Saber Article Index

2011 Sep-Oct

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

Don CLAWSON MEDEVAC 1, Jan 7, '69 - Dec 27, '69, then captain, now USAMSC major retired, called to inquire if the recent column write up about '70 MEDEVAC pilot Henry "Okie" TUELL was for an obituary.

I told him, "No." And, I updated him on everything. Don mentioned the many in MEDEVAC he knew at the time, and that he was good friends with then, LTC MCNANEY.

James BREEN e-mailed, "Dear Brother Mike, Howdy........Greetings from the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania! I always read your column with great interest since you and your brothers saved my tail way back on Feb. 11, 1967, during the commie's violation of the TET Cease fire of that Chinese Lunar New Year's Truce. With the recent shoot down of that Chinook in the Afghanistan mountains I felt it proper to share my feelings with you dear brother. This August issue of 'Military' features an article from a Vietnam hero.....a chopper MEDEVAC pilot flying for the 173rd Light Infantry Brigade in 1969. Captain Robert B. ROBESON, from Lincoln, Nebraska is this hero. He submitted a story called: 'A Dust Off Pilot Remembers.' Check it out online if you do not receive 'Military' magazine. Anyway Mike........with this recent shoot down of one of our gorgeous Chinook carrying thirty Navy Seals.......and eight heart and soul goes out to their families.....and this incredible loss for all of America. But the short story by Captain ROBESON haunted me. Well written, sincere, patriotic.....and so on. sir....two things were missing from his dramatic war story. Door gunners. Yes sir, door gunners. This guy's story involved him dropping down into hell itself......with no door gunners. The gooks had a field day just shooting the crap out of him....and his aircraft. Lord.....Have Mercy!. I am proud....that I served during a time....that the First Air Cavalry Division saw the need to have each and every MEDEVAC....armed to the teeth with two....count'em....two serious warriors manning their M-60 light machine guns. 7.62 mm tools of death as they shot out of the sides of each chopper.

"And, also...during my tour with the First Air Cavalry was almost.....almost unheard of to air assault a hot lima zulu......without a huge chopper gun ship prepping onto the landing zone prior to our assault. No way without it. When....this did on occasion happen? Disaster. Pure disaster.  Okay, Mike......just thought I 'd tell you boys that I am grateful....and appreciative for your intense service in our behalf. God bless you fanatics! You guys rocked! James Francis BREEN, gunner, D 2/12th Cav, First Air Cavalry Division, RVN, 1966-'67.

Murray GIBBS e-mailed, "FYI, 15th MED Assn. President David HUSER sent me an e-mail regarding a belt buckle that members of the Association can buy. Click on link below to view e-mail and belt buckle < smf/index.php?topic=797.msg 2181> Also forwarded is his letter: "Murray- I want you to send this e-mail to our officers and past presidents. We can get the buckles for $179.95 if we order twenty buckles. The buckles will be 3 inches round, made of German silver. The crest will be the color of the coin, and the lettering around the buckle will have black inlay. The picture is black and white and the four triangles on the outside of the drawing are not part of the buckle. If we want to order twenty buckles, I think we need a commitment of eight people that will buy them at Nashville. Please e-mail me with your yes or no on the buckle. I will buy one to get the ball rolling. It will take four months to make the buckles so get back to me ASAP. David HUSER"

Tom (Heidi) HEIDENREICH of Melrose Park, IL, signed the Guestbook: "C Co. 15th MED 05/1969 to 12/1969. I was a good friend of Mike WICK, KIA rocket attack, A Co. 1/12 Cav 01/1969 to 05/1969.

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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