Saber Article Index
'70-'71 GUNNER/MEDIC, Dallas, GA, wrote to say that he reads the Saber
15th MED Assn. President Murray GIBBS
"Hi guys, the 2005 Reunion Invite Letter to the Association is being sent
out. I have sent e-mail to almost everyone who has a good e-mail address.
We have had some changes and I have made the corrections of the ones that
I know of. I have also updated my address book. Snail mail is being
sent out to all those for whom we don't have an e-mail address. If we
encounter a bad e-mail then we snail mail that member. We have these
members working on them: President Murray GIBBS, Vice President Jim
CALIBRO, Secretary Corky WALSH, Search Coordinator Norm ROBERGE, and
Database Operator James MCDONALD.
With all of us working on them
we should get all of them out shortly. James MCDONALD has over 555
members on record and I just noticed that I have a couple in the e-mail
address book that have not been recorded with James.
Reunion Invite Letter reads: "Greetings, We are having our 2005 Reunion
with the 1st Cav Div Association at Killeen, Tx (Ft. Hood). It will be
next year in June. If you are planning to attend, the dates will be, June
22 to June 26. You will need to make your reservations before December
2004. The rooms fill up fast so don't wait until the last minute.
Presently there are 50 rooms reserved for the 15th MED Association at the
Howard Johnson Hotel. You must be a member of the 1st Cav Div Assn. to
attend. Avoid the long registration lines at the Reunion. Contact the
Hotel at: Howard Johnson Hotel, 803 E. Central TX Expressway, Killeen,
TX 76541 1-800-648-6551: Front Desk; Room Rates are $69.00 for a King.
When making reservation please state you are with the 1st Cav Div Assn.
and the 15th MED Bn. Assn."
Murray continues, "One thing we need for
our Association is a FLOW CHART of the 15th MED Bn. while it was in
Vietnam. Who were the battalion commanders and when did they serve?
Likewise, who were all of the company commanders of all the companies?
One key item will be the location of the battalion at the different camps
it was at. Another, is the locations where all the companies were at
during the six plus years when in Vietnam; LZ locations from July '65 to
May '72 for each company. You guys have the information to help put this
FLOW CHART together. I have not listed here all of the information that
would be on it, but this will be the starter. It will be a time line with
the areas of operation, major battles, and K.I.A. losses, etc. Any
replies will be documented to help put this together.
suggested that I get copies of the Morning Reports. One for each month
while the battalion was in Vietnam. Morning reports were turned in daily
with a roster list of all personnel. Getting these Morning Reports will
also help us find more 15th MED Bn. members. I don't expect the Morning
Reports to show everything, that is why we need all the input we can get
from the membership.
"We started this History FLOW CHART of the 15th
MED Bn. So far it is James MCDONALD, COL DOWNEY, Art MARTIN, and
myself, that are aware of this. We plan to spearhead collective with
basic information of the 15th MED Bn. from the years '65 to '72.
Although, May '71, I believe, marked the end of the whole 1st Cav Div in
Vietnam, the MEDEVAC\Air Ambulance Platoon split and 6 aircraft were
attached to the 215 CSB in June '71.
"The Flow Chart will have
battalion commanders, company commanders, battalion sgts. major,
battalion XOs, many of the main sgts., location of the battalion and
companies during all the time in Vietnam. It will display simple
structure of each company and the Air Ambulance Platoon ('MEDEVAC'). It
will also have the ID numbers of all the helicopters used.
have all the information of all the leaders, officers, and NCOs. This is
going to require the input of all of us. We don't have the very first
helicopters that started from July '65 to Oct '66. If any of you have the
information please pass it on to me.
"COL DOWNEY suggests that I
get copies of the Morning Reports/Roster Lists from the Army Archives. I
will be working on that. It will provide us with more information
about who was in the unit. I plan to get at least one Morning
Report/Roster List for each month that the 15th MED Bn. was in Vietnam.
"Guys, this is going to be a worthwhile project that may take several
months to complete at a summarized level. Putting more detail may take a
couple of years and with the help of the membership that can be made
possible, and possibly shorten the time to gather all the information. We
should have a rough copy in about a month.
"As we progress in this
historical project I will send copies of it to you guys via e-mail.
Hopefully, you all have Microsoft Excel. Excel makes it possible to
spread out this flow chart. When complete we can make a banner of it and
have it for the 2005 Reunion. Being in a time line, all of us can relate
to it; comparing our personal tours of when and where we were with the
"James MCDONALD started working on information of who were
the officers and NCOs during each year. When I saw that, I piggybacked
onto his idea, to start this FLOW CHART that all of us can have some
input on. I will put this information in the next newsletter and
hopefully we will get a lot of responses for any missing information we
don't have. Time to get back to the History FLOW CHART.....Later."
