3/17 Unit Crest



Crossed Sabres


WARNING: No copying of text or photos without expressed
written permission of the Webmaster,

Roger "Bear" Young

[Broken links removed on 13 Oct 2017 - No new EXTERNAL links will be added!]



"The Price of Freedom is Never Free..."




Silver Spur Bulletin Board Shortcuts:
[In Order of Appearance]

Silver Spur Blog - focusing on Army aviation, military humor, articles of interest including embedded military videos, etc. - Final update 28 Feb 13
Webmaster's Corner - Updated 22 Feb 15
Featured Videos - Updated 22 Jan 11
Spur POC's
Reunion News & Contact Information
Silver Spur Coin Available Again - 5 Mar 10
The Huey Pilot - Posted 22 Jan 07
Books published by fellow 3/17th Troopers - Updated 7 Jan 10
Active-duty 3-17th Lighthorse Cav - Updated 7 Oct 2015
Updates on recovery efforts of Silver Spurs lost in Cambodia - Updated 20 Jul 11
3/17th Historical Finds - Updated 21 Dec 05
Misc. Articles - Updated 4 Aug 10
Spur's UH-1C gunship, #66-15028 at Longbeach Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Spurs Looking For... - Updated 20 Jan 10
Veterans Spotlight - Articles by fellow Silver Spurs
A Look Back at Vietnam - Updated 20 Jul 06
Silver Spur Aircraft Still Flying - Updated 20 May 14
Cav Stetsons
External Links of Interest - Updated 14 Apr 10
VA, Agent Orange, DD-214's, Prostrate Cancer, PTSD, VA Suicide Hot Line & Vet Support Links - Updated 7 Jun 11
Index to additional Silver Spur pages




A Trp, 3/17th Air Cav by Spur, John Garrison, Lift Platoon



You can view all of John's Vietnam uploads at: http://www.youtube.com/user/oldrugrat


Tom White Videos, Silver Spur 13, '70-'71

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3


God's Own Lunatics
Date: 20 Jan 10

In July of 2000, the VHPA met at The Wall in D.C. during its annual reunion and placed a wreath. I heard Joe Galloway give this short outdoor speech after some Hueys and other Army copters did a flyover.

Pictures courtesy of the Silver Spurs, produced by Roger "Bear" Young

View/add comments on YouTube

Joe Kline's artist rendition of 'God's Own Lunatics'

Proud to be one of these lunatics,

Chuck Oualline
Spur 3


Super 8 movie taken by Henry Morgan Miller, A Troop, 3/17th Air Cav, Cobra Platoon
You are watching some of the best pilots in the history of aviation
Produced by fellow Spur Snake driver, Benny Bonello.



"American Soldier" by Roger "Bear" Young
In honor of all my fellow Silver Spurs


Silver Spur A Troop 3/17 Air Cav 2006 Reunion Memorial Service

Produced by fellow Spur, John "Waldo" Pepper for our 2006 Silver Spur reunion at Ft. Rucker, Alabama to honor all our fallen Silver Spurs from the Vietnam war from 1967-1972 who served our country and made the ultimate sacrifice. These brave Troopers are not forgotten by their Brothers-In-Arms!

The video also pays tribute to those 3-17th Cav Troopers killed in Iraq during their 2004 deployment.

Roger "Bear" Young


Joe Galloway at A Troop, 3/17th Air Cavalry Reunion in April 2008

We were honored to have Joe Galloway be our guest speaker at our Silver Spur reunion in April 2008 in San Antonio, TX. Our own Spur 3, Chuck Oualline, gives the introduction. Video by Pam Young.

Roger "Bear" Young




Spur POC's

Address all Spur website correspondence to:

Tom White
Silver Spur 13 - Scout pilot, '70 - '71

Roger "Bear" Young
Scout Crew Chief, '69 - '70
Spur webmaster


Silver Spur Reunion Committee:

Please see: Silver Spur Reunion News

Membership Committee Chair:
Charles Stutzman

Silver Spur 13

Please check in with Charles to be included on our Spur roster & Spur E-mail news list!



The Spur site was founded by and is maintained as a courtesy and at the
personal expense of Roger "Bear" Young & Pam Young
editors of The Northwest Veterans Newsletter

Bear served with the Spur Scout Platoon from Dec '69 - Nov '70.
Pam served with CINCPAC Joint Command from '70 - '74
and worked on Operation Homecoming for our POWs





Silver Spur Coin

Spur Coin Thumbnail

Thanks to Spur 3, Chuck Ouilline, our Silver Spur coin is available once again. For detailed picture and purchase details please see:

Silver Spur Coin

Updated 5 March 2010





The Huey Pilot

Casually he walks to the slick,
a helmet with dark visor in his hand,
stepping from the skid into the cockpit,
the switches and dials at his command.

He may be tired from many runs,
it seems he lives under this plexidome,
but with the stick between his legs
and the pedals at his feet, he feels once again at home.

He fires up that turbine as the pre-flight is performed,
the Jesus nut begins to turn,
that machine begins to rock
and now starts that steady "Whop,"
and air begins to churn.

As those massive blades begin to claw the air he
skillfully lifts his baby off the ground,
the tail begins to rise and the front seems to follow
but no better pilot will be found.

I never saw his face,
I never knew his name,
but I'll never forget the day the Huey Pilot came.

With surgical precision he causes that Huey to hover,
dip and dance behind a hill, then he routinely skims the
tops of trees, rising only to have his Door Gunner make
another kill.

He listens to the Peter Pilot and Crew Chief as well
as he watches for popped smoke,
glancing down he sees looks of relief on haggard
faces, they know he will not choke.

With bullets pinging on the thin metal and stars
appearing on the windshield he holds steady to the stick,
people are screaming to his rear, mortars dropping
dangerously near,
but he maintains a firm control of his slick.

He saves a dozen lives and takes supplies where no one
else wishes to go; for him it is just anouther day;
at base camp he helps wash blood from the rear cabin
and after he fingers new bullet holes he casually walks away.

I never saw his face, I never knew his name,
but I'll never forget the day the Huey Pilot came.

