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.
DUSTOFF Crews Stay Busy in Afghanistan
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.
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.
NVA General Comes Clean Thirty Years Later
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:
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
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.
Emergency Response—The Famous 507th
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
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.
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.
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
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
If desired, memorial
contributions may be made to the DUSTOFF Association, P.O. Box 8091, San
Antonio, Texas 78208.
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