174th Assault
Helicopter Company


Biography of

Tom Gauby
Crewchief of Dolphin 223


Thomas M. Gauby, Sr. - born October 28, 1949. Attended Schuylkill Valley Schools, graduating in 1967. Enlisted into the U.S. Army in September 1968. Basic training was in Fort Dix, NJ. Went to Fort Eustis, VA for helicopter repair training, 67N20. Received orders for Vietnam in early 1969, arriving 174th AHC in March 1969.

I flew as a gunner with crew chief Ben Kennedy in Dolphin 511 until April 23, 1969, at which time there was a crash and 511 was damaged beyond repair. The crew all survived the crash along with an E-6 medic. The A/C (aircraft commander) was Lt. Mark Fisher and the pilot was Rodney Calloway. Calloway and I were both hospitalized for our injuries. Both eventually returned to the 174th.

After the crash, they still didn't have an aircraft available, so I flew as a crew chief for whatever fill-ins were needed. Eventually, in May 1969, I took over Dolphin 223 (UH-1H 15223). She was named "Debbie," after my wife. After many maintenance problems, 223 had an engine change and became a very good ship. Her door gunner came aboard, and had the name Ronald Ducommon, a hippie-type guy from San Francisco, CA. He was an excellent crewmember, and I hope his memory lives on forever, as he was killed on November 25, 1969, shortly after I was summoned home on Emergency Leave.

I left Vietnam in September 1969, never to return. After returning home, I was granted a new assignment at Fort Meade, MD. There, I was a team leader on OH-13 and UH-1H model helicopters. While there I was promoted to E-5, and left the service with that rank in April 1971.

Upon returning home, I returned to my old job in a steel mill until receiving an appointment to the position of police officer for the township of Bern, Berks County, PA. I served as a patrolman from April 1973 until June 1979. During this time, I attended Alvernia College, from 1975 until June 1978, at which time I graduated with a BA Degree in Criminal Justice Administration. In June 1979, I was appointed Chief of Police of the department. I served in that capacity for 13 years, until I was appointed by the Governor of Pennsylvania to the position of District Justice. I am currently in that position.

Karen and I reside in Bern Township with our two sons, Shawn, age 13, and Kevin, age 12. I have two other children, Stacey, age 29, and Tom Jr., age 28. Karen works for the FAA as an Air Traffic Controller at the Reading Airport.

My interests are: Golf - Lion's Club activities - Scuba diving - Corvettes - and my boys (but not necessarily in that order). I currently am the President of the Bern Township Lions Club, and a member of the Ontelaunee Grange, where I'm the Chief Potato Fryer at our monthly breakfast. This was a promotion from dish-washer! Also, I'm a member of the Special Court Judges Association of Berks County, and the State of Pennsylvania. In addition, I'm a member of the Reading Scuba and Rescue Club. Military-related memberships include American Legion post #732, Vietnam Veterans of America--Berks County Chapter #131, Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter #10 (life member).

My e-mail address is Judge1949@aol.com.

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