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-- D --

DECEMBER 29, 1947 - JUNE 24, 2015

Rod Darnell

Rod served in the 281st AHC as a Crew Chief in the Wolf Pack Platoon from 5-69 until 12-69.

Upon leaving the service he returned to Juneau, AK where he meet and married his wife Sandy and together they became successful commercial fishermen. He died at age 67 of lung cancer. The Intruder family shall always remember Roddy. His obituary follows:

“Roddy (Rod) Darnell died June 24, 2015. He was 67. Roddy graduated from Juneau-Douglas High School in 1966. He later worked as a local business owner, a commercial fishing captain and served for four years during the Vietnam War. Though he eventually retired from the fishing industry, he remained an avid sport fisherman. He is survived by his wife, Sandy Darnell; and stepsons, Chad and Jeromy. His parents, Jack and Freddie Darnell, preceded him in death.”

[ Editor's note: in the picture above, Rod wears a Combat Infantry Badge. He served two tours. ]

A note from Sandy, received September 15, 2015.
"Hello Gary
I hope you received the pics I sent of Rod in the service and one of him and I, and here is a short story about him.
Sandy Darnell

Rod (Roddy) Darnell
Rod led a life of adventure. After leaving the service (2 tours in Vietnam), he returned home to Juneau, Alaska. He worked at a couple jobs including deckhanding on a friend's commercial salmon troller, and in 1976 bought his first boat, the Lulu J. The next year, he and a friend on another boat got caught in a severe storm off the coast of northern SE Alaska, and both boats sank, while a Coast Guard helicopter airlifted Rod, his friend, and a dog with 4 puppies from the sinking boats. Over the next years, he bought a succession of commercial boats; his last one named the Ocean Bandit. He met his wife Sandy in 1979 when she hired on as his deckhand, and they had 36 years together, 20 years living in a tiny village on the coast, Elfin Cove. He retired from commercial fishing in 1997, and became a business owner in Juneau. He continued to be an avid sport fisherman, and caught many salmon and halibut, fishing and being on the water was his joy. It was discovered he had cancer in April of 2015, and passed on June 24th at the age of 67."

Rod Darnell

Rod Darnell

3 February 1939 - 3 April 2004

Ron Davis

Ron served as a pilot with the 281st AHC in 1967-68. 
His last known address was PMB 5198, Box 2428, Pensacola FL 32513,  Flight Class: 67-9

CW4 Retired Ronald W. Davis, age 65, passed away, from a heart attack, on 3 April 2004. He was cremated, and funeral services were held at Arlington National Cemetery on May 27th 2004. He was a member of VHPA, and served two tours in Vietnam. He recently retired from a trucking business in Florida and was touring/traveling in the US.

I think I snapped that pic. He and I followed each other around for several assignments after the 281st.
-- Brent Gourley, webmaster 2014 - 20??


1 January 1936 -  7 March 2000

LTC Degner

LTC  Denger entered the United States Army in September 1959 as a Commissioned Officer and was assigned as a Platoon Leader to the 52nd ARB, 2nd Missile Command at Ft. Carson, CO.  While there he completed the Infantry Officer’s Basic Course at Ft. Benning, GA receiving his Expert Infantryman’s Badge.He attended ORWAC, Class 62-8 in which he was the Honor Graduate.  After completing flight school he was assigned to the Army Aviation Test Board as one of the Test Pilots for the Chinook.  He served in this capacity until he was sent to Vietnam in August of 1964.  He flew UH-1B’s as a Section Leader of the 145th Airlift Platoon.  In August of 1965 he returned to Ft. Rucker and the Army Aviation Center until December of 1967.

He returned to Vietnam in January 1968 for a second Tour of Duty as a Platoon Leader flying Chinooks for the 147th ASHC of the 222nd Aviation Bn. On 4 May 1968, Hillclimber 027 performed one of the fastest air rescues of the Vietnam Conflict. Major Herbert Degner and CW2 Samuel Taylor were returning to Vung Tau from Xuan Loc after a re-supply mission. The FE SPC4 James Choate observed an USAF O-1 crash directly below them. SPC4 Choate informed the pilots and they entered a descent. Landing near the crash site, the crewmembers were dispatched to assist downed aviators. Neither pilot appeared seriously injured. They were loaded on 027 to Vung Tau and the ambulance was called in-flight and standing by. Total time from crash to hospital was 31 minutes.  In June 1968, he was transferred to the 1st Aviation Bde. serving as the S-3 Training Officer.  

