Omaha Spec. 5, U.S. Army
Served from October 1966 to October 1969, with the 1st Air Cavalry Division in Vietnam from October 1967 to October 1968.
Memory: “The Air Cavalry was known for its mobility — 'Air Mobile,' as we were known. I was stationed at An Khe in the Central Highlands from October 1967 through mid-January 1968. At that time, three of our 16 Chinooks and selected cavalry units were sent up north to I Corps to help support the Marines and (South Vietnamese) units with plans to move the remaining Cav units up to Camp Evans in March.
“I was sent along to help the flight crews maintain their aircraft and keep 'em flying. Between January and March, we were temporarily quartered at Red Beach (Da Nang), Phu Bai and Quang Tri.
“During that period, things became very hostile. The Tet Offensive broke out in late January. It was during this time that I started volunteering for missions to learn the various flight crew positions. I was lucky to have enough flight time to learn them all (except pilot) and fly every type of mission possible.
“From January 1968 to May 1968, I flew many missions, including around Hue, Quang Tri, Khe Sanh, A Shau Valley and Con Thien. Then I returned to maintenance as a team leader in May 1968.
“We were able to accomplish our missions because of the great maintenance crews that kept them flying, no matter what the problems thrown on them. The great pilots and flight crews completed mission after mission, no matter what the risk.
“My memories are many — the men of the maintenance teams, flight crews, the heat, the humidity, the smell, the waking up at night to the sound of incoming rockets and mortars, the adrenaline rush when things turned bad — too many more to mention.”
Order ‘At War, At Home’
The World-Herald’s “At War, At Home: The Cold War” is a special look back at the Nebraskans and Iowans whose courage and commitment helped prevent nuclear war and lift the Iron Curtain. Its 330 pages include:
» Gripping stories and compelling photographs from the OWH archives.
» Service memories submitted by Nebraskans and western Iowans.
» Commemorative coverage of July's Cold War Victory Salute in downtown Omaha.
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