Saber Article Index

2004 Sep-Oct

MEDEVAC 15th Med\15th FSB
Mike Bodnar
307B N Main Copperas Cove, TX 76522
1704 254-542-1961

A correction to the last Saber is that Murray GIBBS was the sergeant of the MEDEVAC door gunners and not Jerry DICK, whom Murray remembered. Murray's e-mail phrasing of that had deceived me.

Murray tells us that the "2005 Reunion will be held at Killeen, TX (Ft. Hood) June 22-26, 2005. We will be working with the 1st Cav Div Assn. to set up the reservations. The Howard Johnson Hotel is the designated hotel for those of the 15th MED Association. What we want to do is get every member, attending then, in the same hotel; also, have a hospitality room like we did for the 2004 reunion. We want to have our meeting at a time and date so it does not conflict with the 1st Cav Div Assn.'s meeting. Plus, we want good room rates so they won't be hard on the pocketbook. At present there are 50 rooms blocked off for the 15th MED Association. It is recommended that all reservations be made before Dec 2004 to get into Howard Johnson's. Address: Howard Johnson Hotel, 803 East Central Texas Expressway, Killeen, TX 76541 Local Phone: 254-526-4343; Toll Free: 1-800-648-6551; Be sure to mention you are with the 15th MED Bn. Assn. & 1st Cav Div Assn. when making the reservation." Again, now with a contact number, the 2004-2005 15th MED Assn. Reunion TX Coordinator is: Tim KIRWAN. His phone is: (817) 465-2886 (Home); (817) 271-1163 (Cell).

President GIBBS also says, "I am working on updating the guys that don't have phone numbers or in many cases addresses in our database. I have it down to about 170 members with the majority missing a phone number. Some are addresses and others are the ZIP Codes. I have put comments by those address that are P.O. Boxes with their current addresses. I have found some guys that don't have an address after I have located them with the correct name and address. They either have very private phone numbers or don't have a phone and are using cellular.

"It will be important for us to start looking for those individuals who didn't fly MEDEVAC. Remember what COL DOWNEY said at the 2004 Reunion Meeting; 'We need to start looking for the other members who did not fly MEDEVAC but are of the 15th MED Bn.' We need many leads to start searches for those other members. We also need e-mail addresses for those members who are in our database that don't have them. We may need to call every member up that we don't have an e-mail for. "This time last year we had about 200 found names. In May of this year we had about 500 names and now we are close to 550 names found. We continue to grow, but thanks to your efforts, we are also updating or verifying what we have. It is time consuming and with the help of many of our members our database will be more complete than when I first started it."

Andrew HUNT AHUNT@NSD.ORG wrote: "Hi Mike BODNAR, I am a teacher at Bothell High School. While searching the Internet for information on my uncle I came across the Web site '' My uncle served in the 15th MED and died in Sept. of '67. I was wondering if you had any information about my uncle, Roger Clark ROSE? I haven't been able to get any info from the military about him, except that he served. I was born about a two weeks after his death and so my mother named me after him. I'd be curious to have any information you have. By the way, I teach history and right now am teaching Vietnam so it was on my mind. Thank You, Andrew Roger HUNT." It seems there was talk of a MEDEVAC pilot named ROSE. If anyone knew Roger Clark ROSE, in any capacity, please contact Andrew HUNT <AHUNT@NSD.ORG>.

MEDEVAC PSG '70-'71 James MCDONALD (CSM ret.) informs: "For the Record: There were Two MEDEVAC units when the 15th MED Bn. departed for Ft Hood, TX. The MEDEVAC Platoon split (personnel and 6 Aircraft stayed in Vietnam). We used the Call Sign: MEDEVAC; wore our MEDEVAC patches, and honored our motto: 'SO THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE.'" "On 30 June '71, the 215th Composite Service Battalion (Support) was constituted in the Regular Army and assigned to the 3rd Brigade (Special), 1st Cavalry Division, and activated in the Republic of Vietnam. Support included, but not limited to administrative services, supply distribution, medical and maintenance support.

