October 15th, 2016

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Saturday October 15. Another glorious day in S.B.

Saturday, October 15th, 2016

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This afternoon I stopped by the travelling Vietnam Wall, after I did my shopping at Traders Joe, for the sail to San Diego.

I found the one name, James D.  McAndrew, a friend who lost his life on January 11, 1962 in a helicopter crash. This is what I write about Mac in my book “Soloman”:

A week after the battle of Ap Bac, on January 11, one of our 57th CH-21’s, returned from Soc Trang, the home of the 93rd Transportation Company, to Saigon. All five aboard perished in a mechanical failure. Two of our pilots and two of the 93rd who hitched a ride on their way to ship home out of Saigon. The fifth was James (Mac) McAndrew, the crew chief. We had become friends on the “Core”. He would find me on the flight deck, where I would be in a shady spot out of the trade wind. This is where I was studying the USAFI accounting correspondence courses I had ordered ahead when we were told of our deployment. He was nine years older than me.Mac also came from Southern California. He had extended his service in Vietnam by six months, because he had fallen in love here with a Vietnamese lady and the country.I will never forget the service that was held at the airport, the five aluminum caskets draped in the Stars and Stripes, with the honor guard. I still see his fiancée, off to the side, with two of her friends, dressed in white, áo dais, the color of mourning.

This is the Associated Press picture taken of the hodsc_0026nor guard at the Tan Son Nhut airport.