LTC (Ret.) Henry” Hank” P. Capozzi passed away after a long bout with cancer, 28 Feb 15 at 87 years of age. Capozzi was a lifelong Army officer and DUSTOFF air ambulance helicopter pilot who served bravely in Korea and also completed two tours in Vietnam. He served as an Operations Officer and an Instructor Pilot 1957 to 1959. Capozzi hand picked his aircrew for the 82nd Medical Detachment at Soc Trang Army Air Field, serving as its Commander from July 1964 through July 1965. Under his leadership the 82nd received Presidential Unit Citations, a Valorous Unit Award along with other medals of recognition.
Hank was among the original H13, Sioux “Bubble Helicopter” pilots, which later led to his passion in founding “The SoloPilots Society“. Along with his fellow SoloPilots, this small elite group remained steadfast in recognizing the pilots who not only flew solo, but had to be their own mechanic and medic. They were responsible for emergency helicopter evacuations leading to saving thousands of wounded on the battlefield. Under Capozzi’s leadership as President of the SoloPilots, the society was able to have these hero’s recognized and a plaque honoring their commitment and sacrifice placed at the Army Medical Department Museum.
His dedication, bravery and savvy flying skills were his biggest virtues. He was highly decorated throughout his career, respectfully declining the Purple Heart commendation following what he deemed to be a minor injury during combat. ” I was just doing my job, that is not what the Purple Heart is for…” He explained.