Author Unknown - submitted by Chuck Oualline






Books Published by Fellow 3/17th Troopers

Zigzag Men
Copyright 2007 by Spur 19, Larry Sherrer

"I picked up a copy of Larry Sherrer's "Zigzag Men" - it is a must read for all 3/17th guys (really anybody that served in the Army at that time). Funny - sad - brilliantly written, one of those books you can't put down" - Randy Little


Flying Alligators and Silver Spurs
Copyright 2004 by Spur 3, Charles E. Oualline

The dangers, tragedies, and comradeship of the Vietnam War,
in Chuck's own words


by Kenneth D. Williams
D 3/17th Air Cav

Blue Tiger is a book that is the result of the healing process of one Viet Nam Combat Infantryman. The book is taken from the daily diary of the author. Blue Tiger tells his story and it helps put the past to rest where it belongs in the past. The Viet Nam war tore the nation apart, and the military men were caught in the middle. They were blamed for things that they had no control over. They fought to stay alive in a no win situation. For many the war will never be over. Blue Tiger just might help those searching for an end to their war, and explain to others the truth about the combat soldiers in Viet Nam and why some are still bitter.

To order call: 888-280-7715


Other Great Books
[Not by the 3/17th]

We Were Soldiers Once...And Young
by Lt. Gen Hal Moore (USA Ret.) & Joe Galloway

"In November 1965, 450 U.S. soldiers were dropped into a small clearing in the Ia Drang Valley. They were surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers..."


We Are Soldiers Still: A Journey Back to the Battlefields of Vietnam
by Lt. Gen Hal Moore (USA Ret.) & Joe Galloway

"...After a trip in a Russian-made helicopter to the Ia Drang Valley in the Central Highlands, with the Vietnamese pilots using Moore's vintage U.S. Army maps and Galloway's Boy Scout compass to guide them, they reach the hallowed ground where so many died..."


A Tender Warrior, Leadership Letters to America
By Lt. General Hal Moore (USA Ret.) with Toby Warren






No Stone Left Unturned...

6 Apr 2011 - FLASH TRAFFIC:

I haven't seen any official release by DPMO but this is what is reported by the NLF dtd 30 Mar 2011

"...the remains of SP4 Randall D. Dalton, USA, listed as KIA/BNR on July 24, 1971 in Cambodia, were recovered September 11, 1989, and identified January 18, 2011..."

This is great news, but unfortunately no word on the remains of Sgt. Gregory Antunano who perished during the same tragic incident.

20 Jul 2011:

Vet laid to rest after 1971 Cambodia helo crash - ArmyTimes - 20 Jul 2011


Spurs Gregory Antunano & Randall Dalton

Read JTF-FA report dtd 14 Apr 03 provided by Gary Antunano:
Antunano/Dalton PDF File
[Posted 16 Dec 03]
Please allow time to download and open PDF file!
Note: For privacy, Pam redacted address and phone number
Requires free Adobe® software to open

Spur background information:
A Troop, 3/17th Air Cav KIA-BNR Biographies


UPDATE: 26 July 2006



Mr. Young, [Spur Trooper & Webmaster]

Antunano and Dalton were lost in Cambodia on 24 July 1971 and a grave site at XU6928036344 and possibly some of the crash site at XU6925636319 are scheduled to be excavated this October [2006] in Cambodia.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Special Assistant to the Commanding General
Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC)
JPAC Command Staff


UPDATE: 24 July 2006

From Gary Antunano:

Sunday July 23, 2006, Daily Republic

Brother of MIA still waiting for closure
by Ian Thompson
Daily Republic

FAIRFIELD -- Recent evidence about the fate of a Fairfield man's brother who was shot down over Cambodia 35 years ago has him hopeful that his brother's remains may finally come home.

Lack of funding to send a Joint Task Force-Full Accounting excavation team over there has Gary Antunano frustrated that this final closure may still be more than a year off.

"I am in the waiting period now for the excavation," said Antunano. "It could be a couple of years. It could be next year."

Funding cutbacks to the JTF-FA command due to other military needs has put the excavation of the possible site of Army Sgt. Gregory Antunano remains in a holding pattern.

Recently collected eyewitness accounts of the crash site and a possible grave site have pushed the excavation high on the Task Force's list of recovery projects.

Monday marks 35 years since Greg Antunano crashed in Cambodia "and I just don't want him forgotten," said Gary Antunano who was only 8 years old at the time.

But with only enough funds to carry out one excavation a year, the excavation of Greg Antunano's crash site remains undone.

"This year, my brother's case is the backup case for this year's excavations," Gary Antunano said. "Funding for the Task Force is not good due to the war."

Greg and Gary Antunano grew up in South San Francisco, with Greg born 14 years before Gary. Gary worshiped his brother, enjoying wrestling with him and getting rides in Greg's car.

Greg Antunano joined the Army in 1968, became an Airborne Ranger and was sent to South Vietnam where he was wounded twice in the first six months he was there.

His love of flying got him a job flying [in] the OH-6 Loach helicopter, the small, egg-shaped helicopters which the 1st Cavalry Division used to search for the Vietcong and North Vietnamese Army.

In mid-July 1971, Greg Antunano became part of the [ARVN] invasion of Cambodia to destroy the NVA supply bases and sanctuaries hidden there.

One month before he was due to come home, Greg Antunano flew into Cambodia on July 24 as an observer on a Loach to look for the NVA near Snoul, Cambodia. The Loach was shot down.

A medivac helicopter found the pilot alive with a broken leg, but Greg Antunano was found dead inside the helicopter. Another crewman died at the site before he could be evacuated.

The two bodies were left at the site because of fears the NVA were nearby, but when the Americans came back the next day, they found the helicopter stripped and the bodies gone.

The family has lobbied since to find Gary Antunano's body and bring it home.

Gary Antunano's father died in 1986, without ever knowing his son's fate. His mother, Virginia Antunano lobbied hard to get her son's remains found and returned.

She died in 2001 and now Gary Antunano is carrying on the fight to bring closure for his family.

