Saber Article Index


Mike Bodnar
13010 N. Lakeforest Dr.
Sun City, AZ 85351-3250
(623) 972-4395


There are many names on the MEDEVAC pilots and their callsign page < missing or unknown that we are still working on to know. I use the list for reference when I write. If anybody wanted to know which pilot and crew picked up for their unit in Vietnam, the list could help them and what the unit’s DA Form 1594 Daily Staff Journal says-if anything.

One pilot’s name I got from MEDEVAC 21 Art Jacobs was Roy Land. He and the Air Ambulance platoon leader MAJ Goodman in 1968 went to visit the hospital after he had been wounded. Art says after they returned, MAJ Goodman, having checked Art’s flying skills on the trip, made Art AC-Aircraft Commander.

One name was missing on the list that I knew of; I asked webmaster Ron Huether about whom Ron said he understood. Ron told me to contact him and ask him myself. That pilot was Henry Land.

I wondered if Henry was any relation to Roy Land. I thought it was a coincidence to have two MEDEVAC pilots named Land.

The email address for Henry on the 15th Med Assn website was one at Netscape, which I thought was kind of old. I used Netscape many years ago before Google appeared. His address was <>. The 1st Cav Assn has the same email address.

While I waited for a reply, I also contacted Art Jacobs to find out if he flew with Henry during his time. I mentioned that MEDEVAC pilot Henry Land was shot in the hand on board his aircraft. That must have jogged Art’s memory because he replied, “Mike: Yes, Henry was an AC when I got to the unit.

“MAJ Goodman and I visited Henry at the 18th Surgical Hospital in Quang Tri after he was wounded. He still had his hand that day - all wrapped up in a bandage (looked like a giant lollipop) and hoisted up in traction. I guess it was either there or further back in the evacuation process that the decision was made that it couldn’t be saved.

“When MAJ Goodman and I landed back at LZ Sharon, he said, ‘You’re now an AC!’ I had only been in country for 3 months. Then on 7 April, I got wounded the first time. Art”

That told me that there was no Roy Land, but it was Henry Art had first mentioned. I was starting to get somewhere. So, then I did hear from Henry Land. Not Netscape, but another oldie, <>.

Henry said he was in country Aug ‘67 and shot in Mar ‘68 around the Rockpile flying out of Camp Evans. Henry says that MERCY 11 Larry Hatch was getting ready for DEROS when he arrived in Aug ‘67.

Larry has since emailed and refers to his call sign as MERCY ONE ONE. He said Henry was a 1st Lieutenant, and when he arrived, Larry broke him in as a new pilot. When Larry left in November 1967, he said he gave Henry his ballistic flight helmet because they were in such short supply.

Henry acknowledges that Art stopped in with MAJ Goodman to say hi and find out how he was doing. Henry says that is the only time he saw Art in country, and when Art first identified himself to Henry.

Henry says he is in the VHPA and has never seen any other pilots named Land in the membership.

Henry says his brother was an 11B in the 101st in Vietnam in Dec ‘67. That cleared up the Land name. Apparently, I had to investigate just Art’s first mention to me, which was a mistake.

Henry says, “I remember meeting you at the reunion hotel at Ft Hood at the sign-in table being run by MG Jim Smith. You had been writing the Saber at the time. I wasn’t overly friendly to you at the time, and I apologize for my behavior then. I had so many people trying to portray me as a hero, and I’m not. I was just a ‘Peter pilot’ trying to save as many 11-Bravo and other wounded personnel as possible.”

Henry sent more about his mysterious call sign. “Update: I got shot on March 68 during TET 68. I was MEDEVAC [Not MERCY], and at that time, we used MEDEVAC AND the last 3 numbers of the AC for the bird we were flying. When flying Randy Brewer’s aircraft, I would be MEDEVAC 456. When flying another aircraft, another number. We didn’t have designated call signs when I was there.”

Medevac Mercy 11Henry says he wore Larry’s helmet the whole time until he got shot. He says, “MAJ Healy was MEDEVAC CO, and MAJ Hahn was XO. Goodman replaced Healy when he DEROSED. Goodman did NOT fly many missions when I was there.” Henry says he was shot and kept his right hand for three weeks “And watched it rot off. Was amputated 21 days later in CONUS at BAMCA at Ft. Sam Houston.”

Henry communicated that the commanding officer-MEDEVAC platoon leader-and XO did not fly hot LZs and field pickups. He seemed to say, if necessary, they did backhaul like to Surg Hospitals. Larry Hatch does not have Healy and Hahn on his MERCY pilots’ call signs list. Henry says they used both MERCY and MEDEVAC as call sign designations.

I responded that to watch his hand rot off didn’t sound like modern Army medicine, even for 1968. It sounds more like out in the Vietnam boonies.

Henry tried to educate me. His emails are somewhat choppy, so they are hard to decipher. “On the hand rotting off, antibiotics were relatively new at that time. Fleming discovered that in 1946, it was a narrow-spectrum antibiotic and did not kill many different bacteria. Sulfa drugs were available but had a limited spectrum also. They gave me 500 mg PO tid and 500 mg Kantomycin in bid bacteria was resistant. GI’s were using penicillin for the clap as a prophylactic called ‘no sweat pills,’ which also caused resistance to build up.”

I got the essence of what he was trying to communicate. I said, “That’s scary to think about the evolution of antibiotics. I take  it for granted. After I had been in C 2-7 Cav for a couple of months, we got a new battalion surgeon CPT MD-June ‘69. He got all of us platoon medics together. He told us he would let us use carry antibiotics for jungle rot, etc. I didn’t know what to order, so when resupply time came, I told the RTO when he called in to tell them to send me some of everything. I just experimented and it seemed to work out. The grunts were appreciative.

Always remembering our 1st Cav Troops on duty around the world; over and out.

FIRST TEAM! Garryowen
Mike Bodnar 2\7 '69
MEDEVAC 1-7\70

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