Saber Article Index
MEDEVAC 15th Med\15th FSB
307B N Main Copperas Cove, TX 76522
I had a couple of replies to my mention of
the Air Assault Parity Coalition in the last Saber. Edward C. EMENHISER,
Ft. Wayne, IN, SSG E 2-12 Cav '69-'70, called me and mentioned that the
commanding generals of the 101st and 1st Cav Divisions had commented on
the situation. You can call the 1st Cav Div Assn. for the most recent
contact information for everyone noted in this column if none is listed.
Barry WILLIAMSON of the 8th Engineers attached to the 7th Cav who was
a long time Saber 7th Cav columnist sent a clipping from the Army Times.
It says that a new combat badge for the pilots and crews of aeromedical
evacuation would be created under a bill introduced by Rep. Tim HOLDEN,
D-PA. The badge, which would be designed by each service, would be
provided to anyone involved in medevac flights under combat conditions
since June 25, 1950, a date selected so that Vietnam and Korean veterans
would be included.
HOLDEN's bill, HR 2587, was referred to the House
Armed Services Committee for consideration. It was introduced too late
in the session for consideration as part of the 2004 defense
authorization bill, which passed the House. So, it will sit without
action until Congress takes up the 2005 version of the bill next year.
There has been a lot of new discussion on the 15th MED Web site:
<HTTP: 15thMEDASSOCIATION _whatsnew.msnw>-address, as posted above, in
each Saber. This is due to the fact that many, new MEDEVAC\15th MED
veterans have found the associations and MEDEVAC door gunner Murray GIBBS
was elected president of the 15th MED Association, bringing in a renewed
One of recent discussions was the awarding of the Combat
Medical Badge, or CMB, to 15th MED personnel, be they MEDEVAC
crewmembers, pilots, or otherwise. This is an Army wide issue and not
just about 15th MED veterans. The above congressman's bill, if signed
into law, would bring some deserving award to combat aeromedical
evacuation crews and pilots.
I had submitted to the online discussion
what I knew, and the following Web addresses for the Army Regulation,
each, or A.R.s, concerning the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Paragraph
2-6, Army Regulation 600-8-22 (Military Awards)25 February 1995 <HTTP:
combat_infantryman_badge.htm www.ranger25.com>, and it's companion,
Combat Medical Badge, Paragraph 8-7, Army Regulation 600-8-22 (Military
Awards) 25 February 1995, <HTTP://www.ranger25.com combat_medical_badge.htm>.
If you read the A.R.s, which I have now,
numerous times, you will see that unless you have an infantryman's 11
M.O.S., corresponding officer's, warrant officer's, or special
forces', you are not deserving, qualified, nor eligible to wear that
badge. Special circumstances apply if another branch commanded an
infantry unit or some foreign infantry troops in Vietnam, for a period of
MEDEVAC door gunners cannot be awarded the Combat
Infantryman Badge if they got shot down and spent any period of time with
an infantry unit in battle until they were rescued. Likewise, a MEDEVAC
Medic, or pilot, cannot receive the Combat Medical Badge if they got shot
down and spent any period of time with the infantry unit in battle; or
lost life or limb.
Reading those Army regulations showed me how
extremely exclusive, and stringent, the requirements are for them. Much
more stringent than I had thought. You have to be an infantryman, only,
as mentioned above, been under intense fire in combat, or a Medic who was
assigned or attached to an infantry unit, experiencing the same, usually
for a period of time, and no higher than brigade level. The 15th Medical
Battalion was division level medical support.
Seriously read those
A.R.s and you will know. There were orders issued in error for these
infantry combat badges and only a new badge can rectify that for combat
I always defend MEDEVAC crews when they
are viewed as cowards, and I know different. I now defend the grunt
Infantryman and Medic. Not the General of the Army nor the President of
the United States can take away the exclusiveness of those infantry
combat badges by misawarding them for what other awards or medals were
intended. Read those A.R.s and familiarize yourself with the law.
We have had enough frauds and wannabes in the veteran community, to
include the 1st Cav Div Assn. Do not let error and ignorance add to it.
Of the other new, recent, abundant, online chatter we hear from:
LZSharon68 AJACOBS@VALKYRIEMGT.COM "Hello Guys: Just signed up today.
