Saber Article Index

2008 Sep-Oct

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

Clyde MOORE from Kingsville, TX, comments: "HSC, 15th MED Bn., 1st Cav Div., Feb '67 to Feb '68. Tech Inspector, Maintenance Supervisor. Great Website. Just found it."

Webmaster/Past President 2003-2006 15th MED Association Murray GIBBS, MEDEVAC '67-'68 informs, "President John CRESPI's grandbaby is in ICU.

"The 2009 Reunion has been finalized. Information on the Reunion: April 2nd to April 5th, 2009, in Myrtle Beach, SC. View the Reunion Website: <>

"Historical Documents: During the month of May, Historians COL William DOWNEY and Paul TROOP went to Washington, D.C., to retrieve what was believed to be over eight hundred documents. The count I was told was nine hundred twenty documents. I recently got the documents and I am in the process of posting them on our main Website. I have done 1965; Jan. & Feb. 1966. I had to take a good look at the documents and I thank Paul TROOP for separating them into categories. Currently these are the categories I am using: HHC, HSC, TOE or any necessary category to classify them; A Co., B Co., & C Co.; S1, S3 & S4.

"I made the documents accessible only thru the Forums. I feel as other officers feel that they should not be viewed by the public. There may be sensitive information that is only for viewing of those who were in the 15th MED Bn. Therefore, anyone who wants to view the documents must be registered on the Forums. When you register you will have the Visitor level. I will look at whoever registers, and upon recognition of their e-mail I will raise their permission level to 15th MED member. Once you are re-raised to that level you will be able to see the board called: 15th MED Members Only. All others cannot see that board, thus those with honorary, 15th MED member's wives, visiting veterans, and researchers, cannot see the board. I explained the method of viewing the documents on the Website: <>

"Please follow that method and if you have any questions feel free to e-mail me with your concerns. If you are using an e- mail other than the one on record please e-mail me regarding that.

"President John CRESPI has okayed another trip for Historian Paul TROOP to go to Washington, D.C. Paul will retrieve more documents that are available there. This trip will not happen for a good month, so meanwhile, I should have most of the current documents posted on the Website. Based on what I have I will report out to President John CRESPI and Historian Paul TROOP so repeated documents are not retrieved again."

MEDEVAC door gunner Jim BELAIR e-mailed that member John ROZZELL has passed away. Jim CALIBRO had surgery 8/27/2008. It went very well and the doctors removed sixteen inches of his colon. He should be in the hospital for seven more days. His wife said that Jim is starting to be himself (acting like he usually does). Jim & Holly thank all those who e-mailed and phoned him. It made him really feel good that there are so many out there caring about him. Jim CALIBRO's e-mail address: ; Phone: (209)549-8919.

Dennis E. SELF of Muskogee, OK, says he was, "XO, Co C, 15th MED Bn., May '69- August '69." Robert WUESTENBERG from Johnstown, CO, signed the Guestbook: "Thanks for the lifts. MEDEVACed three times. Last one, 26 Mar 1968. They thought I was a goner on that one. You done good!"

Lawrence "Larry" BIRD of Colonial Beach, VA, reminds us he was, "A Medic who flew with MEDEVAC most of `71, more or less at the same time as Harry HALLIE (sp?), Chuck LAWHORN (RIP), Larry LUND, Andy KRAMER, Rich DUBREY (sp?), and the others...

Jim BRODIE <> signs, "Air Amb. Plt. TI '65/'66. John BUBELA TI; Carl RAY Maint NCO; Larry INMAN Maint. Officer."

Curtis FORD from Gadsden, AL, wrote, "Door gunner '69. Wounded Dec. '69. MEDEVACed to Japan, and on to the States. I flew with ZEPP, 'Double Duce,' and with Okie. Memory not as good as it use to be. Great site, glad I found it." '69-'70 C 2-7 and MEDEVAC Medic Bill WALSH e-mailed, "Mike, can't believe you can't remember two of our stalwart steeds...Super King (which I believe was BRADY & CAMPBELL) and Cherry Buster (which I believe 'Goody' {gunner Ricky GOODSON} and I had our last month) with Okie in Song Be."

This must have been in response to the last column mentioning the book about helicopter nick names and the request for any and all. As I replied to Bill, I was probably the first Medic to crew CE Danny SMITH's new SuperKing, which he said he suped up-thus the name. Knowing him, he probably did. It was a reliable monster.

I did tell Bill that Cherry Buster was after I had left, I never heard of it. Bill mentions CE Mike VINYARD in relation, which sounds like something Mike would name one.

