Saber Article Index

1999 Mar-Apr

MEDEVAC 15th Med\15th FSB
Mike Bodnar
307B N Main Copperas Cove, TX 76522
1704 254-542-1961
E-mail: mbodnar27@juno.com

"We look out for our own," is the old saying. With that in mind I would like to remind you about the 1st Cav Trooper Support Program for the 1st Cav in Bosnia. 1st Cav troops are still in Bosnia, now on the SECOND deployment-no light at the end of the tunnel. That means that the 1st Cav on duty needs your continued support. We stand together, or we fall together; it is that simple and it is real. You can go to page 15 in this Saber edition to view the battle plans to make commo and send resupply to the forward 1st Cav elements. On February 2nd, just before noon, I received a call from Clifford DAVIS. Clifford told me that he had read my first column over and over again. I can understand why because Clifford also told me that he had flown on MEDEVAC in 1966 and that he was shot down on November 5th, 1966. He told me that he suffered a broken back and neck with six broken vertebrae. Clifford said that he recovered somehow and he then returned to Vietnam and did more service with the Special Forces. That is commendable.

Although Clifford recovered from his wounds and he then did even more vital combat duty he told me that he is presently bound to a wheelchair because the years have deteriorated his body from those wounds; what else could they have been but serious. Clifford says that it does not bother him except when it rains-and I am sure that he does not sit outside in the wet to feel that way. We are with you Clifford! Clifford told me that the way that MEDEVAC was working where he was in Bong Son was that they had three helicopters covering each 1st Cav brigade. He said that they were flying up to twenty hours a day.

If you have any doubts about those numbers I am sure that he would love to hear from you. Clifford is at 7925 Saint Ives Road, N Charleston, SC 29406 (843)572-8043. This is a temporary address while he is having a house built. He does not have a computer presently so you cannot contact him by e-mail.

Clifford mentioned one particularly bad incident which he covered on MEDEVAC when a company of 2\5 Cav was decimated. His job after the incident was the task of identifying for the 15th Med the cause of casualty. I am sure that gruesome and emotional task was only greatly surpassed by the the fight with the enemy experienced by those 5th Cav infantrymen.

Clifford is still looking for James A. Lotta, a medic who became a cook whom he knew in B Company 15th Med. I am sure that Clifford would like to see in person any fellow Palmetto 1st Cav veterans. Perhaps we can get him to the reunion in Fayetteville, NC in 2000 for his first time.

A couple of days after the call from Clifford I received a call from John CRESPI, an E-6 in MEDEVAC from '67-'68. John had done a 15th Med column in the Sept\Oct 1997 Saber; only one issue though and he had to give up because he said that he got absolutely no response.

I was just on the verge of responding to him or to his predecessor, Wm. Addison HURST, whose 15th Med column ran from September 1995 until October 1996. I wanted to respond to the inaccurate names in those columns of MEDEVAC veterans whom I knew, but those columns disappeared.

After reading about the first reunion and organization of, in my first column, John was very surprised that many MEDEVAC veterans could get together. I put John in touch with SNORE and I see John's name on the MEDEVAC Guestbook. John can be reached at 315 Scarborough, Olathe, KS 66062, (913)397-6318; or e-mail: elkdog@aol.com . John has a lot of valuable historical information from many years in the Army. I see in the Nov\Dec 1994 Saber that John informed Steve BANKO in the 7th Cav column about the 7th Cav kilt and bagpipes that they used where John was in Germany in a squadron of the 7th Cavalry Regiment in the 3rd Inf. Div. That may have been the GARRYOWEN tartan, ask John about that. John mentioned being shot down on MEDEVAC and that his crew chief Trog was killed with just thirty days to go before he was to leave Vietnam. The archives show that to be Ronald Gale TROGDON, whose date of casualty was June 19, 1967. Another obvious response to the last issue's column was Mark "Duck" DRAKE, claiming possibly having been the biggest "quack" in the Army. Duck says that he wondered when 15th Med was going to hit the "bigtime." My perspective, Duck, is that any time you are helping to keep someone alive-and free, is the "bigtime," and you did plenty of that.