"To provide these services, the battalion was comprised of the following units: Headquarters, Headquarters and Band Support Command, Administrative Company, Supply and Transport Company, Medical Company (with MEDEVAC Platoon) and Headquarters and Maintenance Support Company. The 215th Composite Service Battalion demonstrated new concepts, efficiency, and dedication of support to the 3rd Brigade through the use of personnel contact teams, brigade, aviation assets and aerial delivery techniques. The 215th participated in four campaigns, including Counter Offensive Phase VII, Consolidation I and II and Cease Fire.

"In addition to the support of the brigade, the Medical Company also participated in a significant civil action program involving support missions to the civil population of Vietnam. As a result of the dedication and professionalism of the troopers assigned to the battalion, the unit was awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

"By 31 March 1972, only 96,000 U.S. troops were involved in the Vietnam combat operations. In less than two months later, the last of the 1st Cavalry Division, the 3rd Brigade, along with the 215th Composite Service Battalion, began its 'Stand Down' in a phased withdrawal and was bought back to the United States, completing the division recall on 26 June '72, which had started over a year earlier on 05 May '71. The 1st Cavalry Division had been the first Army division to go to Vietnam and the last to leave. On 30 June '72, the 215th Composite Service Battalion was inactivated at Oakland, CA."

"11th Airborne Air-Assault Badge 15th Medical Battalion Becomes a Reality With The First Cavalry Division - Origins Firsthand Account By: Gordon RUSSELL '69 MEDEVAC PSG. 'I joined the 11th Medical Battalion when there was only Headquarters Company. The First Sergeant was 1SG BOYLE. Later, A Company was added and I was sent there to get things going. Again, B Company was added, and C Company came in from the 2nd Infantry Division, almost intact. They added the Air Ambulance Platoon, later.

'I was with the First Air Cavalry Division in 1965, when we sailed into Vietnam. I was working out of the Support Command with SGM BOYLE when the Ia Drang Battle started, and then I was sent along to Major HALEY, at Quin Nhon, to make sure the Cav Division got all the supplies they needed. I worked the night shift loading C-130s and Major HALEY had the day shift. The reason I was in the Support Command was because my replacement had arrived for B Company. These were some trying times and one of the largest battles of the First Cav Div.

'I went back to Vietnam in June of 1968 and back to the First Cav, HHC Company, 15th Medical Battalion. Then on to MEDEVAC where a Major GRIDER was in charge of the Air Ambulance Platoon. I had known him at Ft. Benning, when he was a Second Lieutenant, and he wanted me in his command. Later on, I was with CPT WOODS and CPT SCHOFIELD. I was with SCHOFIELD when we picked up Medic Garry BOWDER and door gunner James MEGEEHEE, as well as others on the downed ship. An RPG had ripped her open under the seat where MEGEEHEE was sitting. Most of the crew were badly burned and MEGEEHEE was thrown from the chopper, suffering from a back wound. MEGEEHEE took some time to get out of my mind, as he was one of my best friends. He had planned to go to OCS, here at Ft. Benning, and visit with me. I remember Robert SCHOMAKER [could be SHOEMAKER], as a very nice guy, too..

'The last time I saw Kirk WOOLEY he was having problems carrying too many bags on the chopper on his way back to the world. A lieutenant was giving him a hard time so, I stepped in and, after a few words with the LT, WOOLEY left with all his bags .

'Even though I was a platoon sergeant, I was on flight status and a lot of missions and was in some mighty hot areas with SCHOFIELD and WOODS. I have seen quite a few men, in my time in service, both in WW2 as a First Aid Man in PATTON's Third Army, but I was never closer to anyone than the men I served with in Vietnam.' We are grateful to Gordon RUSSELL for sharing these memories with us. Let us hope that he has much more to share.-LASH-" Gordon RUSSELL's story was taken from the 15th MED Assn. Web site for those not online or who have not visited it. Please submit any name spelling corrections if you see one necessary. Also from Gordon RUSSELL; "Note: This also, really did happen, in '65. As the First Sergeant was giving out details, he instructed a, newly arrived, PFC to go burn the outhouse. Of course, the PFC did just that. He torched the building, burning it to the ground. The commanding officer made it clear, that when giving orders, to be a bit more specific. Gordon-"

Always remembering our 1st Cav troops on duty around the world; over and out.

Mike Bodnar C 2\7 '69
MEDEVAC 1-7\70

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