Ernest J. “Ernie” Sylvester

COL Ernest J. Sylvester personifies the highest standard of the DUSTOFF tradition. As a 2nd Lieutenant on his first tour in Vietnam, he was the first aviator in that war to fly over 1000 hours in combat assault and direct combat support missions. He earned three awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross, 47 Air medals, the Bronze Star with Valor, Purple Heart and, as aircraft commander, evacuated 4,190 causalities. From July thru November 1970 while under his command, the 54th and 68th Medical Detachments evacuated 10,163 patients. As the Battalion Operations Officer and because of his leadership, The Legion of Merit awarded him acknowledges that “he was asked to take command of three air ambulance detachments in support of Operation LAM SON 719 conducted in Laos, resulting in 2,500 evacuated patients”. His unswerving devotion to duty contributed immeasurable to the improvement of aeromedical evacuation within Vietnam. Ernie Sylvester lives by the motto: “When I have your wounded”. Ernie Sylvester was inducted into the DUSTOFF Hall of Fame on 22 February 2003.

Scroll to Top