From Vietnam he served as Company Commander of 154th TC Detachment and later as Commander of HHC, 21st Avn Bn. at Ft. Sill, OK between January 1969 and September 1970.

He then served as Commander of the 568th Transportation Company and later as the S-4 for the 222nd Avn. Bn. at Ft. Wainwright, AK.  He was transferred to Ft. Richardson, AK and served at HQ, USARAL in the Maintenance Section through July of 1975.

In July of 1975 he was sent to the 190th ASHC, USAR in Olathe, KS as the Aviation Advisor and completed the Army Command and General Staff College while there.  He made his last logged flight in June 1978 prior to being assigned as the Assistant DIO for V Corps in Frankfurt, Germany.  Part of his duties there included devising a Corps wide evacuation order known as the NEO Plan.  He also assisted with the Evacuation of the American Hostages from Tehran, Iran to Rhine-Main Air Force Base after they were released from captivity.

He chose Ft. McCoy, WI as his final tour of duty and was assigned as a Training Officer for the Readiness Group, which supervised many National Guard and Reserve Units in the Upper Midwest.  In March of 1982 he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and became the Executive Officer of the Readiness Group.  He retired in August 1984 with a 100% disability due to Multiple Sclerosis, which he had developed in early 1981, because it had affected his ability to walk.  In his health he enjoyed big game hunting and camping with his family.  Colonel Degner is survived by his son Fritz.

1947 - 2015

Obituary of William Dick, Sr.
William E. Dick, Sr. passed away Saturday, August 8, 2015 in Highland Falls, NY. Born June 10, 1947 in Valhalla, NY, William was 68 years old.
Funeral arrangements will be private and at the convenience of the family.
He served in the 281st AHC in Wolf Pack, 11/67 - 11/68

Billy Dick was a good man. He stood by his convictions. He was true to his word. If you needed help he was always first in line to lend a hand. I miss the noise and excitement this man would create throughout the neighborhood. I miss his stories and his point of view on life and the people in it. Bill was never at a loss for words and now it seems too quiet. You are sorely missed. My condolences to Bill Jr. & Brandi, Kathy & Pete. The only thing left to say is I hope Bill is raising hell in heaven and having debates with all his new companions. Miss you Brother. Good Friend MOE....

24 December 1948 - 11 March 1976

Ken Dickey       Ken Dickey

Ken from Monterey, California

18 April 1947 - 14 November 2000

Bob Dolen           Bob Dolen

Robert served in the 281s AHC as a Bandit Door Gunner from January, 1967 until January 1968. Robert died in Moundsville, West Virginia and leaves behind his wife Jill and other members of his family. He shall not be forgotten by the Intruder family.
His funeral remembrance card and more photos follow:

Bob Dolen

Bob Dolen           Bob Dolen          

Bob Dolen           Bob Dolen

Bob Dolen           Bob Dolen

FROM: Dan Franco dfrancojr01@yahoo.com
Our experiences happened 50 years ago....I can now barely remember what happened yesterday! Bob was a great guy with a tremendous sense of humor and also a perfectionist when it came to accomplishing his primary duties. Bob was very conscientious, honorable and hard-working individual and it was sincerest pleasure to have served with him. He would spend hours ensuring our weapons were always in tip-top shape and ready to go on a moments notice. He would also spend numerous hours helping me maintain our aircraft. However, I can recall a couple of times when he just cracked me up. One time when we were in the "field" Bob and a couple of other guys were chasing grasshoppers, for what reason I couldn't tell you. Maybe to just pass the time? Anyway, I was taking pictures of them "hopping" after the grasshoppers. To really appreciate that sight you would have had to been there! After they had managed to capture their individual "prizes", I was going to take a group picture when all of a sudden Bob jumped in front of the camera and held his grasshopper right to his mouth like he was going to gulp it down!! Bob, forever the clown! Another time, while we were in NhaTrang, we had both decided we would get up early the next morning and wash down our aircraft. Well, as I was approaching the helicopter I noticed that Bob was already there inside the aircraft and I could see he was really engrossed in reading something. I couldn't tell if it was a book, or possibly a letter from home, but as I got closer I could see that he was really focused on reading a comic book! However, he was so absorbed in what he was reading he didn't see me walk up on him and I guess it startled him. Due to his shocked look, I about fell over laughing. That was when I found out about his penchant for comic books. It's funny that I had not noticed his reading habits before that day, but after that I was aware of the reading material he brought with him everywhere we went. In speaking with his wife Jill, apparently Bob never lost his passion for comic books and has a nice collection at home that he had accumulated over the years. Sorry, but that's about all I can remember. Bob and I had been in sporadic communication over the last several years and all I can say is that I wish we could have been closer. My heart is saddened with his passing, but I will always remember him. Hope this helps with a little insight into Bob. I hope he gets the recognition so deserved as a patriotic American and member of the 281st AHC.
-- Dan

