Saber Article Index
MEDEVAC 15th Med\15th FSB
307B N Main Copperas Cove, TX 76522
A correction to the last Saber column is that
the captions for the photos should have been reversed. The SSG with red
hair-hard to tell in black and white print-is the unidentified member.
The dark haired trooper is "Bud" DAVIS.
This caused some confusion for Randy CAVANAUGH who sent a photo of
someone who looks like the photo of "Bud" DAVIS, but is not. Now, we have
a new unidentified trooper whom Randy says was in C 15th MED '67-'68.
Dominick L. MAURO email@example.com of Bridgeport, CT, signed
the Guestbook and says that he, "Served as MEDIC with A Co., 15th. MED,
Feb. '67 to '68."
Suitland, MD, notes, "Served with Co. C, 15 MED Bn., when it was 11th Air
Assault Div. and as 1st Cav Div. Sailed to Vietnam on USNS UPSHUR 11 as
part of the division. Remained with Co. C until my discharge from USA,
The TR0GD0N family firstname.lastname@example.org in Asheboro, NC,
writes, "Our brother, Ronnie TROGDON, was a crew chief on a MEDEVAC
helicopter, (We think it was named 'Old Reliable'). Over forty years ago,
one of Ronnie's friends came by to see our family and gave us the
original sketch that was on the front of the helicopter. It was signed by
'Hatch.' Ronnie served with the 1st Air Cav., 15th MED Bn., and was
killed June 19, 1967. Does anyone remember serving with our brother?"
David FLOYD email@example.com from Minnesota, comments,
"This is a wonderful site. I have always been in awe of the care the
MEDICS gave the troops of the 1st Cavalry Division. They were the only
person that stood between life and death in the field, keeping us alive.
These fine young men, the MEDEVAC birds, the hospital, doctors, nurses
and staff, all enabled so many troopers to return to the states,
alive! It would be an honor to list all the MEDICS who served with Alpha
Company on the A 2-7 Cavalry Web site."
Tom LYONS, M.D.
firstname.lastname@example.org from Neenah, WI, says, "I was a physician with HSC
in Phuoc Vinh from March to October 1970, along with Sid BOAZ, Frank
TYCAST, incredibly funny dentist, Jake JACKSON; the Division Surgeon was
Joe MCNANEY. Some of the MEDEVAC pilots I remember well were Ray 'The
Hat' ZEPP, Simon MOJICA, Tommy TRIFIRO, Mike HAGERTY. I'm embarrassed to
say I can't remember the names of the three MEDICS that accompanied me to
Bu Dop during the May '70 Cambodian invasion. Perhaps this will jar a
memory or two. Would like to hear from anyone whose path I may have
Webmaster Murray GIBBS informs us that, "The dates of the
2008 Reunion have been set for April 3-6, 2008. We are still working on a
location and hotel. There is a major international airport used by Biloxi
and Gulf Port cities. The temperature for Biloxi during that time will be
a pleasant spring. Hurricane season can start as early as July. In
May, the humidity begins to rise, and in June the heat index can be a lot
higher than the temperature. April keeps us out of those items, and from
the feedback I have been getting, a lot of members will be attending that
never attended a Reunion before."
<email@example.com> in San Diego, CA, signs he was a,
"Crew chief, '67-'68 with HHC 15th MED." MEDEVAC, the Air Ambulance
Platoon, was officially a part of HSC, 15th MED.
forwarded the Taji Times which contained the follow story of MEDEVAC
today: "'Flying heroes bear red cross. Medical evacuation crews work long
hours to airlift wounded combat troops.' By Spc. Nathan HOSKINS 1st Air
Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs Office CAMP TAJI,
"It doesn't matter that the weather conditions have grounded
every other aircraft around Baghdad. It doesn't matter that there are
hostile forces near the landing zone. The 1st Air Cavalry Brigade, 1st
Cavalry Division's medical evacuation crews take off in their helicopters
because they have a mission: to save a life.
"The Soldiers of
Company C, 2nd 'Lobo' Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, feel that their
job is worth the extra risks and worth the extra effort to get up in the
air, said Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jeremy TURNER, a MEDEVAC pilot for
Co. C, who hails from Rockwell, N.C.
"It wasn't a particularly busy
day on the airfield due to the weather when Co. C got a call recently.
There were two soldiers from 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 2nd
Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, a task force attached to the
2nd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, who needed to be evacuated due to
serious injuries sustained in an improvised explosive device attack, he
"Just three days prior, the MEDEVAC team suffered the
tremendous loss of one of their comrades. Sgt. William BROWN, a MEDEVAC
crew chief, was killed during an indirect fire attack. BROWN was tending
to an aircraft when enemy fires came in, killing him instantly. With the
loss of their friend still weighing heavy on their hearts, the pilots and
crew chiefs of Co. C still had a job to do.