News came that 2005 Reunion Coordinator Tim KIRWIN broke his arm. He
did it while riding what is believed to be his new motorcycle. From the
source of the information, it was within the last two months of this
writing. No word yet on the exact details of how he broke it. From what
was reported, he was trying to demonstrate how to ride-or not ride-a
motorcycle. We wish Tim a speedy recovery from this incident with no
instant replays. He has work to do, for the good of all.
VIERRA, "PINEAPPLE #2" FIVEOINSC1@MSN.COM wrote, "ALOHA AND HOW ARE YOU
Search Coordinator Norm ROBERGE, "Normr1"
NORMKARENN@AOL.COM writes, "Hi all......Wife & I just returned from a
very pleasant visit with Jerry DICK and family in Riverton, WY. For those
of you who attended our Portland Reunion, Jerry is doing about the same.
Tough daily existence, but with an ever pleasant smile.
be going to our Reunion in June also, with the help of his family and
whatever else may be needed; he's determined!!! He sends his greetings to
all you brothers and looks forward to the Reunion...As ever, stay well
out there...Ps...He's always very exited to hear from any of us, his
e-mail is: JDICK@BRESNAN.NET .
Some of the recent 15th MED Assn.
Guestbook signers, for those of you who are not online, are:
Dennis FOXWORTHY NAMVET28@HOTMAIL.COM Whittier, CA, who comments: "498th
MED Co. (AA) Vietnam, Feb '69-Dec '70 Flight Medic.
Robert E. WILL
RWILL@SATX.RR.COM wrote:" Evac Pilot/Maint Off., MEDEVAC Platoon, 215th
MED Co., Nov '71 to June '72."
Larry ASH Webmaster
DOORGUNNER2@YAHOO.COM says, "Sorry I went away
and my love to Terry and Murray for keeping it up for me. I miss my old
friends and hope to make new ones. Keep 'em Flyin'."
"doc bra" STILLWATERMINING.COM Absarokee, MT, "Thought I'd say hello. I
miss all of you guys, guess I just need to get in touch more. Neat to see
our old chopper 'Blood Sweat and Tears' on the opening page. Figured that
if I saved that pic it would make it somewhere. It looks better than the
last time I saw it on May 23rd, 1970. Ron 'Baby Huey' HUETHER, and (I
think) Tom 'terrific' TRIFFERO, pilots; Jon HODGES, crew chief; Mike
PARSONS, gunner; myself, Medic. Drop a line if you can, I just can't get
this page to work very well, might be my computer. Hope to hear from
Bill JUNKINS <HTTP: pedroairrescuechopper.net>
PEDRO71@PEDROAIRRESCUECHOPPER.NET Grafton, WI, says, "Great site. Thanks
for the ride."
John TABOR JTABOR@ACADEMICPLANET.COM Waxahachie, TX,
writes, "Larry, Please add my e-mail address. You've done a great job
keeping this Web site going."
"Weatherford, Parker County, TX."
T.J. (BADDHA) WHELAN
TJLPRS@AOL.COM Norwood, MA, was "Aircraft tech insp. Apr '70 to Oct '70.
Transferred in from 15th Maint. The best unit and bunch of crazy guys
I ever served with.
Ret. SFC Garroll L. AAMODT Sr.
GARROLL_AAMODTSR@YAHOO.COM Divide, CO 80814, "Was with C company 15th
MED April '66-'67."
William D. BURNS
AL, said, "Came by looking for names from A Co. during Aug '65-Aug '66.
RMELBROUSSARD@BELLSOUTH.NET Shelbyville, KY, comments: "I was assigned
to HHC, 15th Medical Bn. from 1969 to November 1969. My nickname was
'Pvt. Peaches.' Most of my experiences during that time are blacked out:
I remember little other than a fractured skull in August 1969."
Dennis DEPPEN SINNEDNEPPED@YAHOO.COM Pittsburgh, PA wrote, "Alive and
well here in the 'Burgh.' Have kept in touch with many from A Co., 15th
MED., 1st Cav 1970. Would like to hear from any of my old buddies."
Mike "Doc Needles" ALFE MIKEALFE@COMCAST.NET from near Seattle, WA
writes: "Medic at aid station LZ Mace Jan-Apr '71. Before that, 2-5 Cav.
Alan POLIVKA, D.C.
ALLENPOLIVKA@EARTHLINK.NET Los Alamitos, CA
(near Long Beach) says, "RVN HHC 15th MED 3/'66 - 6/'66. Cell phone
(562) 234-5672. Looking forward to seeing any of our brothers and sisters
in the area."
Robert KRIKAVA HTTP:
VNTIME66@MSN.COM San Antonio, TX, writes, "Hi, I am trying to find the
three Medics that were from the 1st Cav out of Nam, that were at HQ
Btry., 8-6 Arty., Fort Riley, in '69, '70, before I went to B Btry. 1-30
Arty., 1st Cav. I would like to have a reunion with them. We lived in the
same house off base. Thanks for any of your help."