"I would like to get anything home to bury with my parents," Gary Antunano said. "If not, I want to go to Cambodia to see my brother's final resting place." [End]

Webmaster's note: JTF-FA is currently known as JPAC.


The Recovery of 1Lt. Thomas W. Knuckey
& Sgt. Philip C. Taylor

Courtesy of the Taylor family - Synopsis of JTF-FA search and recovery of our
fellow troopers in 1993 who perished inside Cambodia on 27 May 1971





3/17th Historical Finds!

ARMY AIR CREWS: Cobra Crewmembers Line of Duty Deaths in Vietnam [External link] - submitted by Art Bonevich

VIETNAM STUDIES - AIRMOBILITY 1961-1971 by Lieutenant General John J. Tolson

Republic of Vietnam...Crossroad of Culture - Courtesy of fellow Spur, Bill McCalister

WAR - by SFC David H. Plenge - Courtesy of fellow Spur, Bill McCalister

One Perspective...The Early Days (1966-1967) - Courtesy of fellow Spur, Glynn Decoteau

1968 Hawk Magazine Articles - Courtesy of fellow Spur, Bill McCalister

Spur OH-58 #68-16935 still flying!
Courtesy of the Spurs & Sunrise Helicopters, Inc.
Updated: 5 Oct 08

3/17th Air Cav Historical Supplement Posted 13 Nov 02
Courtesy of the Silver Spurs

1970 Spur Excerpts from the "Redhorse Review"
Provided by the Bluetigers!

Message from Arthur C Bonevich:


I'd like to invite you to join the '3rd Squadron, 17th Cavalry (1960s-Present)' homepage on Military.com. The page is a great way to post updates, share photos, plan events, and more.

Just click on the link below, Then click the 'Join This Group' button.


If this does not work because your email software does not support this hypertext link, please copy the URL above, paste it into your browser address area and press enter.

Military.com is the online home for anyone who has answered the call to serve, and the family and friends who support them. Come see for yourself.

Join the page and keep up-to-date on group news.

Arthur C Bonevich




NEW - Vietnam Glossary & Some History by Dwight Davis

Posted 4 Aug 10 - Submitted by Spur 15, Bob Scurzi


Speech by MG (Ret) Robert H Scales

12 Sep 09



I ran to the Colors, or was drafted to them, but I did not falter while all around me others sought the safety net of marriage, then pregnancy, then a college deferment, then flight to Canada.

For this I was derided and held in contempt, unappreciated and shunned by a society unwilling to understand. I watched as my government leaders turned their backs on people whose trust we had earned, only to see them abandoned to the enemy as our country rushed to wash its hands of everything associated with the war, including its own armed forces.

For staying the course, doing the honorable thing, I was ostracized and ridiculed, and I watched, astounded, as my President pardoned those who fled the country rather than answer the call to duty. Years later, I read about a secretary of defense who had not the courage of his convictions; who refused to speak what his gut was telling him, and who now seeks forgiveness for his role in sending 58,000 Americans to their deaths in a war the country would not allow to be won.

Cartoon by The Army Times

I have seen the face of terror, felt the stinging cold and panic of fear, and enjoyed the intense euphoria of coming safely home. I have cried, pained, hoped and hated...but most of all, I have lived times others would say were best forgotten. To those who feel that way, I say GO TO HELL...and I don't care that you just don't care!

Someday I may be able to forgive, but I will never forget. I feel anger when I see civilians placing their hands on "The Wall." Then I realize that they are family members, and I move on in my thoughts.

My lot is not to share in the "glory" that was my father's when he returned from WWI, nor my uncles and cousins who braved combat in WWII and were appreciated and loved by their countrymen, nor even relatives who survived the cold and hell of Korea. No, the Vietnam Veteran stands alone; a mark of shame in the record book, unjustly accused of losing a war directed by political hacks and whizz kids.

(Adapted from "A Soldier"...Author - Anonymous)

Article submitted by fellow Spur, Glynn Decoteau
Cartoon courtesy of The Army Times posted by Roger Young - Spur & Webmaster


A Prayer for The Soldier

By Teresa Honaker
submitted by Dennis Leffingwell

I need to bother you once more

I know my timing isn't the best

The world engages in countless wars

Your powers are being put to the test

Someone needs you more today

Please shelter them in your hands

For their loved ones are miles away

Separated by sea and land

Alone, they face the world of ours

Protecting her with their lives

Using every available power

Traveling over rugged, dangerous miles

Please keep them safe and sound

Keep your heavenly eyes over their shoulders

There is no better-needed prayer around

Than this one for the American Soldiers




Spurs Looking For...

17 Jan 10:

Allow me to introduce myself. I was assigned to the 199th Infantry Brigade in Long Binh 40th Public Information Office as a photographer. The Silver Spurs were stationed with our Fire Ball Aviation Detachment at the time,June 1968, and the Spurs gave aviation support to the I99th infantry units.

I had the duty,honor, privilege of flying with the Spurs on a free- fire zone mission with the Cobra flown by CWO Thomas Marlock. I am not sure how it was arranged, but I was a photographer for our newspaper for the 199th and I got to take a flight to show our troops who was helping them out. I considered that to be the highlight of my time in Vietnam as few people got to fly a Cobra, and even fewer got to fly as a non aviation person.

Enclosed is a 4x6 photo of Mr Marlock on that free-fire zone flight. He allowed me to get some flying time, and as someone who wanted to be a Army pilot, that was a thrill to be able to fly a Cobra. The miniguns were a great way to get teeth vibrated out and lose hearing fast. I do not see an email address for him,but feel free to use it as you feel fit and send a copy of it to him if you do get an address. Other negatives and photos are probably stored in a dusty file at the Pentagon, and this is the only photo I have of him. I wish I had more photos, but when you are on the pay roll as a MOS photographer, the Army expects to get the photographs.. The other photo is the caption of Mr Marlock on the back. I have no idea who the Cobra in flight belongs too. It was taken at a separate time near Long Binh.

I am in the process of building a 1/32 model of the Cobra and would like some information if it is available.

Were there any markings besides the crossed Sabers on the nose?
Were the horizontal stabilizers painted any color besides OD?
Are white visibility bands on the rotor blades?
Any idea approximately what tail numbers of Cobras assigned to 3/17?

I think he had War Hawks painted on his helmet. Eventually, I would like to get a helmet and paint it in similiar manner.

Only in the last few months did I find the web site, and always wondered what happened to the people I was associated with in VN. As someone on the ground needing some fire support, I know that the grunts really were glad to have a gunship around they needed the help.

Thanks for having the web site. I am looking forward to seeing more photos of the helicopters on the web site. Some of my photos are at http://www.1stavnbde.com/tours/Joe_Whinnery/index.htm. The photo of the miniguns firing was from that same mission.

Joe Whinnery, Sp4 199th Infantry, 40th Public Information Office, then SP5, 12th Public Information Office, photographer, Hawk Magazine 1st Aviation Brigade

Joe Whinnery photo
Courtesy of Joe Whinnery

Joe Whinnery photo
Courtesy of Joe Whinnery

Joe Whinnery photo
Courtesy of Joe Whinnery



Incident in May 68:

22 Sep 05: Greetings from Australia Bill Barber and hoping that you can assist with info.

Colin Adamson from Canberra here and back in 1968 I was a rifle company commander ( Major ) with the Australian First Battalion based at Nui Dat North of Vung Tau.

In May 1968 our battalion was ordered to a new Fire Base North of Tan Yuen and as usual our arrival was preceded by a real cock up with bugger all defence stores and the intelligence was that Charlie was around but fleeing north out of Saigon...cold wet tired and hungry..I guess that you have heard all this before!!!!

In the event around 0230 on 16 May, a regular charlie battalion attacked my company location and spilled over to my flanks as well.

All was not happy I can assure you even with the 155s from Tan Yuen in our support

Around 0400 a forward air controller turned up and brought an HFT from the Silver Spurs with him. I need to say right now that I was not aware at the time where the HFT came from and I have been researching for 35 years until I recently found mention of the Silver spurs.

What a game fighting mob those guys were that night.

Charlie had set up 3 or 4 50 cals and his green tracer was flying north at the HFT and at the same time the hels were flying straight down the tracer track and delivering red tracer at the same time. Spooky was up there as well so it was real party.

I recall that the HFT had to disengage after some time as one of the gunships had to disengage as it had take bad fire so the FAC brought in 3 Thunderchiefs ?? which laid napalm on my wire !!

So to come to the point.

Could you spread this among you comrades and see if you can locate those guys who helped me out so much on that terrible night. I need to thank them and take it from there

I am no longer serving....put in 36 years and these days I am in the business of caring for the grandkids.

Our regimental motto is DUTY FIRST...check out my web site...www.firstbattalion.au.com....still building it

Duty First

Col Adamson

PS The Spurs web site is excellent..Col


LTC George Crofoot, former A Troop XO ('67) passed away in 2002. His daughter would like to hear from any Spur who remembers George. Her recent e-mail is attached:

"Thank you so much for your email. I'm very sorry it's taken me so long to get back with you - time just seems to slip away, especially since I'm in grad school and it always seems like there's another paper to write. Maybe too I wasn't quite ready to hear from others. You were right about the holidays being rough and I wasn't exactly prepared for it. This year has been a little better so far but I still miss him terribly, as I'm sure you understand. I would be honored and would love for you to send my message to the entire Troop and would love to hear from anyone of any memories. I've been getting some emails lately from some men he served with during his first tour in Vietnam. It was never anything he talked about so it's interesting to hear of it now, and especially with all that's going on in the world these days. I hope you and your wife had a good Thanksgiving and thank you again for your swift reply last year, as well as your thoughts and prayers. Mine are also with you."



DFC Citation for WO THOMAS M. BARNETT: On 26 Sep 70, Tom was lost from injuries suffered when the Cobra he was the front seater in was shot down by enemy fire.

Recently, his nephew has contacted us and is asking for our help locating a copy of the DFC Tom received while serving with the Spurs.

Please contact fellow Spur's Tom White, and Roger Young.









Profile of a Vet
Submitted by Spur 12, Dan Murphy - Author unknown

* Vietnam vets are less likely to blindly accept the orders and perceptions of others.

* They are perhaps more likely to measure others by their reliability (i.e., is this someone with whom I could share a foxhole?)

* They are less hung up on appearances, less easily fooled, and have had enough bullshit thrown at them that they may see through it a little better than others.

"Many of us have violent tempers, see adrenaline-rush activities, are workaholics, alcoholics, and are maintaining but still sitting on explosive energy."

"We know how to take orders and give orders. We have shared our canteens with all classes of people. We've seen death close up. We've experienced big-time loss. We've faced our own fears and found our own courage. As a result, we are different in a way that the Indians understood and prized, but which our society does not understand and often fears."

"We have had the experience of being judge, jury, and executioner. Many of us were free to take life without having to account for our reasons. We were all affected by having that incredible power of living through an experience in which there was no law - we were the law."


"They Were Heroes Too"
by Richard Ben Cramer

Not Forgotten - the Wall, Veterans Day 2000, Courtesy of the Northwest Veterans Newsletter and the Silver Spurs

War Dogs Remembered at the Wall
Veterans Day 2000 by Vietnam Dog Handlers Assoc.

Photo courtesy of The Northwest Veterans Newsletter and the Silver Spurs



The Vietnam Wall Experience 2001
After-action Reports!
Share in this Exciting Experience!

Photos from the Moving Wall and Memories from the Moving Wall
by Roger & Pam Young


Meeting at the Wall
By Chuck Oualline - Silver Spur 3


Willing And Able
by Redcatcher Bob Himrod


A Promise Kept: Lt. James R. McQuade,
Blueghost 10, Home at Last...

Courtesy of Roger & Pam Young


Lest We Forget
by Silver Spur Terry Shulze


Long Beach Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Artist conception of what will become the final resting place for the Spur's UH-1C gunship, #66-15028. Our sincere thanks to VVA Chapter 756 and the city of Long Beach for including one of our former helicopters as the centerpiece of their beautiful memorial in honor of their city's 103 best who paid the ultimate sacrifice. We'll have full reports in the future from the dedication.

