CPT Henry "Mickey" J Dirska was a potential VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 12/11/1975 at the age of 33.5 from A/C accident
Letterkenny Army Depot, PA
Flight Class 65-19W
Date of Birth 06/10/1942
Served in the U.S. Army
This information was provided by Stuart Whitehurst, SSN Deceased search

More detail on this person: My name is Stuart Whitehurst and I write to you today about my favorite uncle, Henry "Mickey" Dirska of the 1st Air Cavalry. Uncle Mickey was a fine soldier and a warm wonderful man. My memories of him when I was 8-10 years old were seeing him at Christmas time, in his dress greens and that wonderful yellow patch on his shoulder. He was incredibly proud to serve, and we at home were incredibly proud of him.

My memories are vague, as I am a 51 year old man now....but the story I remember was that my Uncle Mickey was nicknamed that because there were three other Henrys and he had ears that stuck out like Mickey Mouse when he was a youngster. I was told that my uncle enlisted, and went to Vietnam.

After making Sergeant, he scored well on some technical exams and was asked if he wanted to learn to fly fixed wing aircraft (0-1 Bird dogs). Never one to turn down a challenge, he accepted. After many missions in the fixed wing aircraft, WO1 Dirska was asked if he would like to learn to fly helicopters. Again, he volunteered and went on to become a Medivac Pilot (although I can not remember his specific unit). I recall him showing pictures of a Huey with a red cross on the side. My recollection is that he flew missions for 2 tours in hostile airspace.

The remainder of his military history is not known to me, not the least of which is his unit, theaters of operation and exact years of service. I do know that he was stateside and attached to the Letterkenny Army Depot (now a Capt.)when he was killed while attempting a landing at a refueling stop in OK (Gage airport) in rainy weather on 11 December, 1975. He was 33 years of age and survived by his wife Connie and 3 children. Here is a link to the news article http://www.armyaircrews.com/fixed.html

Henry "Mickey" Dirska was my uncle (brother to my great aunt Elsie Dirska (married name Loisage) so perhaps he was my great uncle(cousin?)? He seemed much too young to be called that...as he was just 18 years my senior. In the Dirska family (also spelled Dirschka by some members) there were 3 Henry's and 3 Freds....nicknames were common and it took years for me to figure out what some of their "real" names were. Also, I believe that his widow Connie is still living in Chambersburg MD. though I have not been able to reach her.

From: Stuart Whitehurst

This information was last updated 05/18/2016

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Date posted on this site: 03/10/2024

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