Duck was an X-ray technician in A Co. 15th Med in Tay Ninh from March '69 to May '70. Duck says that he distinctly remembers Mr. LEONARD-Richard "Rich" LEONARD, one of our great MEDEVAC pilots-and the day that Mr. LEONARD had three helicopters shot out from under him. I flew with Mr. LEONARD myself but not during the incidents that made him VERY famous, only to me.

Duck says that his worst memories are of the worst casualty days. He remembers FSB JAY and ILLINGSWORTH. Duck says that he actually threw the brigade commander out of X-ray once. Contact Duck about that one by e-mail: markadrake@prodigy.net . Duck gives only a location of Longmont Co., CA.

David A. KOCHER of Birdsboro, PA, and E 2\8 Cav writes to thank the "courageous" crews of MEDEVAC which he says that he saw in action in 1970 at LZ ILLINGSWORTH. David says that he has not had a chance to thank MEDEVAC since then. FSB JAY and ILLINGSWORTH were hell holes-where in the 1st Cav A.O.s were not, keep the motor running visitors-and sat not only astride major infiltration routes, but also right on the Cambodian border where the NVA could run back across for easy, safe sanctuary until the Incursion.

I remember flying out to FSB HANNAS not far from where FSB JAY had been. FSB HANNAS was named after the 2\7 Cav battalion commander, LTC Robert HANNAS, who had been severely wounded at JAY on March 29, 1970. FSB ILLINGSWORTH got hit badly on April 1, 1970, with the Medal of Honor going to Peter C. LEMON who helped make the difference there. I noticed the dirt berm that they used there in contrast to not having anything like that at LZ JAMIE which I had helped build in April '69 when I was in C 2\7 Cav. The dirt berms, I read in J.D. COLEMAN's book: Incursion, not only cut down incoming fire but also kicked up blinding dust which critically impaired defensive vision. If it is not one thing it is something else!

Also WITH HONOR AND COURAGE, Pat CAMPBELL, a medic with B 2\8 Cav '70-'71 sent a note to give thanks for MEDEVAC hoisting out his friends under fire and to apologize for losing a jungle penetrator. At ease Pat, that j.p. was on Uncle Sam; thank you for being out there, I pounded that ground myself. Pat is from Houston, TX, e-mail: campbel1@swbell.net

Chuck DONAHOO-cdonawho@aol.com -of Chattanooga, TN, a LRRP\RANGER of H Co. 75th Inf. Airborne sends a "thank you" to the MEDEVAC team who flew into Cambodia on May 27, 1970, putting their lives on the line-I could have been with them- and saved his life. Chuck says that if it was not for that MEDEVAC crew whose names he will never know he would have died at age twenty-one, but instead he has made it to fifty years of age, has two wonderful kids, a great wife, and he says, "Again, thank you for giving me a life."

We hear from Nathan STANFIELD who writes to thank those who he says pulled him out from under his crashed bird on April 22, 1971, and then again MEDEVACed him from FSB FOUNTAINE to the 93rd Evac in Bien Hoa, saving his life. He wants to get names of medics of HHC and D 2\8 Cav who were on FSB FOUNTAINE at that time. Nathan is from Amarillo, TX e-mail: nstanfel@arn.net.

Perhaps Larry BIRD was there for Nathan because Larry writes that he flew as a medic during those later Bien Hoa days and he remembers: Papa-san JACKSON, Goldie (famous for backward take-offs at LZ MACE, med-pad), Larry LUND, Lt. NORRIS, and anyone Larry may have flown with-Rich DUBRAY, gunner; Chuck LAWHORN, gunner; Dec 70-71, Phouc Vinh, LZ MACE, Tay Ninh, Song Be. Larry's e-mail: birdhouse@erols.com . The last minute up-date has Larry in touch with Chuck, but that he is still looking for Andy KRAMER.

Albert H. CLAY of Sequim, WA, SSG B Co. 15th Med Sep66- Sep67-e-mail: mrc@olypen.com -wrote in as a 1st Cav Association life member who has not: "Seen a Saber since I returned the last time in 1969 on a stretcher myself. So yeh I guess, 'welcome home.'"

