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POSTED ON 8.12.2016
POSTED BY: Dennis DuPuis

Taking George Home

I don’t remember the mission but I do remember that the Operations jeep was waiting at the revetment. Before we could shut down the aircraft, the driver signaled me to get out of the aircraft and into the jeep. “What’s going on?”, I asked the driver. “just Get in. sir”, he replied.
Our 335th Operations Officer told me to get enough clothes and shaving gear for three days and to get back ASAP. “A helicopter will take you (an hour and a half flight) to Vinh Long for a briefing”.
Fifteen or twenty minutes later I was the only passenger in the helicopter. The guys flying were taking me to 214th battalion HQ in Vinh Long.
I was short, a double digit midget (less than 99 days left in country). Matter of fact, I had less than 90 days left in country. What’s the rush? What was the secret? What could be so important? My wildest thought was “I’d been picked for a POW rescue.” The guys went to refuel after landing at our 214th Battalion VIP pad.
I ran to the Headquarters. They were expecting me. A major handed me a large sealed envelope and asked me to sign a receipt of message. “What’s this about?” “the Huey that’s landing on the VIP pad is taking you to Saigon. Read your orders on the way. Hurry.” It was a little longer than a hour to Saigon. What was so important? I could feel my heart was pounding as I opened the envelope and read the orders. Oh no. My friend George Mason was KIA (Killed in Action) and his mother had requested me as his Escort.
We landed on the Saigon ramp near the commercial airliner that would take me to Hawaii and then to San Francisco (Oakland Army Depot).
In California, I attended briefings on the responsibilities and conduct of a Body Escort Officer while George was prepared for transportation and burial. I was issued a new Class A uniform and orders for George’s return to his hometown for burial in Ringwood, Oklahoma. George and I left San Francisco on a commercial flight to Oklahoma City. I was with the other passengers and George was with the cargo and luggage. The other passengers had no idea that George was on board directly under their feet all the way to Oklahoma.
I saluted whenever George’s coffin was moving. I rode in the hearse with George for the 2 hour trip to Enid. When he was settled at the funeral home, we went to the Mason’s home. I don’t remember much about that time before the funeral.
The funeral service was at the High school that George attended. Bruce, in his Class A uniform, chest full of Medals (from his tour in Vietnam) and spit shined paratrooper boots, delivered the eulogy. It was very difficult to present the flag to Mrs Mason. I had rehearsed the words but they didn’t flow easily when the time came to present George’s folded flag to her. I cried, I still cry.

Instead of immediately returning to my unit in Vietnam after the funeral, The Mason Family had requested a two week extension to my Body Escort orders. They had told the Survival Assistance officer from Ft Sill that they needed me to take care of some personal business for the deceased /for them. They hugged me and thanked me for bringing George, their son, home to them; handed a round trip airline ticket to me and told me to go see my Mom and Dad before I returned to Vietnam.

It was June when I returned to the 335th AHC Cowboys at Camp Bearcat. . By the time that I returned, I was short and had become the platoon scheduling officer. I didn’t know that one of the newer guys, Don Krumrie was also from Enid OK. As a Blue Star Mom, Don’s mother had met and then consoled Mrs. Mason when George died. After Don wrote to his mom, she let Mrs. Mason know that Don was in my unit and that we flew together. Don made aircraft commander on July 16. That night I scheduled Don to fly on his first mission as Aircraft commander the next day. He died that day. My DEROS was 2 weeks later.
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POSTED ON 11.2.2014
POSTED BY: Robert Sage

We remember

George is buried at Ames Cemetery, Ames, Major County, OK.
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POSTED ON 11.27.2013
POSTED BY: Curt Carter [email protected]

Remembering An American Hero

Dear CWO George Arden Mason, sir

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

Curt Carter
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POSTED ON 11.27.2010

Crash Summary for Helicopter CH-47B 67-18435

AC was shot down at approx 11:00 hours on May 5, 1970 vicinity of FSB O'Riely. Hit by 37 mm anti aircraft round while flying with sling load. Caught fire and crashed nose down. Five crew members were fatalities: WO1 Richard L. Vandewarker (KIA), CW2 George A. Mason (KIA), SGT Larry D. Buffington (KIA), SP4 Gary W. Brown (KIA), and PFC Steven E. Wasson (KIA). At 11:30 G-2 reported that the nearest unit to the downed AC was A3187th, call sign 'Coaster 34'. At 11:15 (late entry) A217 ARP was launched to vicinity 400295 (Varsity AC). The AC was reported as burning. ARP on the ground at 12:05, green LZ. Negative survivors found at AC. At 15:15 A217 ARP extracted 5 bodies from CH-47, ARP extracted at 15:45. [Taken from]
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POSTED ON 3.15.2006
POSTED BY: Bill Nelson

Never Forgotten


"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:
... and rest forever in the shade of our love, brother.

From your Nam-Band-Of-Brothers
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