Saber Article Index

2007 Jan-Feb

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

Harold LASITER LLPAVING@AOL.COM of Oklahoma City, OK, comments: "I served with the 1st MED Sqd. 1st Cav, Camp Drake, Tokyo, Japan, '46-'47. Today is 11/30/06."

This from: Jeffery DEIBERT jtdeibert@verizon.net  "Hello, Please allow me to first introduce myself. My name is Jeff DEIBERT. My father was John F. DEIBERT. It is he, about whom I'm trying to find out information. I was hoping to possibly find someone whom he had served with, to find out any stories or information about his time in your historic unit. I do have his service number: RA16669901; and I know that during the time frame of 24 Dec 65 to 17 Nov 66, he was assigned to 'B' Company, 15th Medical Battalion. During this time frame, he was a Staff Sergeant E-6. If there is anyone in your organization who served with him, please feel free to pass my contact information on to them. I would be honored to hear from them and learn about their relationship. One of the individuals whom my father had talked about often was SSG TAYLOR. I believe this was Frederick B. TAYLOR Jr. Thank you for your time and effort in this conquest [sic] of mine."

15th MED Assn. Webmaster\Past President 2003-2006 Murray GIBBS gunnermadmur@earthlink.net wrote, "Hi Mike, I am sending you this e-mail regarding some news that we discovered by making some inquires by James MCDONALD. I had sent James this Statement [below] of 23 Mar 68. He said it was part of an awards package. He then called Roger BADERSCHNEIDER, the AC on the MEDEVAC of this mission. These were the missions that we were getting almost every day during Tet '68. The day before was worse, when Henry LAND got his hand shot, on a hoist mission. I was with him. We broke the rules getting back by putting MEDEVAC 449 past its designated red line. That day is when the rotor froze upon landing at Camp Evans."

From '70-'71 MEDEVAC PSG James MCDONALD csmret@tdn.com , "RE: Distinguished Flying Cross, WO1 Rodger BADERSCHNEIDER Longwood, FL. Per conversation with Rodger: 10/21/06 13:00 HRS; He did fly MEDEVAC as a Warrant Officer and was WIA and medevac'd to the hospital in Japan. He was later reassigned to Ft. Walters, TX, as an instructor pilot.

"Due to his education and service, he was offered, and accepted, a commission as a captain MSC, and was immediately reassigned back to VN as the commander of the 236th DUST OFF in Danang, Vietnam; later retired as a major. During his career he was awarded three Distinguished Flying Crosses (DFC's)-one of them was for that 1st Cav MEDEVAC action on 23 MARCH 68.

"This was published on 1st Cav Div: DAGO #8012  Dated 12 July 68, signed by Col. Conrad STANSBERRY. He-WO1 Rodger BADERSCHNEIDER-is the only one on that set of orders. He said maybe the others are on a different DAGO. He thought that the Medic on that mission should have gotten the Silver Star. Without gunship support, aircraft 447 crew members evacuated two critically wounded-1LT BARRETT-MSC, and another. Despite enemy fire, the Medic left the aircraft to assist in the evacuation. MEDIC: SP5 Terrance J. BALDWIN Lawton, OK."

From MEDEVAC pilot Clarence COOPER, "Murray, I did not get a DFC for that mission, and I don't think I got anything. My records are in a footlocker in my garage and I will check through them when things slow down. We are very short-staffed in the jail and are getting a lot of mandatory overtime. I did get a DFC in July or Aug. while flying as AC out of LZ Sharon when an ARVN firebase was nearly overrun and we flew all night, evacuating over 60 patients. That was after the departure of LTC DAVIS. I'm not worried about myself, but you, Randy, and BALDWIN should definitely get awards for that mission with Roger. Later, Coop." From: Roger BADERSCHNEIDER <dustoff606@earthlink.net> Sent: Monday, October 23, 2006 5:35 PM; "Mac, Thanks for the roster of pilots you sent. Brought back memories in many cases and others didn't ring a bell. Haven't really thought about it until recently. Also got an e-mail from Murray GIBBS concerning some awards he and other crew members didn't get. "The only one I know about is the action on March 23, '68, outside of Camp Evans. This occurred one week from my DEROS date of April 1st. I didn't make that though since I ended up in the hospital and was 'evaced to Japan. As a side note, I missed my wedding date because of that. Anyways, I finally ended up stationed back at Fort Walters, TX. While there, I received the DFC for action on March 23rd. The General Order Number was 8012, dated 12 July 68, from the Department of the Army Headquarters, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), APO San Francisco 96490. It was signed by Doyle A. WILSON, CPT, AGC Assistant Adjutant General, and Conrad L. STANSBERRY, colonel GS Chief of Staff.

"I really didn't know anyone had written the action up until I received the award. The write up you referred to, I first knew of when Murray sent me a copy. I also assumed the rest of the crew had received awards, which is normally the case in such situations. I do believe that COOPER also received the DFC for that action. There definitely should be some paper work kept in division archives regarding awards. If I can help in anyway, please contact me.