Mike VINYARD was a great crew chief whom I flew with quite a bit, who had a good of humor. On one pickup we landed by a unit in contact and took their wounded. We had to low level for awhile out of there because it was a hot area; obviously.

Just the way the wind was blowing through the helicopter at that time caused the blood that the poor grunt-I was working on-was lying in, to splatter back. Mike with his M-60 in his hell hole, got sprayed. He got completely covered in blood, but kept doing his job scanning the horizon.

After we returned he just laughed it off with no complaints. We had no complaints if we arrived in better condition than those we were bringing in.

"Crews Brave Enemy Fire to Save Soldiers" by Sgt. 1st Class Thomas MILLS, USA Special to American Forces Press Service CAMP STRIKER, Iraq, Jan. 22, 2008 - "Medical evacuation crews from Task Force Marne faced down enemy gunfire to deliver five injured soldiers in Iraq to safety Jan. 18.

"A Black Hawk helicopter sits in a field as seen through the windshield of a second Black Hawk on a Jan. 18, 2008, mission to rescue soldiers injured in an attack. The crews from the 3rd Infantry Division's Company C, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, were called in when a patrol of Stryker vehicles from the 25th Infantry Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team was attacked.

"The Black Hawk helicopters flew to the site, only to find that the easiest place to land -- the road the Stryker vehicles were on -- had not been cleared of possible improvised explosive devices. The MEDEVAC crews were unable to contact the ground forces or an Apache team from 12th Combat Aviation Brigade in the area.

"After circling the area scouting for a place to land, the crews landed in a field adjacent to the road, Army Capt. Samuel FRICKS, operations officer for Company C, said. FRICKS, from Morrow, GA, was a pilot in the second of the two MEDEVAC aircraft.

"'After landing, my Medic, Staff Sgt. (Robert) CONGDON, departed the aircraft and linked up with ... Staff Sgt. (Aughe) MCQUOWN,'" FRICKS said. The two Army Medics went to the site of the attack and soon returned to the helicopters with three injured soldiers.

"As they returned to the Stryker for the remaining two injured soldiers, CONGDON said, they began taking fire.

"'I just grabbed the patient and grabbed MCQUOWN, and we went into the Stryker," said CONGDON, a native of Las Vegas.

"'Bullets struck the Stryker and around them as they went for the cover of the armored vehicle. CONGDON reset the Stryker' radio to the MEDEVAC frequency, then took off his flight helmet and put on a Stryker crew member's helmet so he could talk to the air crew.

"When the call came over the radio that his Medics were taking fire, FRICKS said, he was not sure what to think. He did not know where the fire was coming from, but he figured that since the helicopters were down below the level of the road in the field, he was not in too much danger.

"'The only thing we knew was that Staff Sergeant CONGDON was taking fire,' FRICKS said.

"As they waited for the two Medics to come back with the remaining patients, a third Medic, Sgt. Donald DEDMON, from Foreman, AR, in training as a flight Medic, ran back and forth between the two aircraft to treat the injured soldiers already onboard.

"DEDMON was midway through his training to be certified to operate as a lone Medic on a MEDEVAC mission when he found himself suddenly responsible for patients on two different aircraft.

"'I was keying on the patients,' DEDMON said. 'Afterward, it kind of came into perspective.'

"FRICKS had been linked up via radio to the circling Apaches, and he relayed CONGDON's directions to bring in 30 mm machine cannon fire to suppress the enemy shooter. Back at the Stryker, CONGDON and MCQUOWN were attempting to get back to the aircraft with their patients.

"'We lowered the ramp (of the Stryker) to get out and be able to get to the aircraft, and (the sniper) started shooting,' CONGDON said.

"MCQUOWN, a native of Florida, picked up one patient while CONGDON and an infantry soldier helped the other patient, and they broke for it.

"'They ran out of litters, and the guy was shooting at us,' CONGDON said. 'The longer we wait on the ground, the worse it is on the patient, so at some point we had to just leave and get the patients to the hospital.'

"The Medics loaded the remaining two patients on the MEDEVAC birds. After a quick count of heads to make sure no one was left behind, they departed while the Apaches continued to lay down suppressing fire.

"'The five patients we hauled all survived,' FRICKS said.

"He said watching the two Medics struggling to bring their patients to safety was almost like something you'd see in a Hollywood production. 'I just thought it was awesome,' he said. "Company C is part of Multinational Division Center and is based out of Baghdad International Airport, with aircraft at several locations in and around the Iraqi capital."

(Army Sgt. 1st Class Thomas MILLS serves in public affairs with the 3rd Infantry Division's 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade.)

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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