I received a letter dated 04 Feb 99 from Paul Patton WINKEL Jr. (Col. ret.) who flew for 229th AHB during the Ia Drang campaign. He says that he would like to find whomever he can talk to concerning operations at the medical facilities at Camp Holloway (Pleiku) when they brought WIA to that facility during 14-18 Nov 1965. Paul can be reached at: 46467 Saffron Court, Sterling, VA 20165 (703)406-4646. Another request came in via e-mail from Lou "Rocket" ROCHAT specifying: WANTED: Any information or contacts concerning the 1st WOC Rock at Wolters. Am working on a Ft Rucker project concerning restoration and history of the Rock...Lou "Rocket" can be contacted at 181 High Oak Universal City, TX 78148 (210) 658-1651 Home (210) 652-6357 Work   DSN 487-6357 Work e-mail: Lou.Rochat@AFPC.Randolph.AF.Mil  As promised, all present or accounted for MEDEVAC\15th Med veterans are as follows: Updated 01/24/99 Found to Date: Mike SMITH, David PARKS, Monty HALCOMB, Bob HUGHES, Norvell E. GODSIE, Jimmie SANDERS, Ricky GOODSON, Tim KERWIN, Ron (Crash) KASH, Sherman (SNORE) BREEDEN, Joe MCNANEY, Charles ROBINSON, Larry ASH, Henry LAND II, Dan BRADY, Albert H. CLAY, Danny (Diamond) SMITH, Jerry MCKINNEY, Bill WALSH, Charles (Chuck) LAWHORN, Larry BIRD, T.J. WHELAN, Clifford DAVIS, John CRESPI, Greg (Simp Pilot) SIMPSON, Ron (Baby Huey) HUETHER, Ralph ALLISON, Ken FLOWERS, Quinn H. BECKER, Robert T. (Tom) CAMPBELL, Richard (Rich) LEONARD, John PORTER Dentist, Harry Reedy HOLTON, Ronald J. THOMPSON, Vincent WARREN, Mike PARSONS, Bobby COGGINS, Jim Fergy FERGUSON, Joel (Med. 26) MORRIS, John A. CHISHOLM, Richard Dickie GAMESTER, Tom READ, John Plasma 9 LONON, Dr. Frank J. TYCAST, John (Goldie) GOLDSMITH, Jim HALL, Harry WISDOM, Richard TANNER, Craig HOLLENBECK, Howard ELLIOTT III, Mike BODNAR, Bill STOVALL, Barry BROWN, Bill KELLER, (Little Oakie) Henry O. TUELL, Dave COOPER, Fred ALBRIGHT, Chris BURGESS, Randy BURKHART, Wendell DAVIS, Dillard CARTER, Frank M. DOYLE, Gilbert S. GETTO, Wm. Addison HURST, Mark HOLIDAY, Jim HUDSON, Jon LUNDQUIST M.D., Arnold MULKEY, Jack POWELL, Jim VICTOR, Jonnie S. RICHARDS, Honorary Stu ROBERTS, David SHEETS, Lee CAUBARREAUX, Jack REID, Leslie PALMER, Lee TRIFIRO, Benny GARCIA, Edward MIRANDA, Bobby POOLE, Gene WHEELER, John UEBELACKER, Ed MATHEWS, Jack WEST, Bill VINCENT, Roger HARWOOD, Chris WICKLAND, David LANE, Jack RODEN, Doug SMITH, Raymond W. HENDERSON, William M. DOUGLAS, Jimmy NORRIS, Rufus GREEN, Bill MCCLAIN, John TABOR, Bob MCKINLEY, Sam MADLIN, Tim JACKMAN, Corky WALSH George TRIPLETT, Randy KOINZAN, John ZWALINSKI, Honorary Tom MALONEY, Eldon IDEUS, William STEWART, Ray ZEPP, Dale T. MCGUFF, Jim NICHOLS, Jesse Sam GRIFFITH, Bob HATTELS, James MCDONALD, Richard A. MILLS, John D. ROZZELL, Culous HAYES, Teddy R. NELSON, Kenneth COLBY, Dave HOLT, Dennis GUTHREY, Joe DODSON, Mel ALLEN, Bud DAVIS, Ralph TUTRANI, Dean V. SCHWARTZ, Dan WILKERSON, Tom SCOFIELD, Tom SONNEBERGER, Claude NEWBY, Eric BERLA, Patrick MARTIN, Lawrence MOSS, Sandy MCDONALD, Jim CALIBRO, Charles LOCKIE, Dennis WARD, David KELLY, Larry SMITH, Roger HARWOOD, Charles WILLIAMS, Vern SWANSON.

