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POSTED ON 3.28.2016

my Dad

wish i had my own memory's of you but i have what mom gave to me. i just hope she found you when she past in dec 25 2011 .
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POSTED ON 8.28.2015

Final Mission of 1LT Jerry L. Pool

Kontum, South Vietnam was home base to what was known as FOB 2 (Forward Observation Base 2), a classified, long-term operations of the Special Operations Group (SOG) that involved daily operations into Laos and Cambodia. SOG teams operated out of Kontum, but staged out of Dak To. The mission of the 170th Assault Helicopter Company ("Bikinis") was to perform the insertion, support, and extraction of these SOG teams deep in the forest on "the other side of the fence" (a term meaning Laos or Cambodia, where U.S. forces were not allowed to be based). Normally, the teams consisted of two "slicks" (UH-1 general purpose helicopters), two Cobras (AH-1G assault helicopters) and other fighter aircraft which served as standby support. On March 24, 1970, helicopters from the 170th were sent to extract a MACV-SOG long-range reconnaissance patrol (LRRP) team which was in contact with the enemy about fourteen miles inside Cambodia in Ratanokiri Province. The flight leader, RED LEAD, serving as one of two extraction helicopters was crewed by aircraft commander CAPT Michael D. O'Donnell, pilot CW3 John C. Hosken, crew chief SSGT Rudy M. Becerra, and gunner SSGT Berman Ganoe Jr. The MACV-SOG Recon Team Pennsylvania included team leader 1LT Jerry L. Pool and team members SFC John A. Boronsky and SFC Gary A. Harned as well as five indigenous team members. The team had been in contact with the enemy all night and had been running and ambushing, but the hunter team pursuing them was relentless and they were exhausted and couldn't continue to run much longer. When Lake and O'Donnell arrived at the team's location, there was no landing zone (LZ) nearby and they were unable to extract them immediately. The two helicopters waited in a high orbit over the area until the team could move to a more suitable extraction point. While the helicopters were waiting, they were in radio contact with the team. After about 45 minutes in orbit, Lake received word from LT Pool that the NVA hunter team was right behind them. RED LEAD and RED THREE made a quick trip to Dak To for refueling. RED THREE was left on station in case of an emergency. When Lake returned to the site, Pool came over the radio and said that if the team wasn't extracted then, it would be too late. CAPT O'Donnell evaluated the situation and decided to pick them up. He landed on the LZ and was on the ground for about 4 minutes, and then transmitted that he had the entire team of eight on board. The aircraft was beginning its ascent when it was hit by enemy fire, and an explosion in the aircraft was seen. The helicopter continued in flight for about 300 meters, then another explosion occurred, causing the aircraft to crash in the jungle. According to Lake, bodies were blown out the doors and fell into the jungle. [NOTE: According to the U.S. Army account of the incident, no one was observed to have been thrown from the aircraft during either explosion.] The other helicopter crewmen were stunned. One of the Cobras, Panther 13, radioed "I don't think a piece bigger than my head hit the ground." The second explosion was followed by a yellow flash and a cloud of black smoke billowing from the jungle. Panther 13 made a second high-speed pass over the site and came under fire, but made it away unscathed. Lake decided to go down and see if there was a way to get to the crash site. As he neared the ground, he was met with intense ground fire from the entire area. He could not see the crash site since it was under heavy tree cover. There was no place to land, and the ground fire was withering. He elected to return the extract team to Dak To before more aircraft was lost. Lake has carried the burden of guilt with him for all these years, and has never forgiven himself for leaving his good friend O'Donnell and his crew behind. The Army account concludes stating that O'Donnell's aircraft began to burn immediately upon impact. Aerial search and rescue efforts began right away. However, no signs of life could be seen around the crash site. Because of the enemy situation, attempts to insert search teams into the area were futile. SAR efforts were discontinued on April 18. Search and rescue teams who surveyed the site reported that they did not hold much hope for survival for the men aboard, but lacking proof that they were dead, the Army declared all 7 missing in action. Michael O'Donnell was recommended for the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on March 24, 1970. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart as well as promoted to the rank of Major following his loss incident. O'Donnell was highly regarded by his friends in the "Bikinis." They knew him as a talented singer, guitar player and poet. One of his poems has been widely distributed, but few understand that the author remains missing: “If you are able, save 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, though you may or may not have always. 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.” MAJ Michael D. O'Donnell, January 1, 1970, Dak To, Vietnam. [Taken from (a much longer and more detailed account of the extraction attempt is found at the same website)]
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POSTED ON 9.26.2014
POSTED BY: Laura Root


When I was in High School, I wore a POW/MIA bracelet with Capt. Jerry Pool's name on it. I used to scour the lists of names in the paper every day for some word of what had happened.
I don't know why it just occurred to me to Google his name, but today I did.
I think of him often and am honored to carry him with me.
It was good to see a face to go with the name I wore.
Thank you for your service, Sir.
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POSTED ON 3.25.2014
POSTED BY: Curt Carter [email protected]

Remembering An American Hero

Dear Captain Jerry Lynn Pool, 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, Sir

Curt Carter
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POSTED ON 11.10.2013

my dad

wish i could remember him, but i was 2 1/2 yr old when he was shot down. all i have are the memory's my mom gave me and the super 8mm film of him actually moving. for about 3 or 4 seconds it was nice to see him move. i hope mom and him are back together since she past on dec 25 2011
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