"It was nice to talk with you the other day. Brought back memories. You too should be thanked for all you did, not only in Vietnam, but through your career. I have always been proud to have been a member of the Army Medical Department. Having gone through many civilian hospitals in the past few years, I can honestly say I prefer Army medical care. Take care and keep in touch. Roger"

"STATEMENT-On 23 March 1968, Company D, 2-7 Cavalry made contact with a company size NVA unit at YD615325, about six kilometers east of Camp Evans. After several hours of bitter fighting, Delta Company had suffered nine WIA's and one KIA. A call for MEDEVAC was sent and MEDEVAC Aircraft 447 soon arrived over our position. Because the contact was to the North and East of our position, the aircraft was advised to approach from the South. Upon touching down in the LZ, the aircraft came under intense automatic weapons fire from a tree line 100 meters to the East. Because of the absence of cover or concealment, only one patient could be loaded aboard the helicopter before it departed. A short time later MEDEVAC 447 returned with gunships. While the gunships put suppressive fire on the enemy positions, 447 was able to get back into our LZ with only sporadic sniper fire, and took out six more patients. A short time later one of our officers received a serious chest wound. MEDEVAC was called and once again returned to our location. By this time the gunships had shot up all their ammunition and advised 447 it would take about 20 minutes for them to return to Camp Evans to rearm. The MEDEVAC ship was informed that our lieutenant had a sucking chest wound and might not live another 20 minutes. Aircraft 447 immediately made an approach into our LZ without gunship escort. Despite enemy fire the critically wounded patient and another serious EM were successfully evacuated. The actions by the crew of MEDEVAC 447 served as a great morale factor for the men of Delta Company and resulted in the saving of many lives. The crew members of MEDEVAC 447 were the following: BADERSCHNEIDER, Roger D., WO-1. W3155472; COOPER, Clarence C., CPT, O5875414; BALDWIN, Terrance J., SP5, RA11453673; GIBBS, Murray T., SP4, US56692500; BREWER, Randall J., SP4, US53842436.- Jack STEVENSON, CAPT, Infantry, Commanding Officer Co. D, 2d Bn., 7th Cav"

Notification of the death of SFC Charles D. CLINSTSMAN published in the Saber prompted a telephone call to me by someone who had served with him, a 15th MED veteran, Clifford G. ROE. Clifford was in the 1st MED, 1st Cav; and when it became the 15th MED. He served in the Korean War in the 15th MED as a operating room tech. He had been a 91B, 91C, MSG, and FSG in his Army career. Clifford lives in Radcliff, KY, and said that he may consider attending the upcoming 15th MED Reunion in OH.

Murray also says, "I was given a camcorder tape of the 2006 Reunion taken before and during the Association Meeting by Richard 'Tiny' MELLON. He asked me to make a DVD movie from it. Well, I now have made a DVD movie of it with a picture slide show at the end. It is one hour, 52 minutes in length. I recommend getting a copy to see how the meeting went for those who didn't attend, and those who attended. The donation cost is $10.00 including shipping and handing. I will have modified the Registration Form to include this DVD movie of the 2006 Reunion.

"I have a request from Linda RIGSBEE regarding WO Jonathan Ross VARS. She would like to hear from anyone who might have known him. Her e-mail is: linda.CTR.rigsbee@faa.gov ."

Murray has been Web posting the Saber columns of the 15th MED\15th FSB. There is a link called "SABER" on the 15th MED Assn. MSN Groups Website. You click on it and you can select the year you want. Many positive comments have been written by reviewers since he did this, especially those who weren't getting the Saber, and missed being able to read them when first published.

Bob TERRELL bobterrell@optonline.net e-mailed, "Hi Mike, I was on a pony team, reconnaissance mission, when we got hit. That morning a grenade came in and exploded and set off some M-79 rounds on a web gear as we were saddling up to move out. We all got wounded during that day. My unit was the 4th Squad, 3rd Platoon, D Company, of the 2-8th Cav, 1st Cavalry Division. We were working in the Bong Son Plains of the Bin Din Province. We all got MEDEVAC choppered out, all seven of us; 1-KIA and 6-WIA. Everybody got their Purple Hearts except me. So, I am wondering if you know how to get the logs of the 15th MEDEVAC pick ups for that day and the 15th Field Hospital receiving reports also. I hope you and the 15th MED men, can please help me out?? I need to prove that I was there, got wounded, got MEDEVACed out by the 15th MEDEVAC choppers and that I was at the 15th MED Field Hospital with my men. Thanks a lot, Bob."

As I replied to Bob, you can get MEDEVAC Daily Journals-like all units-from the National Archives. Give them a call and tell them for which unit you want, and dates. MEDEVAC was the call sign for the Air Ambulance Platoon, HSC 15th Medical Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile). I had done this once myself for MEDEVAC, and numerous times for 2-7 Cav, thanks to '69-'70 D 2-7 Cav SSG Peter COLE.

