It was my honor to have served with the professional soldiers of the 174th Assault Helicopter Company from November 1968 to November 1969. I was a First Lieutenant when I arrived in Duc Pho, and was promoted to
Captain in early 1969 . Upon arrival I was assigned as Assistant Platoon Leader of the 1st platoon. Al Meier was the Platoon Leader. The Aircraft Commander who taught me the ropes was John OíSullivan. When Al Meier DEROSed, I became the 1st platoon leader and Al English was my Assistant.
As Dolphin 16, I was assigned the duties of planning combat assaults, assigning crews, and flying flight lead. The level of professionalism and skill displayed by the pilots and crews of the company made those tasks fairly
simple. After our usual morning CA (combat assault), I would fly ash-and-trash missions or Charlie-Charlie.
[Webmaster note: Ash-and-trash missions were resupply missions for the troops in the field, where we would fly out to them, in the helicopters, everything from C-rations to hot meals in insulated containers (called Mermite Cans) to ammunition to mail to library books to Red Cross packages to fresh replacement troops to priests or ministers. You name it, it came to the troops in the field by helicopter. Charlie-charlie missions were "command-and-control" missions where we'd fly over the combat area with the field commander on board (somtimes
company commander, sometimes battalion or brigade--or higher--commander) so they could better observe the combat situation and direct the deployment of their troops.]
Returning Stateside I took an assignment at Ft. Wolters, Texas training Vietnamese pilots Primary Flight. I also took advantage of further training and was rated in fixed wing aircraft and I got my instrument rating. I volunteered for a second tour in Vietnam and got a transition in the CH-54 Skycrane helicopter enroute. I served four months with the 3rd Platoon of the 478th Heavy Lift Company (The Hurricanes) and was RIFed (Reduction-in-Force) in 1972.
I have spent the last 25 years flying Sikorsky S-61 and S-64 helicopter logging and doing construction. I have a home in the Seattle area (when Iím not on the road chasing helicopters) where I live with my wife, Roxanne,
and two children: Christina (18) and Daniel (16). I have two adult Daughters from a previous marriage: Nicole (29 and born while I was in the 174th) and Michelle (27). Nicole has two children and Michelle has one.
I am currently the Chief Pilot for a Heavy Lift company in Southern California. We have two CH-54 Skycranes, several Bell 212 helicopters and one Bell 204B. Our primary missions are firefighting, construction and (when
the market is right) logging.