John Temperilli

In February 1962, CPT John Temperilli, Commander, 57th Medical Detachment, spearheaded events that formed DUSTOFF. Reassigned to Vietnam, they arrived, bringing the first Hueys in country. He fought for things taken for granted today, like refueling and weather support, maps, and repair parts. The first mission was flown 12 May 1962, when they evacuated a U.S. advisor. Their single greatest threat was their own commanders, several of whom felt that combat and combat support were higher priority missions than DUSTOFF. He constantly fought the issue of “transportation versus evacuation.” With a shortage of Hueys their solution was to remove the red crosses, place the aircraft in general aviation units, and task them to fly evacuation missions as needed. He halted this misguided initiative, citing the inherent lack of responsiveness and the result of needless loss of lives. He completed his tour and returned to a succession of significant Army assignments. His leadership and professionalism were exceeded only by his dedication to what he had begun with the 57th. John Temperilli was inducted into the DUSTOFF Hall of Fame on 24 February 2002.

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