I was born in 1944 at Wiesloch, Germany. I graduated from West Virginia Dunbar High School in 1961, and joined the Air Force on 27 March, 1962 at Beckley, WV.
My most memorable event with AC-119s was on 27 March 1970. I was the lead gunner on Stinger 15. We lost two engines during landing at Da Nang and crashed through a fence, into a mine field and garbage pit with water up to our waist. I got thrown into the water along with Ollie Merrill. He was still strapped in his seat and his head was under water. I helped him get his head above water and cut his seat belt away with my survival knife, and we commenced to make our way to an area that had no water. For a more descriptive account, read Jeff Baker’s account of the event in his Bio.
My most memorable persons in SEA were Gunner Ollie Merrell, FE Bill Feezor, AC Captain (then) Baker, Captain (then) Kuhn, Gunner Larry Mersek, and Gunner Al Yalch.
My most humorous event in SEA was when our NOS operator, noting close AAA, keys his mike and yells “Accelerate, go, go, go!!!!!”
My decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Airman’s Medal, and 7 or 8 Air Medals. I separated from the Air Force on 21 December, 1970 as a Staff Sergeant.
After the Air Force, I attended and graduated from the University of Arizona in 1977. I’m currently retired, with my wife Karen. Our children are Kimberly Dawn and Brian David, and Grandchildren Riley, Caleb, Colton and Jacye.
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