I received my first helicopter flight at the age of 16. My cousin, Larry Mason, flew the first helicopter for Channel 9 Television News in Cincinnati, Ohio. I was immediately hooked on flying, but had no idea that I, too, might someday become a helicopter pilot. Graduating in 1966 from Beavercreek High School near Dayton, Ohio, I went on to Ohio State University to become a teacher. But I readily admit that I was too concerned about where the parties were and not concerned enough about where the Library was! With too many "Cs" and "Ds" and not enough "As" and "Bs," I did not have the Grade Point Average to return to Ohio State the next year. I went to a nearby Junior College for a couple of semesters but I knew that if I was not going full time to a 4 year University or if I wasn't married with at least one child, I was probably going to be drafted. (I did receive my draft notice, but by that time I had already signed up.) With this in mind, I started visiting Recruiters, stopping at the Army first. As soon as Warrant Officer Flight School was mentioned, the recruiter had my full attention; I would train to be a helicopter pilot! Basic Training began in April of 1968 and graduation from Rotary Wing Flight School was in April of 1969. Having been selected to fly Dustoff before completion of flight school, I attended what was referred to as a "condensed Combat Medic's Course" at Ft. Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas. There, 24 pilots from my flight class of over 200 men received the 10 week Combat Medic Course in 5 weeks. I arrived in Vietnam on the 4th of July 1969, and was assigned to the 237th Medical Detachment, Helicopter Ambulance, at Camp Evans in Northern I Corps; they were the northernmost Dustoff unit in Vietnam. I was given the call sign "Dustoff 7-1-1." I wasn't superstitious, but I never said 'seven-eleven', it was always seven-one-one. With most of the Aircraft Commanders in the 237th going home at the end of November, I was made an Aircraft Commander on 11 November 1969, after only 3 months of flying in combat. On 15 November, just 4 days later, I was wounded on a night rescue mission and subsequently sent back to the States due to the nature of his wound. Further assignment was to Ft. Wolters, Texas, home of Primary Flight Training, where I volunteered to be a Training, Advising and Counseling (TAC) Officer for new Warrant Officer Candidates. I remained in this capacity until his Honorable Discharge in April of 1971. Most recently, I have become involved with American Huey 369, in Peru, Indiana, which is a group of veterans and patriots who have restored Huey helicopters to flying condition for the preservation, demonstration and education of the Huey. The AH369 organization pays tribute to all veterans and patriots, but especially Vietnam Veterans. These restored Vietnam Veteran Hueys appear at many events in Indiana and surrounding states several times a year. This organization can be found on the Internet at: "365 DAYS... or so I thought." By Ronald P. (Phillip) Marshall U.S. Army Warrant Officer Republic of South Vietnam, 1969 A Transcript of my Daily Diary and Correspondence Home, including Photos and Comments. Diary written while serving as a Medevac (Dustoff) Pilot. (Diary Transcription Started March, 2005 - Completed Winter 2011/12) In the late 1960's, the military draft was in effect and if a male was not enrolled full time in a four year college or if he was not married with at least one child, he was draft eligible. Going to Vietnam was virtually a sure thing, so many draft eligible guys went to Canada, got married and had children or stayed in college to avoid the draft. I went to Ohio State University right out of Beavercreek High School, but was not mature enough to do what was necessary to stay there. I was too concerned about where the parties were and not concerned enough about where the Library was.
  • ISBN13: 9781478399148
  • Publisher: Createspace
  • Pubilcation Year: 2012
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 00422
Publication DateNovember 7, 2012
Primary CategoryFamily & Relationships/General

Vietnam Diary

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