May your soul be in joy in heaven.
I'm proud of our Vietnam Veterans
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
Final Mission of U.S. Air Force helicopter HH-43F tail number 62-04525
The following was taken from the USAF helicopter combat loss incident report. On February 7, 1968 PEDRO 56, HH-43F #62-4525, and PEDRO 77, HH-43B #59-1569, both from Det 9, 38th ARRS based at Pleiku, were on a medevac mission to pickup U.S. Army wounded about 10 miles northeast of Kontum. PEDRO 77 was the high bird and 56 the low bird with Army gunships providing cover. The area was reported secure, PEDRO 56 dropped flares and went in for the pickup. At 2028H at 200 feet the aircraft took .50 cal hits, burst into flames and hit the ground at high speed. There were four people on board. The two pilots and the pararescueman, though injured, were able to get away from the aircraft. SGT Jose G. Abara, the flight engineer was not observed departing the helicopter which was destroyed. A ground unit attempted to get to the crash site but made contact with the enemy enroute. An Army helicopter picked up the three survivors about four hours later and took them first to Dak To, then to Pleiku. The co-pilot had a broken elbow and the pararescueman had 2nd degree burns. SGT Abara's body was recovered by a ground unit on the February 9th. [Taken from vhpa.org]