Saber Article Index

MAY-JUN

I received email from Don Hays<donzackhays@hotmail.com> who said, " Hi Mike, Don Hays from Company C 1966 at An Khe. I enjoyed the letter from Ron Strub. He mentioned not many people from Company C write letters. Anyways, I want Co C people to know some of us are still alive and quite well out here in the world. I live near Portland, Oregon. I really miss the guys I served with in ‘66. It has been 56 years that have gone by fast.

I am 77 now, and 100% disabled because of PTSD, heart surgery this last July, and a few other things. I have made it to three reunions. Hope to get to another this year. Howdy to all 15th Med people. I was also the medical supply specialist for Co C in 1966. I learned that by O.J.T. I did send Ron Strub 4a note, hope he gets back to me. I salute all of you, thanks again, Don Hays."

In the obituaries I see, not mentioned in this column: " Raymond D. Kinnard, CPT, Medical Service Corps, of Engelwood, CO passed away on 25 December 2018. Ray served as a MEDEVAC pilot with the 15th Medical Battalion in Vietnam from May 67-May 68."

His dates were within the timeframe of Art Jacobs, so I contacted Art about him. Art replied, " Mike: Ray was my AC at LZ Sharon in February-March 1968. Ray taught me a lot, he was an excellent pilot, and unknown to me, recommended me to MAJ Goodman to be promoted to AC when Roy Land was wounded." MAJ Goodman came up to LZ Sharon from Camp Evans, we flew two missions together (he didn' t tell me why but had me fly from the left seat), and then landed at 18th Surg in Quang Tri to see Roy. When we landed back at LZ Sharon, he told me I was an AC!

" Ray was at the Sacramento reunion, but the last time I saw him was in Denver when my son and I were on the way to Winter Park. Ray bought us lunch. Art" When I asked Art what Ray Kinnard' s MEDEVAC call sign was and if he ever flew with anyone with a MERCY designated call sign thinking Ray might have had one, Art replied, " Mike: All call signs were Medevac while I was there. I do not recall what Ray's was, I would only be guessing. I never heard about ‘Mercy' until just recently. Art"

Webmaster Ron Huether listed Raymond D. Kinnard' s call sign as " Unknown" on the MEDEVAC pilots' call sign page by my request. I also asked Ron to list Roy Land whom I do not see there.

Other deceased members I have not mentioned are Damian " Pineapple" Vierra 68, of Statesville, NC passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday 31 Jul 19. Born on 1 Jan 51 in Waialua, HI. In Vietnam he was a crew chief on a MEDEVAC helicopter assigned to the 15th Medical Battalion of the 1st Cavalry Division. His nickname was " Pineapple" in his army days, and then went on to be called " 5.0." Bobby Wayne Brooks, 78, died Sunday, April 12, 2020, from heart problems related to agent orange exposure. Born in Dunlap, TN, he was a retired Combat Medic in the US Army with the 15th Medical Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, and served as a US Navy Corpsman.

John Joseph Crespi, 79, of Olathe, KS passed away on July 6, 2021. He was born on February 9, 1942, in San Francisco, California. John served in the US Army, retiring after twenty-one years of service. John before me for a brief time wrote this column and went by the name " Elk Dog."

Robert " Bob" McKinley, 80, of Largo, MD passed away August 18, 2021, at Bay Pines, VA. Bob was born in Camden, WV, on July 1, 1941. Bob joined the US Army in Sept 1959 and retired from service on Jan 1, 1980. His tours of duty overseas included Okinawa, Germany, and Vietnam. While in Vietnam (65, 66, 67, 68, 70, 71), he served with the 15th Medical Battalion (MEDEVAC) First Cavalry Division.

After retirement he joined the 15th Med Association as a charter member and remained active, seldom missing a reunion. In 2021 he was in Peru, IN, at the American Huey Museum 369. He was surprised to find the Vietnam helicopter #803 that he was crew chief on had been restored and was now being used for flights.

Bob served three tours in Vietnam. His first tour was with 17th Aviation, 1st Cavalry Division, a Caribou (CV-2) unit stationed at Pleiku 1965-66. His second tour was initially with the 9th Infantry Division (unit Unknown) from Feb-April 1967. He requested and received a transfer to HSC 15th Med Bn in April ‘67 and served there until his DEROS in February 1968. According to MEDEVAC crew chief Corky Walsh, Bob' s third tour was with an unknown aviation unit that flew OH-13 helicopters out of Phan Rang 1970-71.

Richard Schroder, 76, of Lenexa, Kansas passed away on November 19th, 2021. He was born on August 11th, 1945, in Topeka, Kansas. Richard enlisted in the United States Army serving four years of active duty with a year being in Vietnam. You can read the full obituaries and all others of past members on the 15th MED Assn Web site, <15thMedBnAssociation.org>.

From the deja vu all over again department comes this homepage story: " MEDEVAC STILL HELPING" With fears still high that the Kremlin may soon launch a new invasion of Ukraine, it' s not surprising that a curious flight by a U.S. Army HH-60M, a ‘dust-off' or air ambulance variant of the Black Hawk, to a checkpoint along the Polish-Ukrainian border 16 Feb 22 night drew significant attention on social media. For some, the scene had a clandestine Bridge of Spies feel to it. The War Zone can now confirm that this helicopter was retrieving a U.S. service member assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine who was experiencing an unspecified medical emergency.

" In an article by Joseph Trevithick, the first indications that the HH-60M in question, which has the serial number 20-21131 and was using the callsign EVAC01 at the time, was headed toward Poland' s border with Ukraine, based on data from online flight tracking websites, began to appear on social media at around 11 pm local time 16 Feb 22. The Polish Border Guard has a publicly available live camera feed showing Korczowa-Krakovets border crossing, which subsequently confirmed that the Black Hawk had landed on the road there, appearing to pick up an individual who had crossed over from the Ukrainian side. The helicopter was then tracked flying to a hospital in the Polish city of Rzeszow."

FIRST TEAM! Garryowen
Mike Bodnar 2\7 '69
MEDEVAC 1-7\70
SO THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE

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