Saber Article Index

2011 Jul-Aug

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

A MEDEVAC pilot whom they flew with and they felt had helped them to get the job done and allow them to safely return home was mentioned by MEDEVAC Medic Bill WALSH and gunner Rick GOODSON who e-mailed the following: "COL Hank TUELL had an outstanding career as an aviator, commander, and hospital administrator. His initial assignment after flight school was with the 15th Medical Battalion in Vietnam. He flew more than 1,000 combat hours, evacuating over 2,100 patients, demonstrating tenacity and bravery under fire.

His combat awards include the Silver Star, six awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Bronze Star, Soldiers Medal and Purple Heart. He served two tours on the Surgeon General's Staff, as an assignment officer, and later chief of the Career Activities Office. His second great passion after flying was mentoring the young aviators and Soldiers of the Corps. He commanded the 63rd Medical Detachment in Germany, 571st Medical Detachment at Fort Carson, and the 56th Medical Battalion at Fort Ord. Hank was selected as the first Chief of Staff of the newly formed US Army Medical Command. His final assignment was as the Garrison Commander, Fort Detrick, MD. One of the most decorated aviators of the Vietnam era, Hank's quiet and humble dedication to the Army Medical Department and its Soldiers is an example for all. Hank TUELL was inducted into the DUSTOFF Hall of Fame on 12 November 2011."

My first flight as a MEDEVAC Medic in early January '70 was with Lt. TUELL as copilot, known as "Young Okie," with the senior pilot of that flight, "Old Okie," probably CW2 Phillip K. GIBBONS. They more than likely took advantage of flying together because both were from Oklahoma. That flight was just a quick hoist operation out of HQ Phouc Vinh where I was learning the ropes. CW2 GIBBONS DEROSED the next month in February '70. "Young Okie" then became the only "Okie."

They could also mention "considerate" when listing Henry TUELL's attributes. He always carried with him on his flights a #10 G.I. can-as well as his personal shotgun-where he would deposit his chewing tobacco spit, avoiding sending it out the window and possibly addicting the door gunners. I ended up flying a lot with Lt. TUELL; enough to know.

John BRENNAN comments, "Gentlemen of the 15th MED Bn., my name is John BRENNAN, and I am the author of, 'U.S. Army Helicopter Names In Vietnam,' a book from Hellgate Press. The listed price is $31.95, however; you may obtain a signed copy for $29.95, shipping included, by sending a check or money order to: John BRENNAN, 17355 Via Annette, San Lorenzo, CA 94580.

"P.S. Listed in the book are 23 copter names attributed to the 15 MED Bn. P.P.S You are welcome to preview the first 20 pages by accessing the publisher's Website at and clicking on the .PDF hyperlink.

"I'll also be signing books ($28) at the VHCMA St. Louis Reunion June 16-19. It weighs in at 2 pounds, measures 8.5x10, contains 408 pages, and 40 photographs."

Arthur Ray WATSON of Dinwiddie, VA, signs in with, "I was with A-Co, 15th MED Bn., during 1967- 1968. I remember Mr. CRESPI, as he was in my unit as a Staff Sergeant. I was the Supply Sergeant for A-Co, 15th MED.

Executive Director, 1st Cavalry Division Association, Dennis WEBSTER sends over, "I received word about the death of LTC (Ret) Spencer J. CAMPBELL who served in C Company, 15th Forward Support Battalion at Fort Hood and during Desert Storm. His obituary is at . He died on 13 April. First Team!"

From Steve RICHEY, "I write an article for the Saber now and then. I served in the 1st Cav in the 8th Engineers in Nam, and now have a book out. I've enclosed the video of it, you might like the music. It's for sale at .

"I'd appreciate you telling others. Hell, it's worth the time to watch the video just to hear the music!!! The book has eight exNam Cav veterans who decide to have a big adventure. It's a good'rn! Thanks!

"We were the engineer company between you guys and the perimeter wire in Phouc Vinh. I was there the night incoming blew up five of your helicopters, and the frigging M-60 ammo was cooking off, filling the air with bullets.  

Was a lively night." 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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