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POSTED ON 12.14.2021
POSTED BY: John Fabris

honoring you...

Thank you for your service to our country so long ago sir. As long as you are remembered you will remain in our hearts forever....
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POSTED ON 8.5.2018
POSTED BY: John Braun

In Honor

Cpt Cinkosky, You are remembered. Eight days into your second tour.
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POSTED ON 11.26.2017
POSTED BY: Lucy Conte Micik


Dear Captain David Cinkosky,
Thank you for your service as a Fixed Wing Aviation Unit Commander. This is the month that we remember all those who have passed-on. We remember you. It is so important for us all to acknowledge the sacrifices of those like you who answered our nation's call. Please watch over America, it stills needs your strength, courage and faithfulness. Rest in peace with the angels.
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POSTED ON 2.17.2016

Final Mission of CAPT David E. Cinkosky

The following in an essay titled, "The Day We Lost Dave Cinkosky" was written by CWO Dale Bennet, a pilot with 4th Platoon, Bam Me Thout, March-October 1971: Dave was just back eight days from his home leave, after his first tour. The night before his final flight on August 5, 1971, Dave said let’s go to the O-club for a beer. I said OK but it was a little strange because Dave rarely drank and other than pilots, who had their own bars, there were only two other officers at BMT. The club was empty and we sat at the bar and had a couple of beers. During our talk I asked Dave why he had extended for another year. He said, “I think what we were doing is significant and we were saving lives in Viet Nam.” I hadn’t thought about it much but agreed with him and said they at least let us fight in Cambodia. The next afternoon Dave and I flew out to the launch site at Duc Lap. CAPT Tangney briefed us and gave us the grid quadrants of the area he wanted us to recon. He then introduced us to a Yard who he said was his best team leader. He said he would be taking a team in soon near our area today and would we take him along. If we had time would we fly over his area and also check some LZ’s. I don’t know why it was a request rather than an order other then we hadn’t done it before. We said sure and that he would be in Dave’s back seat as he was low bird today. Our rocket tubes were loaded with all HE (high explosive) today. We flew out to the area and Dave dropped to the deck to do the recon. Low level for us was less than 50 feet above whatever was solid. The high bird navigates and vectors the low bird around the area. No electronic navigational systems were available so we did everything with maps and a compass but our maps were very good. The maps were topographical with photo overlays and stamped Top Secret. The low bird would say something like “off my right wing…now, I have two bunkers and their estimated size is…” The high bird would right down the grid coordinates and take notes. We could always get a six digit grid coordinate which put it within ten meters and with an eight digit about 40% of the time which put us within one meter. In fact, that day we did spot two bunkers and less than 50 meters north of them was a very dense area that looked like camouflage but we couldn’t see in. We were out in the middle of nowhere; the bunkers must have a reason to be there. I then vectored Dave to the area the one zero wanted to look at which was less than two clicks away. We didn’t want to spend too much time in the area because we didn’t want to alert them to our interest in the area. A quick look showed some active trails but nothing else. The area had two good LZ’s and we couldn’t see any booby traps or firing positions around them. Done, we headed back with Dave staying low as we would look for a target to fire our rockets at (we normally fired our rockets on low level passes). No one liked to unload live rockets at Duc Lap and we weren’t allowed to have them in Darlac province. Mondolkiri city was on our way back and always had bad guys and buildings to shoot at. We decided to have a look to see if anything new was going on. I dropped back and vectored Dave in up wind near the air strip, then he’d be on his own. We tried to sneak up on them and once in a while it worked. I was above and just behind him now. Dave was at about 20 feet and made a turn down a slight slope and between a hill and a three story building. I then heard heavy ground fire and the nose of his aircraft pitched up sharply which is not normal. I called him “Snoopy 2, Snoopy 3…Snoopy 2, Snoopy 3, what’s happening?!” Now I started to see why everything was in slow motion. The nose dropped and it looked like he had pulled power and was in a slow glide to the right toward the hill. Then the right wing tip touched the ground, it cartwheeled next hitting the prop and it looked like it exploded, sending chards of Plexiglas and metal into a cloud. The wings had separated and the fuselage form the back window to the prop was missing! I was flying around staring at the crash site trying not to believe what I had just seen when I heard, “Snoopy, this is Mike __ on guard, is that one of your birds down?” The USAF forward air controller’s (FAC) call sign Mike flying 0-2 aircraft. They were always in the AO (area of operation) at 4000 to 5000 feet ready for something to happen. If nothing else was going on they would keep track of us. He said it looked like no one could have survived. I said he was strapped to his seat