Memorial to Fellow Viet Nam War Soldiers of
281st Assault Helicopter Company & Associated Units
I decicate this page to the glory of God Almighty,
Who brought me home from the war in Viet Nam.
Many came home in worse shape than I did. Some came home to be buried. Some never made it home at all.
To all MIA troops everywhere,
You are remembered by your families and by those with whom you served!
To every soldier who has served and returned to tell your story, "Welcome Home!!"
I remember my co-pilot Walter Wrobleski, who was shot down with us on 21 May 1967, West of the A Shau Valley, West of Hue and Phu Bai. It was only after 30 years that I learned, through Library of Congress records, that Walter was taken POW. Although he is officially listed as probably deceased, my hope and prayer for Walter is that he has found peace with God and Man, wherever he is today. May the Lord Jesus Christ watch over him, if Walter is yet alive.
I also remember PFC Michael Gallagher, who gave his life that same day, trying to rescue my fellow crewmen, Pilot Donald "Corky" Corkran and Gunner Gary Hall. Although I did not know Gallagher well, I am reminded of the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13)
I offer a HEARTY “THANK YOU!” to my fellow aviators and the CH46 crew of the 1st Marine Air Wing (1st MAW) for their part in extracting me from the jungle on 21 May 1967, during Operation Pirous (see summary of that operation,) as well as to all TAC/FAC and other tactical and coordinating personnel who made it possible for me to escape alive after I was shot down.
I salute all my fellow troops, and the support personnel, that obeyed, in good conscience, the call to arms in that grievous struggle. In spite of our human frailties and differences, in spite of the insanity of politics, those I knew served with distinction, continuing to lay down their lives as best they could in the face of dire adversity.
Now, regarding conscientious objectors, bear with me in that I do not find fault with those souls who honestly and truly searched their hearts, minds, and spirits before God, and who were spiritually driven to declare themselves as objectors to that war. I believe God gave some of the objectors a quasi-prophetic ability to see the chicanery, lies, and duplicity of governments, militaries, and businesses on both sides of that conflict. I believe that some objectors understood things that many civilians, politicians, and soldiers could not see or did not want to see during the war, such as dishonorable economic, religious, political, and immoral things that have come to be known with disgust by many veterans who served in Viet Nam. The conscientious objector's honest moral dialog, willingness to examine the war, and sacrificial personal stand I can accept. BUT, I do not excuse the conduct of anyone who either went to the war or ran away from it for reasons of greed, lust, fear, or personal or material convenience. Forgive them? Yes. Excuse them? No.
Bless God! Let us learn from the lessons of history lest we or our children repeat the mistakes of history!
The distinguished “281st AHC,” with which I served in Viet Nam, now has TWO websites. Steve Matthews’ 281st Assault Helicopter Company, "INTRUDERS," website was the original one that started significant postings of our unit information on the internet. Now there is also our 281st Assault Helicopter Company Association website. Both of these sites have grown by leaps and bounds over their respective lifespans. I HIGHLY commend the heroic efforts of all parties involved in the development and maintenance of both these websites. Thank you!! …and God bless you!!! Both sites are well worth visiting, containing a treasure trove of valuable insights about what happened to our unit and to us as individuals during the Viet Nam War. I flew with the Wolfpack gunship platoon, as a crewchief and gunner. As a disabled Viet Nam War Veteran, and Purple Heart recipient. I thank God, and you, that your purchases help me to earn my living.
Here are some special links about Viet Nam: