LTC James H Brahney was a potential VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 09/11/2009 at the age of 69.8 from Lymphoma
Pittsburgh, PA
Date of Birth 11/07/1939
Served in the U.S. Air Force
Served in Vietnam with 38 ARRS DET 10 in 66-67
Call sign in Vietnam PEDRO
This information was provided by Mary Brahney (daughter)

More detail on this person: Brahney began his professional career in June 1962 as an Aerospace Research Engineer on NASA s Apollo Program with North American Aviation in Los Angeles. Despite a critical skills occupational deferment, he opted to enter the Air Force Officer Training School. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in March 1963 and was selected for jet pilot training. He received his wings in May 1964 and went on to advanced helicopter flight training.

In 1966-67, Brahney served a tour in Vietnam, flying 200 combat sorties as a Rescue Helicopter Pilot. He was credited with saving nine lives and was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross for Heroism, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, and another Distinguished Flying Cross and seven Air Medals for meritorious achievement in flight.

In 1968, Brahney was selected to attend the U. S. Navy Test Pilot School and following graduation, he was assigned to the Flight Test Wing at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio where he tested a variety of aircraft and flight systems. He was Chief Test Pilot on the Air Cushion Landing System program, and he was the only pilot to make full-stop landings on this experimental system. During his seven-year tenure as a test pilot, he also traveled to Canada and Japan to test experimental aircraft developed in those countries.

Brahney's flying career spanned thirteen years during which he compiled 2800 flying hours in 35 different aircraft, including single- and multi-engine jets, single- and multi-engine props/turboprops, helicopters, seaplanes, gyrocopters, and gliders. He was pilot-qualified in 23 different aircraft.

From 1976 to 1979, Brahney progressed through a series of program management positions before being appointed as Director of the Advanced Rescue Helicopter Program.

Brahney was also Commander of the Air Force ROTC program at the University of Pittsburgh for two years.

At the end of 1982, following his retirement as a USAF Lieutenant Colonel, Brahney began a second career with SAE where he developed and managed aerospace technical conferences throughout the US, Europe and Asia. He also served as Associate Editor of Aerospace Engineering magazine where he published over 200 technical articles. In addition to his ME degree from Youngstown University, Brahney held an M.S. in systems management from the University of Southern California and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Pittsburgh. He was also a graduate of Armed Forces Staff College and Defense Systems Management College.

Brahney taught organization and management courses at Youngstown State University, University of Pittsburgh and University of Maryland.

Survivors: Wife Carolyn; Sons James Eric and Scott; Daughter Mary; Seven grandchildren. Three sisters.

He will be inducted into the Ohio Hall of Fame for Valor in May 2010. He was looking forward to accepting his award.

From: Mary Brahney

This information was last updated 05/18/2016

Please send additions or corrections to: VHPA Headquarters

Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list

Return to VHPA web site

Date posted on this site: 03/10/2024

Copyright © 1998 - 2024 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association