"'The job has to get
done. (Sgt.) BROWN is missed every day, but there are many more men and
women out there like him that expect us to be there,' said TURNER. Still,
even with this tenacity to fly into the unknown and save soldiers, there
are some conditions that are just too dangerous to fly into, and this
was one of those days...or was it?
"A minimum distance of three miles
of visibility is what is necessary for other pilots to take off, but this
day there was only about a half-mile visibility due to a dense dust
storm, grounding all MEDEVAC birds from Balad to Kuwait, said TURNER.
"Although the dangers were a reality, there were still soldiers in
the field at risk of dying without their aid, so TURNER and his chain of
command discussed it, he said.
"With permission all the way from the
brigade commander, the mission was green-lighted, said TURNER.
"'When poor weather and very limited visibility grounds the Air Force and
brings all other aircraft back to base...the only aircraft (crew) that
will risk themselves day or night, in combat, boils down to the MEDEVAC
team,' said Reno, NV, native Lt. Col. Christopher JOSLIN, the 'Lobo'
"Flying in miserable weather and in hostile skies is
normal for the MEDEVAC teams, said TURNER.
"'That's where soldiers
usually get hurt. It's never on a sunny day, right by the beach. They're
out there doing the fighting, we're there to try and make sure they make
it back in from the fight, if we're called,' he said.
minutes after getting the go ahead from their command, TURNER and his
crew were up and on their way to the scene, said TURNER.
the super-human traits of a MEDEVAC team is being able to run up their
aircraft and be in the air in 10 minutes or less, said JOSLIN.
"'Most aviators that fly UH-60 (Black Hawks) outside of the MEDEVAC
community doubt that (timeframe) is really possible,' said Joslin. 'The
only crews I have ever seen do that are MEDEVAC crews and the chase crews
that have been trained by MEDEVAC crews.'
"Ten minutes later, the
Black Hawk was landing at its destination to pick up the wounded
soldiers. Less than 10 minutes after that, they were landing at the local
Combat Support Hospital, said TURNER.
"One of the two soldiers
delivered to the hospital, required extensive surgery to address his
wounds. The pair survived the hazards of war because of the MEDEVAC's
timely response and selfless service, said Capt. Jared PURCELL, the
public affairs officer for Task Force 1-26.
operations over the last year, Air MEDEVAC units have risked their lives
to save the lives of TF 1-26 soldiers,' he said. 'They move to the sound
of the guns, and do what it takes to get to the patient.'
Soldiers of Co. C see the bloodiest part of battle nearly every day -
it's their job. Even so, there has to be a release, a time to put it all
away and focus on things a little less dark, said TURNER, who was a Navy
Corpsman for 11 years before joining the Army and flying MEDEVAC
"'I've, unfortunately, gotten hardened to (the sight of
the injured and dead). It still catches up and hurts every once in a
while, but you just can't dwell (on it),' he said.
mission had a happy ending - both soldiers survived - others don't end so
well, said TURNER.
"The MEDICS are the ones who are affected the most
because they do all they can to save the patients' lives, but
sometimes it's to no avail, he said.
"'(The MEDEVAC members) won't
talk about the impact on themselves when the injuries are so bad that,
despite their best efforts, they cannot save the patient, or (they)
arrive only to find that the patient has already died,' said JOSLIN.
"Soldiers are not the only ones who benefit from the expertise of the
MEDEVAC teams, said JOSLIN.
"'Hundreds of soldiers, Iraqis,
contractors, civilians and even the enemy, would not be alive today if it
were not for the extraordinary individual and collective feats we ask
these American heroes to do on a daily, routine basis,' he said.
"The terrorists who fired the mortars that killed BROWN would get the
same treatment as a soldier who was trying to protect the innocent
"After picking up and dropping off their patients, the
MEDEVAC team will sometimes head on to other missions that came up while
they were out, or they'll just head on home to wait for the next call.
"In most cases, the crew never knows the eventual outcome of the
patient they dropped off.
"However, if TURNER could say something to
one of the hundreds of lives he has helped save, he said it might go
something like this: 'Good to see you and thank you for you're
sacrifices...can I buy you a beer?'
"JOSLIN refers to his MEDEVAC
teams as 'the closest thing to angels on earth,' but TURNER, like most
modest heroes, won't admit that what he does is special.
just regular people doing our job - saving soldiers, Marines, Airmen, and
even civilians - is our job,' said TURNER.'"
This should all sound
familiar to MEDEVAC Vietnam. A well served tradition.
remembering our 1st Cav troops on duty around the world; over and out.
Bodnar C 2\7 '69
SO THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE