COL Malvin "Mal" L Handy was a potential VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 01/11/2017 at the age of 76.9
Harker Heights, TX
Flight Class 67-5QC
Date of Birth 03/03/1940
Served in the U.S. Army
Served in Vietnam with C/2/20 ARA 1 CAV in 67-68, 128 AHC in 71-72
This information was provided by Leonard (Lee) LeMay CW5 (retired)

More detail on this person: The following was written by Malvin Lynn Handy.

Born in Tulsa Oklahoma 1940, was raised there and married (Becky) my childhood sweetheart. Graduated from the University of Tulsa in 1963 and enlisted in the Army to avoid the draft. Attended the Artillery OCS and graduated as a artillery officer in 1964.

Assigned to a artillery battalion at Ft. Carson, Colorado and did all the things a young artillery officer should do. Went to flight school in 1966 and attended fixed wing and the rotary wing transitions. 1967 assigned to Vietnam in 1st Cav Division, 2/20th aerial rocket artillery battalion (gunships) as a platoon commander. 1968 Assigned to Ft. Rucker as an Artillery instructor and in 1969 attended the Artillery Officers Advance course at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. Stayed there after graduation and commanded a field artillery battery.

In 1971 was reassigned to VN in the 11th Avn Bn as the S-3. In September 1971 took command of the 128th assault helicopter company. Assigned to Ft. Rucker in 1972 as the branch commander of the IP qualification branch where we taught officers to become IP's in the UH-1, OH-6, CH-47 and OH-58. In 1973 attended the Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth Kansas.

1974 assigned to Germany as a field artillery battalion XO, and then as a field artillery brigade S-3. In 1976 took command of the 71st assault helicopter company and commanded that unit till 1978 when I was assigned to the Pentagon. In the Pentagon I worked in the National Military Command Center of the JCS. In 1980 was assigned to the 101st Air Assault Division as the commander of the 229th Attack helicopter battalion.

1983 was assigned to Ft. Rucker as a division chief in the Department of Tactics and helped establish the Aviation Branch. In 1984 attended the Army War College and in 1985 was assigned to Ft. Leavenworth Kansas to head up and organize a new outfit called the National Training Center Lessions Division.

In 1986 took command of the Apache Training Brigade at Ft. Hood, TX and trained the first 8 apache battalions for the Army. In 1988 proceeded back to Ft. Rucker and served as the Deputy Assistant Commandant and Chief of staff. In 1991 was reassigned to FT. Hood as member of the Corps staff and retired after 31 years service in 1994.

Military education: Artillery OCS; Fixed Wing QC; Rotary wing QC; Artillery Officers Advanced Course; UH-1 IP course; Command and General Officers Staff College; AH-1 AQC; Army War College and the Apache AQC.

Awards and decorations: Authorized to wear the Master Army Aviation Badge, Joint Chiefs of Staff Badge, Presidential Unit Citation and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with palm. Awarded various service ribbons; 5 awards of the Army Commendation Medal; 3 awards of the Army Meritorious Service Medal; the Defense Meritorious Service Medal; 2 awards of the Bronze Star; 31 awards of the Air Medal; 3 awards of the Legion of Merit; the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Silver Star.

Lynn Handy wrote 5/2/2005: After the 128th, I went to Rucker and commanded the IP branch then went to CGSC, then to Germany where I commanded the 71st Assault Helicopter company among other things. Spent a stint in the pentagon then commanded the 229th Attack Helicopter Battalion in the 101st (cobras). Then to Rucker where I played a part in setting up the Aviation branch, then to the War College. Then to Ft. Hood and commanded the Apache Training Brigade and fielded the first 8 battalions of apache's. Back to Rucker as the Deputy Assistant Commandant and Chief of staff. Came back to Ft. Hood and retired after 3 years on the Corps staff here. Still in Ft. Hood area and hunt and fish my ass off. Good to hear from you, and tell Art hi. PS: Yes, I was the last combat commander of the 128th. Sent all memorabilia to Korea where the company was re-established. Some ass hole stole the brass battle ax and Indian head dress while it was in Korea.

Lynn Handy wrote 5/3/05: morale seemed to be high all during the last days I had the command. But, I must tell you that when we got the stand down order in December of 71 it (morale) did go down due to all the uncertainties. Some of us got drops and got to come home, but others who had not been in country so long got infused in other units. I remember clearly in those last days standing on the flight line loading my guys onto CH-47s and sending them to God knows where. I can tell you that I do not shed a tear often but on those days I damn near cried. However, on the bright side the company accomplished the stand down in record time and received all kinds of accolades because of it.

I must tell you that I took over the company under a dark cloud. The guy who had it before me was about to get relieved and would have had it not been for the fact that he was going home anyway. When I took over there seemed to be a definite discipline problem and the Battalion Commander sent me there to get it squared away. The fact was, all that was needed was some concerned leadership because (as in most units) there was a bunch of really good folks who only needed some mature direction. I found the 128th to be an excellent unit with a terrific attitude and we did a great deal in the short time I was there.

PS: Don't know if the 128th was the best in VN but I can tell you it was the best in the 11th AVN Battalion, if not in 12th Group. When I was there the "LTC" who was commanding the 187th got relieved--note he was a Lieutenant Colonel. I know the details but in short he really stepped on his crank.

Lynn Handy wrote 5/3/05:

1. I had no nick name. My friends call me Lynn.

2. I took command of the 128th on the 16th of September 1971 and left the day of complete stand down, 20 January 72.

3. I commanded the company as a promotable Captain and retired after 31 years service as a Colonel.

4. My Call sign was Tomahawk 6.

Lynn Handy wrote 5/5/05: Barnes was the next to last XO, and he did go to battalion. Campbell was the last XO and stayed on in VN in some capacity after the stand down. I later served with Campbell in Germany in 1976.

This information was last updated 01/24/2017

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Date posted on this site: 09/05/2022

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