Saber Article Index

2002 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

The following message about the late MEDEVAC Medic Jim HALL was forwarded to me by Jim BRIGHAM, from 1966 MEDEVAC door gunner Mel ALLEN MEDEVAC756@WEBTV.NET :

"Date: Sun, 6 Jan 2002, Subject: Jim HALL; I met Jim on Jan 1st of 1966 when I transferred from the 8th ENGR Bn to be a door gunner for HHQ Co 15th MED Bn. We paired-up together as a team and spent the next 7 months together. He was a very good friend and someone you could really count on when the going got tough. We worked together closer than anyone I have ever worked with in my life, after all we depended on each other to stay alive.

"He was a master Combat Medic, a karate instructor, and devoted husband and father. I can recall the times we were together, his major topic of conversation was of his wife Tamea, she meant the world to him. We shared some frightening and exhilarating experiences together both on the ground and in flight. Every time I unhooked that rotor blade I knew we were out to save lives and that made what ever we had to do all worth it at the end of the day.

"I remember one day in casual conversation with Jim and the Col. that he was known as magnet ass because he was awarded 7 Purple Hearts for his heroic rescues. I could go on and on about our lives together. I know I speak for his family his friends and myself, Jim you will be surely missed. Till we meet again, your friend in war & peace. Mel J. ALLEN."

Thanks to Jim BRIGHAM for sending that over for us to read. And, thanks to Mel for his definitive reminisces of Jim HALL-SO THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE.

William H. PICKLE MSTRPICK@AOL.COM from Burke, VA wrote to say: "Sign me up!,, former MEDEVAC gunner, 1969."

Walter KANE WALTER.KANE@CR.K12.DE.US of Dover, DE comments: "Looking for any information on the death of my brother, Cpt. Charles Franklin KANE Jr. He was K.I.A on Oct 17th 1965. He was assigned to the 15th MED Bn 1st Cav as a pilot. Any type of information would be very helpful."

Vic ADAMS VICADAMS_99@YAHOO.COM wrote in to say that he: "Served as a Medic in Vietnam '68 to '70 with the 15th MED."

Bob RICHMOND, 1SG Ret 15th MED Bn  BRICH39639@AOL.COM from Titusville, PA(?) writes, "Great as always, well done, go 1st Team!"

Rod HOGEVOLL HOGIE@OREGONCOAST.COM of D 1st of the 5th Cav '70, and presently Hebo, OR had found photos of FSB DAVID that I have posted on my personal Veterans' Ring Web site that I had taken while we parked there, on call, in Cambodia. I had replied to his original e-mail: "I did take some photos in Nam when I wasn't busy being a Combat Medic that I have posted on: <HTTP: mbphoto.html SUCCESSSCOPES tx www.angelfire.com> As far as great, I just used a Kodak Instamatic that I carried in my jungle fatigue pants leg pocket, no professional camera."

He goes on to request: "If you have any photos of LZ DAVID (other than the ones you have posted), could you e-mail them to me. Thanks a lot." I do not, but if anyone else does please contact Rod. He had also said in another e-mailing:

"I found the pics you took of LZ DAVID in Cambodia. I was there the night of the ground attack. I didn't remember that the fire base was shaped like a teardrop. Did you take the photos coming in for a medevac or were they taken at a different time? [answer NO, just hanging out there on call. I never took photos when it got deadly serious, too busy.]

"If I remember correctly we killed about 28 NVA, including a female. We had several wounded, but no KIA. Lucky us. I sent some of the photos into www.ranger25.com. They are under Delta Company 1-5. I'm going to send some more later, but I didn't want to overload him with my photos.

"I too started out with an Instamatic, but graduated to a 35mm which was promptly stolen. I did get another one. I wish I would have written the names of everyone on the back of the photos. It was one of those things 'How could I ever forget their names?' I printed the photos you took of LZ DAVID and I will send them to my Lt., Lloyd POINTIER.

"I have e-mailed Frank EDGAR, a Medic from Bravo Company that was there that night. He was in on his way to R&R and planned on spending a quiet night in a fire base. He said he stuck his head out of his hooch and saw a gook running by with a satchel charge. Said he was the luckiest so and so in the world to survive." Floyd THOMPSON <SR71US@AOL.COM>writes, "My name is Floyd THOMPSON, was a Medic; got HHC 15th MED from Jan '68 thru July '69. Most often called Medic Tango. I flew with Danny TOOTHMAN, Gil MORAN <MEDEVAC 20>, Jim MCGEEHEE, door gunner, Jim HATCHER, door gunner, Rick FREEMAN, crew chief. Maj. Marion GOODMAN was my first CO at HHC, and I flew with him too.

