Remember Pvt. Jessica Lynch received a SILVER STAR for having an inoperable weapon, getting lost, getting captured and getting rescued.
PC politics at play.
138th Aviation Company Memorial Inc.
On December 4, 1967, Capt. Douglas J. Kelly and Warrant Officer 1 Robert D. King of the 138th Aviation Co. RR were killed when their RU-6 Beaver crashed north of Da Nang. Capt. Kelly was 29 years old and from Salisbury, Massachusetts. Warrant Officer King was from Marshalltown, Iowa and was 39. King was the intercept-equipment repair technician on the mission.
Sgt. Melvin “Joel” Jorgenson, the senior 05H (Morse intercept) operator on the flight, was severely injured but managed to drag Spc.5 Tim Brown, the other 05H operator, from the burning wreckage. Jorgenson’s head had hit the R-390 radio equipment, and he is also reported to have had “shrapnel wounds” and a broken ankle.
Brown said later, “We spent about four hours on the ground before we were picked up by air rescue choppers. Both Joel and I were taken to the Naval Support Activities Hospital at Da Nang and later ‘medevaced’ to the 249th in Japan. I spent two months in the hospital in Japan and then returned to the 138th to complete my tour. I only saw Joel once while we were in the hospital, so I don’t know how long he was there.”
Joel Jorgenson had several operations and had a plate inserted in his head to repair his shattered skull. He was later awarded the Soldier’s Medal in a ceremony at Ft. Devens in December 1967. The criteria for the medal states the soldier’s performance “must have involved personal hazard or danger and the voluntary risk of life under conditions not involving conflict with an armed enemy.” It is the highest honor for heroism an American soldier can receive for an act of valor in a non-combat situation and is equal to or greater than the level which would have justified an award of the Distinguished Flying Cross had the act occurred in combat.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: “Joel” Jorgenson recovered from his injuries and remained in the U.S. Army, retiring with the rank of Sergeant Major. He died in Fairfax, Virginia, on July 21, 2006, at the age of 66, and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
On December 4th, 1967 the 138th Aviation Company lost two men, Captain Douglas Kelly and WO1 Robert D King, in the crash of their RU-6A Beaver.
The next day, 4 men from the United States Marine Corps with VMO-2, were killed when their armed UH-1E crashed in bad weather while returning from an attempt to recover the classified material onboard the downed RU-6A.
Today we remember the December 5, 1967 loss of Captain Gary L England, 2Lt Robert I Terry III, GSGT Frank E Morey Jr, and CPL August H Monhof.
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Why yes, America's 21st century armed forces does offer participation trophies! I'm sure her teammates morale was boosted ever higher as a result. /SRemember Pvt. Jessica Lynch received a SILVER STAR for having an inoperable weapon, getting lost, getting captured and getting rescued.
PC politics at play.
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