and could have been thrown free and be alive. I was thinking two things: no way was I going to say he was dead without seeing his body and I wouldn’t let him become MIA. Mike asked me what I wanted and I asked what I could have, he said I could have anything I wanted. I said I wanted the guns to hit them hard then a recovery team and when they were clear, Tactical Air Command to blow the shit out of anything still alive. I showed Mike the primary and secondary targets and turned the operation over to him. I climbed to about 3,000 feet and went into a slow orbit, out of the way but where I could see everything. I was low on fuel but planned to stay until I could see the recovery team go in. I leaned out my fuel mixture as much as I could and pulled back the throttle to just maintain altitude and waited. Four Green Hornet guns show up and the FAC gave them instructions including my location and cleared them hot on the target. They went in on the target in their normal pairs, firing their mini-guns and rockets (each gun ship carries 14 rockets). As the first pair rolls off target the second pair rolls in hot. They fly in an oval keeping this pattern of continues firing on the target. After a couple of passes trees and camouflage was blown away and I could see a large building about 40’x80’, some out structures, and some bunkers. I was surprised when the recover team showed up in the spare gun ship. I expected to see an H-34 Kingbee helicopter, not an American-crewed chopper. The guns continued to fire as the recovery team landed and CAPT Tangney jumped out with some Yards to recover the bodies. I told the FAC that I was going back by the southern route which had some areas that you could land on. I told the FAC that I was extremely low on fuel and may have to make an emergency landing. On the way back one tank went dry and the engine sputtered, I quickly changed tanks and the engine came back to life. I babied it back and made a straight in, downwind landing. I taxied to the refueling area and shut down. When I refueled I could see the bottom of the left tank, it was completely dry and the right tank had about ¼ inch in it. I walked down to where the recovery ship had landed and told them I wanted to see the body. They pointed to a body bay and asked if I wanted it opened. The body bag had a large amount of blood all over it. They explained that he had taken a round to the head just under the jaw and it had blown the top of his head off. I declined on opening the bag. The Yard one zero was most likely killed in the crash. I walked to the briefing tent and stopped just outside as I saw CAPT Tangney with his back to me talking on the radio. He was reporting that had just been killed! After he finished he turned around and froze, staring at me and me at him, no words spoken. He had turned a bit pale then quickly turned and was back on the radio changing the KIA. He debriefed me then I flew back to BMT. The confusion to CAPT Tangney over who was killed occurred because I think the bullet had misshaped Dave’s face and we didn’t always have name tags, so he assumed it was me because Dave had a lot more experience. When I shut down on our ramp the entire platoon including crew chiefs were waiting for me. When I got out it was very awkward as no one knew what to say. Our sergeant had a cold six pack of beer and he held one out and asked, “Would you like a beer Mr. Bennett?” I drank the beer straight down, I was so thirsty, and then realized my flight suit was soaking wet. The sergeant handed me another beer and everyone started talking at the same time. We went back to our bar which had air conditioning and I told everyone the above story. The next day CAPT Estill wanted me to fly the afternoon CCS mission and I replied that I going on R&R the next day and didn’t want to fly. He said I needed to get back in the saddle right away (he was from Texas). I said the saddle will be there when I get back, I just really need a break. The next morning I hopped on a Hughie (UH-1 helicopter) going to Plieku. We landed on a strip about a third of the way to Plieku. The pilot said that the weather was too bad to fly any farther north. I started a conversation with a first lieutenant and sergeant sitting in a jeep. They said they were going to Plieku and I asked for a ride. They said OK, and I jumped in the back. They handed me a steel pot, flak jacket and M-16, saying we can use another rifle. I asked if we were going to join a convoy and he said no, it’s just us, any problem with that? I said no, let’s go. That night I was playing poker in our company bar when our CO walked through and saw me and said, “Bennett, what the hell are you doing here?” I said, “I’m going on R&R.” He said, “We have been socked in for three days, how did you get here? Never mind, I don’t want to know,” and walked out. My first day back from R&R I flew the CCS mission and on the way back flew over the crash site. All the vegetation and structures were completely gone and the entire hill looked like it had been lowered about 2 meters. I found out later that the Mike FAC had expended three sets of TACAIR on the hill. I continued to fly the CCS missions until about two weeks before my DEROS on October 27, 1971. (By Dale Bennet) [Taken from 219headhunters.com]
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POSTED ON 11.14.2013
POSTED BY: Curt Carter [email protected]

Remembering An American Hero

Dear Captain David Edward Cinkosky, 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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