I just found my flight class picture and am forwarding for the Vietnam Helo Pilots Assn data base. Picture was taken in March 1970.
Apparently my ability to sleep while sitting has been long term because I am front row center right, the only one showing the combat patch-101st Abn.
This class started 15 Mar 70, 31 years ago. All the captains in the front row had previous tours in the Nam as either grunts, or arty forward observers. The exception was Steiner the class leader who had a
masters degree in Journalism from Notre Dame and spent his tour as the S 1 adjutant of 7th Sqdn 1st Cav in the Delta. Steiner retired from the Pentagon as a LTC in OSD Public Affairs.
2LT Larry "Arky" Hall was with me on the second tour in A/229 AHB, 1st Cav.
Our only KIA was LT John Hale:
Incident Date 710308
Location on Vietnam Veteran's Memorial
04W032 SGT Robert Eugene Grantham OB B/2/17 CAV 101 ABN OH-6A 67-16645
04W032 1LT John Douglas Hale P B/2/17 CAV 101 ABN OH-6A 67-16645
Fletcher, and Pratt went to 4/77 Aerial Rocket Artillery 101st Abn, stayed in and retired as LTCs
Webb was an amazing Marine. While transitioning to the CH-53, he died in a car accident. He was a big North Carolinian who was amazed he completed The Basis School at Quantico, because the did NOT like grunt work.
McDowell, standing next to Arky Hall, was the best marine student pilot of the lot. We had five Marines in the class, Webb, McDowell, Persinger, Bolton, and Missor.
Tony Wall flew in the 175th AHC in the Delta
John Girdley flew OH 6s for the 11th Inf Bde (Primo's) I Corps-Americal
Zelko flew UH-1Cs in Lam Son 719 with the 238th Aerial Weapons Company-retired from the Pentagon as a LTC in the 90's
Chunn flew with F/79 ARA, Blue Max 1st Cav
This class had folks in LS 719 and the Easter Offensive of 72, but not both.
Six were sent to Korea from flt school. The Infantry and Armor Lts/CPTs went direct to the Nam. The arty captains, me and Chunn went to stateside assignments first. Chunn went to Bragg, broke the code on how to get out of the states and back to the Nam than I did. He got there in May 71, took me until Jul 71 to get there.....but I got there and went to the 174th AHC at Chu Lai.
In Nov 71, I went to Ft Hood Tx for 7 months, commanded an 8" howitzer battery straight out of flight school, "because of the needs of the service," flying by myself in an OH 23 on weekends and absolutely should not have been with only 200 hours of total flying time. Used to fly from Ft Hood to the radio station at Waco over I-35 at night, single pilot, so I could just get the night time out of the way. Scared the
shit out of myself everytime I broke contact with the ground.
Thought I better get this data out of the head and on email to the VHPA
Mike Sloniker, firstname.lastname@example.org
Flight Class Picture 70-38 A-1
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