence and being so full of life. Brandon enjoyed music, playing the guitar, trivia, following the Red Sox and Patriots, and riding motorcycles. Brandon loved Maine, especially the family camp at Green Lake. Brandon especially appreciated Bob Marley's interpretations of life in Maine. He loved being the "Crazy Mainer" in his unit. Brandon loved his family, his friends, and fellow soldiers. He was proud to serve with the men and women of the 101st Airborne Division.
Jon M. Belding
"Do not cry for me, while my body has expired from pancreatic cancer, I live eternal as my soul has gone to heaven. To all my friends and family, may you continue to be blessed by the Lord and may you be a blessing unto others as you have been to me. Thank you for making my life on earth a great experience. Please celebrate my passing and know that I will be waiting to see you again when you arrive in heaven. - Jon"
On May 24, 2010, Jon Michael Belding earned his wings after 65 years. His younger sister, Susan, was waiting for him when his soul entered into heaven. He was not scared and he was happy to be reunited with his sister. Jon was predeceased by his father, Jonethen Dean "J.D." Belding; his mother, Edith Elaine Belding; and his sister, Susan Belding Saunders.
Jon was a graduate of Cradock High School, Class of 1962, and attended the University of Richmond before he was drafted into the Army. He was a Vietnam veteran who served from 1967-1968 with the 54th Med. Det. He was a crewchief for UH-1H helicopters as well as an administrative assistant. He won the Bronze Star with "V" for valor during his tour in Vietnam. He was a lifetime member of the Dustoff Association.
Robert Romines - also known as "Budgie" - died suddenly on Monday, March 29, 2010, at the age of 67. Bob was born in Henderson, Texas, in 1942, and attended Carlisle school his entire 12 years. He graduated in 1960, and attended Kilgore Junior College and Stephen F. Austin University finally graduating from Stephen F. Austin in 1970. Bob used to say he majored in "fraternity." Serving as President of Delta Sigma Phi, Bob established lifelong friendships and enjoyed the annual fraternity reunions.
Bob joined the U.S. Army in May 1967. Upon graduation from flight training at Fort Rucker, Alabama, in May of 1968, Budgie was assigned to the Republic of Vietnam as a medical evacuation helicopter pilot. He spent a full year in Vietnam where he flew over 1,000 hours, completed over 3600 combat missions and evacuated almost 1,500 patients. Among his combat awards for heroism during his Vietnam tour were the Distinguished Flying Cross and 30 awards of the Air Medal.
He was promoted to full Colonel in January 1992, and assigned to Fort Sam Houston again later that year. Fort Sam Houston was Colonel Romines' last assignment and he retired in January 1997, after a wonderful 29 years and 10 months serving our great United States in the U.S. Army.
Bob's military friendships were numerous and longstanding. A great patriot, an unfailing friend, loving husband, devoted father and affectionate grandfather, Bob will be greatly missed. Merle Snyder, Jere Foust, Nick Johnson, Lee Washburn were some of Bob's closest friends. Merle and Bob served in Vietnam together and made their dream of playing Ballybunion in Ireland a reality in 2006.
Quick-witted and quick-tempered, Bob was fondly known in the military as "Ragin' Robert." He had the gift of gab and was a great storyteller.