Murray GIBBS and Randy BREWER had tracked me down this year. Call sign
"Arrived in An Khe early January '68. Sent to English to
fly with Jake MAST. Then to Camp Evans and LZ Sharon in I Corps to fly
with Ray KINNARD. MAJ GOODMAN made me an AC the end of March. Just saw
Henry LAND (Capt. Hook) at the Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association
reunion in Orlando this 4th of July (in fact, when Henry was wounded I
was put into the left seat). Still looking for Paul HUSTON (from
Zanesville, Ohio) who was shot down with me on 24 July...can anyone
That must have been from Art JACOBS because the reply that I
saw was: "Hi Art. Thanks for joining the Web site. Yes, Randy and I can
be persistent. Saw Randy at the 2003 reunion. Haven't seen him in 35
years. I flew a lot with him, KINNARD, and many of the other pilots. If
you ever get a chance, ask KINNARD about the radio knob shot out between
his fingers. He never asked what I was shooting at after that happened.
Saw Henry LAND after the Reunion. We had a long conversation. I was at
most of all the places you were, Art. Just didn't stay long at each. We
will do what we can to find Paul HUSTON.....President Murray
Some of the very newest arrivals to the 15th MED Web
site asked about the background of the unit. James MCDONALD, scree name
"FLTPLTSGT1" CSMRET@TDN.COM contributed: "A Bit Of History"
1965, the 15th Medical Battalion accompanied the Division Support Command
when it was deployed to Vietnam, arriving on 12 September. As Cavalrymen
underwent their baptism of fire, the advantages of an aeromedical
evacuation became more and more evident. The organization participated in
all major campaigns and distinguished itself in battle, writing new
chapters in its history.
"The 15th Medical Battalion saw action at
Happy Valley, Binh Dinh, Ia Drang Valley, Pleiku, Kontum, Bong Son, An
Loc Valley, Plei Mei, Yut Hoa, A Shau Valley, Hue, Khe Sanh, Quang
Tri, Tay Ninh, Quan Loi, Song Be, Binh Hoa, Loc Ninh and Phouc Vinh. In
every area of operation, the dedication of the assigned personnel
remained focused on their foremost task of rescue, giving aid in the
field, evacuation, and providing appropriate medical services in the
field and base hospitals.
"The move south to III Corps in 1968
brought many changes in methods of operation for many sky troopers, but
not for the medical battalion personnel. Their job remained the same;
help those in need and help they did. The Headquarters Service Company
located in Phouc Vinh, conducted MEDEVAC support, daily sick call, ran a
dental clinic and administered to local nationals. Companies of the
battalion were co-located at the three brigade headquarters of the
division so that forward area personnel could get routine medical aid.
"26 March 1971, officially marked the end of duties in Vietnam for
the majority of the 1st Cavalry Division. On 29 April, the Support
Command along with the 15th Medical Battalion departed Vietnam for Fort
"President NIXON's program of 'Vietnamization' required
the continued presence of a strong U.S. fighting force. The 215th
Support Battalion, (215th Medical Co) constituted in the Regular Army,
activated and assigned to the 1st Cavalry Division, remained in Vietnam
with the 2nd Battalion of the 5th Regiment, 1st Battalion of the 7th
Regiment, 2nd Battalion of the 8th Regiment and 1st Battalion of the 12th
Regiment along with specialized units as "F" Troop, 9th Cavalry and Delta
Company, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion.
"These units were
reorganized under the 3rd Brigade (Separate) at Binh Hoa and were
commanded by Brigadier General Jonathan R. BURTON. The Bde. was assigned
a primary mission to interdict enemy infiltration and supply routes in
War Zone D.
"Thus MEDEVAC (Six Air Ambulances with Guns) stayed when
the division took the colors home. They continued to fly (HQ Flt Plt)
as part of the 215th Medical Co 3rd Bde. (Separate)
"By 31 March
1972, only 96,000 U.S. troops were involved in the Vietnam combat
operations. In mid June 1972, the stand down ceremony for the 3rd Brigade
was held in Binh Hoa and the colors were returned to the United States.
The 215th Support Battalion returned to the States in 1972 and was
inactivated on 30 June at Oakland, California.
"Note: The last
trooper left from Tan Son Nhut on 21 June, completing the division recall
that had started on 05 May 1971. With the 3rd Brigade completing their
withdraw, the 1st Cavalry had been the first army division to go to
Vietnam and the last to leave.
The Old Plt Sgt of The MEDEVAC Plt.
1SG (E-7) HSC, 15th MED Bn. 1st Cav Div. MEDEVAC PSG (E-7) HSC, 15th MED
Bn. 1st Cav Div MEDEVAC PSG (E-7) HQ Med CO 215th CS Bn. 3rd Bde."
George R. RUSSELL <GEORGE_RUSSELL55939@YAHOO.COM> Harmony, MN 55939,
in reply to my question if he flew on MEDEVAC wrote: "Mike, No I was in
charge of the ward at Phouc Vinh, Hq Co 15th MED Bn. See, I went over
there a Sp/5 in Dec '67, made E6 After 3 months, got busted after 3
months, and transferred to C Co. 15th MED, Quan Loi. Worked on ward
there. Was there when C Co. first sgt. got hurt with our own incoming. I
left there with out a scratch."