JTDEES@COX-INTERNET.COM Conroe, TX signed in: "Served with B Co., 15th
MED '69-70 at Song Be on FSB Buttons."
INTREPIDMIKE_H@HOTMAIL.COM of Westchester, CA wrote, "Gentlemen, I was
assigned to HSC 15th MED at Phuoc Vinh from May '69-August '69. I was
finishing up the last four months of my second tour. I have been working
on a book and have completed an entire section of Phuoc Vinh since it
was the shortest assignment in country. I have some articles posted on
the Internet if anyone is interested."
Barry WILLIAMSON of 8th
Engineers, assigned to the 7th Cav in Vietnam, and one of our former
SABER 7th Cav columnists, sent an article to me from the ARMY TIMES about
recent changes in the awarding of the Combat Medical Badge. It in essence
"More Can Earn Combat Medical Badge-
"Created as a
companion to the Combat Infantryman Badge in March 1945, the Combat
Medical Badge provides recognition to field medics who accompany
infantrymen into battle.
"But there has been some confusion as to
eligibility in a war characterized by the frequent use of combined arms
task forces, with medics going into combat with units to which they
are not officially assigned and that may not be pure infantry.
"During the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the criteria were expanded beyond
infantry units, to include armor and ground cavalry units of brigade size
"Still, 'there never was any intention to award the CMB
to all medical personnel who serve in a combat zone or imminent danger
area, that is, a division-level medical company supporting a maneuver
brigade,' according to the regulation governing military awards.
"Now, in recognition of the battlefield realities of the global war on
terrorism, which officially began Sept. 11, 2001, the criteria include
other types of ground combat units.
"'We have authorized some
changes to the Combat Medical Badge to make the award criteria conform
more to today's battlefield,' said Lt. Gen. Franklin HAGENBECK, Army G-l,
in a recent interview. 'In the past, it was more of a linear
battlefield, and where you were assigned and hung your hat determined if
you were even eligible for the CMB.' The changes became effective July 15
and will be included in a revision to AR 600-8-22 (Military Awards). The
expanded criteria include military medical personnel in the grade of
0-6 and below who 'are attached to or under operational control of any
ground Combat Arms units (not to include members assigned to or attached
to Aviation units) of brigade or smaller size, who satisfactorily perform
medical duties while the unit is engaged in actual ground combat,
provided they are personally present and under fire.' Retroactive
awards are not authorized, and CMBs will not be awarded to general or
flag officers.- Jim Tina"
Personally, that sounds like double talk to
me. Like, what is linear; combat is combat. There have always been Combat
Medics in the other Combat Arms in WWII and since, as well as those who
have been under fire in the U.S. Army in combat. They never received a
CMB, as of the other Combat Arms, the only combat badge authorized is to
the infantry, i.e. the Combat Infantryman Badge.
So why now? It
had meaning, and a purpose, but now, like everything else of value, it is
coveted. If those who want it so bad knew what those it was originally
intended for had to go through to earn it, they wouldn't want it.
Jim BRODIE of the Air Ambulance Platoon, Nov. '65-'66, and A 227th Feb.
'68-'69 <RA9895A@AOL.COM>had signed into the 1st Cav Assn. Guestbook. I
thought that I could get some information about the early days of
MEDEVAC, and I didn't see him at the Portland Reunion even though he
lives in OR. He did e-mail back:
"Hi Mike, You published an
article I sent to somebody about two friends of mine that I had served
with for a number of years. O'Niel BONIN and Carl RAY died a few years
ago from complications with Agent Orange. Also, I was the one that
asked about the Surgical Pod.
"Can't help you with the M60s. John
BUBELA and I were the Tech. Insp's for the helicopters. Only remember
they were hung on a bungy cord.
"I recall being at Pleiku Air
Field where the aid station was set up, one hell of a mess. I think that
was from the Ia Drang battle. I was there to work on the choppers.
"One day out in front of the operation tent, a Capt. was talking to a
couple of people from either Look or Life magazine. They wanted to fly
with MEDEVAC. This Capt. was pissed about an article written in one of
those mags. and sent a letter to them about the article.
him telling these guys with the cameras that if they went and they had to
pick up wounded the camera crew may get kicked out in a hot area. Sorry I
don't remember the Capt.'s name. I think his wife sent him the article
from the states. There was a Medic named SWEARENGIN that flew with
"John and I slept in a CP tent across from the latrine. I was
told we got the privilege of having our own little tent because it was
originally set up for the CO. However, a patrol out near Hon Kong Mtn.
found a log with notches cut in it. And when the grunts laid a rifle in
the notches they were aimed right at the mentioned tent. Don't know if
that's true or not. But there you have it.
"I didn't make it to
Portland because I wasn't feeling well. Doing fine now."
remembering our 1st Cav troops on duty around the world; over and out.
Bodnar C 2\7 '69
SO THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE