Lucius Theodore "Ted" Untalan
Died after his tour on December 12, 1998
281st AHC 1968 - 1969
Ted passed away at Guam on December 12, 1998 after a long
and painful bout with cancer of the colon.
Ted is survived by his wife Penny and
Read a Tribute by Bob Moberg
From: Jim (Mom) Torbert to Ted's Son.
I arrived at the 281st AHC in November, 1968. I was told that I was slotted to
take the place of Ted Untalan, who would be returning home shortly. So for the
next several weeks I became his shadow as I tried to learn his job. This was my
lucky day. Ted told me right off that he would teach me how to get things done
in Viet Nam. He also told me that my taking his place meant I would take over
his room in the BOQ. He and his roommate a WO named Nelson had without a doubt
the best, most elegant room in the BOQ. They had taken two rooms, tore down the
wall between them and built a room second to none. It was on the first floor
with no windows because it had been rebuilt with planking for extra protection.
The inside was wood paneling with built in beds, counters, and storage areas. It
was air conditioned, had two refrigerators, and a cook top. Ted also told me
that because Bobbie Stanfill was slotted for Nelson's slot that he would become
my new roommate. What a great room we lucked into. It became the party room and
the place of many celebrations, parties, and even for a time the place for Mom's
Matinee, where we would show the movie we got from SF and run it in the
afternoon for everyone who was not flying that day.
The way I understand the story, was Ted was able to build this outstanding room,
because at the time he arrived all RLO's were living in a Villa in downtown Nha
Trang, and only the WO's were living on base in the BOQ. It was Major Miller who
decided that we would shut down the Villa and all RLO's would have to move back
on the base. But Ted had already built his room and no one was going to make him
move out till he was ready.
I flew a lot with Ted at first and he taught me all the places to go, and got me
ready to check out as AC so that I could fly on my own. He also taught me the
whole process of how to recover a down bird. If I am not mistaken the first
rigging we did was on AC 342 when it went down near Daulat. Ted not only showed
me the way to supply depots at Cam Rahn Bay, Battalion HQ, Red Beach, but also
showed me the back doors to the O Club and EM Clubs where we would trade for
things that were in immediate need. We even visited the air force and the club
at the Group HQ across the field. He said we had something that they all needed
which was at time to need a ride to the replacement company in Cam Rahn, or a
ride somewhere else.
From his teaching I could always get a case of steaks, or chicken, or pork chops
for a party. They were lots of other things that he taught me about trading for
in Viet Nam, but I will let it go at that. He was one of the main reasons that
our maintenance was one of the best in Viet Nam, because we were always able to
get a engine or a pair of blades or a new transmission. It was always fun to be
making an approach to 05 at Nha Trang with two set of blades sticking out each
side of the doors on our maintenance bird, as everyone in the Maintenance hanger
came out to cheer as we were able to get replacement blade over everyone else.
One time Ted told me that a friend of his stationed in Bangkok had several need
parts that we were really hurting for to get two of our birds back in the air,
and that the next day we were going to fly our H model to Bangkok and get these
parts. He said we would spend the night and be back the next day. I was looking
forward to the trip, but Captain Fox decided that it was not worth the risk of
us flying an unarmed, un-crewed maintenance ship to Bangkok. Ted was so
disappointed. I think I have a picture or two of your Dad while we were there
and will try and get into my old pictures and get a copy made. Your Dad was a
class guy. The only questionable activity he had was card and chess playing with
Dave Dosker, because he never let Dave win.
I have rambled on, but this has brought make many fine memories. Let me know if
I can be any help to you.
God Bless, and Cheers to one fine man.
Jim Torbert "MOM"
From David Dosker
Ted and I shared a love for Kipling. In RVN we drank a lot of scotch as I read various poems and stories. While in Iran we did it again. I loaned him a copy of a book of poems which he lost. On a trip back to the US he asked me to buy a copy of the best anthology of Rudyard's works in London for him and one for me to replace the one he lost. When I visited him in Bangkok he handed me his well worn copy and asked me to read to him and Bob Moberg. Gunga Din was one of the favorites.
I hope Patrick still has his copy.
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