Coincidentally, Murray GIBBS has sent out the following information and link to obtain the Roster/Morning Reports: http://www.vhfcn.org/FCC%20Resources.htm#_Toc82645592  U.S. Army Personnel Rosters and Morning Reports are available from the National Personnel Records Center, 9700 Page Blvd., St. Louis, MO. 63132, 314-538-4261. The request must be made in writing. State that the request is a Freedom of Information Act Request and give complete unit information (as specific as possible including company and platoon), and month and year of the roster/reports that you are requesting. Because the quality of the records can be poor, it is advisable to ask for rosters a few months before and after the actual month you are looking for. There are usually no fees charged for 'Freedom of Information Act Requests.' Turnaround time can be very slow. Plan on several months. "Operations Reports/Lessons Learned (ORLL) and other primary source material about Army units in Vietnam such as radio logs, unit journals, and after action reports, are stored at the Textual Reference Branch, National Archives II, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001, 301-837-3510, fax 301-713-7482. Call and ask to speak with an Archivist specializing in the Vietnam War before going to the Archives. They can assist in determining whether materials you are interested in are available and explain how to obtain a researcher's card to examine the documents. A specific name and number at the National Archives at College Park is Clifford L. SNYDER on 301-837-3010. This was from a contact in the late 1990's. Similar reference assistance may also be obtained from the U.S. Army Military History Institute, Bldg. 22, Upton Hall, Carlisle Barracks, Carlisle, PA 17013-5008, 717-245-3611, fax 717-245-3711." From my experience, I found that much of what actually transpired in the field situation did not always-if at all-get accurately entered in the Daily Journals by whoever did that; e.g. RTO, OD. Don't expect too much; i.e. easy answers. Look over every available document; and put it all together. I did find that unit personnel line numbers can be accurate, if entered for WIA and KIA, so a unit roster associating names and numbers could be useful. The Army is good with numbers like that, and map coordinates, if given correctly. Specifics can be different from one troop to the next.

I received a telephone call from a '68-'69 veteran of B & C Cos. 15th MED-91C Ivey GRANTHAM of Clayton, NC, who just joined the 1st Cav Assn., wants to join the 15th MED Assn., and attend the Reunions.

I also received snail mail from '69 B 1-7 Cav 11B Bill KIMREY of Archdale, NC. His letter was mauled by the U.S.P.S and came to me late in a special Post Office envelope, which is why I didn't mention it in the last Saber.

I spoke to Bill on the telephone and he said that B 1-7 had set up on the Green Line in Quan Loi after humping the bush, in June of '69. Thinking that they were in the safe rear, they relaxed. Bill said that he was sleeping behind a berm when the sierra hit the fan. A lone sapper opened a hole for waiting "Chucks," and they in turn took out two bunkers inflicting casualties on B 1-7 Cav.

Bill said that the enemy, then headed straight for the center of Quan Loi, probably to try to take out command points, etc. Somehow, the over-runners were quelled. Bill said that the next day someone in his unit killed a couple of "Charlies" trying to sneak out the way that they had entered. Gunner Dave PARKS shootdown@yahoo.com wrote, "Dave 'shootdown' here. Taken a while but, I'm BACK!!! Mike been reading some of the Saber articles [online]. Pretty good stuff!

"Ran across the comments from Mr. SALENGER's family members a day late, but, would like to add this if I may. I flew for MEDEVAC from Sept. 1, '69 to Jan 5, '70, or shortly after. In my short flying career I had the distinct pleasure to be on the same ship with the likes of Bill SALENGER, LEONARD, ZEPP, SCHMIDT, 'Strack Jack,' READ, MODICA, TANNER, TUEL, and many others. Oh, and can't forget 'Shcodaddy'!!! Wish I could remember everyone's name. Feel bad about that!

"I have the honor of having flown with these people, and all the other crew members. A braver, courageous, and selfless group I've never known!!!! These guys did some amazing stuff- and, I helped. In my eyes, these are the real super heroes , and Bill SALENGER was among the top!!!"

Dave received the Silver Star during his "short" flying career, and from what I've researched, should have at least one more. He was shot down enough times to make his, and our, heads spin.

Gary WILKINSON runningbear@lisco.com , writing from Iowa, signed the Guestbook as: "15th MED 1969-1972." He followed up with, "I was the radio operator; took the mission and call air op; been to all companies but was at Phouc Vinh mostly."

PSG James MCDONALD tells me that Gary also had a brother, Robert, working with him at the time in the 15th MED Commo Shack. James gives Sigourney, IA, for Gary, and Garland, TX, for Robert.

Charles NORDAN cnordan55@nc.rr.com of Hillsborough, NC, signed, "I was a Medic with A Company, 1-5th in '66-'67. I had buddies in the 15th MED. I only remember one name, MALANOWSKI. Your site brought back many memories. Welcome home to all my brother Medics and veterans. Charles 'Doc' NORDAN."

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