Deceased Brothers Died in the Republic of South Vietnam: John S. ALLING, Jr. November 26,1968; Rodney K. ARNOLD April 25,1970; Richard D. BARTHOLOMEW, Jr. February 12, 1969; Stephen Carl BEALS November 26, 1968; Gary Lee BOWDLER September 07, 1969; Clifford Sheran BRATCHER July 20, 1966; James Harrison BROOKS, Jr. April 25, 1970; Ralph Silvio CINOTTI October 28, 1969; James Thaddeus CONWAY April 25, 1970; Billy Wayne DENLY October 28, 1969; Louis S. DIBARI September 05, 1969; James Donald DORAN November 26, 1968; Gary Lynn DUBACH February 14, 1969; Dennis Boyd EASLEY July 20, 1966; J. Richard FORTENBERRY September 24, 1970; Francis E. GLAZEBROOK September 08, 1967; Dalton Truro GOFF September 08, 1967; Johnny Glen GREGG November 26, 1968; George K. HAMILTON February 12, 1969; Bobby Ferman HODGES October 28, 1969; Rudolph JACKMACK May 04, 1966; Robert Earnest JONES November 26, 1968; Charles F. KANE, Jr. October 12, 1965; Kurt Loyd KUHNS September 08, 1967; Douglas Mason KYSER July 20, 1966; Larry Gay LANCE September 08, 1967; James Wood MEGEEHEE September 07, 1969; Thomas Ronald PURSELL May 19, 1968; George Warren RICE December 18, 1965; Charles Samuel RIDOUT July 20, 1966; Roger Clark ROSE September 08, 1967; Stephan Lawrence SHUMACHER February 12, 1969; Gary Lynn TAYLOR May 24, 1970; Ronald Gale TROGDON June 19, 1967; Jonathan R.  VARS July 17, 1969; Donald Coles WOODRUFF July 20, 1966; Kirk Allen WOOLLEY February 11, 1969. Deceased since returning from South Viet Nam: Michael L. HAGERTY, Warren JACKSON, Steve MODICA, William J. SALLENGER, Dennis SCHMIDT, Bob SENONIE, Fred WEST, Sid BOAZ, Mike (Big Red) BURKE.

Many more names will be added to these after I go through the old Saber 15th Med columns, and run them by SNORE. Of course there will be more when everyone else turns in new names as well.

On the local PBS channel, a program they air, the Army News Watch, reports that the recent workhorse for aero- medical evacuation, the Blackhawk UH60-A is going to be replaced by the UH60-Q which they say will be a veritable flying I.C.U. Medics complained that he UH60-A is hard to work in and does not have adequate commo with others.

The UH60-Q will improve on those problems by inserting digital systems that are compatible with organizations that they are supporting in the field, to cross organizational boundaries. Part of that digital package includes a search and rescue locate system, a new commo system that allows talk to the Navy, Air Force, and civilian agencies, forward looking infrared vision, an on-board oxygen generator, a new stretcher system to manipulate patients in flight, and a digital read-out hoist that can tell the crew how much cable is out. The Army plans to field 357 UH60-Q state-of-the-art air ambulances in 2002.

That is a comparison that we worked with on MEDEVAC to being given just a rifle and a shovel, or getting a modern spent-uranium armor, laser guided, heat seeking, infrared, computerized fighting vehicle. If it keeps us on top I agree, take the technology when they have it.

For those who have had to struggle with the dilemma of using a tourniquet, the Army News Watch reports that the Army with help from the American Red Cross is developing a field dressing bandage with an instant scabbing system-yuk! but yay! This new bandage takes basic proteins from human blood clotting: thrombin and fibrinogen, applied in very high concentrations to the wound, and creates an instant scab. The Army and the American Red Cross have produced a bandage that stops even the severest arterial bleeding a minute after it is applied, in laboratory tests. The backing is covered with blood clotting proteins and will be tried first with medical personnel. Then, it will become a part of every soldier's issued gear. They are looking for a manufacturer and F.D.A. approval.

Always remembering our 1st Cav troops on duty around the world; over and out.

FIRST TEAM!
Garryowen,
Mike Bodnar C 2\7 '69
MEDEVAC 1-7\70
SO THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE