Saber Article Index
MEDEVAC 15th Med\15th FSB
307B N Main Copperas Cove, TX 76522
I received an e-mail from Terry McCarl who
said he would like to send some stories, etc., and has read all the Saber
columns on the Website. Also, he says he has some photos to e-mail. All this
would be welcomed for the readers. Everyone is always encouraged to do this.
Terry asked about a CPT (in 1969) Robert Wood. He was a MEDEVAC pilot
'68-'69. He sent an e-mail to him with the address on the FOUND list and got
no response. Called his number on the list and got a message that the number
is no longer in service. Terry just updated that he found out that CPT Bob
Wood passed away last year.
Another e-mail, from Steve Cook said,
"Mike, This is Steve Cook. I was the senior Pathfinder that opened LZ Becky.
I need to confirm a MEDEVAC date. On\about July 15, 1969, LZ Becky received
several mortar and various rockets. Several soldiers of the 2-8 Cav were
wounded. One soldier from the mortar platoon was seriously wounded and we
had to MEDEVAC him. Because we thought a ground attack was imminent I
decided not to go outside the wire, and landed the MEDEVAC inside LZ Becky
near the TOC. I need anyone from the MEDEVAC crew, 2-8 Cav staff, medical
platoon or mortar platoon [artillery] to verify the date. Need the exact
date for a claim.
"Really would like to talk to either pilot to see
how I did that night ground guiding them with my patrons. My contact data:
Steve Cook Phone 304 636-7240 email@example.com ."
Continued: "Mike, more on this combat MEDEVAC action on LZ BECKY. You may
put this in the Saber also. 'On\about July 15, 1969, around 2300 hours LZ
Becky received a mortar and rocket attack. One soldier had a severe
wound-think it was a sucking chest wound. Someone from the TOC came over to
my little Pathfinder hooch and told us that a MEDEVAC had been requested. I
did not go outside the wire to the helipad to land the MEDEVAC because I
knew a ground attack sometimes followed a mortar and rocket attack. I told
the 2-8 CAV commander that I would land the MEDEVAC near the TOC. The
commander didn't believe that I could do that.
I quickly organized a small
detail and laid down all the 292 antennas near the TOC so the MEDEVAC would
not hit them. I contacted the MEDEVAC on the radio and told him to turn off
his lights and approach the east side of LZ Becky. I also told the MEDEVAC
that at one hundred feet I wanted him over the east side of Becky and to
assume my visual guidance. When he was over the east end of Becky I ground
guided him with my batons forward and down to about a five foot hover very
near the TOC. We lifted up the wounded soldier and put him onboard. I
back and gave him the take off signal.
The MEDEVAC immediately ascended to
one hundred feet, did a left pedal turn, and departed at LIGHT SPEED. I
swear the pilots hit the after burners. I would love to talk to the pilots
or crew. This was not just another routine MEDEVAC mission. No such thing as
a routine MEDEVAC mission; every mission was critical, difficult and
dangerous. This MEDEVAC crew that flew the LZ Becky mission that night was
superb and followed my instructions precisely. They flew the last part of
the mission with no lights, descended to a five-foot hover in a very tight
spot that had just received mortars and rockets, and this peril was still a
possibility with ground attack; picked up the wounded soldier and departed
the area quickly.
That entire crew deserves an award. I want to thank them
also for saving a soldier's life and to ask them how I did that night. Just
another night in PARIDISE. Pathfinders always had a special bond with the
Cav pilots especially the MEDEVAC crews; they were always there and
supported us.' Steve Cook, Team 1, 11th Pathfinder Company, 1969-70."
I would add, that MEDEVAC crew did get an award as we always did. Just
doing what was needed was the award every time.
"Frenchy" firstname.lastname@example.org wrote, "Hi Mike haven't heard from you in
awhile! Went to the Sacramento Reunion - was great to see at least one
person from C Co., Leo Williams.
"James Calibro also was the one who
contacted me for this one. Hope all is well with you - Took lots of Pics!
Would love to share them."
From Jimmy Pearson, "My name is Jimmy
Pearson and I have been searching for Medics that served with us in Vietnam.
I was with D-CO 2-8 Cav, Cat platoon 1970, 1st Air Cav. William Walker from
California Cat-3 Medic, African American. Mitchell Davis from Illinois,
Cat-3 Medic, an African American, who did received the Distinguished
Service Cross; and Edward Parks from Texas, Cat-1 Medic, African American.
"My e-mail address is JPearson226@comcast.net
. My phone number is
1-781-294-8804, I'm from Hanson, Massachusetts. If you don't know of them
maybe you can help me in a different direction."
I had to tell
Jimmy-like I do everyone else-15th MED did not control line unit Medics, and
I didn't know many. But, if anyone reading this does know who he is looking
for, please contact him.
Corky Walsh is the new 15th MED Association
President. Visit the 15th MED Assn. Website to read new and old president's
messages, as well as all other news.
Always remembering our 1st Cav
troops on duty around the world; over and out.
Bodnar C 2\7 '69
SO THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE