Saber Article Index

2003 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

Mike SMITH, MEDEVAC door gunner '69-'70 and 15th MED Assn. former president <MVANDCO@AOL.COM sent out: "REST IN PEACE We have lost a charter member of 15th MED. Eldon [IDEUS] was killed in a airplane crash. We all will miss him very much. He was a great pilot and a greater friend. tater"

The following came dated January 23, 2003, I think from Max WESTHEIMER of Norman, OK:

"Plane crash victim was decorated veteran"

01/23/03 By Sean MURPHY

"The 61-year-old Texas man killed in a plane crash in east Norman Tuesday was a decorated veteran of the Vietnam and Desert Storm wars.

"Retired Col. Eldon IDEUS of Roanoke died Tuesday after his single-engine plane crashed into a wooded area in far east Norman. The crash is under investigation by the National Transportation and Safety Board.

"A Nebraska native, IDEUS was a Medical Services Corps officer in the U.S. Army who served in the 498th Air Ambulance Company in Vietnam, said retired Lt. Col. Reuben PINKSON of Oklahoma City.

"He flew what was basically a helicopter ambulance that would go to the front lines and pick up injured soldiers, said PINKSON who served with IDEUS in Vietnam and throughout his military career. He saved a lot of lives that way.

"PINKSON said IDEUS was well liked by his men and was always soldier oriented. During Desert Storm, IDEUS was selected to command a large medical group.

"Because of his experience and his tactical savvy...he was selected among many to command that organization, PINKSON said.

"Retired Col. Timothy JACKMAN TIMJACKMAN@AOL.COM  who also served with IDEUS in the Army, echoed PINKSON's sentiments.

"'Eldon was a man for whom I had enormous respect throughout the 20 years that we knew each other,' JACKMAN said. 'Always focused on what was most important: his family, his soldiers, his mission, and his faith. Eldon showed a passion for each.' "After retiring from the Army, IDEUS served as the director of the Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) in Oklahoma City from 1994 to 1997, said EMSA spokesman Paul O'LEARY.

"O'LEARY said a regularly scheduled EMSA staff meeting Wednesday quickly turned to discussions about what a capable and effective leader IDEUS was.

"'He was a tough, tough guy who could really run a show,' O'LEARY said. 'The guy was just a born leader, and we were lucky to have him.'

For the last 2 1/2 years IDEUS was a pipeline patroller for Texas Aerial Inspections in Fort Worth.

"'He's one hell of a nice guy and an excellent pilot, said company owner Bill HOWDLE.'

"Funeral services for IDEUS will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Zion Lutheran Church in Pickrell, NB." Reporter Sean MURPHY can be reached via e-mail at SMURPHY@NORMANTRANSCRIPT.COM .

Tim JACKMAN (COL ret.) TIMJACKMAN@AOL.COM replied to my inquiry for more information about Eldon IDEUS: "Yes, I knew Eldon pretty well, but regrettably, I don't have total recall on the units to which he was assigned. I would suggest you contact his wife Renee and/or his best friend, Bill KRUSE. Their respective e-mail addresses are: EIDEUS@AOL.COM and WKRUSE9450@AOL.COM " I will try to contact them for the next Saber. Tim answered some of my other questions about his service in the 1st Cav and his association membership: "I became a life member when assigned to the 1st Cav in RVN. Sorry that I haven't been more attentive to keeping them updated. I will contact them. I retired as a COL in 1994 after 35 years.

"Also attached is the obit from his hometown newspaper. There are some military things that they didn't get quite correct."

ROANOKE, Texas -  Eldon H. IDEUS, Sr., 61, Roanoke, TX died early Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 21, 2003, after the single engine plane he was flying crashed into a wooded area in the far southeastern part of Norman, OK. He was born Feb. 20, '41, at Beatrice, NE, attended the Sunny Hill Country School and graduated from Filley High School, Filley, NE, in '59. He attended Nebraska Wesleyan University and graduated with a degree in business administration and later earned a masters degree in business. During college, he was a member of the Nebraska National Guard. After graduating, he joined the U.S. Army and served two tours of duty in Vietnam as a MEDEVAC pilot and also led the medevac in Desert Storm.  He was distinguished many times for his service, notably two Purple Hearts, an Air Medal, and retired as a colonel from the military in '94 after 31 years of service. He then worked as director of American Medical Response in Oklahoma, Colorado and Georgia. His passion for flying led him to work for the Texas Aerial Inspection Company as a pipeline patroller. He was married to Renee KENT in July, 2002, in Colorado. He was a life-long member of Zion Lutheran Church, rural Pickrell, and was active in medical missions in Guyana South America. His hobbies including flying and remodeling homes. Survivors: wife, Renee; son, Eldon IDEUS II, of Melbourne, FL; daughter, Heather IDEUS and fianc√© Randy MAYFIELD of Grand Prairie, TX; mother, Margaret IDEUS of Beatrice, NE; stepchildren, Mary-Alison KENT of Roanoke, TX; Melissa KENT RYAN MAYFIELD; sister, Norma GODDEN and husband, Dwight of Don, of Omaha, NE; former wife and the mother of his children, Phyllis IDEUS of Pawnee City, NE ; aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his father, George IDEUS (Dec. 20, '99); a sister, Loretta DORN and a brother, Lawrence IDEUS. Funeral: 1pm Sat., Jan. 25, Zion Lutheran Church, rural Pickrell. Pastor Paul PETERSEN officiating. Burial: church cemetery, Military graveside services will be conducted by the Ft. Riley Honor Guard. Family prayer services: 12:45pm Sat., basement of the church. In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established to the Guyana Project of the Fellowship Lutheran Church in Tulsa, OK, with Dan and Mary LENNERS in charge. A register book will be available for signatures, noon Fri. until 10am Sat.  The family will meet and greet friends and relatives: 6:30pm-8pm Fri. at Fox Funeral Home, Beatrice.

