I'll Live On
Don't cry for me in sadness; don't weep for me in sorrow,
for I will be beside you, as sure as comes tomorrow.
My body has gone but my spirit lives on, as does my love for you.
Just as in life. I'll watch over you, I always will be true.
My blood lives on in my children, how I've watched them grow up with pride.
I'll live on within them, always by their side.
I know my jokes weren't always funny and jobs weren't always done.
Just try and always remember the good times, the days when we had fun.
Reach out if you need me, for I will always be near.
Just talk to me, as if I am there, I promise I will hear.
For I'll live on, with in your mind, we'll never be apart,
as long as you keep my memory, deep within your heart.
So lift up your hearts, don't be sad, my spirit hasn't gone.
While you're still there, so am I, I really will live on.
Remembering John W. Wilson
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, Sir
Final Mission of U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-16588
Ranger Radio Relay team CUBS was inserted near the east side of the A Shau on April 23, 1971, and made contact seconds after insertion while moving off the LZ. The team leader [Duren] was wounded and a B Troop ship [68-16199] went back into the LZ an hour later with a new team leader [Vodden]. It deposited him on the LZ where he was also soon wounded. The ship was then was shot down while leaving the LZ. It crashed over the east side of the ridge line and turned upside down, trapping the pilot and co-pilot in the wreckage [Collum & Spiedel]. A medevac, Eagle Dustoff 913 (Berhens and Madison, 66-16588), came in and successfully extracted the wounded original team leader and a wounded door gunner from the B troop ship. It returned a short time later to extract more wounded and was shot down on the LZ, resulting in two KIA’s, medic SP5 Robert F. Speer and crew chief SP5 Michael L. Brummer and another killed later, crew member SP4 David P. Medina. The survivors had no radio contact through the night, and the next morning [24th] D troop was inserted into a hot LZ, just north of the team's position. About this time a member of the radio relay team was shot, SP4 Johnnie R. Sly, while trying to retrive a radio from the LZ. He died shortly after recovering the radio. They finally had commo, and started working the guns around their location. D troop made an attempt to reach the team, but was ambushed while attempting to do so, and had 5 KIAs (CAPT Thomas D. Chenault, SP4 Christopher L. Vollmar, SP5 John W. Wilson, CPL Thomas H. Taft and SGT Jose A. Soto-Figueroa) and 14 wounded. At some time on the 24th B2502 was inserted, and later reinforced with the remainder of the 502 and A1-327. Finally on the April 25th a rescue team led by the Ranger C.O. [Ohle] and 4 volunteers reached the team and wounded survivors, and affected an extraction. Isako Malo was captured and became a POW for two years and SSGT James Champion was listed as MIA. All in all, a major effort by all involved. (From Randy White, January 2001, L75 LRRP 101st Abn 1970) [Taken from vhpa.org]