"Ohh, I had Major Marion GOODMAN as Co for awhile. He instituted a rule...we all had to sit in a straight chair-CC type chair-until we landed on the ground...that didn't last long for us Medics... but I got my ass chewed out for not doing so...this was about the time we were flying out of LZ STUD near Khe Sahn. Floyd <MEDIC Tango> Looking forward to meeting other guys from my years in the Nam...Gil MORAN, pilot, is on AOL too as: MEDEVAC20@AOL.COM "

Chuck EASTERLING BITTY54@EARTHLINK.NET from Cambridge, OH signed SNORE's Guestbook and comments: "Just signed on to correct my address. I was with Co B 15th MED Bn Dec '66-Dec'67 [Could be '67-'68, he had '67-'67]. Through this web site I have located several buddies from the Nam. I have located Jack DRAKE. I have visited him several times in California. I just last week talked to Dave SERING, he now is in TX. I welcome any correspondence. Phone# 1-(740)432-8602."

I finally heard from MEDEVAC and fellow C 2\7 Cav Medic Bill WALSH CPD9283@AOL.COM . Bill is a Chicago cop-his e-mail screen name is probably his badge number-and so is probably very busy but he has been sending e-mails to me for the last couple of weeks. He says that he is on Harley's now so gets to see a lot of the big "C." That must mean that he is a motorcycle cop which is a good reason for everyone to obey the traffic signs there, and of course, where ever you are.

Bill wanted a copy of the John LAURENCE CBS video, "The World of Charlie Company," which I had later seen as a PBS one hour Bill MOYERS' documentary, but Jim BRIGHAM told me that he will send one to him so no further request should be necessary. Bill was in C 2\7 Cav in '70 when that documentary was done.

I had mentioned before that the late Bob HACKNEY of C 2\7 had taken the LAURENCE team out there when Bob was in 3rd Bde. P.I.O. for a rear job. He had also brought them over to my MEDEVAC helicopter when I was flying out of Tay Ninh and I got to meet that news crew.

Hank LLEWELLYN PYTHON26@AOL.COM forwarded the following e-mails to me:

"Dear Hank LLEWELLYN, I am trying to do a follow-up to a 1965 CBS News story that Morley SAFER of 60 Minutes did. In October of 1965 (I'm quite sure it was October 10th, 1965) Mr. SAFER, his cameraman and soundman were riding with a crew of the 15th MED into the first major operation (Operation SHINEY BAYONET) of the war. Mr. SAFER's helicopter was 'brought down' by about 6 sniper shots. The Captain of Mr. SAFER's chopper was a gentleman by the name of Guy KIMZEY. I have found out that Mr. KIMZEY was killed in a small plane crash in 1972 (Jerry EWEN from the VHPA Association found this information for me.) I have been trying (with Mr. EWEN's help) to find some of the crew members who might have been flying with Captain KIMZEY that day. Jerry EWEN believes there would have been a co-pilot, crew chief, Medic (acting as door gunner) and possibly another gunner [probably the crew chief in '65]. While on the ground Mr. SAFER and his crew began filming A Company 12th Cav. Believe it or not, I have found quite a few of those men. At the end of the day artillery blankets the area and Capt. KIMZEY's helicopter-although able to fly-is destroyed.

"Thank you in advance for any suggestions you might have about how I might go about finding this crew. Sincerely, Barbara DURY BD@CBSNEWS.COM Producer 60 Minutes II 212-975-6706"

Hank later forwarded this follow-up: "Dear Hank, I hope the SHINEY BAYONEY document was helpful. I have a bit more information. One account I've read says that on the 10th or 12th of October 1965, both A and B companies, 1\12 became heavily engaged. Two of the 15th Medical Battalion's MEDEVAC Hueys were shot down, and lift birds were needed to ferry out the wounded as well as bring in reinforcements. Some of the reinforcements may have come from D company. Morley SAFER's helicopter w/Capt. Guy KIMZEY at the helm was 'clipped by ground fire just as it flared for landing.' As I mentioned, later on that day, artillery destroys Capt. KIMZEY's helicopter. Any help you can give me in finding Capt. KIMZEY's crew members for that day will be appreciated. I would also appreciate it if you would pass this information on to Mike BODNAR. I have not spoken to him yet, but I know you passed on my last request. I will be out of the office for the next week, but I look forward to hearing from. Can't wait to hear what you all think of the movie. Best regards, Barbara DURY, BD@CBSNEWS.COM , Producer, 60 Minutes II, (212)975-6706."

