The page last updated 18 January 2009.


Back Issues of Newsletter

The following excerpts are from the Spring/Summer 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

Greetings, fellow DUSTOFFers, friends and family, from your DUSTOFF Association. I hope this letter finds you all in good health and enjoying the best life has to offer. I am honored to serve as your president, and as I told some of our 'grey beards,' I won't mess it up. MORE

Vietnam Medic Receives Medal of Honor-Three Decades Late

Rascon.jpg (85365 bytes)Alfred Rascon was a hero to the soldiers in his platoon after his courageous actions in March 1966, in the Long Khanh Province in Vietnam.  MORE

DUSTOFF in Kosovo

kosovo.jpg (33870 bytes)The quality of personnel we have in the 236th Medical Company and the AMEDD in general astounds me. I recall members of this unit, such as SFC Marvin Broadwater, who recently won DUSTOFF Crewmember of the Year, SFC Gosling and SSG Dicker, who were both Commandant's List, graduates, graduates of their respective courses, and SSG Diaz, who was Distinguished Honor Graduate at BNCOC. MORE

Treasurer's Report

I am proud to report that the DUSTOFF Association is in a great financial status. We closed out our FY 1999-2000 on April 30, 2000. Last year our income came from several sources. Memorial and unassigned donations accounted for $4,015.00; Dues paid totaled $7,350.50; Sales of memorabilia grossed $4,159.50; and our checking account and CD at Bank of America Military Banking provided $764.82. MORE

From the Wiregrass

Greetings from the Wiregrass! I would like to begin by thanking all the presenters, attendees, conference and Holiday Inn Riverwalk staff for making our first AMEC of the millennium a success. Quite a bit of valuable information was provided this year, by the official presenters and during numerous informal mentoring sessions that took place during and after duty hours.  MORE

A Nurse's Story

Suddenly, in my head it is 1968, and I am back in Vietnam. A monsoon rain has just ended this late-January morning when the UH-1 Huey helicopter settles into the mud by the 12th Evacuation Hospital at Cu Chi.

The story told from a very different, but nonetheless engaging perspective about a nurse and a DUSTOFF is present in the newsletter sent to Association member.

Earn This!

I am a doctor specializing in Emergency Medicine in the Emergency Departments of the only two military level-one trauma centers. they are both in San Antonio, Texas, and they care for civilian and military personnel. 

Even with my enlisted service and minimal combat experience in Panama prior to medical school, I have caught myself groaning when the ambulance brought in yet another sick, elderly person from one of the local retirement centers that cater to military retirees.

I had not stopped to think of what citizens of this age group represented. Then I saw Saving Private Ryan. I realized that I had seen these same men and women coming through my Emergency Department and had not realized what magnificent sacrifices they had made.

You can see the whole story of Captain Stephen R. Ellison, an Army Ranger doctor, and his comments based on his observations during his training at Brooke Army Medical Center by joining the DUSTOFF Association and getting the whole newsletter.

Characteristics of the Capable Pilot

A very scientific article, authored by Dr. A. M. Slager of the Schreiner Aviation Group's Medical Department. When these observations were published, they were linked with critical experiential comments by famous DUSTOFF medic Billy Hughes, who used his close-up experiences with many notable DUSTOFF pilots to produce the following article. Hughe's comments are in italics.

Pilots are athletically built; they are good sportsmen, take pleasure in being actively engaged and move smoothly.

This person has never seen some of you guys dance.

Guidance counselors and teachers often communicated to their parents that they were not working to their full potential.

This couldn't be more wrong. I've seen you guys, on many occasions, drink to well beyond your potential.

Many more comments may be seen in the full newsletter sent to members.

Historical Note

Our historian forwards the following information:

We are in contact with Fred M. Duncan of the 1944-45 Aircraft Repair Unit known as 'Ivory Soap.' He is the historian for 5,000 WWII veterans who were part of a U.S. Army Air Corps Floating Aircraft Repair Ship in the Pacific during 1944-45.

While he didn't fly helicopters during WWII, he has discovered one of the first Sikorsky R-4B helicopter pilots who did. This pilot, Bob Cowgill, was involved in the first large-scale helicopter rescues during WWII. His helicopter was not a medical craft; it was part of a floating aircraft depot repair ship project known as 'IVORY SOAP,' used to fly airplane parts shore-to-ship for repair. When one of the Army field commanders heard there were helicopters on a ship in Manila Bay, he called for their help. The 112th Cav. and 28th Div. sent two helicopters, obviating the need for dangerous and tiring hand-carry evacuation that often consumed as much as twenty-four hours. The two aircraft evacuated a total of sixty-two documented wounded soldiers between June 16 and 18, 1945, airlifting them out of the Philippine jungles, one by one, under Japanese ground fire. As many as seventy wounded may have been rescued, making this the largest known medical evacuation mission of WWII.

To learn more about the ships used as aircraft repair units in Operation Ivory Soap, visit .

Rules of Combat

For those who have been there, the following observations are already most evident:

If the enemy is in range, so are you.

Incoming fire has the right of way.

The easy way is always mine.

Try to look unimportant. They may be low on ammo.

Professionals are predictable; it's the amateurs who are dangerous.

The enemy invariably attacks on two occasions: (1) Whey you're ready for them. (2) When you're not ready for them.

Teamwork is essential; it give the enemy someone else to shoot at.

If you can't remember, the claymore is pointed at you.

If your attack is going well, you have walked into an ambush.

Don't draw fire; it irritates those around you.

The only hting more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming friendly fire.

When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our friend.

If it's stupid bit it works, it isn't stupid.