Back Issues of Newsletter

The following excerpts are from the Spring/Summer 2003 DUSTOFFer Newsletter. The complete newsletter, and all the stories, is mailed to each DUSTOFF Association member. If you are not a member, become a member now and read the complete issue.

President's Message

Hello to all DUSTOFFers and family members. As I sit here writing this letter, the TV is giving me the latest on the War with Iraq. There is no more pressing matter than for all of us, as former and present DUSTOFFers, to pause periodically and remember those who are carrying on the traditions. Let’s not forget that those in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan are not the only ones deployed in harm’s way. We have many crews on call and pulling duty daily in many foreign lands and within CONUS. Our thoughts and prayers should be with them daily, along with those brave men and women who are prosecuting this war.  MORE

DUSTOFF Crews Stay Busy in Afghanistan

U.S. medical evacuation aircraft crews stayed busy in Afghanistan proving how dangerous a place the war-torn country remains. In three instances, Afghan civilians with potentially life-threatening injuries were evacuated and treated by American medical assets, Department of Defense officials said. In a separate incident, a U.S. service member was evacuated for treatment of a broken wrist.

In the first of the three Afghan incidents, a man in the village of Qala-E-Nasra lost a foot in a mine explosion. He was evacuated to the U.S. Combat Support Hospital at Bagram Air Base, near Kabul, and is in stable condition after undergoing surgery, officials said.  MORE

NVA General Comes Clean Thirty Years Later

Former Colonel Bui Tin, who served on the general staff of the North Vietnamese Army and received the unconditional surrender of South Vietnam on April 30, 1975, confirmed the American Tet 1968 victory:

“Our losses were staggering and a complete surprise.” Giap later told me that Tet had been a military defeat, though we had gained the planned political advantages when Johnson agreed to negotiate and did not run for reelection.

The second and third waves in May and September were, in retrospect, mistakes. Our forces in the South were nearly wiped out by all the fighting in 1968. It took us until 1971 to reestablish our presence, but we had to use North Vietnamese troops as local guerrillas. If the American forces had not begun to withdraw under Nixon in 1969, they could have punished us severely. We suffered badly in 1969 and 1970 as it was. MORE

Emergency Response—The Famous 507th

For more than 20 years, most emergency air ambulance services in the San Antonio area were provided free by the Army, as a part of military training for combat.

But the Persian Gulf War, military transfers and development of civilian air-ambulance services put an end to the local program called MAST—Military Assistance to Safety and Traffic.

The 507th Medical Company was formed in 1970 as a test unit for the MAST Program, created through an agreement among the departments of Defense; Transportation; and Health, Education, and Welfare. The agreement was the first to allow military units to transport civilian patients during what emergency medical experts call the “golden hour,” which can mean the difference between life and death. MORE

Old Timer War Story from 1960s Japan

Jeff, I remember the day well. Dave Dryden looked like a dog crapping peach seeds because the weather was right down on the ground at Zama, and you had five-stars on board. We could barely see the runway, and the Med Command staff was demanding to know where you were. We were fumbling for answers.

I believe that mission was the reason Gail Bowen developed a homemade IFR approach to Zama using the old Sagami beacon. Remember the hand drawing we posted on the flight operations board?

Not long after that, I got a mission about ten o’clock one night to run 24 boxes of blood over to Tachikawa because they needed some on a stat basis to put on a plane that was going to the States. The weather was not bad, and I thought it would be a short flight. I believe Tom Roberts was the crew chief, and I know Majewski was the medic. Majewski sat up front with me because he wanted to go to flight school.


Jesse Morris, Widow of Charles Kelly, Dies

Editor’s note:  A lady who has been very important in the history of DUSTOFF passed away on 24 March 2003. The newspaper notice is followed by excerpts of a note written to members of the DUSTOFF Association by her son, Charles Kelly Jr.

Mrs. Jessie Morris, age 73, passed away Monday afternoon, March 24, 2003, at Doctor’s Hospital. A native of Girard, Georgia, she grew up in Sylvania and had been a resident of the Augusta area since 1964. She had been the owner and operator of Barter Books on Peach Orchard Road for the past 20+ years, until 1999. She was a former member of the First Baptist Church of Sylvania, Georgia, and for the past number of years had enjoyed the television ministry of Dr. Timothy Owings of the First Baptist church of Augusta and Bill Graham Evangelistic Crusades. She was active in the DUSTOFF Association; an organization conceived after the death of her first husband, U.S. Army Major Charles L. Kelly, a Medevac pilot who perished serving his country during the Vietnam Conflict. Her husbands, Major Kelly and Mr. Travis Morris, who passed away in 1990, preceded her in death.

She is survived by her son, Charles Kelly Jr. and his wife, Brenda, from Martinez, Georgia; her daughters, Carol Kelly Dorn and her husband Mike, of Evans, Georgia; Barbara Kelly Howerton and her husband, Bruce, of Dahlonega, Georgia; two sisters, Barbara Boozer, of Sylvania, Georgia, and Carol Norman, of Augusta, Georgia; 11 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren; a niece and a nephew.

If desired, memorial contributions may be made to the DUSTOFF Association, P.O. Box 8091, San Antonio, Texas 78208.

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