Memorial Day 2022

Started by winchester73, May 30, 2022, 12:19:26 AM

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(This is dedicated to mitch, the Phantom Phixer who kept the F4s flying, to Ghost, and to hayc59 (whose father was exposed to Agent Orange during Operation Ranch Hand) ... we remember, always.)

"Time will not dim the glory of their deeds." -- General John Pershing

"If you are able, save for them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when you are leaving for the places they can no longer go. Be not ashamed to say you loved them, though you may or may not have always. Take what they have taught you with their dying and keep it with your own. And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind."

Major Michael Davis O'Donnell
1 January 1970
Dak To, Vietnam

Mike was shot down a few months later, on 24 March 1970.  He was attempting to extract 8 members of MACV-SOG LRRP RT Pennsylvania, 14 miles inside Cambodia in Ratanokiri Province, after they declared a Prairie Fire.  "You take them in - you get them out!" was the creed the Bikinis aircrews lived by.  Red Three's last transmission before his Huey burst into flames was "I've got all eight, I'm coming out."

O'Donnell received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.  His "gentle heroes" poem was recited during the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in 1982, and rolled by in the closing credits of the 1987 movie "Hamburger Hill".

Listed as KIA 7 February 1978.  Remains repatriated on 12 April 1995.  Identified on 20 June 2001.  Came home to Arlington National Cemetery in a group burial on 16 August 2001. 

Panel 12W Line 40.

In remembrance of a hometown hero, Airman Robert Louis Zwerlein USN

On 29 July 1967, as a result of an electrical malfunction, a Zuni rocket was accidentally fired across the flight deck of the Forrestal into a plane waiting to take off. Zwerlein was on the port side of the flight deck at the time as a plane captain, making a prelaunch aircraft check of the A-4 Skyhawk piloted by Lt Cmdr John McCain (who would be shot down over Hanoi three months later, survive the Hanoi Hilton, and become a US Senator). The jet fuel from the damaged plane ignited, beginning a chain reaction that exploded bombs and other ordnance aboard the carrier. He was among the 134 men killed in the Forrestal disaster (another 161 injured), the worst loss of life on a US Navy ship since World War II.  Of the 73 aircraft, 21 were destroyed and 40 were damaged.

He died on 01 August 1967 of the burns and injuries sustained in the fire.  He was 21.

Panel 24E, Line 65.

Bobby was a third generation member of the volunteer Port Washington NY Fire Department, Protection Engine Company No. 1. He is believed to be the first native son killed in Vietnam.  Under his Schreiber HS yearbook picture is written "For a Sailor should never be shy".
Speak softly, but carry a big Winchester ... Winchester Arms Collectors Association member


Quote from: winchester73 on May 30, 2022, 12:19:26 AM
(This is dedicated to mitch, the Phantom Phixer who kept the F4s flying, to Ghost, and to hayc59 (whose father was exposed to Agent Orange during Operation Ranch Hand) ... we remember, always.)

Memorial Day is a day set aside to remember those who have died in the service of their country.  It is also a time when I remember another of our friends, canuk, a very special Canadian who likely knew more about U.S. politics and history than most U.S. citizens. Memorial Day 2007 was his last blog post, reading in part:

Quote"Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). For more history of Memorial Day visit Memorial Day History"

Take a walk through the "Security Garden" -- Where Everything is Coming up Roses!

Remember - A day without laughter is a day wasted.
May the wind sing to you and the sun rise in your heart.


Chugging coffee and computing!