COL Gary E. DeKay was a VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 03/25/2016 at the age of 69.4
Palm Coast, FL
Flight Classes 66-19 and 66-21
Date of Birth 11/11/1946
Served in the U.S. Army
Served in Vietnam with B/227 AVN 1 CAV in 67-68, 114 AHC in 70, 335 AHC in 70-71
Call signs in Vietnam GUNSLINGER 42, COBRA 33, COWBOY 26
This information was provided by Karla A. Key

More detail on this person: Colonel Gary E. DeKay, WORWAC 66-21, passed away on March 25th 2016 in Palm Coast, Florida. A Service of Remembrance was held at the Craig Flagler Palms Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens, 511 Old Kings Road South, Palm Coast, FL. at 4 PM on March 31st.Born in Utica, New York, November 11, 1946, COL DeKay served his country for 46 1/2 years including over 35 years as a member of the US Army and subsequently as a civilian working for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam, 1967-68 with B Company, 227th AHB, 1st Cav Div. While with the 227th, and after just 4 months in country and with no prior maintenance experience , was tasked by the Company Commander to command the Aviation Maintenance Platoon and become the Company Test Pilot. During the 2 months he served as Maintenance Officer, while awaiting school-trained AMO, then WO1 DeKay oversaw the transition of B Company from the UH-1D to the UH-1H Huey. Following his first tour of duty in Vietnam, CW2 DeKay was selected for and commissioned a 1st LT in 1969. He returned to RVN in 1970-71 to serve with the 114th AHC, 335th AHC, and 214th CAB. He left active duty in 1973 where he served in a variety of aviation assignments in the Alabama National Guard and Army Reserve and as an Instrument Instructor, Instrument Flight Examiner, Standardization Instructor Pilot, and Night Vision Goggle Instructor Pilot.. In 1995 he was promoted to the rank of Colonel, and was assigned as the Crisis Action Center Director, US Southern Command.

He retired in April 2001 with over 35 years service. He served an additonal 11 years for the Joint Chiefs of Staff with duty at US Southern Command retiring again in 2012. Gary had accumulated nearly 9,000 flying hours. His awards and decorations include: Master Aviator Badge, Air Medal w/23 OLCs, Bronze Star w/1 OLC, Meritorious Service Medal and the Defense Superior Service Medal.

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