Long Beach Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Courtesy of Terry Shulze


From the dedication brochure:

"Why a U.S. Army Helicopter UH-1C 'the Huey' was
chosen for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial"

"For those who served in Vietnam, regardless of the branch of service, the Huey Helicopter was the mainstay of their existence. It brought their food, water, ammunition, medicine, changes of clothing and letters from home. It was their ticket to R&R and a lifesaver for the wounded in battle. It was their rescuer and their relief. For some the helicopter may be seen as a war machine, but for those who served in Vietnam it was a MEDI-EVAC and flying bus, a logistical necessity of war. And for the over 100 military men from Long Beach who died serving in Vietnam, it was the Huey that gave them their last ride that brought them home.

"The emotional attachment to the Huey Helicopter by the Vietnam Veterans may only be understood by those who served. But the choice of this durable war-bird as the centerpiece for the memorial is a choice made by the courageous veterans who were there.

"The U.S. Army Helicopter UH-1C, chosen to be the centerpiece of the memorial, and like our honored heroes, served in combat in Vietnam. It has a proud history, with 37 months of active service, and over 2700 hours of flight time. While under enemy fire, it sustained critical damage on several occasions with no recorded military fatalities. It served with Troop A 3rd Squadron 17th Cavalry, the 240th Assault Helicopter Company, the 56th Transportation Company, and the 166th Transportation Company. After the war, it was returned to duty with the National Guard where it remained until 1976. In October of 1996, it became a part of the Darkhorse Group, a Military Aviation Museum at the Long Beach Airport, where it was refurbished in readiness for its final resting place.

"As the centerpiece of the Long Beach Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Huey and all that it represents will provide the opportunity for future generations to reflect on the men and women who served their country, especially the one hundred and three Long Beach citizens who have made the supreme sacrifice." [End of this page]




Peter A. Semmer


Richard G. Allen, Ivan J. Broyles, Richard E. Crowe, Franz G. Prediger, Anthony R. Bosh, Gerald Johnson, Michael P. McConahay, Edmond San Marcos, Marshal L. Horton, Alfred L. Davis,


Robert L. Painter, Roy C. Green, James B. Cummings Jr., Earlie C. Hamilton Jr., Joseph P. Murphy, David A. Richardson, Marc A. Brown, Randy N. McPhee, David L. Gale, James K. Patterson, Carl D. Nagengast, David A. Haraldson, George M. Walkinshaw, John T. McMahon, Herbert A. Warner Jr., Kenneth A. Millard, James B. Walters, Jerry E. Butts, William E. Compton III, Paul D. Caramella, Wayne R. Kloese, Alfred F. Alvarado, Robert B. Griffiths, Ronald P. Ruyff, James R. Jones, Michael J. Kiley, John W. Hartman, Jim L. Harnden, Jay L. Wright, Robert D. Kline, Patrick E. Anglim, Robert L. Boyer


Robert L. Heller, Elliot W. Moore, Daniel Diaz, Richard R. Rehe, Innes L. Marland, Howard C. Bell, Glenn M. Hayden, John W. Cook, James C. McPhearson, Benny K. Sanchez, Dennis L. Knott, Richard J. Smith, Gary O. Schlamp, Clint Collins, Edward A. Zimmerman, Richard A. Bowers, Gilbert H. Muncy, Christopher L. Kurtz, Steven F. Dolim Jr., Randall T. Planchon II, Steven L. Graham, Richard A. Whipkey, Roosevelt Sherman Jr., Henry L. Bradshaw, Charles L. Toyias, John B. Stevens, Rocky L. Blair, William D. Nelson, Jerry R. Hardy, Terrance L. Mercke


David A. Eckoff, Gregory M. Leinen, Ronald J. Corbin, Rhena C. Webster, Michael L. Woodside, Leslie W. Worl, Harry L. Morris Jr., Theodore R. Vivilacqua, Steven C. Owen, Rickey D. Dycus, David R. Maier, Paul A. De Vegter, James M. Mooney, Ronald L. Short, Rodney D. Little, George A. Guy, Gary W. Lahna, Robert R. Baade II, Larry M. Cleveland, Charles E. Shultz, Robert M. Newburg, Patrick L. Purdin, David Williams III, Ernest T. Badostain


Richard J. Connelly, Michael E. Justus, Harvey D. Rogers Jr., Andrew D. Allen


William G. Hasselman, Randall B. Bernard



Dedicated by the Vietnam Veterans of America, Long Beach Chapter #756
The City of Long Beach and Councilman Jerry Shultz, Ninth District
Partners of the Parks
Darkhorse Group Military Aviation Museum
Friends of the Long Beach Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Update: May 2001

Chapter 756 reports: "...tail number 66-15028 will be placed at its final resting place on top of the pole in Long Beach Ca tomorrow 5-15-2001 at 0800. The memorial is located at the corner of Atlantic Ave and Harding St. in North Long Beach CA. After 5 years of hard and back breaking work it is finally done. Now phase 2 will commence. Thanks to Troop A 3/17 and 240 AHC for all their imput. Mike Oravetz Chapter 756 -- Long Beach CA"


66-15028 being raised, 15May2001


The Spurs offer a sincere "thank you" to Chapter 756 for all their hard work, the hoops they have had to jump through, and also to the Darkhorse Group, a Military Aviation Museum at the Long Beach Airport, who donated our ol' UH-1C to be a part of their beautiful memorial dedicated to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in Vietnam from Long Beach, CA.


Roger Young - Spurs' webmaster

Update: Dec 2001

Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc. Chapter 756
P.O. Box 90994
Long Beach, CA. 90809

Col Glynn Decoteau, Ret.
And all Silver Spurs
[Address here]

Dec. 1, 2001

Dear Col. Decoteau and Fellow Veterans of Troop A 3/17th Air Cav (Silver Spurs)

It is an honor to receive the beautiful plaque that your organization has so graciously given to those of us at Chapter 756 Vietnam Veterans of America. I'm sure that you will be able to view this plaque on our web-site in the near future, along with pictures of the completed Memorial. It is a tribute to one of our members Mike Oravetz, that he was able to locate actual crewmembers of the Huey that is standing in a peaceful setting in one of Long Beach's parks for the rest of time.