June 26, 1947 - June 24, 2016

john p doney

Passed away 14 November 2000, in Beaverton, Oregon. Born on April 18, 1947, in Astoria, Oregon. Assigned to the 281st in early '68 (Jan. or Feb.). Spent some time in Rat Pack, about a month in Wolf Pack, and then went to Maint. as a tech inspector. John graduated from Warrenton, Oregon High School, enlisted in U.S. Army for 3 years on 10 May 1966. Attended 11 weeks SESR TBN utility Helicopter Mech. and the 6 weeks MTR Hel Mech. Awarded a Military specialty of 67N20 Helicopter Mechanic.


John was one of five brothers of which he and his brothers Robert and Norman served in Vietnam at the same time. After Vietnam, John continued his education and became a commercial fisherman. His wife Dori, four children, John Paul Jr. 26, Nathan Charles 23, Colette 19 and Jason 14, survive him.

john p doney grave


28 October 1999


Gary was the 281st Company Clerk for 1969, maybe sooner, up to October of 1970, just before deactivation of the company. He was our Radar O’Reilly.  He made things happen.  In 1998 Gary was diagnosed with multiple myleoma and underwent stem cell replacement in  Houston.  He fought a very courageous battle but passed away, October 28, 1999.  (Information provided by Don Budlong Aug-03)


23 January 1950 - 21 July 2002
SSAN Issued: Iowa.
Last known residence:
James F. Douglas, 3926 540th Avenue, Cylinder, IA  505

9 April 1943 – May 2010

dostie_1     dostie_2

Armand Dostie served as a crew chief in the 145th Avn. PLt and the 281st. AHC from 6-65 until 6-66

FROM HIS SON: Daniel N. Dostie

Armand Dostie was a crew Chief on a UH-1B “Slick” stationed in Nha Trang, Republic of Vietnam beginning June 25th, 1965 and ending June 16th 1966. He was initially assigned to the 145th Air Lift Platoon, call sign “Mardi Gras”, of the 10th Combat Aviation Battalion. His service was distinguished by an Air Medal for Heroism 5th Oak Leaf with V device for exceptionally valorous actions completed January 29th, 1966 while engaged in aerial flight in connection with military operations against a hostile force. A friendly 6 man patrol in the An Lao Valley requested immediate evacuation. His slick flew the valley 4 times during that mission. His suppressive fire on the surrounding Viet Cong was instrumental in the successful rescue of two survivors of the Special Forces patrol. There were other awards but none so well documented. He wrote a note that he also was on a mission to rescue a downed pilot. He also survived the A Shau Valley operation, though not without some deep psychological scars.

My father answered the draft call and served his country of his own free will despite not feeling the greatest support from his family who bore the hardship of his absence on their dairy farm. Upon his return, the popularity of the war was waning in the Northeast making his return less than a hero's welcome. Despite his conflicted feelings about his experience and inability to talk much about it, he always kept a flag fighting high in our back yard."

