GREEN GERALD D

1LT Gerald "Gary" D. Green was a VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 04/30/2000 at the age of 50.9 from A/C accident
Gillette, WY
Flight Class 69-47
Date of Birth 05/31/1949
Served in the U.S. Army
Served in Vietnam with ACT/11 ACR in 70, A/2/17 CAV 101 ABN in 70-71
Call sign in Vietnam ASSAULT
This information was provided by Steve Borden, Mike Brady

More detail on this person: Green received the DSC, 3 Silver Stars, DFC and multiple air medals. Was shot down 5 times in Cobras, twice in an OH-6, the last one costing him a leg. Inducted into the Army Aviation Hall of Fame April 5, 2001.

During a mission near the DMZ, flying low, he detected enemy packs lying on the ground. Landing his OH-6 to investigate, he came face to face with two enemy soldiers. His gunner-observer leaped out of the helicopter and killed one enemy soldier who was preparing to use his weapon and captured the second. Lt. Green then took off with the bewildered prisoner and a nonfunctioning tail rotor to give the NVA soldier his first and wildest helicopter ride.

On another occasion, he located an enemy 122mm artillery battery. After dispersing the enemy artillerymen with the fire from his helicopter, he maneuvered his aircraft so that his gunner could disable the artillery pieces by inserting thermite grenades down their tubes.

Five times he landed his aircraft in the face of an attacking enemy to rescue downed aircrews. On two of these occasions the wounded pilots were brought out straddling the rocket pods of his Cobra and firing their side arms.

Once the attacking enemy forces reached within fifteen feet of Gary's departing Cobra. In another instance, Gary's Loach was shot down and he was seriously wounded, yet he was able to remove his wounded and unconscious gunner from the aircraft and frag him down a jungle trail while engaging in a running fire fight with an estimated platoon sized group of NVA soldiers. While making his escape Gary killed eight of the pursuing enemy with grenades and his AR-15. Exhausted and grievously wounded a second time by a "punji stick" that passed completely through his foot, he boosted his still unconscious gunner into the rescue helicopter and continued to throw hand grenades and fire his AR-15 to cover their departure.

The 50-caliber wound he received when he was shot down eventually resulted in the loss of this right leg below the knee. Gary Green was shot down five times while flying the AH-1G Cobra and twice flying the OH-6A "Loach".

For these and other conspicuous acts of gallantry, Lt. Green received a total of eighty-one awards for valor including the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star with two Oak Leafs, the Distinguished Flying Cross with three Oak Leafs the Bronze Star with "V" device, the Purple Heart with three Oak Leafs, sixty awards of the Air Medal and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Gold Palm.

The following is from Steve Borden. I served with Gary (which he prefered to be called) in the 334th Atk Hel Company at Ft Knox and in Germany. Almost everything Mike wrote looks correct. He may have the number of Cobras and Loaches he was shot down in reversed. I do remember him telling a story about a punji stake, but I don't remember it getting his foot. He did take a .51 through the foot, but I think it was his left foot. However, he didn't lose his foot from that. The doctors told him he'd never fly again or walk properly. They obviously didn't know Gary. He recovered, was cleared for flight duty, and sent in his post card for a direct commission as a Lieutenant. Yes, that crazy, heroic son-of-a-gun was a Warrant when he did all that stuff in 'Nam.

Gary was involved in a motorcycle wreck in Germany. It was in the summer of 1973. He was hit broadside, by a car that appeared to be doing close to 60 MPH. Gary saw him at the last moment and was trying to dismount his Sportster. The front end of the car drove his ankle into the cylinder of the motorcycle, breaking and splintering several bones in that region of the foot/ankle. The doctors in Germany did what they could, then evac'd him to Walter Reed.

He wrote to us in Germany and told us about some brilliant doctor who basically disassembled his ankle and put it back together almost like new. It was like a miracle. After a few weeks in the hospital, they let Gary go on medical leave. Gary went home to Idaho. He said he was almost in a body cast. His entire right leg was encased and, apparently, a part of the cast went up past his hips and encircled his waist. At least, that's what it sounded like in the letter. Anyway, a rodeo rolled into town. Gary LOVED the rodeo. He rode bulls when he wasn't a 'clown.' Well, he said he cut his cast down to just below his right knee, and rode a bull. The bull threw him then jumped on Gary's bad foot. The damage was so extensive to the ankle that they had to amputate it.

I only recently learned of his demise. What I wrote in the first paragraph was from tales Gary told us. The second paragraph, I witnessed as I was right behind him when he was involved in the accident. The third paragraph is what I recall from letters we received from Gary while we were still in Germany. I was hoping Mike Brady might have a method of contacting his next of kin. Gary showed me a scrap book he was working on which contained his memoirs. He said he intended to publish it when it was finished. I was hoping to contact a family member to see if he ever did finish it. If so, it would be extremely interesting. Any info you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

From: CW4 Steve Borden, US Army, Retired

While looking through various databases trying to find a lost friend, I noticed Gary Green's name on our DAT page. I was aware of his passing, as his mother called and asked me to speak at the service.

Captain Gary Burt and I were the two pilots who Green pulled out of Laos during LS 719. There's just a slight correction, if it even warrants a retype: Gary Burt pulled off a near perfect landing. We were not rolled to either side, but if I recall correctly, one blade was missing at least 8 or more feet and the other was lodged in the bamboo. Since there was no blade to interfere with Green's high hover, he slid over our bird and motioned to us what he had planned and then had his front seat open his door and yell down to us to use our Swiss seat ropes. While he had his door opened, front seat gave CPT Burt Green's sawed off carbine, and I used my issued .38 cal revolver. Burt scampered up first and after he was astride the right pod Green did a 180 degree pedal turn and I got on the left pod. The date was Feb 10, 1971. That's the action date on my DFC and Green's DSC his mother showed us.

From: CW Mac McComas

This information was last updated 05/18/2016

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Date posted on this site: 09/19/2018


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