"In Desert Storm, Eldon commanded the 1st Medical Group, a unit of the 44th Medical Brigade. His awards and decorations were more extensive than related in the paper. He had at least two awards of the Legion of Merit, Air Assault, and Master Aviator Badges.

"Bill KRUSE can probably give you better information on that as well as his assignments. You might remind Mrs. IDEUS that some information that you seek would be on his DD Form 214 discharge certificate, which she would have needed to settle his fairs. She is interested in gaining contact with folks with whom Eldon served.

"I spent about seven months (6-'70 to 3-'71)in the 15th Medical Battalion. Dates were from when I was a volunteer inter-theater transfer from the MACV Advisory Team with the 23rd ARVN Division in II Corps in Ban Me Thout, after completing an 12 month h tour there. My assignment was to be the operations officer to replace MAJ John SPERANDIO, but by the time I got there the XO from HSC, CPT Judd LEACH, was assigned to that position mid-tour and I got the job as the XO for the HSC. MAJ (later COL) John LOWE was the XO for the Battalion. COL (later LTG Quinn BECKER, The Surgeon General) was the battalion commander. My company commander was a MAJ Sid BOAZ, a doctor for whom I had immense respect.  I was succeeded by a CPT Art SEVALIUS, MSC, who transferred in from the 11th ACR Medical Company. Art is another officer who I held in great respect. My tour with the 15th MED Bn. was a disappointment and rather unremarkable compared to the challenges and adventures I had in my other three assignments in RVN."

Mike SMITH further replied: "Mike, I am forwarding this to Corky WALSH <MEDEVAC454@AOL.COM>who knew Eldon and flew with him. Corky is our new president. Corky could give you a hand ASAP. Thanks, Mike S." That confirms that Eldon IDEUS was a MEDEVAC pilot probably '67-'68. If anyone else knew, or flew with Eldon IDEUS, please contact me. I will have more on Eldon in the next issue after I have contacted more people.

Lary ASH, MEDEVAC door gunner '70, and 15th MED Webmaster DOORGUNNER2@YAHOO.COM e-mailed: "Someone has told me that SGT John ROSELLI might have passed away. Can you [anyone] supply some light on this rumor. It would be most appreciated."

MEDEVAC pilot Henry "CPT Hook" LAND writes: "Mark your calendars, 3 thru 5 May 2003 will be the dates of the 16th annual Vietnam Veteran's reunion at beautiful Wickhamm Park in Melbourne, Fl. There is camping by reservations as well as live bands, disc jockeys, military displays, vendors, food concessions; the moving wall will be there all week. It's outstanding and is the largest reunion of this type in the U.S. Plan to attend; for more info contact me at CAPTHOOK1STCAV@NETSCAPE.NET ."

Don BARTON, MEDEVAC PSG '70 MUDMEDIC70@HOTMAIL.COM of Phoenix, AZ, signed into SNORE's 15th MED Assn. Guestbook: "Hi, Mike sold my ranch in Tucson, AZ, moved back to Phoenix (X wife needed my help). You know, 'SO THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE.' Still have my Cav\MEDEVAC on my red Mustang..Take care all see you next time DOC."

S. RICHEY D9DOZER@PACBELL.NET from Anaheim, CA commented in the 1st Cav Assn. Guestbook which I thought everyone should read: "I've taken several hours and read most of the 227 messages..and I think it's a shame, that we don't have more stories left here...and since there aren't, I'm going to leave a short one.....One of the bravest men I ever saw...We were at Bu Dop, up near Cambodia.

"We'd been mortared, shot at with Russian 8" mechanized howitzers, 90mm recoilless rifles, and all kinds of small arms weapons. Lots of dead on our side...and lots on theirs, but most of them got hauled off. Ours had to stay until things settled down and we ran the bad guys off, so we could land MEDEVACs.

"We had the dead laid out and the wounded on stretchers, ready to be MEDEVACed. The choppers began to land and the men with the worst injuries were taken first. One of our guys, an E-6 black sergeant, looked a lot like Woody STRODE in the movies, lay calmly waiting his chance to be taken to get medical care.

