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
Crash Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 63-12994
Crew members included 1LT Terry L. Manz (KIA), WO1 Gerald A. Dorr (KIA), SP4 Michael E. Brady (KIA), and PFC Paul B. Severloh (KIA). The aircraft called for landing instructions. While still in level flight, the aircraft was hit by ARVN artillery near Xuan Loc causing main rotor to separate. Aircraft was seen to pitch nose up and start a vertical descent turning counter clockwise. The aircraft disappeared from view. It exploded on impact. Crew chief SP4 Brady jumped on way down. All crew members killed on impact. Two passengers also perished in the crash (their names were not listed). [Taken from vhpa.org]
Michael is buried at St Patrick's Cemetery, Newport,NH. DFC BSM AM-12OLC ARCOM
"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
You will never be forgotten
I want to take a little time to just thank you for all your dedication, hard work, and loyalty that you gave during the war through a posting project. You are greatly admired by many. You will always be remembered as a hero and we as students from Gridley High School, (Gridley, IL) won’t forget what you gave up for your country. Thank you.