Jim BRODIE <RA9895A@AOL.COM>from
Oregon comments: "Air Ambulance Plt. 15th MED '65-'66, A 227th '68-'69."
David FLOYD <SADSACK6970@YAHOO.COM>Warren, MN wrote in the 15th MED
Assn. Guestbook: "Several troopers from A 2/7 Cavalry are seeking a Medic
(a dear friend) that served with the unit in 1969. The last name is
believed to be QUAMME, the first name used was David, which may have been
a middle name. One of the Troopers seeking David is in real bad health
and won't last long. I would love to see them get together one last
time. Thanks guys."
William S. GREENE
Washington, NC signs in SNORE's Guestbook: "Was MEDEVAC pilot June
'67-Jan '68. Flt Class 67-6."
LOCKRICCON@CS.COM Dawsonville, GA writes, "I was MEDEVAC Hotel & Scapel
Switch Commo at Phouc Vinh HHC 15th MED Dec. 70 to Mar. 71."
received a telephone call from Ben TAINATONGO who was with C 15th MED
'68, asking about any upcoming 15th MED Assn. Reunion. The 1st Cav Assn.
office tells me that Ben is listed as Vincent, is a retired SGM in
Huntsville, AL, and was with 1-12 Cav in '65.
Gary HAUSER of
Tacoma, WA, A 2-5 Cav 12-'68 also called me to inform me of an e-mail
address for Clifford DAVIS which is CLIFFDAVIS@COMCST.NET . Gary
mentions that Clifford said something about flying on MEDEVAC out of LZ
Oasis. I may have been contacted by Clifford years ago but the
information the 1st Cav Assn. has is different so check with them.
More from MEDEVAC PSG James MCDONALD '70-'71
"The Army found they had too many pilots and decided to offer an early
retirement bonus. They promised any pilot who volunteered for retirement
a bonus of $1000 for every inch measured in a straight line between any
two points in his body. The pilot got to choose what those two points
"The first pilot who accepted, asked that he be measured
from the top of his head to the tip of his toes. He was measured at
six feet and walked out with a bonus of $72,000.
"The second pilot
who accepted was a little smarter and asked to be measured from the tip
of his outstretched hands to his toes. He walked out with $96,000."
"The third one was a grizzly old MEDEVAC pilot who, when asked where
he would like to be measured, replied 'from the tip of my penis to my
testicles.' It was suggested by the pension man that he may want to
reconsider, explaining about the nice checks the previous two pilots had
"But the old MEDEVAC flyer insisted and they decided to go
along with him providing the measurement was taken by a medical officer.
The medical officer arrived and instructed the pilot to 'drop 'em', which
he did. The medical officer placed the tape measure on the tip of the
pilot's penis and began to work back.
"'My God!' he suddenly
exclaimed, 'Where are your testicles?' The MEDEVAC pilot calmly replied,
And now a word from your 15th MED Assn. president:
"Hey Guys, The 2004 Reunion has been set for the week after Mother's Day.
The Reunion will be at the Hilton Double Tree Hotel in Portland, Oregon.
Dates will be from Wednesday, May 12, 2004, to Monday, May 17, 2004. One
great feature is the free shuttle bus from the airport to the hotel and
back; in fact free shuttle to the major attractions in the Portland
area. Full detail information will be e-mailed out at the end of next
week. The Reunion info will also be posted on our Web site.
thank Corky WALSH, our reunion coordinator, for his time in putting
together next year's Reunion. Corky has also put together a pleasure
dinner on a river boat for Friday night May 14. The meeting will be held
on Saturday around 10:00 AM. The Reunion dinner will be later in the
"I would like as many as possible to come to this Reunion.
At present 40 rooms have been reserved. That number can and will be
changed if we can get an accurate count on who is coming. Those who
decide at the last minute to come will still get the Reunion rate even
though we go above our estimated room reservation.
recommend that all 15th MED Bn. members join our Web site. It is free and
it is very informational. <HTTP: 15thmedassociation "
"Read all the past messages and see what the members are
writing about. Create your own discussion and even reply to the ones that
are posted. If you have any poems, we have a discussion started for that.
"Guys, this is a great way to participate and get to know others
before you go to the Reunion. You can even post some of your pictures.
They may even be used by our Saber paper writer Mike BODNAR who writes
articles for the Saber paper. Mike is very respectful and will ask you if
he can use your pictures. Last issue had a half page article about the
15th MED Bn. Please e-mail me or Corky at
Always remembering our 1st Cav troops on duty
around the world; over and out.
Bodnar C 2\7 '69
SO THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE