The page last updated 09 May 2009.


Back Issues of Newsletter

The following excerpts are from the Fall 1998 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, intriguing stories.


It's hard to believe we are only four months away from our 20th Anniversary Reunion.  So much as happened since last February. In the last newsletter I reported that we had already begun planning the reunion and the location would be the same as it's been the past couple of years. Well, scratch that. The renovations to the Holiday Inn will not be completed, so we had to find another venue. It's back to downtown San Antonio, as many of you had suggested. The Radisson Hotel Market Square will host the 20th Anniversary gala. It's a really nice place, and their management, anxious to have our business, guarantees we will be more than satisfied with the accommodations, food, and service.

The DUSTOFF Memorial Plaza project is on course.  With any luck at all (and a government contractor who stays on schedule), the Plaza will be completed in time for us to dedicate it during the reunion.

February is just around the corner, so make your travel arrangements and hotel reservations now.

Herb Coley

247th Repeats FORSCOM Award Win

The 247th Medical Detachment, National Training Center Corps Support Battalion, was presented a prestigious safety award 21 April 98 by Brig. Gen. Dean W. Cash, commander, the National Training Center and Fort Irwin, at the Post Helipad.

This marks the second consecutive year the unit has captured the Forces command Commander's Trophy for excellence in aircraft accident prevention.   They also won the award in 1990 and 1996.

Become a member of the Association and read the whole story of their unprecedented accomplishment and see examples of their approach to safety and mission accomplishment.

As SFC Freddie Edwards states, "Let no soldier cry, I was not properly trained."

DUSTOFFer Receives Award

The story of Vietnam war hero, Hugh Thompson of Lafayette, LA, receiving the Courage of Conscience Award is told.  Thompson, who was a scout helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War, is credited with putting a stop to the My Lai Massacre, in which 504 Vietnamese civilians were killed at the hands of U.S. soldiers in March 1968.  Thompson has come to be known as the "forgotten hero of My Lai."

The DUSTOFF Legend

The history of Maj. Gen. Spurgeon Neel, U.S. Army Ret. is related.  MG Neel was involved in all phases of field and aviation medicine and achieved full qualification in these fields by training with the Army and the Air Force.   Among his many accomplishments related in the this article is the development of the Flight Surgeon MOS, command of the 44th Medical Brigade in Vietnam, and being the impetus for the Military Assistance to Safety and Traffic (MAST) Program.  MG Neel is well known as "The Father of DUSTOFF."

DUSTOFF Association Announces 1998 Award Winners

Each year the Association, in partnership with Sikorsky Aircraft and Breeze Eastern, recognizes the Outstanding Crewmember of the Year and the Outstanding Rescue of the Year.

This year we are pleased to announce the following winners.   Rescue of the year belongs to the crew from the 54th Medical Company, CW2 Dave Odekirk, CPT Bryan Heartsfield, SGT Benjamin Plummer, and SGT Terry Eldridge.

The Outstanding Crewmember of the Year is SSG Baldwin Fajardo from the 50th Medical Company.

The complete story of what the winners did is in the newsletter send to each member of the DUSTOFF Association.

From the Wiregrass

COL Johnny West fills us in on the latest goings-on from Fort Rucker.  Lots of good information is put out, from the retirement of LTC Mike Deets, to the latest on LTC Gene Pfeiffer's actions in support of the UH-60Q, to the success of many of the 67Js on selection boards.

Seeing Ed Bradshaw in traditional Saudi garb is worth the price of joining the Association. Good stuff you won't want to miss.