Mort (no last name given) MORT8896@MSN.COM whose Web site is "blackknights4" <HTTP: blackknights4 blackknights4.tripod.com>wrote to say of SNORE's site: "Nice site here guys..I was with the Cav and you guys took care of me twice and I never got the chance to say Thanks so to all in the 15th.....thanks brother..." Air Ambulance Platoon PSG James MCDONALD (CSM ret.) submitted: "MEDEVAC: Flashbacks and Reflections:

"Seems like it was just a few months ago. But everything seems hazy. The days and nights thru Jan-Dec '71 were a blur of flights, change of personnel and the roommate that drank beer in the shower. The loss of aircraft, the exchange of friendship, the respect for the first up crews, the wounded, anger at the 'unseen' enemy, the unclaimed Hero's and the frightened, nervous laughter, loss of Sam the Soda-Man, mortars at the movie, maint monkeys working 7/24. Cannibalization to keep the craft flyable, and loneliness of the pitiful raped Hanger Queen.

"Downed birds rescue missions, hundred mile an hour tape, some reclaims and others a total loss, radio chatter, hot refuels, Montangard and rotor chain bracelets, nightly doses of Agent Orange Insecticide Cocktail blended with a morning quinine pill, booze to forget, beer for a script dime, paid in funny monopoly money, revetments to spring from, boots on the bar at the 9th Cav, wide eyed newbeeies, a screaming monkey, old timers counting and marking off wake ups on weird short timers calendars.

"First up call, sting of the call-"Troopers Hit", racing to them out of trim, identifying smoke, snakes overhead, Triple Canopy Extractions, going in the hole, silent prayers, rotors slashing bamboo, bean cans for the Patient Protector's M-60 rounds to ride on, in coming, green tracers, dropping ridged litters, long waits for short cable yoyo, bulletproof cushions and chicken vests, safety straps, reaching out, pulling in the ride, the nod of thank you, med inspection, adjustments, patches and fluids, rattling guns, then Superman's up and away. Hidden pride, this one's going to make it, wishing it was faster.

"More Hot Missions, scout dog in a ridged litter and a defective jungle penetrator, over the berm, dog rides to POL, blood on the ships floors, C missions logged, dailies pulled, supplies restocked, JP4 in a coke can, cleaning machine guns, smells that got used to, laughing and crying. Just wanting out, cold night sweats, bad dreams, fear of the last mission. C-rats and a centerfold pin up. Trapped in a mosquito net sleeping with boots on. "False sense of security, unauthorized weapons under the pillows. Believing in God, Budda, any good luck memorabilia, Blue Max, and your crew. 15th MED Bn Goes Home: MED Co 215th CS Bn 3rd BDE. Retire the colors, re-name the same, change the spot to spring from, MEDEVAC is still MEDEVAC - Fire Support Bases to visit, borrowing aircraft, bartering for parts and people replacements. Hotel Three, sand in almost everything, CMB's and CIB's, unlucky POW missions, a Y cord to share the knowledge, Hooch by the flight line, Flight Ops chatter, Red Carpet and Fat Albert, MEDEVAC 11 and other call signs, strength in unity. Rebellion at the EM Club, Proud Mary songs, IG Inspections a joke, Bien Hoa Air Force Killer omelets, unauthorized weapons and a non-Nomax ride to the states, beautiful South China Sea, time to leave and forget, somebody else's war. Un-loading the stress of Vietnam after being suspended over it wearing a bull's-eye.

"Class A's that were baggy and short. A tan that you forgot you had. Out-processing was a blur. Proud of the job, friends that forgot to remember, and some said it was a mission, some said it was live training tested, some just dismissed it as a Bad Dream, most said nothing. Flight Wings that were earned, separation of close friends, medals that were and were not earned. Everyone paid the price, some more than others. Some, more than not, if not with their life than with their youth. Well at least there was justification in saying...Although, during the tour, the reasoning proves...Right or wrong it was "our 15 Minutes of Fame in the Sun" and by God, DID WE FLY. The Old Flight Platoon Sergeant"

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