"He had three bottles hanging from hooks near his stretcher, was covered in bandages, was bleeding through most of them, and lay there patiently waiting his turn. It finally came.

"Two guys came over and picked him up and he told them, 'Put me down troop!' They did and he bent forward in agony, sweat popping out on his forehead, he got one leg under him, and then stood, picking up his bottles as he did so.

"He looked at the two guys who were willing to carry him to the chopper and said, 'No man carries me! I carry my own load!' and calmly walked to the chopper and got in.

"I never saw him again. In that moment, he defined all that a real soldier is: tough, self reliant, proud, and just more guts than I'd seen about anywhere. I never knew his name."

From: ARMY LINK NEWS LIST "New medevac copters deploy to Afghanistan" by PVT 2 Terri RORKE

"BAGRAM, Afghanistan (Army News Service, Feb. 24, 2003) - Earlier this month, a California National Guard pilot flew an HH-60L helicopter right off a stateside factory's lot on the first leg of its journey to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. The two-month-old helicopter, one of just two HH-60Ls now in Afghanistan, is the latest edition to the line of Black Hawks and is designed specifically for medical evacuation. There are only 12 other helicopters like it.

"SGT 1st Class Gary VOLKMAN of the California National Guard's 126th Medical Company (Air Ambulance), now deployed to Afghanistan, was the pilot that flew the HH-60L from the factory. He said his unit is lucky to have two of these rare Black Hawks. One was only built in November and the other in January.

"'These are the first two to be deployed,' said VOLKMAN who is the acting first sergeant of a 24-hour standby all- paramedic team of 20. Due to the many paramedic-friendly features the distinguished bubble-nosed helicopter possesses, it was decided Bagram would be its first deployment location. "'While the previous model of the Black Hawk the 126th was using, the UH-60L, allowed crewmembers to carry all the needed equipment onboard, the HH-60L has many features that make it easier for the paramedics,' VOLKMAM said. The stationary medical interior includes an onboard oxygen- generating system, provisions for medical electronics, a six-litter patient configuration, room for a medic plus another essential individual.

"'Other features include the latest infrared and navigational capabilities, a storm scope and a 290-foot hoist, which travels 350 feet a minute for quick reaction time. The hoist may be needed for various rescues,' VOLKMAN explained. 'We can lower a medic down into a mine field to pick up an injured person and it is a lot faster than the old internal hoist.'

These new helicopters are not cheap. 'They are roughly 14 million dollars a piece,' said VOLKMAN. While only being in Afghanistan a couple of weeks, the medevac helicopter has already seen a few rescues dealing with land-mine accidents and a couple incidents of kids playing with explosive ordnance.

(Editor's note: PVT 2 Terri RORKE is a member of the 11th Public Affairs Detachment.) Link to original news item: HTTP://www.dtic.mil/armylink/news/Feb2003/a20030224medevac2.html

Jim PATTESON, 15th MED '53 JPATTESON@ALABAMAVETERANSMUSEUM.COM e-mailed: "15th Medics, 1st Calvary [sic], 1953-'54; we had ambulances and clearing platoons-no noisy birds. Anybody out there from that time at Chitose, Japan? Check us out at: WWW.ALABAMAVETERANSMUSEUM.COM . I need help for the museum to set up a good medical display. Particularly a medic bag (can be empty), or other medical items to display."

I found the following sign-in on the 1st Cav Assn. Guestbook which I thought was worth passing on: "Rocco MOLITERNO ROGERWATERS@LIBERO.IT Milan, Italy comments: 'I had read the book by Mr. MOORE. I wish to say that the soldiers died at X-ray and Albany they aren't died for nothing. They have teach me to love freedom and life and, from now, they say to me, 'Face your life with the courage of fear. Thanks, forever.  Garry Owen to all.'"

Paul WINKEL ORANGEL@ADELPHIA.NET e-mailed me: "Sir: We of the 229th Aslt Hel Bn, 1st Cav Div (Ambl), ca 14 -17 Nov 65 -- veterans of the Ia Drang Wars of LZ X-ray & LZ Albany -- have been researching that battle period of time for over 10 years. Can you link us to vets who were at the Med Facility at Camp Holloway (near Plei Ku) during those four days of violent battle? We helicopter "mad men of a special breed" air crews, as Joe GALLOWAY has identified us in this last issue of Saber, brought to that med facility (or to the MEDEVAC crews in support) over a hundred wounded guys for medical aid. The 15th MED really did wonders during those days and ought to fit into the book we hope to get written soon. Sincerely, Paul Patton WINKEL, Jr., COL, USA (Ret) (703) 406-4646.

I received snail mail from Donald WRIGHT, Jr., P.O. Box 140513, Toledo, OH, 43614, A 2-5 Cav 10-'68-'69, who sent over an article from the Vietnam Magazine: "Why does the U.S. Army's current Air Assault Badge fail to recognize the Vietnam veterans who pioneered those tactics?"

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