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OH23 Pilot Dies at Dak To. I have more info on Orin Dyer if interested.
I would like know more.
I was CWO Orrin Dyers Crew Chief on Feb 3rd 1968. Some of the 4th DIVARTY Pilots would welcome me to fly with them with an M-60 that I had brought with me from my TDY door gunner duty with 4th Aviation, B Co. Orrin was not fond of M-60’s hanging on OH 23’s when he was the pilot. Feb 3rd was no different. I stayed behind. FAC Lt Larry Skoglund from the 1/8 accompanied him on this alleged 1 hour fire mission. Larry, although wounded severely was able to get the aircraft back short of the runway. Larry was the garbled voice that called in their situation. At that point he believes CWO Dyer was already KIA as he was shot in the face.
I have devoted a chapter in my book “ONCE A BOY” to that event which includes LT Skoglund’s personal account. I would be happy to send one to you or when I get my laptop un-packed I can copy and paste that chapter to you. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome Home Brother!
Paul, Thanks for contacting me. Yes, I'd like any information that can add to Orin Dyer's story. I'll contact you by email to continue this conversation.
Ernie, I tried your posted email but my server could not find the address. I was assigned to Dak To from May 68 to Jan 69. I am happy to share my experiences and some photos with you on your site or in this blog. Let me know which you prefer.
R/ D. Paul Lewis
AF O-1/O-2 Mechanic
RVN Jan 1968-Jan 1969
Read the daily report.
Benny M Benton had the knee click for perfect cadence, obviously needed.
When I left for the north I ended up at the airfield just west of the Citadel. Pure VFR and no one willing to pretend ATC was there. Two VNAF O1s collided, one on short final, the other on high base turning final. Tower had cleared both while reading; a Playboy possibly. Two dragonflies mating noisily then bouncing and suddenly awakened tower giving good imitation of a shriek of my name.
No fatalities, a couple cuts and an immediate 100% adherence to procedure. VNAF who disdained helmets started wearing them in the crappers and tower taught himself a good lesson.
The ramp was PSP and had mounds of sand we needed to clear. There were probably twenty VC or NVA underneath with bags of ready to go satchel charges mixed in the goo and bone. The charges were maybe four ounces of C4 with a friction fuse attached to a wrist loop and wrapped in palm leaf. Clever people these Viet Nam fellows.
We separated sand, bones, goo, and bombs. Burned the first three and blew the rest in a trench. We had gotten a stick of TNT and blasting cap and fuse off various AVN. Since I had spent time reading Field Manuals I got to pile satchel charges in the trench, squeeze the cap onto the fuse behind my rump, fire the fuse and book, wait twenty minutes to peak over to see the cold match, light it better and run.
I had spent an hour doing mouth to mouth to a dead guy a month before basic.
Thought you would like to know.
Great webpage Ernie and Welcome Home.. Love the pics of Dak To, Ben Het and some of the other FSBs. Just want to pass this along to Chris Ross and any other 3/12 Infantry vets out there. There is a private 3/12 Infantry Vietnam Veterans Facebook group out there, and there are over 300 members, all with a direct connection to the battalion. I've shared the link to your website with them all, and I'm sure many of them will visit your page.
My uncle Corporal Donald Sperl served as a medic in D Co, 3/12 from Jan-May of 1968. He was KIA near Hill 1089 on May 8, 1968.