When the Huey was mounted, a local press photographer took its picture during the early evening hours. He apply published it in the local paper with the perfect name, "The Last Mission." What more could be said?

Again we thank you for the plaque which will always remain special to us as you are the only group that has publicly acknowledged our chapter's involvement in this undertaking and we look forward to the day when you may visit and see the memorial in its totality.



Dave Deluca Ph.D
President Chapter 756



"Now let the healing begin"


I thank Glynn (gsdeco67@centurylink.net) for all his efforts in providing the plaque on behalf of our entire troop to Chapter 756 and the Darkhorse Group Military Aviation Museum. Glynn was our troop's original Rifle platoon leader, and I thank Glynn personally for his friendship and continued leadership.

Roger Young - Spur webmaster


April 2004:
Background on 66-15028 by Chuck Oualline

© 2004







A look back...

April 1945: U.S. Arms and Trains the Viet Minh

In April of 1945, the U.S. was training and supplying arms to Ho Chi Minh's Viet Minh forces led by Gen. Giap to fight the Japanese occupational forces in Vietnam. This became the nucleus that would later defeat the French, and even later defeat ARVN and U.S. forces in Southeast Asia.

Thirty years later, to the month, South Vietnam would fall to the communists...


April 9, 1995: McNamara says Vietnam War was a mistake

Robert McNamara, who served as defense secretary under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson from 1961 to 1968, admitted in his newly published memoirs that the Vietnam War, which he once supported despite its unpopularity, had been a mistake. McNamara wrote that his efforts to step up American involvement in the war, especially during 1964-65, had been "wrong, terribly wrong." He eventually counseled President Lyndon Johnson to end the conflict through diplomacy, but his efforts were unsuccessful and he left the Department of Defense in 1968 to take over the presidency of the World Bank.

According to McNamara, he and other U.S. officials failed to appreciate the ability of North Vietnam to wage war, underestimated the power of nationalism, placed too much confidence in America's high-technology weaponry, and organized the war poorly. The war was unwinnable, McNamara said, because the South Vietnamese, whom the U.S. was supporting, were "incapable of defending themselves."

McNamara's comments sparked a flurry of criticism from politicians, commentators, and war veterans. Many criticized him for waiting more than 30 years to make his feelings on the war public, instead of using his high-ranking position to end the conflict. More than 58,000 Americans died in the Vietnam War by the time of its conclusion in 1975.

Above articles excerpted from Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia

Copyright © 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997 The Learning Company, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.


"Planning for Failure" - Oct '64 to Nov '64

The following is from the book, "Dereliction of Duty" by H.R. McMaster. (HarperCollins Publisher, copyright 1997, ISBN 0-06-092908-1) The chapter entitled "Planning for Failure." This was just prior to the then upcoming Presidential Election.

pg. 184

McNaughton, Forrestal, and William Bundy concluded that it would be preferable to fail in Vietnam after trying some level of military action than to withdraw without first committing the United States military to direct action against North Vietnam. They thought that the principal objective of military activities was to protect U.S. credibility. Because they believed that graduated military pressure could be stopped at any time and would not commit them to any further military measures, they saw less risk in using force than in not doing so. Failure to uphold the administration's commitment to preserve the independence of South Vietnam would be acceptable as long as the world recognized that the United States had done all that it could under the circumstances. McNaughton believed that the United States would be in "no worse position" in Southeast Asia if graduated pressure failed to secure American policy objectives there than it was already. Indeed, the loss of South Vietnam after the direct intervention of U.S. armed forces "would leave behind a better odor" than an immediate withdrawal and would demonstrate that the United States was a "good doctor willing to keep promises, be tough, take risks, get bloodied, and hurt the enemy badly."

This shift in thinking about the U.S. objective in Vietnam became apparent during the working group's deliberations. On October 13 McNaughton had placed helping South Vietnam and Laos "develop as independent countries" at the top of his list of goals in Southeast Asia. Three weeks later McNaughton listed the following "aims" of U.S. military action in Vietnam for the use of the Bundy committee:

A. To protect US reputation as a counter-subversion guarantor

B. To avoid domino effect especially in Southeast Asia.

C. To keep South Vietnamese territory from Red hands.

D. To emerge from crisis without considerable taint from methods.

For McNaughton and others the goal of American military intervention in South Vietnam had less to do with that country than with containing Communism and maintaining America's "intemational prestige."

pg. 185

McNaughton wrote that "it might become desirable to settle for less than complete assurances on our key objectives," namely the U.S. pledge to guarantee South Vietnam's freedom and independence.

The final report Bundy and McNaughton completed on November 26 ostensibly reaffirmed the American commitment to a free and independent South Vietnam and Laos, but it contained "fall-back objectives" consistent with McNaughton's "good doctor" metaphor:

1. To hold the situation together as long as possible, so that we have time to strengthen other areas of Asia.

2. To take forceful enough measures in the situation so that we emerge from it, even in the worst case, with our standing as the principal helper against Communist expansion as little impaired as possible.

3. To make clear to the world, and to nations in Asia particularly, that failure in South Vietnam, if it comes, was due to special local factors--such as bad colonial heritage and a lack of will to defend itself--that do not apply to other nations. [End]


The Infamous "Body Count" - LBJ 15 Mar '65

The following is from the book, "Dereliction of Duty" by H.R. McMaster. (HarperCollins Publisher, copyright 1997, ISBN 0-06-092908-1) The chapter entitled "A Quicksand of Lies"

pages 248-249

Two days later General Johnson and his team returned from Vietnam. On March 15 [1965] the president [LBJ] called the JCS to the White House for consultation. Although he continued to delay approval for the deployment of additional ground forces, he talked tough and convinced the Joint Chiefs that he was committed to taking any action necessary to preserve South Vietnam. Even as he postponed his decision on ground troops, LBJ made concessions to the Chiefs in other areas and held out the promise of more decisive military action in the future. The president loosened controls on Rolling Thunder, approved most of the actions contained in Harold Johnson's report, and charged the Chiefs with finding ways to improve the military situation in the South. He ended the meeting with a pep talk. He told his military officers that he wanted them to employ any means necessary to "kill more Viet Cong." He expected a weekly report totaling the Viet Cong dead.(1) The meeting did nothing to clarify U.S. objectives in South Vietnam or determine what level of military force would ultimately be required to meet those objectives. The president's tough talk, however, galvanized the Chiefs and convinced Wheeler that his commander in chief was committed to "do everything possible to better our situation" in Vietnam. [End]

(1) -- Gravel, The Pentagon Papers, vol. 3, p. 406; Wallace Greene, Memorandum for the Record, 19 March 1965, Greene Papers; Gibbons, The U.S. Government and the Vietnam War, vol. 3, pp. 165-66. Wheeler Diary, 15 March 1965, Wheeler Papers.


