More detail on this person: McDade "Mack" Cocherell of Dahlonega passed away peacefully at home with his wife and family at his side on Wednesday, June 8, 2022. Mack was born on December 17, 1938, in Blanchard, LA to Charles Lafayette Cocherell and Annie Lee Smith Cocherell. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Bar Cocherell, his daughter Jesse Strickland, her husband Jonathan and his three grandchildren: Syble McCurry, Brendan Cocherell and Joshua Strickland. He is also survived by his four children from his first marriage: Mike, Kelly, Tracey and Casey. He was predeceased by his son, Dade Cocherell, in 2019 and by his 9 siblings. Mack joined the Army at the age of 16. After serving for 12 years and while in training to become a Green Beret, he volunteered for helicopter flight school. He flew two tours in Vietnam: his first tour was flying a Huey with the 282nd AHC Alley Cats and his second tour was flying a Cobra with AHC Charlie Horse. He received numerous medals and commendations throughout his career. After he retired from the Army in 1975, he flew for Campbell Air Service in the Southeast as a fire spotter, seeder, surveyor and firefighter. He then flew for Rocky Mountain Helicopters, where he met Bar while they were working on seismograph crews all over the west. Still working for Rocky Mountain Helicopters, he came to the Southeast to fly for Life Flight in Atlanta. He worked for Life Flight for 21 years in Georgia, Louisiana and Arizona, transporting critically ill and wounded patients to the nearest hospital. Once when asked, "What was the tightest place you had to land when flying for Life Flight?" he answered - "a tennis court....with the net up." Mack retired in 2004 after a flight career of 12,000 hours. McDade Cocherell was a hero to his army buddies, who considered him one of the world's greatest helicopter pilots. They called him "The Old Man" because he was at least 10 years their senior and the unit's Cobra Instructor Pilot. They always felt safe flying with him because of his outstanding record of never losing a pilot. His hobbies included fishing, cutting firewood, solo motorcycle trips across the country, reading and reading some more and supervising his wife's projects!!T hank you, Mack, for your service to our country and for the lives you saved and tried to save. Lastly, thank you for your devotion to your family that never ceased to shine through your tough guy attitude. Mack Cocherell was one of a kind, a true American hero and best friend to many.
This information was last updated 06/16/2022
Please send additions or corrections to: HQ@vhpa.org VHPA Headquarters
Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list
Return to VHPA web site
Date posted on this site: 07/12/2023
Copyright © 1998 - 2023 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association