Armand’s Obituary:
AUGUSTA (ME) -- Armand Dostie, 67, died unexpectedly Sunday, May 9, 2010. He was born in Augusta on April 25, 1943, the eldest son of the late Laurier H. and Juliette M. (LaVallee) Dostie.
 Mr. Dostie was a graduate of Cony High School, class of 1961, with honors; and the DeVry Institute of Technology in 1973.
 He was an Army veteran, serving honorably during the Vietnam War as a Huey helicopter crew engineer.
 St. Michael Parish employed Mr. Dostie for the past several years doing maintenance and acting as the sexton for the St. Michael Parish Cemeteries. He also worked for St. Michael School, where he enjoyed greeting the children, sharing lunch with them, hearing their laughter and putting a smile on their faces. He previously worked for Accidental Anomalies Inc. He had been a farmer for more than 30 years, first as a dairy farmer with his father and brothers at Dostie's Dairy Farm Inc.; and later as a poultry farmer with his wife, Diane, at A&D Poultry Farm.
 He was a communicant of St. Augustine Catholic Church of St. Michael Parish and had served on the Parish Council, the Finance Council, as a Eucharistic minister at St. Augustine Church for the past 23 years, and as a member of the Maine Farm Bureau Association.
 Mr. Dostie was predeceased by two daughters, Michelle Anne Dostie and Kathleen M.D. Cayouette.
 He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Diane A. (Barbeau) Dostie, of Augusta, whom he married on Sept. 21, 1968; a son, Daniel N. Dostie and his wife, Mary E. (Wright) Dostie and their children, Helen Grace and Claire Emma Dostie, of Mechanicsburg, Pa.; two brothers, Egide Dostie, of Skowhegan, and Laurier J. Dostie, of Sidney; three sisters, Elizabeth Fleury, of Dunnellen, Fla., Beatrice Dostie, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Deliscka Edgecomb, of Readfield; two aunts, two uncles and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
 He was the most wonderful husband, Papa, Pepere, friend, neighbor, co-worker and carpenter. He was a hardworking, devoted, compassionate man who always gave of himself unconditionally. He could never say no when it came to helping others. He was a man who was so greatly loved and will be greatly missed.

 Published in Kennebec Journal on May 12, 2010

Kneeling: Heck, Squires.
Standing: Vincent, Dostie, Zeglin, Purdy, Serafin, Kirsh, Felton, Back: Perkins

GN Greg Issacs - CE Bill Heck & Armand Dostie



A member of the 281st AHC 1968 – 1969..BRUNSWICK, GA -- Donnie Neal Drawdy, 55, died Sept. 12 in Jesup. He was a lifelong resident of Glynn County and a 1966 graduate of Glynn Academy. He was employed with Georgia Pacific for 32 years. He attended Blythe Island Baptist Church and was an Army veteran of the Vietnam War. SURVIVORS: two sons, Donnie Drawdy Jr. and Robert Drawdy, both of Brunswick; two brothers, Grover Drawdy of Brunswick and Ronnie Drawdy of Jesup; three nieces and a nephew. MEMORIAL SERVICE: 11 a.m. today at Chapman Funeral Chapel, Brunswick. REMEMBRANCES: Red Cross Disaster Fund of New York.

25 October 1946 - 17 December 2009

Picture Dale Dunbar

Dale A. Dunbar, age 63, of Amelia, VA, formerly of Easton, PA, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, December 17, 2009. Dale served in the 281st as a door gunner from 12-67 to 12-78. Dale was known to be an excellent crew member and well respected for the performance of his duty. He is survived by his wife, Ginger; a son, Ty Dunbar (Hope) of Kenbridge; twin daughters, Tina Dunbar of Youngsville, NC, and Tara Clarke of Victoria; daughter, Beth Wiley (Charles) of Iowa; nine grandchildren, Sarah, Noah, and Olivia Dunbar; Jonathan Clarke; Matt, Joseph, Chris, Ally and Lexie Wiley.

FROM THE DALE DUNBAR FAMILY Tara Dunbar (tdclarke@earthlink.net) Sat 02 Jan 2010

On behalf of the Dunbar family, we would like to thank the 281st Assault Helicopter Company for all your thoughts, beautiful words, and deepest sympathy upon our loss. The flower garden is beautiful and greatly appreciated.

We had a beautiful service and it was so moving to hear so many kind and inspiring words about my father. My father was an exceptional man. He truly lived for his family, but was always quiet about his time in Vietnam. Words cannot truly express how moving it was to hear the words by his former commanding officer. Thank you all so much!


Tara, Tina, Ty, and Ginger Dunbar


20 August 1944 - November 1973
SSAN issued in Texas


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