Kissinger: U.S. 'Accepted' Communist Vietnam

AP - May 26, 2006

Kissinger: U.S. 'Accepted' Communist Vietnam

Henry Kissinger quietly acknowledged to China in 1972 that Washington could accept a communist takeover of South Vietnam if that evolved after a withdrawal of U.S. troops - even as the war to drive back the communists dragged on with mounting deaths.

President Nixon's envoy told Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, "If we can live with a communist government in China, we ought to be able to accept it in Indochina."





Above The Best.Gif

Ft. Rucker, Army Aviation Crest
Courtesy of Roger Young


U.S. Army Museum - Ft. Rucker, Alabama


For many of us that were in Army Aviation, we had training at Ft. Rucker, Alabama. Ft. Rucker is also the home of the Army Aviation Museum.

In the museum's holdings is OH-6A #65-12962 which served with the Spurs! In 1970 it was crewed by C.E. Gary Swartz and had over 2,000 hours logged when it departed A-Troop, 3/17 Air Cav in 1970. Perhaps I'll get the chance someday to see Swartz's ol' warhorse from the Silver Spurs! Talk about memories! [Mission accomplished at the 2006 Silver Spur Reunion!]

962 at Cu Chi - 1970

962 in Vietnam - Young photo
Young photo


Gary Swartz with 962 in Vietnam - Swartz photo
Gary Swartz with 962 in Vietnam - Swartz photo


Swartz's "962" was on display outside the main entrance to the museum in 1/4 Cav markings. However, information from VHPA shows the chopper began its Vietnam service with B Troop, 3/17th Cav. [See: VHPA Information on 65-12962].

962 in 1/4 Cav markings at Ft. Rucker
962 at Ft. Rucker
Photo courtesy of Ft. Rucker


Bob Scurzi, Silver Spur 15, Nov 2004
Bob Scurzi, Silver Spur 15, at Ft. Rucker with 962
Nov 2004 - Scurzi photo

Jan '09 Update: It has been reported by several Spurs that 962 is no longer on display at the Army Aviation Museum at Ft. Rucker. It has been replaced by a newer OH-58.



The OH-6A Cayuse (above) was the workhorse of AeroScouts during the Vietnam War. It's power-to-weight ratio and four-blade rotor system made the Cayuse highly maneuverable. By 1970 the U.S. Army had received 1,434 military versions of the Hughes 500. The Cayuse was better known as a "Loach" which stood for Light Observation Helicopter (LOH) and had a max takeoff weight of 2,700 pounds.

An Allison T-63-A-5A turboshaft engine was de-rated to produce 285 shaft horsepower. This basically same engine was used in the later OH-58A Kiowa and produced a minimum of 317 shaft horsepower (T-63-A-700). But the increased weight of the OH-58A (3,000 pounds max. take-off) greatly decreased the reliability of this engine. In fact, in my opinion, as a Scout Crew chief who worked and flew in both models, the OH-6A was far superior for AeroScout work than the OH-58A which only had a two-blade rotor system. Not only was the OH-6A much more maneuverable and reliable - a must when flying at tree-top level - but from a crewman's standpoint, the OH-6A was far superior in regards to crash survivability. Drawbacks with the OH-6A was the thin skin of their rotor blades (flying in heavy rains would destroy the leading edge of the blades which wasn't very practical in Vietnam) and the circuit breaker panel mounted on the pedalstal which was always being damaged by dirt. The OH-6A had mechanical flight controls while the OH-58A featured hydraulic flight controls.

Both the OH-6A and OH-58A's (which started replacing the reliable OH-6A in 1970) could be armed with a 7.62 mm mini-gun mounted on the left side from the passenger compartment. The pilot was seated in the front right and the Observer in the front left seat. In another common configuration the mini-gun was removed and the Crew chief often flew in the rear to provide firepower and a pair of eyes to the right side of the Loach.

Ceramic armor offered some protection from the bottom, rear and sides for the Observer and pilot. "Chicken plates" and a well-positioned .38 or .45 offered some protection from the front.

By 1970 Loaches were most often covered by the dreaded AH-1G Cobra Attack Helicopter (AH) known as "Snakes." Working together they were known as Pink Teams.

Maintenance was not only a task for the crew chiefs, but without the skills provided by the able troops in the 575th Maintenance Detachment (including some civilian personnel) and 812th Signal Detachment the troop would have never been able to function. Kudos to all of those who supported the Spurs and kept us flying! The long hours you worked and your dedication was and is greatly appreciated!

Sources: Roger Young, Scout C.E./Line Chief and Janes Encyclopedia of Aviation


Spur LOHs live on:

"Luckey Lady" still flying

[Updated: 1 Apr 09]

In Gainesville Police Trim
Photo Courtesy of John Rouse - Gainesville Police Department - 1998


Spur OH-58 #68-16935 still flying!
Update Updated: 20 May 14

68-16935 today, courtesy of John Peacocke, Sunrise Helicopters, Inc.
Courtesy of Sunrise Helicopters, Inc. - 2003






Cav Stetsons & Braiding

History of Stetson Cavalry Hats
Courtesy of the 1/17th Website

Cav Stetsons Available!

