Remembering An American Hero
As an American, I would like to thank you for your service and for your sacrifice made on behalf of our wonderful country. The youth of today could gain much by learning of heroes such as yourself, men and women whose courage and heart can never be questioned.
May God allow you to read this, and may He allow me to someday shake your hand when I get to Heaven to personally thank you. May he also allow my father to find you and shake your hand now to say thank you; for America, and for those who love you.
With respect, and the best salute a civilian can muster for you, Sir
Information on Mid-Air Collision of U.S. Army helicopters UH-1D tail numbers 66-01159 and 64-13738
At approximately 1316 hours, Army helicopters 66-1159 [LTC Leyburn W. Brockwell Jr. (KIA), MAJ Charles C. Jones (KIA), SP4 Pedro Ortiz (KIA), SSGT Ewell E. Acord (KIA)] and 64-13738 [2LT John D. Legg (KIA), WO1 John M. Andrews (KIA), PFC Lewis J. Fogler (KIA), SP4 Robert F. Quinn (KIA)] had a mid-air collision while formation flying at approximately 1,500 feet in the vicinity of YT086035, five miles southeast of Bien Hoa. The two aircraft were part of a flight of nine helicopters of the 335th Assault Helicopter Company flying in a staggered trail left formation from Bien Hoa to Bear Cat. On arrival at Bear Cat, the 335th AHC was to participate in a combat assault operation in support of the 9th Infantry Division. The two aircraft involved in the accident were flying in the #1 and #2 positions in the formation. After take-off, the flight had climbed to 1,500 feet, had leveled off and was flying at an airspeed of 80 knots. The trail aircraft, #9, had told the lead aircraft, #1, that the flight was joined; lead had acknowledged. The trail aircraft had checked on artillery firing out of Bear Cat and had passed the information on to the lead aircraft. At this time, the AC flying the #3 aircraft in the formation noticed that the #2 aircraft had moved in very tight and slightly to the rear and above the lead aircraft. The tip path plane of the #1 and #2 aircraft were overlapping at times. Because of this, the AC in the #3 position decided to increase the distance between his aircraft and #1 and #2. Shortly thereafter the lead aircraft rose a few feet, and almost struck the #2 aircraft's rotor blades with his rotor blades, then gradually descended again. The #2 aircraft made no adjustments for the rise and fall of the lead aircraft. Again the lead aircraft began to gain a few feet of altitude and banked very slightly to the right. The #2 aircraft again made no adjustment and the two aircraft struck each other approximately four feet inboard of the tip plain. The air was immediately filled with debris, the lead aircraft rolled approximately 15 degrees to the right, went into a nose high attitude, then fell to the ground. The #2 aircraft rolled approximately 20 degrees to the left, assumed a nose low attitude and fell to the ground. Both aircraft lost their transmissions and rotor blades prior to striking the ground. The #2 aircraft was burning prior to hitting the ground. [Taken from vhpa.org]
My precious brother
"If you are able, save for them a place inside of you....and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go.....Be not ashamed to say you loved them....
Take what they have left and what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own....And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind...."
Quote from a letter home by Maj. Michael Davis O'Donnell
KIA 24 March 1970. Distinguished Flying Cross: Shot down and Killed while attempting to rescue 8 fellow soldiers surrounded by attacking enemy forces.
We Nam Brothers pause to give a backward glance, and post this remembrance to you, one of the gentle heroes lost to the War in Vietnam:
Slip off that pack. Set it down by the crooked trail. Drop your steel pot alongside. Shed those magazine-ladened bandoliers away from your sweat-soaked shirt. Lay that silent weapon down and step out of the heat. Feel the soothing cool breeze right down to your soul ... and rest forever in the shade of our love, brother.
From your Nam-Band-Of-Brothers