If you are in the Seattle area and served with the Cav, and want to replace your lost Stetson or braid, the folks at Byrnie Utz Hats at 310 Union Street in downtown Seattle can fix you up! Contact Paul or Bev Ferry (owners) at 206-623-0233. They are open Monday thru Saturday 9:30 am to 5:30 pm. or check out: Miller Hats on the web! My thanks to Jan for the url to Miller Hats!

Braid colors: (provided by John Connor)

General Officers -- all gold
Officers - gold & black intertwined
Warrant Officers -- silver & black intertwined
NCO's & Enlisted -- yellow wool or nylon





External Links of Interest


Vietnam War Resources

Helicopter Losses During the Vietnam War - PDF file courtesy of VHPA

Cyber Sarge's Vet Links
Links to Information on Veterans Records, Agent Orange Pages, Veteran Organizations, Veterans Pages, Forms, and More.....


Spur 'Man in the Doorway' - Larry Smith photo
Silver Spur "Man in the doorway" - Larry Smith photo

PDF File: The Man in the doorway - by Michael Ryerson - Courtesy of VHPA site - A tribute to all the crew chief's and door gunners who flew the Slicks...

1st Aviation Brigade Portal - Courtesy of Larry Cox!

WELCOME BACK TO QUAN LOI! - by John Wavra, A Battery 6th Bn 27th Artillery Quan Loi VA - '70 & '71 Spurs will certainly appreciate John's efforts!

How to Request U.S. Military Medals & Awards - Courtesy of Wash. State Dept. of Veterans Affairs

The Air Cavalry - Informative link on helicopters used by air cavalry units! Located by fellow Spur, John Dostal

Vietnam Warriors: A Statistical Profile - From VFW Magazine - January 1998





Vet Support Links

Department of Veterans Affairs

VA Health Benefits Service Center toll free at 1-877-222-VETS


VA's Suicide Hot Line Begins Operations
DVA - 30 Jul 07

"...The toll-free hot line number is 1-800-273-TALK (8255). VA’s hot line will be staffed by mental health professionals in Canandaigua, N.Y. They will take toll-free calls from across the country and work closely with local VA mental health providers to help callers..."


Request Copies of Military Personnel Records
Courtesy of the National Archives


VA National Hepatitis C Program
Courtesy of VA


Agent Orange

PDF file:
- Posted 10 Oct 06

PDF file: Agent Orange Dioxin Report
Courtesy of Vietnam Veterans of America
March/April 2009 - Posted 6 Apr 09

Other Agent Orange articles:

Agent Orange linked to serious heart disease - MSNBC - 24 Jul 09

Join our discussion on Agent Orange on our Silver Spur Blog - Opened 7 Jun 11


Prostrate Cancer

Nov 07: As a former Silver Spur who has struggled through prostate cancer, I want to be sure that every soldier who spent any time in the field in Vietnam from 1961 to 1971 is aware of the following quotes from the VA Handbook:

"If a Vietnam veteran requests a prostate cancer screening exam (DRE, transrectal ultrasound* and/or PSA) after the controversy regarding the value of such testing has been explained, it is recommended that the EH Clinician honor the veteran's request. *NOTE: Usually limited to veterans with abnormal DRE and/or PSA tests."


"There is 'limited and/or suggestive evidence of an association' between exposure to herbicides used in Vietnam and the development of prostate cancer. Because of the provisions of the law and the IOM findings, VA has established a presumption that prostate cancer is related to exposure to herbicides in Vietnam. As a result of the establishment of this presumption, it is anticipated that many Vietnam veterans are going to seek advice about screening for prostate cancer.

In fact, if a veteran who was on the ground between 1969 and 1971 gets prostate cancer, as I did, he is automatically qualified for 100% medical disability. It takes a few months to get the benefits to start coming in and they might only last until the cancer is deemed to be in remission. Still, this information is not widely known, even among the medical community. I guess it is up to us to spread the word and look out for our own.

Other medical conditions besides prostate cancer are covered too. The most concise information is provided in this PDF file: Agent Orange: Diseases Related to Agent Orange Exposure

For prostrate cancer, see: Agent Orange: Prostate Cancer

Larry Sherrer



National Center for PTSD

PDF: Understanding PTSD - VA

From WDVA site:

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Traumatic events—war, combat, sexual assault, natural disasters and other life-threatening experiences—have always been a part of human experience. The impact of these events on the survivor was not well understood until the past decade.

We now know that traumatic events often change the survivor psychologically, biologically, and socially. Multiple traumatic experiences can complicate recovery, but also seems to increase the reluctance to seek care.

It is now apparent that the culture, the times, the veteran’s homecoming, and the war’s outcome, as well as many other factors influence the way trauma reactions are expressed. Untreated, trauma reactions and PTSD are highly predictive of physical illness, disrupted family life, and reduced academic and career performance.

What are some signs or symptoms of PTSD?

Most people who are exposed to sudden, dangerous or deadly events—or who are psychologically overwhelmed by these experiences—will often experience several of the following:

- Startle reactions to noise or movement
- Reliving of traumatic memories
- Hostile or suicidal feelings and impulses
- Profound grief reactions
- Lack of emotional reactivity – feeling numb
- Problems with intimacy and/or interpersonal relationships
- Avoidance of people, movies or topics related to trauma experiences
- Being hyperalert to threats to self or loved ones
- Sleep problems, dreams and nightmares
- Excessive need to control outcomes
- Guilt or depression
- Concentration and memory problems
- Anniversary reactions to the trauma
- Alcohol and/or other substance abuse
- Anxiety and hyperarousal
- Thrill seeking and risk taking behavior
- Employment difficulties
- Authority problems

Will time heal Initial Trauma and PTSD Reactions?

Experts agree that the mere passage of time will not relieve PTSD. The longer one waits, the more difficult management may become. On the other hand, it is never too late to start counseling. The use of alcohol, a workaholic life style, or avoidance, may increase the intensity of the symptoms, or delay resolution. Often, the veteran with PTSD will risk everything before seeking help.

Source: Dept of Veterans Affairs

More on PTSD:

Soldier On; The Fight Doesn't End When They Get Home

PTSD article by Point Man International Ministries


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
by Silver Spur David "Benny" Bonello





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